A large number of businesses don’t have documented content marketing strategies. The good thing about having a content marketing strategy is that it will make your efforts to be more successful. With no strategy, failure or success is a matter of luck.
No one wants to get to a point where he is wasting his efforts. The challenge that most people have is that they don’t know how to create an effective content marketing strategy. Here are the 11 steps that you need to take in order to succeed.
1. Set Your Goals and Mission
The first step is to stipulate your mission statement for content marketing. It is a brief statement that will help you focus on what is important. The mission will make sure that your content marketing strategy is on track.
The content marketing mission should outline your target audience, the content you will use to reach to them, and the benefit they will get. The mission pays close attention to the audience.
On the other hand, goals focus on the business itself. Typical business goals include improving revenue, making more sales, getting more traffic, gaining authority and influence, SEO success, reduced marketing costs, and social media engagement among others.
2. Establish Your KPLs
You can easily achieve your goals by making them measurable and specific. Therefore, you need to set the key performance indicators for content marketing strategies.
KPIs will tell you when you achieve your goals as they provide a milestone that you can check off. They include what you are planning to achieve in terms of SEO, traffic, sales, revenue, traffic, and various elements of digital marketing like social media metrics and email marketing. You should attach specific numbers to the KPIs.
It can be hit a particular revenue target, get more signups, new email subscribers, increase in site traffic, improve ranking in search engine etc. Track what you spend on every marketing campaign and check the ROI.
3. Know Your Audience
You have to be clear about your audience if you want to succeed in content marketing. It will help you to reach them with the right content.
To succeed at this stage, collect demographic data about your target audience, get customer feedback, and create buyer personas. You can get the demographics of your social media followers, email subscribers, and website visitors. It can include their income, education, gender, and age. It will help you get great insights into their interests.
Collecting customer feedback will also help you to learn about them and understand their needs. Once you have customer feedback and demographic data, you can use it to flesh out or create buyer personas.
4. Assess Your Current Position
Most businesses are already having their content online. The content can be on your social media pages, blog, podcasts, videos, etc. You have to figure out whether the content that you have helps you to meet your goals.
If you are a starter and have zero content, you can skip and go to step five. As you evaluate the success and usefulness of your content, you also need to identify the gaps. You can use content audit tools like SEMRush to check how your content is performing with respect to that of your competitors.
5. Figure Out the Most Appropriate Content Channels
As you go through this process, you will get to understand where most of your audience hangs out. If you already have a successful online presence, focus on what is working and expand on it. However, take more web analytics if you want to be absolutely sure. Several content analysis tools like Buzzsumo will help you at this point. You need to use a content platform that is relevant to your niche.
6. Determine the Content Types
The next thing to think about is the content type that you should create. Every content marketing strategy should have specific content types. The best content marketing strategies entail publishing a central content core on your website that can later be shared or repurposed on other websites as outposts.
Blogs are the best in the content marketing mix as they tend to deliver the best results. You need blogs that are valuable, actionable, and shareable. The other content types include video, infographics, eBooks, webinars, and podcasts among others. You need to understand that each content type has a specific role to play in your content marketing strategy.
7. Identify and Locate Recourses
At this point, you need to know the person in charge of producing and maintaining content. You should also be aware of the physical, human, and digital tools and resources you need to create and implement your content strategy. Also, stipulate the publishing workflow such as content scheduling.
8. Create a Content Calendar
You should know when you will be publishing your content on each platform. The content calendar will help you to schedule your posts. It will help you especially if you have been lazy in posting content. The content will help you to manage the workflow of your content. Tools like Asana and CoSchedule can help you at this stage.
9. Create Content
As you can see, content marketing strategies involve a lot of preparation work. At this point, you now have to do the real work. Pick a topic from your content calendar and begin to write on it.
Research your content well before you begin to create. Use the right keywords and write for humans and not the search engine. Most people prefer to use the skyscraper technique at this stage. It entails looking at content that is ranking highly and then writing better content pieces.
Include the right keywords and in the correct proportion in the content. Make sure that the content that you write reflects your brand personality. You need highly informative and engaging content that will motivate people to read your posts.
10. Distribute and Market
The next step in your content marketing strategy is content distribution and marketing. You will not get the desired results unless you handle this stage well.
Prepare a schedule on how you will share your content on social media, blog, etc. using a tool like Missinglettr. Use email marketing to distribute the content to your subscribers. If you have any influencers, notify them to help you distribute your content. It does not make sense to create content if it will get to the desired audience.
11. Measure Results
You should know whether content marketing strategies are working or not. To achieve this, you need to go back to your KPIs. Check the actual results against what you had set in your goals. Google Analytics, Buzzsumo, and OptinMonster’s conversion analysis will help you measure your results.
In case of gaps, you can either revise your content marketing strategy or change your KPIs. SEMRush is one of the tools to help you analyze the performance of your KPIs in the search engine.
The above tips will help you to create a successful content marketing strategy from the beginning to the end. The way you plan your content will determine whether you succeed or not. Take your time and create a strategy that will help you increase your visibility in the search engine.
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