“Content marketing is the gap between what brands produce & what consumers actually want.” – Michael Brenner
Content marketing is one of the most powerful ways to build a relationship with your audience, encourage inbound leads and show off your expertise. Getting it right, though, is a precise art.
Hence, we’ve decided to ‘spill’ our secrets on how to create the best content marketing strategy in our very own 10-step guide.
In this article, we’ll teach you the best way to create a first-class content marketing strategy and how to:
- Define and understand your audience
- Figure out how to do it in a way that’s unique and relevant to you
- Further your marketing and sales goals
- Run a content marketing campaign
- Publicize your content
- Learn from your mistakes
Ready to get started? Here are your content marketing strategy ten steps!
1. Figure Out Who It’s For
Don’t just write into a vacuum. You need a clear idea of which audience or audiences you’re making the content for. If you’re targeting more than one, distinctly different type of person, job role, interest group, etc., you’ll need to make different content for each one.
2. Decide What Problems You’ll Solve
Every piece of content you publish needs to have a purpose. What’s in it for your audience? What problem or pain point does it help your audience to tackle?
A good place to start is to list specific questions and issues that your audience needs help with and build content specifically around providing answers and solutions. This ensures your content will be valuable and will help people to find your content more easily in searches.
3. Establish Exactly What You Bring to the Table
Why are you the right person/company to answer this question or help fix the issue? What knowledge, expertise or perspective can you bring to the challenge that makes you stand out – and that will be particularly valuable to your audience? Your uniqueness is an asset – don’t just imitate other people!
4. Decide What You’re Trying to Achieve
As well as figuring out what purpose each piece of content serves from your audience’s perspective, you need to know what purpose it serves for you. In other words, what do you want your audience to think, feel and do?
These goals need to shape the content all the way through, but the “do” bit is especially important when you craft the Call-To-Action at the end.
5. Research Your Audience (and Your Intended Audience)
In order to connect effectively with the people you’re trying to reach, you need to understand what makes them tick. Conduct thorough psychographics, create detailed buyer personas and keep the image of the type of person you’re talking to as you write, plan or design your content.
6. Design a Content Plan
You’re now ready to figure out what content to make! Start with draft titles and map out how all of these will fit together, both in terms of the logical order you’ll release them in and how they’ll link to one another through CTAs and so on. It might help to plan this out visually, in a kind of web structure, noting key points and goals such as pointing people towards making a sale.
7. Choose the Best Content Type for Each Step
Next, on your content marketing strategy list, is to decide what kind of content would be best for each title or point in the chain. For example, would it work best as a blog post? A video? A webinar?
Three things should influence your decision for each piece of content: whether this medium works for your audience, whether it’s the best way to share the message, and how well it fits with your team’s expertise.
8. Figure Out a Content Calendar
Things are getting real now! To make sure you actually do what you said you were going to do, you need to give yourself deadlines and publishing dates for each and every piece of content… and stick to it.
9. Get Your Promotional Strategy Ironed Out
As well as the content itself, you need to know how you’re going to bring it to people’s attention. You’ll probably want to publicize and promote links through your social media channels, but an even more effective route is to work this into your email marketing strategy.
Psst! Need help building your email list first? Click here! >>
10. Create, Analyze, Improve
You’ve created your content, you know when it’s due to go out, and you know how it will be delivered and publicized… now it’s time to get going!
Right from the start, though, make sure you’re monitoring and analyzing the results, including email open rates, reads, watches and shares. You can learn from these insights and use them to keep honing and improving your content marketing campaigns long into the future.
Remember that there’s no substitute for quality. You can plan and strategize until the cows come home, but your content marketing strategy will only be a success if every piece of content you release is genuinely valuable to your audience.
Pour in proper care and attention to crafting impeccable content that you’re really proud of and the rest will follow!