You know content is king. You know you need to produce content and distribute it online in order to attract web visitors, increase conversions, and create sales. You know you need content to establish thought leadership, boost credibility, build trust, and create relationships with your audiences.
But not just any content will do the trick. Your content needs to be engaging, valuable, informative, and optimized. On top of that, your content needs to be distributed using the right channels. And it needs to be shared in front of the right audiences,at the right time.
Without a solid strategy guiding everything you do, your content probably won’t make sense, and you likely won’t get a return on your investment.
You need to take the guesswork out of content creation and distribution. To do that, you need to build a killer content marketing strategy as your roadmap to success. Whether you’re looking to create your very first strategy or looking to re-vamp an outdated strategy that isn’t producing results, the steps below will help you achieve success with your content marketing.
Connect Your Content to Your Business’s Underlying Purpose
At the heart of your content marketing strategy should be your business’s underlying purpose. All of your content and everything you do with it should circle back to your business’s purpose, objectives, and goals. Otherwise, what’s the point of creating content and distributing it?
Understand Your Audience
The content you create should be buyer focused. To ensure that your content is valuable and informative, it must be based on your target audience’s needs, wants, and pain points.
You should have in-depth understanding of your buyer personas—what makes them tick? What makes them purchase? What challenges are they trying to resolve? What does their buyer’s journey look like? How old are they? Where do they live?
The more you know about your buyer personas, the better you can target your content to exactly their needs.
Determine Your Messages and Categories
Your content needs consistency. Your messages and categories should be detailed ahead of time in your content marketing strategy. What type of content will you be creating and why? What categories will your content assets fit into? Are they life hacks? Proprietary research? Miscellaneous company updates? Live engagement and interactions with your audience? Monthly promotions? Giveaways and contests?
Creating structure for your content will make the creation process a whole lot easier and more organized.
Connect Your Content Assets to the Buying Cycle
The content you create should be based on the buying cycle. This will help ensure that you’re sharing the right content at the right time. Categorize your assets to fit into the Awareness, Consideration, and Decision stages of the customer’s buying cycle. Otherwise, you risk sharing content that isn’t relevant to your audience at that time, making it ineffective as a marketing asset.
Build a Content Calendar
There is a significant amount of content that you can create, with multiple channels for distribution. You will be constantly creating different content assets such as lead nurturing campaigns for email, blog posts, infographics for social media, video for your website, and presentations for your webinars.
To help you keep the team on track and ensure no errors are made and no content is missing, build a content calendar for all content assets and deployment details.
Manage the Creation Process
Setting up workflows, processes, and systems for the content creation process can help ensure that all content team members are up to date and using consistent strategies.
You’ll need a flexible but structured way to manage topic ideas, keep track of responsibilities, and keep up with projected deadlines and due dates. Though a simple Excel spreadsheet might work for small businesses, larger marketing departments will want to look to project management software to help manage this process.