How to Create a Solid Content Strategy: Develop, Publish, & Monitor Your Content
Read Time 36 mins | Written by: Joel Falconer
A content strategy is the cornerstone of any SEO campaign. It’s an approach that you use to develop, publish, and monitor your content.
The #1 key to success is growing an engaged readership and having them excited about what you have to offer.
This guide will help build that readership, take advantage of influencers in your industry, and create a sustainable pipeline for more traffic through email marketing.
What is Content?
Content has multiple meanings, but in the context of digital marketing and business, it is typically any type of media that has text, images, or videos. It can also be information that is relevant in a given context. For example, if you are creating a website about cars, then the content would include all the text, images, and videos on that site about cars.
However, content isn't just limited to websites. It can also be used for social media posts, email marketing campaigns, blog posts, or even printed materials like brochures and flyers. Any type of media you create to help market your business can be considered content.
The form of content can be text, graphics, audio, video, or interactive (such as a quiz or survey). However, not all forms of content are created equal. Some types are more effective than others at achieving your marketing goals. For example, if your goal is to generate leads through your website, then you would want to focus on creating pages with lots of informative text and images rather than just a few paragraphs and one image.
It's important to remember that "content is king" but without context it's meaningless. That's why it's so important for businesses to understand their target audience and create content that is relevant and interesting to them.
What is Content Strategy?
When it comes to content, there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. In order to make sure your content is effective, you need to have a solid strategy in place. But what is content strategy, exactly?
Content strategy is the process of translating business objectives into a plan that uses content as a primary means of achieving those goals. It's about creating and governing useful content which achieves results. This might include developing an editorial calendar, writing quality content that aligns with your branding and audiences, or ensuring marketing teams have the resources they need to produce engaging material on a consistent basis.
In other words, content strategy is essential for making sure your content achieves its full potential. By taking the time to develop a well-thought-out plan, you can avoid wasting time and energy producing material that doesn't bring in results. And when aligned with broader brand and business objectives, a good content strategy can be an incredibly powerful tool for success.
Why Is It Important to Have a Content Strategy?
There are many reasons it's important to have a content strategy. First, without a strategy in place, you'll have no way of knowing what you want your end result to be. Second, if you're not constantly measuring and adapting your strategy based on feedback, you won't be able to improve over time. Third, having different types of content is one of the best ways to determine what your audience enjoys most - and giving them what they want is key to retaining customers. Finally, all workflows within an organization should be considered when creating a content strategy - from creation and optimization to measurement and analysis. By taking all aspects into account, you're sure to create a successful document that can help increase ROI for your content marketing efforts.
The content lifecycle is a process that begins with understanding the problem and ends with revenue generation. In order to create a successful content strategy, you need to go through each phase of the content lifecycle.
The first step is understanding the problem. You need to identify what your audience wants and needs, and determine what you can offer them that is valuable. Once you have created compelling content, you need to publish it in an appropriate format for your audience. After publishing, you need to measure how well it performs in order to refine your strategy or improve your work.
You then need to consider how the use of resources affects sustainability while maintaining a positive impact on society/environment/image etc (as it can be difficult). Finally, you also have the option of considering revenue-generating strategies such as advertising, affiliate marketing, or subscriptions which can provide sustainable income to cover overhead costs (such as maintenance and operational costs) while still providing value back through traffic generation and brand awareness, etc.
Each stage of the content lifecycle requires different deliverables from different disciplines. By including multiple perspectives on each phase of the content lifecycle, you can create a strategy that is more likely to be successful.
When it comes to content strategy, there are a few common methodologies that you might hear about.
One of these is called omnichannel publishing. This methodology takes into account the idea that users consume content in different ways, across different channels. So, the goal is to create a cohesive user experience by designing and delivering content in a way that makes sense for each channel.
Another common approach is known as agile content development. This methodology focuses on quick turnaround times and continuous delivery of new content. The idea is to constantly be creating and testing new ideas so that you can find what works and what doesn't--and then adjust your strategy accordingly.
Finally, there's also waterfall content management. This approach follows a more traditional software development model, with phases like design, build, test, deploy, and monitor. It's often used when dealing with complex systems or when there are many stakeholders involved in the process
"Omnichannel" is the term for an experience across multiple channels. When you interact with a company, you might do so through phone, chat, email, social media, or in-person. Each interaction should be consistent and provide a smooth customer experience.
A content strategist is a publisher and the design team. The strategist helps to develop the content and plan its distribution across all channels. This includes developing the strategy for publishing on websites, apps, print materials, and other formats. A good strategist will also work with the larger design team to ensure that all aspects of the customer experience are considered when creating content.
Marketing is the process of creating a relationship with a customer in order to sell a product or service. It's about understanding what your customers want and need, and then delivering that to them in a way that makes them happy.
There are many different aspects to marketing, but some of the most common methods include:
Content strategy focuses on the content that drives an experience, rather than how to market it.
Content strategists use editorial calendars to plan for content creation and marketing efforts.
Content marketing is the execution of tactics that further your content strategy.
Content strategy is the planning and orchestration of your content marketing efforts.
Content marketing is a part of a wider category, content strategy, which concerns itself with creating and executing the plan for your brand's voice and style.
Information architecture (IA) is the practice of organizing and labeling content on a website so that it is easy for users to find. It involves creating site maps and prioritizing content.
While IA can be very helpful in organizing complex websites, it should be approached with caution. If done incorrectly, IA can lead to websites that are difficult for users to navigate.
Branding can be considered part of the larger world of marketing, which is a complex yet simple field. It encompasses all topics related to marketing, with a special focus on each discipline. The article discusses the history of marketing, trending markets, and industries as well as culture strategies for brands and organizations. Furthermore, it provides an overview of the project's methodology- how it works and what type of content will be created. Finally, Sprout Social is a comprehensive source for all things related to social media marketing. There are many different types of content that can be found on the website, including case studies, data reports, guides, templates, and tools for various industries and experience level levels.
Governance is the process of ensuring that an organization's content meets its business and technical requirements. Governance models can be based on organizational structure (such as HR) or on content type (such as taxonomy).
Content strategy teams create, manage, and govern content. They work with other parts of the organization to ensure that relevant, well-structured, and easy-to-find content is created and delivered to meet the organization's goals.
Daily Tasks and Deliverables
As a content strategist, your daily tasks and deliverables will vary depending on the project you're working on. However, there are some general things you can expect to do during any project:
Conduct research - This is essential in order to understand the client's business and their target audience.
Mapping out CMSs - You'll need to choose a CMS that will best suit the client's needs and their target audience.
Creating guidelines for voice and tone - You'll need to set the tone for all of the content that will be created. This includes everything from headlines to social media posts.
Developing strategies to deliver content - You'll need to come up with a plan for how the content will be delivered, whether it's through websites, blogs, or social media channels.
Content inventories and audits
Content audits and inventories are important for a number of reasons, the most obvious being that they help inform decisions about what content to keep, change, or remove from a website. But there's more to it than that.
A content audit can be turned into a content evaluation, which rates and prioritizes each page according to specific goals. This deliverable is versatile enough that doing the work in the beginning is worth it - you'll be able to use it as a roadmap for your website's future.
The CAT (Content Audit Tool) is also useful for getting an understanding of how well your current website design and structure are working for you. The CAT can provide screenshots, analytics data, and page-level details for a specific number of pages or for a monthly fee.
Content inventories and audits are important parts of any content strategy. They provide a snapshot of all the content on a website, what type it is, how much there is of each type, and where it lives. This information can be used to make decisions about what content to keep, change, or get rid of.
There are a variety of ways to do an inventory or audit. A wide range of audits can be performed, including ones that are more granular than pages or text paragraph, images, videos and PDFs. For example, you might want to look at specific types of pages (such as product pages), or evaluate the quality of the text on your website.
A content audit can be turned into a content evaluation, which rates and prioritizes each page according to specific goals. The deliverable is versatile enough that doing the work in the beginning is worth it; for example, you may find out that you have too many low-quality pages that need to be fixed before you launch any new campaigns.
The Content Audit Tool (CAT) is a crawler that pulls content from websites and delivers it in usable forms like screenshots and analytics data. You can use CAT to get page-level details for up to 1,000 pages for a monthly fee. CAT is an acronym for Content Audit Tool.
Learn more about CAT here.
Some content strategists choose to create the core of their content strategy first and then use this as a framework for other tasks in the guide. The goal is to have a solid foundation that can be used to make decisions about all other aspects of content. This includes topics like tone, format, and distribution. Once the core strategy is created, it's important to move on to creating detailed task lists and project plans.
Creating a style guide is also an important part of any content strategy. It ensures that all published content has a consistent look and feel, which can help with brand recognition. A style guide should include guidelines for fonts, colors, images, headings, and more.
When it comes to content management systems (CMS), there are a lot of options on the market. So, how do you know which one is right for your organization? It depends on your team's goals and abilities.
Some CMSes are better for managing large amounts of content, while others are more suited for creating and managing dynamic content. Regardless of which CMS you choose, it will depend heavily on your team's goals and abilities.
That's where the role of a content strategist comes in. A content strategist typically comes into the UX project during the Discovery or Research phrase to help research and narrow down the field of viable CMSes.
Content strategists are involved throughout the process of a project, but primarily in the design and development stages. They conduct content audits, CMS research, voice and tone guidelines, and other tasks associated with content strategy.
Content mapping and modeling
Content strategists often work with information architects to define structure and other requirements for content management systems. This helps to ensure that the website or application is easy to use and meets the needs of both the business and the customer.
Content mapping is the process of identifying the types of content, while content modeling adds definition and structure. The former helps identify how much work is involved in creating a new piece of content, while the latter makes sure that all necessary information is captured so that it can be reused easily.
If a UX and content strategy team completes their template, it’s likely that it will be used as expected - meaning that designers, developers, writers, and everyone else involved in producing or managing content will have access to accurate information about titles, headings, images, etc. Templates can also help with consistency across an organization's materials - making it easier for customers (or employees) to find what they're looking for no matter where they look on your website or application.
Voice and Tone guidelines
When creating content, it's important to maintain a consistent voice. This helps readers identify your brand and understand your message. According to Kate Kiefer Lee, the tone of a message can vary based on the emotional state of readers. For example, if you're trying to persuade someone to buy a product, you'll want to use a different tone than if you're providing information about the product.
There are many factors that contribute to the tone of your content:
Your goals as an organization
The audience you're writing for
The context of the message
Style guide principles
At voiceandtone.com, they provide helpful resources for creating voice and tone guidelines. These guidelines should be grounded in market research, brand identity and the goals of your project. They should also be tailored to fit the specific context and audience you're addressing. MailChimp has a great voice guide that provides examples of how their tone varies according to context. The key is consistency within these variations. Keeping all your content on-brand will make your organization more cohesive and easier to identify.
Tools of the Trade
As a content strategist, it's important to have the right tools to help you deliver great content. While this list is not prescriptive, it should give you an idea of some of the tools and technologies you might use in your work.
Tools for content marketing can include things like editing software, websites, web analytics, content scheduling and publishing platforms, social media platforms, marketing automation software, and more. These tools should cover all stages of development and operations in order to be considered a complete DevOps solution.
Make sure all platforms function properly and that you have a good user experience. Check that automation is working correctly and assess what other people in your organization need access to the platform for and don't need more than necessary.
Content Analysis Tool (CAT)
The CAT is a content inventory analysis tool that was designed for content strategists. It crawls a site and pulls it into an excel document with all the relevant data in a usable form.
This information can then be used to help build an ROI-justifiable strategy. The main idea behind using this tool is to make sure your strategy is effective by using the same methods you would use for SEO content strategies.
GatherContent is a tool for content strategists who need to collaborate with designers or developers. It's essentially a template where the user(s) define what needs to be done and which roles are necessary for other users, including the creator of the content strategy document or copywriter and designer; this allows for collaboration with multiple people at once. GatherContent offers a free 30 day trial. The small plan is ideal for one project, the medium plan is perfect for two.
Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Excel is an easy way to export information from a CMS and can help with analyzing existing content. For example, if you want to see how many times a particular keyword appears on your website, you can use Excel's search function to quickly tally up the number of results.
Excel can also be helpful for creating graphs and charts that show how your website's traffic has changed over time or what types of content are most popular.
Content audits help marketers and content strategists gauge the success of their content. Content audits can include inventory lists in an Excel doc, but generally start with the creation of a catalogue. This is a list of all the pages on your website, along with information like the page's title, URL, and last updated date. From there, you can begin performing more detailed analyses like word counts or reading level scores.
An audit is a qualitative analysis of the inventory. There are many types of content audits, and the right one to perform depends on the goal. For example, if you're looking to improve your website's SEO ranking, you might perform an audit that looks at factors like keyword density and backlinks. However, if you're trying to improve customer satisfaction rates, you might focus on reading level and customer engagement.
A content audit is a report with prioritized pages. The deliverable of the content audit can be repurposed depending on the project. For example, you might use it to create an editorial calendar, design a website redesign, or develop a social media strategy.
Excel is one of the most common tools content strategists use because it's easy to learn and provides a lot of helpful data analysis features. However, there are plenty of other tools out there that can help with specific aspects of content strategy. Google Sheets is a great alternative to Excel for those who want to work in a collaborative environment, and programs like InDesign and Illustrator can be useful for designing new pieces of content.
Google Analytics is a powerful tool that content strategists can use to gauge the success of their campaigns. By understanding what people are doing on your website, you can make better decisions about how to improve your site and engage more users. Additionally, Google Analytics can help you measure your YouTube rankings and track brand awareness. So measure what you're doing - that's the only way to know if it's working!
Content Management Systems
There are many different types of content management systems (CMS), and it can be difficult to decide which one is right for you. A CMS allows you to store, display, and publish content on your website. In order to make the best decision, you need to consider your team's goals and abilities.
A WYSIWYG editor is a must-have for most CMSes. This allows you to see how your content will look before it's published. Additionally, most CMSes allow for the creation, editing, and management of content. It's important to choose a CMS that meets your team's needs - there is no one "right" CMS for every team.
Best Practices for Creating Meaningful Content
When it comes to content, one of the most important things to remember is that it should be meaningful in some way. It doesn't matter if you're a small business or a large corporation; if your content doesn't communicate what you want it to, then it's not serving its purpose. And in this digital age, where people are overloaded with information, that's the last thing you want.
Another thing to keep in mind is that your content should be easy for people to understand. Don't use jargon or complex language unless absolutely necessary; otherwise, you'll lose your audience before you've even had a chance to make your point.
One of the best ways to ensure that your content is useful and engaging is by making sure it addresses people's needs. Think about what kinds of things they might be looking for on your site, and try to provide them with what they're looking for. This goes back to the whole idea of being meaningful - if you can help solve someone's problem or answer their question, they'll appreciate it!
Last but not least, make sure that your content is accessible to everyone by using clear and concise language as well as appropriate images and videos. Nobody wants something that's difficult to read or hard to navigate, so always keep that in mind when creating your content.
Content strategy requires teamwork
No matter how great your content marketing strategy is, it's not going to be effective if it's not implemented properly. This requires teamwork between different departments within your organization - and even between different teams within those departments.
It's beneficial to give everyone in your organization access to your content marketing strategy - even those who may not be directly involved in the process. This is particularly critical in large organizations, as it can help keep siloed teams on the same page and minimize duplicated efforts.
How you communicate your strategy depends on the structure and culture of your organization. Some companies prefer a top-down approach, while others are more democratic. The important thing is that everyone understands and agrees with the goals of the content marketing program
Consider content AND the people that create your content
Creating content is a huge undertaking, and one that should not be taken lightly. Here are some things to think about when it comes to content:
This last step bridges the gap between strategy and creation.
Schedule foundational content to ensure it stays true to your strategy.
Content marketers should do research on topics, formats and keywords beforehand.
It's important to identify the core pieces of content that will resonate most with your audience before you start creating them. That way, you're not wasting time on things that won't interest people who might end up being your customers or clients.
When creating new content for your calendar, make sure you're focusing on "meaty" topics – those which address any pain points readers may have. If you can provide valuable insights or solutions to common problems, people will appreciate what you have to say – and they'll be more likely to come back for more in the future. Quality over quantity is always a good rule of thumb!
Taglines are a valuable way to convey your content's value in just a few words. They help people understand quickly and easily what it is that you do, and why they should care. If you can create a tagline that's catchy and memorable, even better!
Content marketing has both short-term and long-term business goals. You should use the following metrics for tracking progress: leads, sales, cost per lead, conversion rate, etc. That way you can see how your content is impacting your bottom line and make adjustments as needed.
It's also important to consider the people that create your content. Hiring good writers – or outsourcing to a good writing service – is essential if you want to produce high-quality content on a regular basis. The best content marketers are always learning, researching and experimenting with new ideas. So make sure you have the resources in place to support your team's efforts!
Building trust through storytelling
One of the best ways to build trust with customers is through storytelling. This can be in the form of blog posts, social media updates, videos or even podcasts. When you tell a story, it establishes a personal connection with your audience and makes them more likely to trust you.
Another way to build trust is by showcasing customer testimonials on your website or social media pages. Having satisfied customers talk about their positive experiences with your business will help encourage other potential customers to do business with you as well.
You can also show that people are engaging with your content by displaying likes, votes, views and comments on social media platforms like YouTube and Instagram. This indicates that others find your content valuable and informative - something that will surely help win over new customers.
Finally, one of the most effective ways to advertise a brand is by getting the public talking about it. And what better way to do this than by having celebrities endorse your product? Jean-Claude Van Damme did an excellent job at promoting Volvo cars in his video commercial for them - which ended up going viral online!
Match your writing to your audience's literacy level
Research shows that users with low literacy levels struggle to complete basic tasks on websites with content written for people with high literacy levels. In order to make the website experience better for all users, it is important to consider a content strategy in the digital age. This means working with a team of skilled writers who can create successful and meaningful content.
One way to ensure success is by keeping the language on websites simple and clear. This will help lower-literacy users complete tasks faster, with less frustration. A strategy for creating content can be broken down into topic selection, writing style, design and promotion.
Topic selection includes choosing topics which are relevant to the audience - with a goal of achieving traction and generating leads - while writing style should be concise, well written and authentic (genuine content created by real people targeted by your marketing or sales efforts).
The Five W's (and H) of content marketing strategy
In order to create a successful content marketing strategy, you must answer the Five W's: who, what, where, when and why. In addition, it's important to consider the H factor: how will you measure success?
Knowing the business case and objectives is a critical step, because it will show how content fits into the overall goal. Without this information, it can be difficult to determine whether or not your content marketing strategy is successful.
The Five W's should be completed in order for you ensure that your content strategy is watertight. Once everything is mapped out, it's time to start creating your content! However, don't publish anything until you've checked it against your editorial calendar. This will help avoid any delays in engagement from readers/users/clients.
Voice and tone matter
A small difference in writing style can create a sense of wrongness with users. Many people do not realize the importance of voice and tone until it is done wrong. For example, imagine if you received an email from a company that you have never dealt with before. The email sounded angry and frustrated for no reason. This would probably cause you to unsubscribe from their mailing list, or worse, avoid doing business with them altogether!
Voice and tone guidelines can be as simple as outlining the general feel of the language, or specific emotions that should be conveyed in certain situations. For example, MailChimp's "voice and tone" website (www.voiceandtone.com) outlines how they want their content to sound when read by their customers: helpful, cheerful, humanistic, etc. By having these guidelines in place, MailChimp ensures that their content sounds cohesive across all channels - which is vital for building a trusting relationship with their customers.
Voice and tone are powerful "front line" tools in content strategist's toolkit - they help set the emotional context for your brand and guide writers on how to properly express it across all mediums. A brand should have consistent voice across all content; this makes it more meaningful to the reader and helps to create a unified brand identity. The tone of content should also change depending on the emotion of readers. For example, if your company sells software that helps people save money, your marketing content might use a more serious tone than if you were selling a product that makes people laugh.
MailChimp has created a website called www.voiceandtone.com which is dedicated to the topic of voice and tone of content. They have outlined how each emotion can be used in different contexts to create a consistent voice for their brand - which is extremely valuable for creating meaningful content. Consistent tone and emotions help make MailChimp's content cohesive, and ultimately strengthens the relationship between them and their customers
SEO is not dead
SEO is not dead! In fact, it's more important than ever to make sure your content is optimized for search engines. Here are some best practices to follow:
A good title can be the difference between having a video found and not. Keep your title short, informative, and catchy to catch people's attention.
Plan your keywords before publishing your content. Use the SE Ranking keyword suggestion tool or YouTube's keyword tool to find relevant keywords for your video.
Add a link to your website in the description of each video, and keep it under 70 characters on YouTube!
Thumbnail creation is important for video SEO. A sitemap helps optimize videos for search engine optimization (SEO). High-quality thumbnails are important in order to make your content stand out from other videos on YouTube and elsewhere
Break your content into chunks
It is important to break your content into smaller pieces in order to create meaningful content. This will help users consume and understand the information more easily. Content management systems should be built with a WYSIWYG field (What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get) for ease of use. Additionally, breaking your content into chunks can make it easier to navigate and use. The chunks of a web page may be varied in presentation and include text, images, video, audio, citations etc.
One way to think about this is that you are creating small modules of content which can then be assembled for different contexts and devices. For example, on a desktop computer you might see more content than on a mobile device. In fact, recent studies have shown that web pages should display more content on mobile devices than desktop computers - as people are increasingly using their smartphones and tablets to access the internet.
Get your developers to wrap your content in metadata
One way to make sure your content is found by search engines is to have your developers wrap it in metadata. Metadata is a set of programming guidelines that can help search engines better understand the content on webpages. This information can include definitions for what different terms mean, such as "apple" or "or". The metadata format is a way for web pages to include structured information about their creators and the content itself, so that search engines can provide additional information in search results.
Search engines like Google are able to use microdata markup to identify the movie Ice Age 2 as a movie. If you include microdata markup on your web page, Google will be more likely to return results about the movie when someone searches for "Ice Age 2".
Metadata is important because it provides meaning to content when it's viewed in unexpected contexts. For example, if you view the source code for this webpage, you'll see that I've included information about what device this content can be viewed on - desktop or mobile. This type of data helps give more meaning to my content when it's consumed on different devices.
Get your developers to embrace web standards (and HTML5)
Web standards help ensure that websites are compatible with a wide range of browsers and search engines. There is no law or governing body which says it has to be this way, so there is no hard and fast rule on what the front page should contain and what the back page should contain. However, by following web standards, you can create a website that will look good on any device and be easier to index for search engines.
Content should be created in a way that will appeal to readers. Try to avoid using jargon or complex language - write in a clear, concise manner that is easy for everyone to understand. You may also want to consider using images and videos as part of your content strategy - these can help break up text and make your site more visually appealing.
Creating websites with HTML5 allows for better search engine rankings and consistency across browsers. HTML5 is a superset of web standards, meaning it builds on older standards and improves them in some areas (such as indexing). It also includes new features which enhance the user experience, such as native audio and video support. HTML5 has been around for a while now, but it's still worth investigating because of its many improvements over previous versions of HTML.
The use of web standards and HTML5 can improve visibility in search engines. By using a consistent message across all browsers, you will increase the experience for users. Additionally, using HTML5 allows you to take advantage of new features like SVG content, which can help your website stand out from the competition.
Build platforms that allow users to tell their stories
People love to share stories. It's a way for them to connect with others, and to make sense of the world around them. That's why social media platforms are so popular. They allow users to share their stories with others.
But it's not just personal stories that people want to share. They also want to share stories about the brands they love, and the products they use.
That's where storytelling comes in. Brands can use storytelling to create connections with their customers, and to build loyalty among them.
There are a lot of different ways that brands can tell their story. They can do it through video, images, text posts, or even podcasts.
The key is to be creative, and to find ways that resonate with your audience.
How to Create Your Content Strategy
Creating a content strategy can seem daunting, but it's important to remember that it's a long-term investment in your brand. In order to create a successful strategy, you need to start by identifying your audience and understanding their pain points. This information will help you determine the topics, formats, and keywords that are most relevant to them.
Once you've gathered this data, you can begin developing your content plan. This blueprint should include both strategic and tactical steps that will be used to execute the plan. Be sure to engage with readers by addressing their pain points and providing them with core pieces of content that are relevant for their needs.
Remember: one-size-fits-all strategies don't work! Do what works best for your audience and make sure you're being honest about the resources required to execute on this strategy. Quality over quantity is always a cliche but it's easier to increase production when things go well than to slow down because your strategy isn't working.
1. Set a mission, goals, and KPIs
A company's mission should align its team and make it easier to eventually talk about the brand's products organically. Having a long-term business metric is crucial when creating a plan for content strategy. Without them, it would be difficult to measure success and know what direction to take your content in.
Content strategy must be tailored to the goals of the company, which will help with building an audience and ultimately generating sales. For example, if you're looking for people to sign up for a trial or purchase a product, your goal might be conversion rates rather than website visits or social media followers.
Align everything behind that one message, taking into account your audience and where you are in the purchase funnel. Doing so will simplify the process and make sure all of your content is working towards a common goal. That doesn't mean each piece of content needs to be promotional—you can still produce valuable blog posts, videos, infographics etc.—but they should all support your main message.
Creating a content strategy is essential for any business hoping to succeed online. It lays the foundation for your content and ensures you're reaching your audience in the best way possible
2. Study your audience
It's important to have a good understanding of your audience before you can create content that resonates with them. You need to know their pain points, what type of content they consume, and what frustrates or delights them. This information can be gleaned by interviewing your current customers and conducting surveys.
Large technology companies such as Google and Facebook typically focus on reaching the CMO with their content strategy. However, this leaves other audiences underserved. It's important to remember that not everyone is reached through a single channel – you must cast a wide net if you want to capture all of your potential customers.
Once you've defined your audience, it becomes much easier to own it. And when you own it, you can truly cater to their needs and wants with relevant, valuable content.
3. Examine Your Competition
Competitive content analysis is a great way to see what your competition is doing, and how you can improve upon their strategies.
There are a few key things to keep in mind when examining your competition:
What topics are they discussing?
Are they using different mediums to share their content?
Do they have an owned media platform?
Who is their target audience?
What tone of voice do they use in their content?
Red Bull's marketing strategy is focused on creating content which appeals to its target audience. As such, it's important to understand who that target audience is.
When conducting competitive content analysis, it's also important to remember that audiences are not solely made up of buyers, but also include people who begin interacting with your brand before they intend to make a purchase.
Audience personas should be created on the basis of lifestyles/concerns/problems/needs . This will help you create content that attracts your target audience and furthers the relationship.
4. Perform SEO analysis
You can use tools like Moz and BuzzSumo to find valuable data on search engine optimization. These tools allow you to research information about your competition, primary keywords, and the overall health of your website.
Primary keywords should be high volume and low difficulty terms that are relevant to your content strategy. This will help you to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs) for those terms.
Brand awareness and search traffic are closely related. Keywords that get a lot of searches generally have the most brand awareness, even if they're not normally used in content marketing strategies.
Search traffic can be the first opportunity for brand awareness because people are looking for information and not your company itself. As a result, it's important to focus on increasing organic search traffic through effective SEO tactics.
Search traffic is underestimated because people are looking for information and not your company itself. However, as more businesses become aware of the importance of SEO, this metric will become increasingly important in gauging overall success online.
5. Conduct a gap analysis
Brands need to know what their audience wants and what they're already getting. The gaps form your sweet spot for content production.
In order to create a unique experience, brands have to be aware of the gaps in what's currently being offered and fill them with valuable content that educates and informs potential consumers. This is where a content marketing strategy comes in handy; it allows you to develop a range of skills not limited to a single function, with the goal of generating leads and sales.
It's also important for brands to collect competitor data manually or with the aid of scraping tools like BuzzSumo. This will help you map the buyer's journey and understand how customers interact with your brand at each stage. Once you have this information, you can start creating content that resonates more with buyers and drives revenue instead of just awareness. However, remember that awareness content is still important in order to establish trust with consumers before they reach out to fewer brands or products that speak to them most.
A successful content marketing campaign strikes a balance across the funnel, with content that converts well as well as content that is valuable and shareable. So don't forget about those bottom two rungs! They're essential if you want to see real results from your content marketing efforts.
6. Look for Your Unique Position or Resources
One of the first steps in creating a content strategy is establishing your unique value proposition. This will help you to establish credibility with your audience and differentiate yourself from your competitors. Once you have identified what makes you special, you can focus on researching the interests of your target audience so that you can create content that appeals to them.
You can also find your editorial niche by analyzing the strategies of your competitors. This will give you an idea of what type of content is resonating with your target market and help you to create something even better.
When it comes to video marketing, it's important to think outside the box and consider strategies that other businesses aren't using. For example, unbranded channels can be a great way to reach new audiences without spending a lot of money on advertising. Additionally, engagement strategies like building an audience and getting viewers talking are essential for videos that want maximum impact.
Once you've created some great videos, don't forget to promote them on YouTube and Facebook – these platforms are a great way to get in front of more people. And remember: always respond to comments posted under your videos! Your viewers will appreciate the interaction
8. Estimate Your Investment
You'll need to invest time and resources into your content marketing strategy. How much you'll need to spend will depend on a few factors:
The type of content you produce (e.g., blog posts, videos, infographics)
How often you publish new content
The tools and technology you use
Managing your own website or hiring a third-party service
Your team's bandwidth and skillset
"Athenahealth spent around $10,000 per month on its blog before it hired an outside firm to help manage the blog in 2013."
Depending on the size of your company and the scope of your content marketing strategy, you could be looking at anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars each year. That said, there are many ways to reduce costs without sacrificing quality.
9. Outline Your Content Creation Parameters
Now that you understand what content marketing is and how it can help your business, it's time to outline your content creation parameters. This includes determining:
How often you'll be able to create and publish new content (consider the resources available)
What type of content you'll produce
The topics you'll cover
Who will create the content
7. Create Topic Clusters
One way to organize your content is by topic clusters. This method help you create a variety of content around specific topics and target different keywords.
To begin, come up with a list of topics that are relevant to your brand. Once you have this list, think about the types of content you can create around each topic.
Your content should be high-quality and provide value for your audience. Additionally, it's important to use different formats (e.g., blog posts, infographics, videos) in order to reach as many people as possible.
You can also target specific keywords with your content in order to increase your website's search engine ranking.
In order to determine which keywords are most relevant to your business, use a tool like Google AdWords Keyword Planner or SEMrush.
Once you have a list of keywords, include them throughout your content in places such as the title, meta description and body copy
11. Develop a distribution strategy
Now that you've created your content, you need to develop a distribution strategy. This involves putting your content in front of the right people at the right time.
Start by analyzing your audience. Where do they spend their time? What websites do they visit? What social media platforms do they use? Once you have this information, you can start developing a distribution plan.
Social media is a great way to start. Distribution on social media should be organic in the beginning; don't jump straight into paid distribution. You can always iterate and automate your distribution efforts, so monitor how many clicks your content gets.
You should start with one post per day on LinkedIn and Facebook, then gradually increase to two posts a day on each platform. Monitor what the returns are for this strategy before you put too much effort into it; otherwise, you may be wasting your money
12. Create a content calendar
The final step in a content marketing strategy is to create foundational information that will remain consistent with the overarching goal. This includes developing a style guide, creating a content calendar, and producing "core pieces of content" which will help build loyalty and keep readers engaged.
The first stories on the calendar should be "core pieces of content" that help build loyalty and keep readers engaged. They provide an opportunity to introduce new topics and formats, as well as test different keywords and ideas before expanding into other areas.
Once you have identified your core pieces of content, it's important to understand your audience in order to produce material they will find engaging. Start by thinking about what topics are most relevant to them and what kind of information they are looking for. From there, you can begin tailoring your content around those interests while also focusing on SEO goals.
It's also helpful to establish some key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can track the success of your campaigns over time. Using a marketing funnel can help determine whether or not people are moving down the funnel from awareness to consideration to purchase/conversion
13. Perform Content Audits
One way to make sure your content is effective and valuable is to perform a content audit. This will help you determine what's working and what isn't, so you can focus your efforts on the most successful content.
There are a few different ways to conduct a content audit:
1) Start by looking at Google Analytics data. This will give you an idea of which pages are getting the most traffic and engagement. You can also use Google's Search Console to get information on how your site ranks in search engine results pages (SERPs).
2) Use primary and secondary keywords to make your content strategy more focused. A keyword that is important for part of our audience, but not necessarily the primary one for buyers, can still be valuable for driving traffic from searches.
3) Evaluate whether all of your website's content is still relevant. If it's not, remove or update it accordingly.
4) Track social media metrics to see which channels are providing the best return on investment (ROI). For example, if you're spending time creating videos but they're not being shared as much as other types of content, it might be worth reconsidering that strategy.
5) Compare website visits before and after publishing specific types of content. This will help you determine whether or not that type of content is effective for your audience.
6) Use a tool like BuzzSumo to see how much social media engagement each piece of content is getting.
7) Evaluate the tone and style of your website's content. Is it in line with your brand's voice and values?
8) Track reader engagement metrics, such as comments, shares, and downloads. This will give you an idea of which pieces of content are most popular with your audience.
9) Take a look at what your competitors are doing. If they're publishing content that's outperforming yours, try to figure out why and learn from their strategy.
10) Finally, always be prepared to make changes based on the results of your audit. If something isn't working, don't be afraid to abandon it and try something new instead
10. Plan How You'll Measure Results
Now that you have your content strategy in place, it's important to set some goals and track how well you're meeting them. This will help you determine whether or not your current strategy is effective. You'll need to track key metrics such as:
The number of shares each piece of content receives on social media
The number of website visits generated by social media traffic
How much time people spend on your website after clicking through from social media
The conversion rate (the percentage of visitors who take a desired action, such as subscribing to your email list) for traffic coming from social media
14. Adjust Based on Performance
Measurement is key to a successful content marketing strategy. You need analytics to measure your video campaigns. You can use YouTube Analytics or Google Analytics to track user metrics and find the most popular videos.
The SE Ranking tool lets you know where your videos show up in the search results on YouTube, giving a strategy for how to grow them in future campaigns.
The best way to build a successful content strategy is always to have clear methods of measurement.
You can measure your overall brand awareness based on the total number of views, shares and mentions.
Content marketing metrics are divided into four categories: user behavior, engagement, SEO and company revenue. The article " 4 Essential Groups Metrics to Measure Your Content Marketing Performance " includes information about each category including different ways of measuring the key metrics for each one.
SEMrush tools can help analyze the effectiveness of your content strategy SEMrush has a unique tool called Impact Hero that tracks the reach and performance of articles created by different authors or publishers . ImpactHero offers content marketing teams analytics, insights, and advice."""
How to Create an ROI-justified Content Plan
Nowadays, content is one of the most important aspects of a company's online marketing. However, simply creating content and hoping it will be successful is not a wise strategy--you need to have a plan in place. Without an ROI-justifiable content plan, you may as well not bother creating any content at all!
But don't worry, we're here to help. The first step is understanding what exactly constitutes a content strategy. A good definition is "a plan to use content." In other words, it's a blueprint for how you'll create meaningful interactions with your audience and meet your business goals. Additionally, you'll need to track relevant metrics so you can measure the effectiveness of your efforts.
Once you have all that in place, it's time to start developing topics for your content plan. Keywords are essential to consider; they should be based on the company's mission and what audiences will find interesting. Then, measurement and optimization should be incorporated into the process so you can gauge the impact of your campaigns and make sure you're getting the most out of your investment.
Creating an ROI-justifiable content plan isn't easy, but it's definitely worth it! With these steps under your belt, you're well on your way to success.
Examples of Content Marketing Metrics
Content marketing is a strategic investment that can produce great results when done correctly. Measuring the success of your content marketing campaigns, however, can be tricky. You need to find the right metrics to track in order to determine whether your efforts are paying off.
Some common metrics include: website traffic, leads generated, social media followers and interactions, email open rates and click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated. However, you should tailor your measurements to fit your specific goals and business model.
It's also important to remember that not all content is created equal. Some pieces will generate more leads or website traffic than others. So you'll need to measure the effectiveness of each type of content individually in order to determine what's working best for you.
Once you've determined which metrics you're going to use, it's important to track them consistently over time so that you can identify trends and make adjustments accordingly.
Content Strategy for SEO
When it comes to content strategy for SEO, the main goal is to increase organic traffic and leads. However, a content strategy isn't just about the technical aspects of SEO - it also includes elements such as links and data.
Additionally, small domains can rank well for competitive terms by using content clusters.
A cluster is related to a group of topically related pages that target searchers who want to answer questions or solve problems.
The pillar should be a page which covers a topic across all phases of the buyer's/user's journey, from awareness to intent.
A cluster should cover topics in all phases of the buyer's/user's journey, driving awareness and search intent through content that targets searchers who want to answer questions or solve problems.
The sales funnel isn't linear; people who enter your funnel may have already solved their problem or are only interested in learning more about your product and solutions rather than buying it or hiring you to fix their problem.
That's why it's important to have a successful content strategy for SEO that accounts for the buyer's journey and includes content for searchers in all of these phases. This content should include titles that target different search intent topics, as well as optimized for SEO by targeting relevant keywords.
What is a content strategy framework?
A content strategy framework is an outline of how you plan to create content. It might include your audience, keywords you will target, how often and when you will publish content, and who will create the content. The main objective of an effective content strategy is to meet users' expectations and fulfil business goals.
A well-developed content strategy framework will help your business achieve its desired outcomes faster and with less effort than if you attempted to address each content need separately.
How to Create a Content Strategy Framework
Now that you understand the importance of having a content strategy, it's time to learn how to create one. The first step is understanding your organization's goals and developing a plan on how to achieve them. Once you have a solid foundation, you can start creating content that will help reach those goals.
A content audit is an essential part of any good content strategy. This process helps you identify and understand your current content landscape so you can make better decisions about what content to create in the future. It also allows you to see which pieces are most successful so you can replicate their success elsewhere.
Once you have a clear idea of your organization's goals and the current state of your content, it's time to start developing a tangible framework with journey-esque steps. This framework should be designed for multiple stages of the user journey, from awareness all the way through conversion and retention/loyalty.
The most common user flow to see would be on Analytics, where people often return for tactical posts after viewing portfolio work or other high-level information initially. However, this isn't always the case; sometimes users enter at different points in the funnel depending on their needs at the moment.
Content marketing is a long term process that should be structured for multiple stages of the user journey. It's important to remember that content will never stop improving and exceeding last year's content. In order to create great content, you need to be unique, high quality, and structurally sound.
Content that goes above and beyond daily SERP results can drive huge traffic. Content like Brian Dean's skyscraper technique or BuzzSumo's "Content Trends" report are helpful in producing content that will drive huge traffic. However, it's important to note that these techniques won't work for everyone. Every organization is different, so you'll need to find what works best for you.
A content strategy framework is not a one size fits all; it should be tailored to fit your specific needs and goals. But no matter what framework you choose, it's essential that it shares a few characteristics that make it more engaging to readers: stories, motivating success stories, and unique details. By doing these on your own you're likely to get little traction because the sites are already flooded with similar content.
That's where partnerships come in handy! teamed up with other businesses in your industry can help produce great content that will drive traffic and help you meet your goals.
Example content strategy templates
There are many different types of content strategy templates, and it can be helpful to have a variety of examples to reference when creating your own. In this article, we'll provide a few templates for you to download and use as needed.
Each template is designed to help you plan, shape, and measure the results of your website's performance. For more information on how to create a content strategy, check out the resources in this article or visit our Google Ads resource page.
Template 1: Topic-Specific Content Strategy Template
This template is designed for businesses that want to focus their content marketing efforts around one specific topic. The template includes ideas for articles, data reports, webinars, and more. You can also find links to examples of each type of content.
Template 2: Marketing Content Strategy Template
This template is perfect for businesses that want to market their products or services through content marketing. The template includes ideas for case studies, data reports, white papers, ebooks, and more. As with the other templates, you'll find links to examples of each type of content.
Template 3: Digital Transformation Content Strategy Template
If your business is undergoing digital transformation (or plans to in the future), this template is for you. The template includes ideas for articles, data reports, webinars, and more. It also includes a link to an example of each type of content.
Template 4: Sprout Social Example
This template is designed to help businesses measure the results of their social media marketing campaigns. The template includes ideas for posts, tweets, ads, and more. As with the other templates, you'll find links to examples of each type of content.
Insights & Tips for Content Strategy, Planning and Measurement
Content strategy is essential for any organization looking to increase revenue. By focusing on your objectives and key results (OKRs), you can develop effective metrics that will help you measure your success. It's also important to know what key performance indicators (KPIs) will work for each stage of the journey. This will help ensure that you're moving the needle on your objective.
Benchmarks can be helpful in determining whether a KPI should be compared to historical data or not. Metrics are an important part of content strategy, and by using them correctly, you can optimize your efforts and see better results. For more tips on how to use metrics in your content strategy, check out our Guide.
Is Your Content Strategy Built for Change?
The world of content is always changing. What works today may not work tomorrow. That's why it's important to have a content strategy that is built for change.
Hi, I'm Joel Falconer. I'm a data-driven content strategist and managing editor. I have 20 years of experience working on some of the world's most well-known technology and digital media brands. As an expert in search engine optimization, audience development, email marketing & content operations, I've helped to build and grow some of the largest online communities in the world for companies like Envato, The Next Web, SitePoint, DesignCrowd, and Lifehack. Now, I'm helping other businesses build their online communities and grow their audiences. If you're looking for help with your content strategy, get in touch. I'd love to chat.