Content marketing is an ongoing process, and no matter how long it has been in place, it's always a good idea to go back and reevaluate your strategy so that your prospects and customers are always able to find new and interesting ways to engage with you, regardless of when or how they plan to buy.
If you're having problems making resolutions for the coming year, or if you simply want some new ideas, keep reading.
Here, we'll explore what content strategy is, why it's important for your organisation, and how to go about developing one. In addition, we'll look at some real-world examples of successful content marketing campaigns to get some ideas.
What is content strategy?
Suppose that one of your company's objectives is to raise brand recognition. It's possible to achieve this by implementing a content strategy that focuses on SEO in order to boost your website's visibility in the search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive people to your products or services
Many new business owners mistakenly believe they don't need to implement a content strategy in the beginning. However, providing high-quality content can be important in establishing trust with new audiences and gaining a long-term advantage over your competitors.
An effective inbound marketing strategy relies on a strong content strategy to support your Attract and Delight stages of the buyer's journey. A content strategy can be used to boost revenue and customer happiness in addition to drawing new customers to your company.
You need a solid content strategy in order to compete with the 70% of marketers who are actively investing in content marketing.
The following questions must be answered while developing a content strategy. Let's have a look at them now.
1. Who will be reading your content?
Who are you trying to reach with this content? How many people are you targeting with your content?
Your content strategy can serve a variety of different types of users, just as your company's customers come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Delivering content that is specific to each persona is easier when you use a range of content kinds and distribution channels.
2. What problem will you be solving for your audience(s)?
Your product or service should address an issue that you are confident your target market is experiencing. To that end, your material acts as a guide and teacher for your readers as they learn to recognise and handle this issue for themselves.
There are those who are still trying to figure out what their key difficulties are, as well as users of your product, who benefit from a well-thought-out content strategy.
The solutions you're presenting are reinforced by your content, which aids in the development of trust and credibility among your target audience.
3. What makes you unique?
This means that potential customers need to know why your products are superior or at the very least different from those of your competitors.
The fact that your business has been around for a long time may be your most valuable asset. As an alternative, you may have developed a distinct voice that sets you apart from your competition.
When you're trying to convince people to buy from you, you need to show that you're worth listening to first. That message should pervade your material once you've figured it out.
4. What content formats will you focus on?
It's important to find out what formats your audience prefers in order to determine which ones to focus on.
While you may be tempted to start a podcast or a YouTube channel due to the recent growth of these platforms, you should first determine where your target audience resides.
When it comes to developing content, it's best to avoid wasting your time on anything that won't reach your target audience or pique their interest.
Begin putting together a budget once you've figured out which formats work best for your business.
5. What channels will you publish on?
There are many ways to distribute your material, from your website to social media, just like there are many different ways to create it.
Your audience's location will play a role here. Consider uploading your videos to YouTube if they like long-form content. The TikTok and Instagram platforms may be better for you if your target demographic is younger and more interested in short-form content.
In the step-by-step guide, we'll discuss social media content strategy in greater detail.
6. How will you manage content creation and publication?
It can be difficult to figure out how you're going to develop and distribute all of your material.
It's critical to first establish the following things before moving forward with the actual execution:
Who is responsible for what?
It's being published to the right place
When its due to go live
Small teams may make this easier because you may be the only one making decisions. As your company expands, you may need to work with multiple content teams to devise a successful workflow. '
It is easier to imagine your company's message and establish yourself as an expert in your market when you design a content editorial calendar around the issue of your choice.
Why Marketers Need to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing helps organisations prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective sources of traffic and new leads on their websites.
Embedded links to an e-book or free utility can continue to generate leads for you even after you've published a blog article that gets a steady quantity of organic traffic.
Read about HubSpot's blog strategy here if you'd want to learn more about how we increased traffic to the Sales Blog.
When you have a steady stream of visitors and leads coming from your evergreen content, you have the freedom to try out new revenue-generating strategies like sponsored content, social media ads and distributed content.
You will also be able to educate your customers and raise brand awareness with your content.
How to Create a Content Strategy Framework
1. Define your goal.
What are you hoping to accomplish by creating a content marketing strategy? What is the purpose of creating and implementing a content marketing strategy?
You'll have an easier time establishing the ideal strategy if you know what you want to accomplish before you start planning.
2. Conduct persona research.
To create a successful marketing strategy, you must first identify your target demographic — also known as your buyer persona — before you can begin brainstorming ideas.
For people who are new to marketing, this is extremely crucial. In order to develop more relevant and valuable content for your target audience, you must know who they are.
As a seasoned marketer, your target audience may have evolved. Is there a new demographic you wish to reach, or are you looking to increase your present audience? If so, what are your plans for retaining the same demographic? Market research is essential to ensuring that your audience continues to expand.
3. Run a content audit.
Most businesses begin with blog articles in the early stages of development. Conducting a content audit to determine your best and worst-performing content can help you branch out into new formats. Then, based on that data, determine your next course of action.
Make sure you're reviewing your content marketing efforts and results over the past year if you've been in business for some time.
Make a plan for the upcoming year and decide what you want to do differently. The team's goals should be in sync with those of your entire organisation.
Regardless of where you are in the content creation process, conducting a content audit can help you learn more about your target audience, find holes in your existing topic clusters, and generate new ideas for new content.
4. Choose a content management system.
Content development, content dissemination, and content analytics are some of the most important aspects of content management.
You need a content management system (CMS) so that you can easily and sustainably develop, manage, and track your material.
When it comes to content management systems (CMS), WordPress is one of the most popular.
5. Determine which type of content you want to create
From ebooks to blog entries to podcasts, there are a wide range of choices for creating material that you may publish.
To help you get started, we'll go through the most popular content formats being used by marketers in the next section, which includes some helpful tools and templates.
6. Brainstorm Content Ideas
Start brainstorming for your next content project right now.
Here are a few resources to help you get started.
Feedly's RSS feed is a great way to stay up to date on the latest trends in your sector and discover new content ideas.
Simply tell the software what topics you're most interested in and it will do the rest.
Forget about sifting through the web for new article ideas. As an alternative, you can go through your customised collection of news sources, newsletters, and social media accounts.
Trying to find out what's trending in the world of content? One of the many market research techniques offered by this organisation employs social media shares to identify whether or not a piece of content is popular and well-liked.
You can use this information to figure out which content ideas would be most successful if you were to write about them. "
Start brainstorming blog titles with IMPACT. If you've ever wondered how to write a headline like Mad Libs but with a blank for your subject, this tool is for you.
Use this strategy to put your basic concepts into situations that are appealing to your target audience. The "Notebook" feature in BlogAbout makes it easy to keep track of your favourite headlines.
4. CoSchedule Headline Analyzer
With HubSpot's Blog Ideas Generator, you'll be able to come up with blog posts for the entire year. All you have to do is enter a few keywords or broad concepts, and our article generator will come up with a slew of ideas for you.
This programme evaluates headlines and titles for length, word choice, grammar, and the volume of keyword searches. It offers suggestions for improvement.
If you already have an idea in mind, you may use the Headline Analyzer to evaluate how you might improve it and how far along you are in the brainstorming process with your concept.
5. HubSpot's Website Grader
In order to see how well your website and SEO efforts are going, this is an excellent resource. The Website Grader provides you with a full report and grades you on important aspects of your website's performance.
Making your website SEO-friendly and identifying areas for development may both be accomplished using this tool.
7. Publish and manage your content.
Organizing your content is just as important as the types of material you'll produce in your marketing strategy.
Publishing a diverse and well-balanced library of content on your website is made easier with an editorial calendar. In order to effectively market and maintain your online presence, you should set a schedule for your social media content creation.
When you come up with new ideas, many of them will be timeless (i.e.: just as relevant months or years from now as they are today). Having said that, don't forget to include current events in your content as well. Despite the fact that they may not make up the majority of your editorial calendar, they can assist you generate traffic surges.
You don't have to rely solely on big holidays like New Year's Day when it comes to marketing your business, but you should.
For specialised holidays that may be of interest to your readers, you may want to post content about them on your blog or social media.
Types of Content Marketing
These are the eight most popular types of content marketing you can create for your readers and customers.
1. Blog Posts
For those of you who may have missed it, this is a blog post. In order to maintain a steady stream of new readers, a blog's posts should be updated on a regular basis.
Posts should supply your readers with useful information that encourages them to spread the word about your content via social media and other websites.
Blog entries should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words long, but you can experiment to discover whether your readership prefers longer or shorter reads.
To generate leads, visitors to a website submit a lead form and receive an e-book in return. Unlike blog entries, which are written with the goal of attracting readers to a website, articles are often longer, more detailed, and published less frequently.
In addition, ebooks aren't just useful at the beginning of the sales funnel.
When it comes to the buyer's journey, Nora Leary of Ironpaper Inc. says, "Ebooks serve different roles at varying times."
She explained to me that: "A great way to grab leads is via awareness-level ebooks, which educate the reader on a certain problem. Preparatory and educational material should be included."
Leary goes on to say, "Providing prospects with helpful resources as they dig further into their needs is one way that e-books can help convert leads farther down the funnel. Some of the content in such an ebook may include templates or calculators as well as more in-depth discussion of a specific problem and its solutions.
Finally, ebooks towards the bottom of the funnel should include more sales content and be more tailored. This is a good time to provide potential customers with comparison tips or an ebook that includes customer success stories."
The next step in the inbound marketing strategy is the creation of ebooks. A blog article, like this one, may pique the interest of readers who want to learn more.
With the use of CTAs, you can send them to a landing page where they can submit their contact information and download an ebook to learn more about how to improve their company's bottom line. It's a win-win situation for both the author and the publisher.
3. Case Studies
A case study is a great way to share a customer's story while also establishing your brand's reputation.
A case study can take a variety of forms, some of which are included in this list, making it one of your most adaptable content marketing tools. Yes, case studies can be presented in a variety of formats, including blog posts, ebooks, podcasts, and infographics.
An important part of your pitch is to show how your product has benefited real-world businesses. Determine the business area you want to focus on before deciding on a customer for a case study.
Using content marketing templates is a good idea because they help you generate new leads while also providing a lot of value to your existing audience.
Because template tools save time and help people achieve, they are more likely to return to your content in the future.
Infographics are a better method to organise and visualise data than simply writing it down.
If you're wanting to convey a lot of information in a clear and concise manner, these are excellent content formats to use.
Videos are a highly engaging content source that can be easily shared across social media and websites.
Although videos demand a larger investment of time and resources than written material, they are worth examining because of their high ROI.
If your target audience does not have the time or inclination to read content on a daily basis, launching a podcast can help them discover your business.
The number of people who listen to podcasts is increasing – in the United States, the number of people who listen to podcasts increased by 10% in 2021.
An alternative content option to try is podcasting if you know people to interview or conversations to host.
8. Social Media
Begin planning a social media distribution strategy if you've been publishing frequently on your own site for some time.
Your content can be repurposed into new formats and customised for each platform, in addition to simply sharing it.
In order to increase your brand's visibility and provide your content to your customers, you must use social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are among the most popular social media platforms.
To make the most of any of the aforementioned social networks, make sure your material is optimised for the specific network.
Aesthetically pleasant images are what consumers are looking for on Instagram, for example. You can do a lot with feeds, IGTV, and Stories. While Vine appeals to a more mature audience, TikTok caters to a younger market that is looking for fun, creative, and trendy videos.
Find out which platforms your customers are using and tailor your content to meet their needs.
A effective content marketing plan takes time, organisation, and creativity to develop. When it comes to setting up a content marketing strategy for the next quarter, you won't have to worry about any of the details.