Content strategy is a hot topic for businesses. It’s now been widely accepted that content marketing is the way to go and that it’s not just about delivering the content anymore.
So, it’s no longer enough to just create content, you need a way to put it in front of your audience. That’s where content strategy comes into play. i.e, the planning and promotion of your content.
If you are tasked with creating an effective content strategy for your business, it can be overwhelming at first. But there is hope!
In this article, I detail 7 deliverables that you should use as a foundation for developing a robust strategy for your business.
7 Content Strategy Deliverables You Need in Your Content Marketing Strategy
The immediate questions that come to mind when you start reading about content strategy deliverables are: What do I need? Where do I start? What deliverables will help me with my strategy?
The answers lie below. Let’s explore each one in more detail:
1. Content Audit
The most important of these 7 content strategy deliverables is a content audit.
To succeed at content marketing or in everything else, an audit is always the starting point. If you already have content on your site, take a look at it. What’s there? The audit will tell you. So what do you need to find out?
Every effort to create an optimal content strategy starts with an audit of your current content.
Before you begin creating new content, it’s important to understand your audience and the value of the information that you are delivering.
To do this, you need to go through all of the content currently available on your website, social media channels, and/or blog.
Identify gaps in your content strategy and make a list of topics that you should cover.
This will help to determine which new topical areas you need to write about. Identify the best points of entry for each topic, as well as how and when you should engage your audience.
As with all content strategy deliverables, the content audit is an ongoing process that can be used as a template for evaluating your content over time.
With this knowledge, you can tailor future content strategies according to changing needs and interests of your audience.
2. Buyer Personas
Buyer personas describe your target audience: their profile, demographics, and behaviors.
In other words, buyer personas are a set of characteristics that describe your ideal customer and one, or several real customers that resemble the characteristics of your ideal buyer persona.
Among all the other content strategy deliverables, buyer personas should also be one of the main pillars of your content marketing strategy.
Buyer personas are especially useful for marketers because they show them who they’re reaching out to, and how they can tailor their messages to be more relevant and effective.
In the process of creating a content strategy, you need to know who is behind your target audience.
Before defining any content strategy or creating any new content consider what kind of people they are and what they need.
Also, it’s important to know which goals they are expecting to achieve through using your content. It’s essential to know what problems they have and which solutions they are seeking in order to achieve their goals.
This information will help you create your content strategy, as well as determine the keywords that you need to place throughout your content.
It will also provide you with a common point of reference when marketing your content, as well as improve the search engine optimization of your website and social media channels.
3. Content Types
As you know, there are many types of content marketing through which you can market your business.
Content types are all of the different styles of content such as written articles, videos, white papers, podcasts, social media posts, case studies, etc…
Making a decision about the types you’re going to create is as important as the content itself.
Doing so will help you prioritize your launch and help you to better organize your efforts.
For example, if you decide that 50% of your content should be written, the other 50% will be video content. This will also help determine which techniques you need to capitalize on.
The most important thing you need to remember with respect to content types is that each type of content needs its own unique strategy.
For instance, if you want to write articles then you will need to create an editorial calendar.
A content strategy is not one-size-fits-all, but rather a set of guidelines that will help you create a variety of content types effectively.
A good way to determine the best type of content for your site is to engage in a detailed analysis or review of your audience’s needs and wants.
Based on your audience’s responses, you will be able to determine what content types are best for your business.
4. KPI (Key Performance Indicators)
The next on our list of content strategy deliverables are KPIs, without which no business can survive.
KPIs are the metrics that you will use to measure your success and progress in your content marketing efforts.
They can help you determine the degree of effort required to achieve your goals, as well as how much time it will take to meet them.
It’s important to note that KPIs are different for every company, so you need to identify what works best for your organization.
A key performance indicator or KPI is a qualitative or quantitative measure that shows how well you are performing in terms of reaching an objective.
Your KPIs will affect the way you create and promote your content, as well as what it is that you want to achieve from creating any new content.
Your KPIs should be based on the goals that your content strategy is designed to achieve.
These are sometimes referred to as objectives or metrics, depending on strategy and company size.
Regardless of the name you choose, they will help you evaluate content performance and effectiveness.
5. Topical Maps/Clusters
Topical maps, also known as topic clusters, are essential to the creation of any content strategy. They are helpful to both your target audience and the search engines in a similar yet distinctive way.
For readers, topical clusters provide them with a seamless user experience whereas, for search engines, topical clusters help them to better understand what your content is all about and most importantly, show them that you are an authority on the topics you’re writing.
The sooner they understand you’re an expert, the sooner you can rank for your desired keywords.
Topical maps also help you create a more engaging user experience by organizing all different types of content into one place.
This helps ensure that the right content is being delivered without any confusion.
Topic clusters are also an effective way to organize all your content into specific categories that share a similar purpose, such as buying guides, how-to articles, research reports, etc…
They are also an effective way to show relationships between your various pieces of content, allowing you to see the big picture of what you do.
This makes it easy to determine whether your current content strategy is effective, as well as where gaps may exist that need to be filled.
6. Content Calendar
Also known as an editorial calendar, a content calendar is a process that helps you coordinate the creation of your various content types.
It helps you determine on what days you need to create each type and how much time it will take.
It’s essential to have a clear idea of how much time you need in order to create all new content, as well as the frequency of publishing any new content.
By planning ahead, you can organize your efforts so that they are better distributed throughout your company’s resources.
The content calendar helps you gain significant insight into what resources will be required and when, as well as how long it may take.
It will also help you determine the frequency of your publishing schedule. It will also show whether or not you need to hire additional resources in order to complete your goals.
If you plan to create a variety of content types such as articles, videos, podcasts, etc…then a content calendar is essential in facilitating your efforts.
7. Keyword Research Report
A keyword research report will help you determine which search terms are most valuable to your business. Keyword research should be the foundation of your whole content strategy.
Without a proper keyword research exercise, you’re doomed to failure. Without a keyword research report, you will find yourself writing random pieces of content that might never rank on Google.
A keyword research report is a great way to create an effective content strategy that will work for both short and long-term goals.
It will not only help you identify your keywords but also determine which of them are the most valuable and essential.
Also, when you make keyword research a regular activity, you will be ahead of spotting trends in the industry, therefore giving an edge over your competitors who might not be doing so.
If you build your content marketing strategy on these 7 content strategy deliverables, you will have a better chance of creating powerful content that attracts and converts your target audience.
To ensure success with your content strategy, it’s important to remember that each part of the strategy must work together to meet the overall goal of increasing brand awareness, online visibility, lead generation, and profitability.
Building a strong content strategy takes time, but once it’s in place you will be able to promote your brand with ease, while also ensuring that you’re working within an effective framework that is both proven and unique.
There’s a lot of talk about content strategy, but it’s one of those things that you can’t be great at unless you actually do it.
Content marketing is a key part of most digital marketing strategies these days, so it’s important that you know how to effectively use it before moving on to anything else.