Content marketing is the foundation of digital marketing.

It’s not just about producing daily content for the sake of it: it’s about creating a roadmap that not only captures attention but represents your brand and drives tangible results. Creating an effective and robust content marketing strategy is a multi-step process. However, it is a vital process to your digital marketing success. In this insight, we discuss our TOP 9 STEPS that can help you to produce a content marketing strategy that will drive results. Whether that is increased visibility, brand awareness, or increased leads and conversions. 

 

1. Establish your goals

The first step in creating an effective content marketing strategy is assessing and clearly outlining what you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts. These could be long-term or short-term marketing goals or even overall business goals that feed into your online marketing activities. 

Some objectives might include brand awareness, lead generation, customer retention, or thought leadership. These can be redefined to particular platforms and also made into SMART goals. What are your SPECIFIC goals? Are they MEASURABLE, and how will you measure the success of them? What actions will you take to ACHIEVE them? Are they RELEVANT to your business and business objectives? Are they TIMEBOUND? When do you want to see results from them? SMART objectives really allow you to break down your goals, making them realistic and therefore easier to achieve. 

Once you have established these goals the rest becomes much easier! 

 

2. Determine your audience 

The next crucial step is identifying your target audience and creating customer personas. 

This involves some market research and analysing any previous data or insights. You need to understand their needs, pain points, and preferences in order to tailor your content accordingly. 

A customer persona (also known as a buyer persona) is a semi-fictional representation of an ideal client based on market research and real data about existing clients. Creating a customer persona allows businesses to better understand, humanise and therefore empathise with their target audience. This allows them to tailor their communication and content strategies to meet their specific needs.

Key elements of a customer persona typical include: 

  • Demographic information
  • Professional details such as job title, role or industry. 
  • Challenges and pain points
  • Buying motivations
  • Preferred communication channels 
  • User journey. 

 

3. Perform Competitor analysis 

No shift, Sherlock. Competitor analysis in the world of content marketing is like being a friendly detective in the marketplace of ideas. Conducting competitor analysis allows businesses to identify content gaps, differentiate their brand, and understand emerging trends. By understanding what your competitors are doing it allows you to remain relevant.

Comparing your content performance against competitors provides a benchmark for success. It helps you to understand how well your competitors are doing which enables you to set realistic goals and targets for your content. 

 

4. Analyse past content performance

Reviewing past and current content performance provides valuable insights into the success of different content types (e.g- blog posts, videos, photos, quotes, user-generated content). It not only helps you to determine which topics, themes, or content on a whole consistently perform well but it also helps to identify where there are gaps. This information guides content ideation and allows you to create more content around subjects that have been proven to be popular and relevant to your audience. This also includes the platforms or channels you are distributing content too. Which platforms are more successful than others and how can we set goals to improve this?

Assessing past content can also help you to refine your approach to SEO. It can include identifying high-performing keywords and optimise future content to improve visibility.  

 

5. Content ideation and planning

Content ideation and planning are quite possibly the foundational components of a successful content marketing strategy. This involves brainstorming new ideas and organising evergreen content that aligns with your goals and engages with your target audience. 

Creating an editorial calendar is one way of organising your ideas. This calendar outlines when are where specific content will be published. It helps in maintaining consistency and ensures a steady flow of content that is aligned with your strategy. It can almost act as a checklist. Do you have a mixture of content going out? This doesn’t just have to be organic content but you can mark on it any national calendar days where you use user-generated content or plan out marketing campaigns. 

There are plenty of online templates that you can use to get started planning your content!

 

6. Develop your content

I know that I said that brainstorming and planning content was a foundation step however, this could also be argued as an equally important step in your content marketing strategy! No content, no strategy. 

Take time to create and develop high-quality, valuable content that resonates with your audience. Use a mix of formats such as blogs, videos, infographics, or even podcasts. Your content will develop over time but starting with some templates that represent your brand and business is a great place to start. You can also recycle old content that was successful. However, content can have a shelflife. Make sure it is still relevant and up to date with changes in the industry. 

 

7. SEO optimisation 

SEO is a huge world. In terms of content you can use relevant keywords, optimise meta tags and ensure mobile responsiveness to improve discoverability on search engines. 

Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush and Ahrefs are a few tools that can be used for keyword research. They can help you to identify what words and phrases your audience are likely to search for. 

 

8. Promotion and distribution

Now you have planned, created, and developed your content, how are you going to distribute it? You can consider organic methods such as social media, blog posting, or email marketing but also any paid promotion. Google Ads, Social media ads, and influencer marketing are other ways of distributing your new content to boost your impressions to achieve the goals we first set! Develop a strategy for promoting your content across these various channels.

 

9. Review/ monitor/ analyse 

The digital world is constantly changing. Trends are emerging rapidly and consumer behaviour can be hard to keep up with. What works for a few months, won’t necessarily work forever. Monitoring your content performance, reviewing it weekly, and analysing the changes guide strategic decision-making. Make data-driven adjustments to enhance performance.

Platforms often update their algorithms, impacting content visibility. Monitoring and analysing performance data helps you to adapt your strategy to these algorithm chances ensuring you are getting as much reach as you can. 

Regular reviews also ensure you are remaining aligned with your overarching business goals and competitor benchmarks. 

There are some key things to remember when creating a content marketing strategy. 

  • Encourage user-generated content and gather feedback from your audience (honest and real- gain credibility and build a relationship with the audience)
  • Building authority and a strong brand can take time– stay consistent with your efforts and be patient regarding results. 
  • Adapt to Trends and changes. Consumer behaviour changes so your content marketing strategy shouldn’t be static. Stay relevant. 
  • Utilise all platforms– it is important not to focus entirely on one platform. 

 

Conclusion

Creating an effective and robust content strategy is a multi-step process. By taking the time to create this it can not only attract your target audience but also drive meaningful results for your business. 

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