Pretty sure you’ve just realized you absolutely have to learn how to develop a content marketing strategy, that’s why you’re here right?
This article will show you what a content marketing strategy is, what it can do for you, and how to develop one that’s effective and brings results.
But here’s the thing: you can’t just do it off the cuff. The strategies you will use must be specific and definitive.
It has to be measurable and offer value for your audience and has to properly align with your brand, online presence, and social media strategy goals.
I’ve got you covered on this one and without further ado, let me show you how to develop a content marketing strategy for your business the right way.
If you want the simplest definition of what is a content marketing strategy, here you go:
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
“A documented plan outlining the goals of your company and the tactics that you will use to achieve these goals. It is a process for planning and executing your marketing strategy for online content development, promotion, and distribution.”
All it takes to develop a content marketing strategy is to sit down with a pen and paper. Figure out what you’re going to do content-wise and make sure everything aligns with your business goals.
This will give you enough rope with which to hang your efforts in creating a successful content marketing strategy that works for your business.
What Can a Content Marketing Strategy Do for Your Business?
A content marketing strategy is like a road map for all of your content marketing efforts. It’s just as important as your business plan.
Without one, you will be lost in the forest. It keeps you on track and helps you find success through the different types of content you push out.
Here are some benefits of developing a content marketing strategy:
It is so important that your new-birthed business has some sort of strategy in place.
If you don’t, you will be stumbling around in confusion, not knowing what to prioritize, and worse of all, you won’t be making serious money.
Your business can’t afford to operate that way, agree? You need a plan to guide your marketing efforts and whether you do it yourself or outsource it, a good content strategy can take your business to new heights.
What Should Be Included in Your Content Marketing Strategy?
A content strategy roadmap is basically the roadmap of your content planning, seo strategies, and monetization methods. This content strategy will include the following:
It’s important for a content marketing strategy to be up-to-date and current otherwise you will have gaps in your content plan and it will show.
That not only decreases your likelihood of success but also decreases your credibility as an expert in the industry.
Why Developing a Content Marketing Strategy Is Important for Your Business
Your content marketing strategy is essential to the success of your online marketing campaign as well as its continuity and longevity.
Without one you won’t have a guide to help you develop and maintain content nor will you even understand how important it is.
If your business isn’t doing well enough, then there’s a good chance that your content marketing strategy is the reason why.
There’s also a good chance that your company has already lost sales because of its confusing marketing efforts.
How can you tell how successful your content marketing strategy is? You can tell by how well your content is converting visitors.
If you aren’t making money, then it’s likely the reason is that you aren’t utilizing a proper content marketing strategy.
If your company isn’t showing growth, then it could be the way you’re pushing to produce content isn’t right or your content is of poor quality, thus failing to attract and convert.
A good content marketing strategy will help your business grow and expand in every possible way. That’s what it’s all about.
How to Develop A Content Marketing Strategy in 11 Steps
Let’s get started by taking a look at how to develop a content marketing framework for your business based on the steps outlined below.
Step 1: Identify Your Goals
When you begin to develop a content marketing strategy, you will want to start by discovering where you want your business to go and what it wants from life in the near future.
This will help give you direction as to what type of content marketing strategy is best for your company.
Identify what is necessary for your business to be successful, which will help you prioritize your content marketing efforts.
These needs should be related to the other goals of your business and in line with what it needs to do for growth and expansion.
Identifying your content marketing goals is a crucial first step to making sure you make the right decisions for your business because you will know what you’re trying to achieve.
And it’s this knowledge that will in a sense guide all your upcoming moves.
Step 2: Research Your Industry
Once you have an idea of where you are going with your content marketing strategy, then research your industry so that you can see how much room there is for growth.
Analyze where the industry is now and how it will progress in the future. This is imperative because you want your business to be ready for growth when it happens.
You can use tools like Google Trends to see what’s emerging as new trends and take notes from there to refine your research.
Step 3: Develop Your Personas
What is a buyer persona? A persona is a representative of a targeted customer or buyer group (a role, an identity, or an image).
A content marketing strategy includes the development of personas you will be targeting with your content marketing campaign.
Personas are the very people you will be marketing to and everything that is unique about them.
Creating personas is a key part of the content marketing strategy process.
You create personas for your business to understand who your customer is and what they are looking for.
Once you have a clear idea of who that customer is, you can begin to develop the strategy for marketing to them.
The creation of personas is an important part of the content marketing strategy process because it allows you to develop the necessary strategies that are suited to the needs and wants of your targeted customer.
Your business should identify who its buyer persona is, what it is looking for, and how you can meet their needs.
Through this process, you will be able to decide what goes into creating relevant content for each persona.
You will want your personas to be realistic and credible because they can make a huge difference in the proper development of your content marketing strategy.
This also will help you make sure that you aren’t making mistakes that may turn off potential customers or clients.
Step 4: Analyze Your Competitors
Once you have the personas down, then it’s time to research the competition. Learn about their strategies and how you can either beat or match them by researching things like trends, news, upcoming events, etc.
Get an insight into who they are, what they are doing, and what’s working for them. Use tools like Ahrefs and BuzzSumo to learn quickly about your competitors’ content strategy.
When you begin to analyze your competitors, you will want to compare their strengths with your weaknesses in order to establish the areas where you need improvement.
This will give you a good idea of what you need to do in order to perform better than them. That doesn’t mean copying their content but rather finding gaps that you can capitalize on.
Step 5: Do Your Keyword Research
As a small business without a huge budget to spend on paid advertising, you can start by creating high-quality blog posts that target specific keywords related to your business to attract free traffic from the search engines.
Pay attention to what your competition is doing and similarly, pay attention to what the “top dogs” are doing.
You’ll start by performing an intense keyword research process where you’ll want to map out the best keywords related to your business.
But while doing this exercise, you will have to take into consideration a few essential factors before deciding on creating content for these keywords. These key considerations include:
These are all of the factors to keep in mind because they can ultimately help you determine which topics you’ll want to include in the content you create.
It will also provide insight as to whether it is worth it to invest in particular keywords or not.
For instance, you wouldn’t want to spend your time, energy, and money writing a ton of articles for super high competitive keywords that you won’t have the chance to rank for as a business with no authority in the eyes of the search engines.
Similarly, you wouldn’t want to create a dozen articles if the keywords you want to rank for have very few to zero search volume.
With that being said, you will want to look for keywords that have a decent amount of search volume and keywords that have not been tackled yet by your competitors.
You also don’t want to focus on the keywords that are too competitive because they will end up costing you a ton in terms of time and money, not to mention your sanity.
A lot of times, it’s better to play it safe rather than dive headlong into an experiment with no real idea as to whether it will ultimately succeed or not.
That’s why it’s crucial to build a keyword database before pushing out content. That’s where content production decisions will be made.
Of course, as you grow in authority, expertise and trust, you will be in a position to tackle those competitive keywords that have a high keyword difficulty.
Another thing to consider when doing keyword research is whether the keywords have some monetary potential.
Yes, they can be related to your business and yes you can get tons of traffic if you rank for these keywords but the question is whether you will be able to monetize that traffic.
Let’s say you write an article about “the best socks to wear in winter”, do you think there’s a lot of money to be made? Well, unless you have thousands of traffic coming to that article.
You can make a decent income it’s true because people wear socks but it’ll be pretty hard to make a six-figure monthly revenue from a keyword like this + it’s also a seasonal keyword which means it’s not a big moneymaker all year long.
If the keywords that you target do have some measurable amount of money to be made, then you will want to turn this into a monetization strategy. (This will be another topic to discuss)
Step 6: Research Tools You Will Need
Achieving your content marketing goals won’t happen without the necessary tools to help you out.
If you want to benefit from the tools that are available to help you achieve better results, you will have to identify those that will be of the most use.
Once you have that decided, it’s time to equip yourself with the tools you will need to run your content marketing process successfully.
Your content marketing tools will help you in the following ways:
and the list goes on…
It’s true that there are so many tools out there and it can be tempting to get them all. But if you’re starting out, you need to keep it simple. As you grow, you can add new software to your toolkit.
Step 7: Choose Your Content Management System (CMS)
This one has to be the most important thing you’ll need to consider because content is the cornerstone of any content marketing strategy.
You will have to have a CMS that meets your needs and that’s why you need to do some research before making this decision. But to make it simple for you, I highly recommend WordPress for this purpose if you’re just starting out.
WordPress is the most popular CMS on the market. It’s easy to use, has a friendly interface, and offers tons of options in terms of plugins that make life much easier.
There are other alternatives to WordPress but they are not free and some are pretty expensive.
So, if you’re just starting out and don’t have much to invest in, I recommend using WordPress which is 100% free.
Step 8: Decide on Your Type of Content
When it comes to content marketing, there are different types of content, and the most popular ones you can actually start with are:
Written Articles/Blog Posts
These are the most common type of content that you can use to start generating traffic and quality leads.
They are also known as blog posts. Blog posts are the content that will make you money via different income streams such as affiliate marketing, display ads, direct sales, paid services etc…
Blogs are an expression of your expertise in a particular niche. You can write articles that contain any information from tips and tricks to more in-depth guides on how to use a product or service.
Videos are another great way to communicate with your customers. This can include how-to videos, testimonials, walkthroughs, product demos, and so on.
Video marketing is all the rage nowadays and you can bet it will continue to grow in popularity. So, if you’re in a position to take advantage of this, now’s the time!
In fact, doing video content doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to get in front of the camera. You can create high-quality videos from text and animations only. The most important thing is to communicate value!
Podcasts are a great way to engage your customers and generate new leads. It’s another great way to build your brand name as an expert in your niche.
This pretty new digital marketing channel is also effective at adding an extra level of authenticity to your brand and boosting traffic.
So, if you like talking and you know your industry, creating an online audio show can be beneficial to your business.
Social Media Posts
Social media posts are highly effective when it comes to generating new leads.
It’s something you can easily integrate into your content marketing strategy and doesn’t take up too much time every day since you can schedule things in advance.
In addition, you can use this as a way to deliver your content in a more personal way.
When you’re starting out, I recommend that you start with blog posts first and then build on it from there.
The other types of content will come a little later when you are ready to expand your marketing efforts.
However, a mix of these will not only help you grow quicker but will keep your business in a safe lane.
You’ve probably heard of the saying “Do not put all your eggs in one basket”. The more diversification you bring into your business, the safer you will be in terms of traffic, revenue, and so on.
Let’s say you decide to create content for Instagram ONLY. You push content every day for 5 years non-stop and you finally start making $10k every month. What do you think will happen if Instagram decides one day to close down? You have the answer already uh?!
But if you diversify your traffic sources, and money avenues, you can be sure to still be in business even if one of your traffic sources crashes.
For those of you who already have some pieces of content on your website and want to take content marketing seriously, I suggest you start by running a content audit.
It’s a process that will help you identify gaps in your existing content.
You can do this by checking on the keywords your competitors are ranking for in the SERPs but you do not.
Upon this analysis, you can start creating better content than them and outrank them where possible.
Step 9: Build Your Content Creation Process
Now is the time to build your editorial calendar. If you’re not familiar with this term, simply put it’s the schedule of what content to create and when the content will be published.
Having this in place will help you to navigate the content marketing process better.
Your editorial calendar will help you to plan the content that you want to create.
This can be done by creating a big spreadsheet or using a task management tool like ClickUp to better organize your content calendar, assigning tasks to your team, etc…
It’s finally time to start building that blog, creating your videos, or recording your podcasts.
This can be one of the most creative and exciting phases of your content marketing journey but it’s also a very tedious process because you have to produce top-quality content.
Quality is the key to any kind of content and if it’s not done in a way that it brings value to your audience, they won’t bother to read it.
Remember that your blog is your online home, which means it’s the place to show off your expertise in a particular niche. So, make sure it’s professional and that your visitors get what they want.
Step 10: Manage & Monitor Your Content
It’s okay if you’ve made it to this step, but all that work you put into creating quality content is wasted if you don’t monitor your efforts
You have to track the performance of your content and it will allow you to tweak your efforts in the future to get better results.
The following are a few ways you can monitor your content marketing efforts:
The management and monitoring of your content are important tasks you should not neglect. It will help you gather vital metrics on how your efforts are working.
In my opinion, there’s no point in producing quality content if you don’t monitor how it performs.
So, how many times have you wondered why it’s taking so long to get results?
Well, the reason is that you don’t measure your efforts and aren’t sure of the type of content that works best for your audience.
Only after analyzing the results, you can make the necessary improvements to better serve your target audience.
For instance, if you see a high response and a good engagement on a particular type of content, double down on it since you know it is resonating well with your readers.
As a result, you’ll head in the right direction and start seeing good results.
The success of your content marketing strategy depends on how well you execute it so make sure you follow the steps outlined in this article.
Coming up with a solid content marketing strategy that brings results doesn’t have to be complicated but it does take some time.
It’s an ongoing effort that you’ll need to consider in your overall online business strategy.