How To Develop A Content Strategy

It never hurts to update your content strategy plan and make sure that it is up-to-date, original, and engaging for your prospects and consumers regardless of when or how they intended to buy. The process of changing corporate objectives and goals into a plan that employs content as the main means of accomplishing those goals is known as content strategy.

There is a lot of material available on how to create a content strategy. It makes you wonder, "what exactly is content strategy?" While Business to Customers (B2C) and Business to Business (B2B) marketers will approach content and content strategy differently, a basic understanding of what we mean when we talk about content strategy is industry-agnostic.

What Is Content Strategy?

A content strategy is a plan for achieving your business objectives through the utilization of content (audio, visual, and/or textual). A great content strategy will engage your target audience at every point of the funnel, even after they have made a purchase. Assuming that one of your company's objectives is to raise brand recognition.

To do this, you may execute a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) focused content strategy to improve your website's visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and generate visitors to your products or services. Early on, new business owners may believe that a content strategy is a nice-to-have but not essential. However, producing high-quality content, on the other hand, can be extremely beneficial in terms of establishing trust with new audiences and achieving long-term success.

In a buyer's journey that follows the inbound marketing paradigm, a good content strategy is the cornerstone of your attract and delight stages. You can use a content strategy for sales enablement and customer happiness in addition to drawing prospects to your brand.

Furthermore, with 70 per cent of marketers actively spending on content marketing, developing a robust content strategy is vital if you want to compete in your industry. There are a few questions to consider while creating a content strategy.

Who Is Going To Read Your Content?

Who is your content's intended audience? How many different audiences are you catering to with your content?

Your content marketing strategy can appeal to multiple types of users, just as your firm may have multiple types of customers. You can distribute material that is personalised to each persona using a number of content types and channels.

For Your Audience(s), What Problem Will You Be Solving?

In an ideal world, your product or service answers a problem that you already know your target market faces. Similarly, as your audience begins to recognise and confront the problem, your content guides and educates them. A good content strategy benefits people on both sides of your product, those who are still finding out what their key difficulties are, are those who are already utilizing your product to overcome them. Your content helps you create credibility with your target audience by reinforcing the solutions you are delivering.

What Distinguishes You From Your Competitors?

Because your competitors' products are likely identical to yours, your potential buyers will want to know what makes yours superior or at least different. Perhaps your most valuable asset is the fact that your firm has been around for a long time, or you have a distinct brand voice that sets you apart from your competition. You must demonstrate why you are worth buying from and listening to in order to get others to buy from you. Once you have figured it out, incorporate it into your content.

What Types Of Material Will You Concentrate On?

You must meet your audience where they are in order to determine which formats to focus on. While you might be tempted to start a podcast or a YouTube channel because of how popular they have become in recent years, first figure out where your target audience lives. Otherwise, you can waste time generating content that does not even reach or engage your target audience. Once you have determined the ideal formats, start planning a budget to see what resources you will need to put this approach into action.

What Platforms Will You Use To Distribute Your Content?

You will be able to publish to a variety of channels, from your website to social media, just as you may develop content in a variety of formats. This will represent your target audience's location too. if your target audience enjoys long-form video content, YouTube is a good place to start. TikTok and Instagram are good options if you have a younger audience who like rapid content.

How Are You Going To Handle Content Development And Distribution?

It can be difficult to figure out how you will develop and distribute all of your material. It is critical to establish the following before you begin:

  • What is being created by whom?
  • Where is it going to be published?
  • When is it ready to go live?

This may be simple enough in a small team if you are the lone decision-maker. As your startup grows, you will need to collaborate with numerous team members to figure out an efficient procedure.

Why Should You Create A Content Marketing Strategy?

A smart content strategy improves all aspects of your content marketing activities, making life easier for you and your content more effective. If the concept of designing a strategy seems daunting or like a waste of time, consider the following reasons and reconsider.

It Guarantees Your Material Is Aligned With Your Objectives

Everything you make is aimed towards achieving your bigger brand objectives. You should not be doing it if you can't articulate why it does. A smart strategy gives you focus and clarity, allowing you to come up with better ideas, fine-tune your brand messaging, and generate cohesive content that makes a difference.

A long-term strategy does not imply that you have planned out every piece of content for the coming year, rather, it implies that you have created parameters and guideposts to assist you in staying on track with your bigger objectives. A word of advice, your brand strategy will have an impact on your content strategy goals.

It Boosts Your Return On Investment

Good content necessitates an investment in time, energy and money. Your return on investment (ROI) decreases when your content is ineffective. A content plan increases your performance while also assisting you in more effectively allocating resources. You can spot opportunities to optimize your production process, make the most of what you have and call in reinforcements if you need extra support because you know your content demands ahead of time.

You will need the ideal personnel to ensure a well-oiled machine, but that does not mean you have to go on a hiring binge. Determine which duties you will need to fill to ensure that you have covered all of your bases even if you are a two-person team. To get more mileage out of your material, try experimenting with a divisible content strategy.

You Can Figure Out What is Working And Improve It As You Go

The truth is that you can't always predict what will work best, and content marketing necessitates a significant amount of trial and error, tweaking, and polishing. A plan is necessary to assist you to define your objectives, developing key performance indicators (KPIs) and measuring associated metrics in order to determine whether or not your efforts are effective. If they are not, you may make a course correction without wasting a lot of time or money on unproductive content efforts. Also, keep in mind that a strong content strategy provides both a fundamental foundation and the ability to change things up as you go.

Everyone Is On The Same Page With Content Strategy

Project managers and copywriters, as well as designers and editors, are all involved in content development. If there is not a specific procedure or plan in place, it is simple to become compartmentalized or have communication problems. That is why having a strategy in writing is crucial. It clarifies confusion and helps everyone grasp what the aims are.

It Enables You To Continuously Publish High-Quality Content

To achieve the best outcomes, content marketing is similar to investing in that it demands a persistent and sustained effort. It is not about giving a massive amount of information, it is about conveying a consistent message.

To do this properly, you will need a plan. A content strategy allows you to adopt a more holistic approach to content development rather than investing in one-off pieces or dispersed efforts allowing you to generate a consistent flow of information. Even if you only post once every quarter, your materials should always add value to the people you are attempting to reach.

Creating A Content Strategy Framework

The backbone of any company's digital marketing strategy is content marketing. And the reason is simple. It works with a wide range of marketing strategies, including social media, influencer marketing, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and more. Content is at the heart of all digital marketing since no marketing strategy can succeed without it.

This is most likely why content marketing is so important to 93 per cent of the most successful business to business (B2B) marketers. Overall 67 per cent of business to consumer (B2C) marketers perceive content marketing to be crucial. Only 39 per cent of B2B marketers and 33 per cent of B2C, on the other hand, have a documented content strategy. One of the reasons why only a quarter of marketers consider their content marketing to be more than moderately successful is that this is one of the reasons.

A well-documented content strategy can assist align your team members and keep everyone on the same page in terms of your desired outcomes. Here are some steps to create a content strategy:

Define Your Content Strategy's Objectives

Great content is developed with a specific goal in mind, and that goal must be clearly defined. Consider whether you are developing content to increase brand exposure, generate leads, convert users, attract past customers, or improve search ranking outcomes. You can assess if a content strategy is the best way to reach your goals once you have clearly defined them.

Do not make the mistake of assuming that content is always the best option. For example, content may be ineffective in converting users at the bottom of the sales funnel, but it may be critical in attracting people to your site in the first place by increasing brand awareness and generating organic leads. Different sorts of content are required for different stages of the sale funnel. As a result, you will have to select what material is most acceptable for a certain person at a given time. You will be able to have the correct conversation with the right person at the right time in this manner.

Do Some Audience Research

You can only have a successful content strategy if you know who your target audience is. Checking what types of sites your prospects are already visiting, what content they engage with and which social media networks they post content on might provide useful information.

This may be accomplished by using Google Demographics and Interest to track the types of sites prospects visit and Google Analytics to track the material they consume, as well as calculating which social media platforms your users will use based on their demographics.

In the long term, knowing what information works best and where it works best might be beneficial. Small company owners are finding it increasingly difficult to expand their audience without paying for ads on Facebook. Video material, on the other hand, appears to thrive on the site, with 1200 per cent more shares than text and image-based content combined.

Understanding your audience and how they behave will help you focus your content strategy without feeling obligated to put your eggs in dozens of different baskets. Business to consumer (B2C) firms benefit from social media content development, whereas business to business (B2B) businesses do not.

Concentrate On Your Niche

It is a sad fact that there is a lot of information on the internet that shouldn't be there. A lot of the stuff is either plagiarised, merely reprinted, or doesn't provide any genuine value. Because it doesn't display near the top of SERPs, most users don't view 99 per cent of the useless content. Create content that stands out, is original has a distinct voice, and, most importantly, provides true value to readers to avoid getting lost in the crowd. Whether your readers are seeking knowledge or enjoyment, the more particular you are and the more you focus on your area, the more likely you are to position yourself as an authority in your sector.

Your Content Strategy's Outcomes Should be Measurable

One of the most crucial components of building an effective content strategy is measuring the effects of your content marketing efforts. It is like having a phone call on mute if you keep churning out material without assessing your consumer feedback. You need to know what your audience liked and didn't like, as well as why. Here are some of the metrics to be aware of:

Consumption Metrics

Consumption analytics, also known as basic metrics, are the beginning point for any content marketing campaign, they look at how many people have watched or accessed your content. Basic goals, such as boosting visitors to your site or increasing average time on site, can be evaluated using consumption metrics. The following are those that you should take note of:

  • Pageviews/Unique Pageviews
  • Pages / Sessions
  • Time spent on page / site on average
  • Downloads

Consumption metrics provide answers to the first queries that everyone has regarding a campaign's performance, such as, what is the number of people who are viewing your content? What networks do they watch and where do they watch it? How often do they consume it and for how long? They can help track brand awareness, for example, but they are often insufficient to assess your content's entire performance.

Retention Metrics

Retention metrics measure how long your visitors stay on your site after visiting it. It is worth mentioning that the vast majority of visitors to most websites only come once or twice, although this depends on your sector and the community you have developed. The following are the most important retention metrics to consider:

  • Unsubsribe rate
  • Bouce Rate
  • Retunring Visitors vs New Visitors Rate
  • Since your last visit, how many visits/days have you made?

When combined with consumption analytics, retention metrics provide a clearer picture of whether your material is motivating your audience to read more. To track your progress toward your aim of growing and retaining an audience, you will need to use consumption and retention metrics.

Engagement Metrics

Engagement metrics are similar to consumption and retention measures, but they focus on how engaged your readers are with your material and, as a result, with your business. Metrics of engagement are critical for determining how committed and dedicated your audience is. Engagement and retention measures frequently overlap the italicised ones below indicate this overlap:

  • Time spend on page on average
  • Duration of the session
  • Visitors who are new vs. those who are returning
  • Traffic from referrals
  • Newcommers to the site
  • Metrics for social media

Engagement metrics include a large number of social metrics. To determine how well material performs on social media, they use measures like,

  • Number of likes and comments
  • Shares on social media (Shares, retweets, and video views)
  • Increase in the number of followers
  • Click-through rates

If you want to increase audience engagement, you should concentrate on engagement metrics. If you want to grow and keep your audience, you need to consider engagement analytics alongside consumption and retention data.

Lead Generation Metrics

The primary purpose of business to business (B2B) content markers is to generate leads. Content can attract a relevant new audience while also helping new leads qualify themselves by directing them deeper into the sales funnel. Metrics for lead creation aid in the tracking of new leads and conversions.

The following are the most important lead generating metrics:

  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion

If you want to increase your lead generation, you can use lead generation analytics to track how many leads you are getting and where they are coming from.

Sales Metrics

Content marketing requires you to keep track of how your content influences your sales. Customers at the bottom of your sales funnel are strongly linked to sales metrics. The revenue per conversion, the potential value of leads generated, and the worth of successful acquisitions are all things to consider. In order to assess how important content marketing is in your sales funnel, you should track sales metrics for leads who receive your content against those who don't.

The following are the most essential sales metrics:

  • Sales Conversion Rate
  • Sales Cycle Length
  • Contract Size
  • Transactions, including the number of, the size of, and revenue per transaction
  • Time to purchase

If sales enablement is your goal, you should pay close attention to both lead generation and sales KPIs.

Internal and Implicit Costs

Internal and cost indicators used to analyze your return on investment for content marketing are maybe the most critical metrics for your brand's bottom line. Internal analytics track soft costs like the time it takes to develop a piece of content and the number of pieces published on a regular basis. Hard expenses, such as the cost of producing each piece of content, whether it is a blog post, whitepaper, email campaign, podcast, or other format, and the cost of efficiently distributed material, are calculated using cost metrics.

You will need to track these indicators to make sure your content marketing initiatives are lucrative. Many of the metrics listed are combined to create a clear picture of your content marketing's success. If data isn't used to inform observations, insights, and actions, it's useless. And if you are using the wrong measures, you are probably coming up with the wrong conclusions. You may analyse which indicators are important to your brand's particular goals by engaging with a content marketing partner and then leave the reporting to them.

Improving Content Strategy By Paying Attention To Your Customers

While data analysis can be a very useful tool, it simply gives you black and white figures on a spectrum with a lot of nuances. By paying attention to your customers, you may tap into the rest of that spectrum. Customers want to know that their voices are being heard on social media, so solicit feedback and suggestions from them and communicate with them on a frequent basis.

Speak with other members of your team to gain a deeper grasp of your consumers' wants. Sales teams and customer service representatives that interact with consumers on a daily basis are in a better position to gain thoughtful insight into how they see your company. Then, by reaching out to your consumers and reacting to their feedback, you may collect useful information while also showing them that their input is valued.

Virgin served as a great case study by demonstrating how they used big data. They took into account web search phrases, people who were following on social media sites, and opinions and interests stated online. They went deep and incorporated the data below into their communications, successfully sending the correct message to the right audiences at the right points in the customer journey.

Amplify Your Content Strategy

The first component of the equation is a solid content strategy and targeted content generation. The content is amplified in the final section. Determine where your audience spends time online to amplify your content, and then publish on those channels to reach them.

Think strategically in order to identify all of the resources at your disposal and fully leverage the power of employees, customers, and influencers to help you spread your message.

Conclusion

Developing a strong content strategy is not difficult, but putting it into action might be. Expect to run into stumbling obstacles and a lot of trial and error but once you have figured out a winning formula, then now you just have to repeat the formula to achieve the kind of audience growth you have always wanted.

Getting your content strategy off to a bad start will waste your time, and releasing your material on the wrong platforms for your audience can result in you not getting the leads you want. Content strategies require a lot of forethought, so plan ahead to achieve the result you want.

Reference

What Is Content Strategy

Benefits of Content Strategy

Creating A Content Strategy Framework

Your Content Strategy's Outcomes Should be Measurable

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Written by Cherylle Phua

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