How to create a content strategy that works
Do you want to cultivate a strong brand presence online, show up on the first page of Google results or increase the lead generation from your social media?
Then you need memorable, intentional and engaging content.
You need a content strategy.
An intentional, planned and well-executed content strategy can bring you an increase in revenue, ROI and returning customers. But there are quite a few elements to build up, all at once. So let’s take you through the steps to get you started on creating the ultimate content strategy.
- What is a content strategy?
- Why do you need a content strategy?
- Content strategy vs. content marketing
- Creating a strategy that works
- Processes for content creation
Simply put, a marketing content strategy is an overview of every single element of content that you create to showcase your company online. Literally everything!
Content strategies include things like:
- Social media elements such as posts, videos and photos.
- Old-school classics like email lists and newsletters.
- Entirely separate (potentially monetised) branches like podcasts, blogs and ebooks.
Think quality over quantity. You’ll want to create multi-purpose media assets; videos, images and other assets that you can repurpose for multiple posts and multiple platforms.
It’s also a good call to focus on more conversational content that encourages direct engagement with your audience. And finally, any strong content strategy will include measurable metrics across all platforms, so you can analyse what’s working and what needs refining.
Content strategy brings your messaging and the focus of all of your marketing into one streamlined plan. Everything is curated to bring you closer to your business goals. It’s like a roadmap, with every piece of content carefully created with the same brand identity and goals in mind.
It’s worth investing the time and resources into creating a bespoke content strategy, to stop your content from existing to simply fill a gap on your website or social media. To present your business in the most engaging way online, you need intentional marketing that positions your company exactly where you need it to be seen. That is the power of an effective content strategy.
When you first start to consider what your business wants from your customer base, it’s best to isolate a clear purpose of your business goals:
- Want to attract new audience demographics?
- Launching a star product or service?
- Want to increase conversions?
- Desperate to become the go-to name in your industry?
This can all be fixed through a strong content strategy.
You can cover one goal thoroughly with all of your content, or split your content goals between the most relevant mediums.
This also allows you to quickly see what’s working and what isn’t. Ultimately this helps you refine your goals over time, and uncover the fastest ways to align your content to reach your marketing goals at speed.
Once you’ve got some metrics on what marketing is actually bringing in results, you can cut out the waste. Leaving you more time to spend focusing on content that brings you results.
You may have heard of another very similar term to content strategy: content marketing. These are closely related marketing terms that serve very different purposes. So before we dive in, let’s get our definitions straight:
Content strategy: WHY you are creating your content. Your marketing roadmap, en-route to reaching your company goals through curated content.
Content marketing: The publication of the content in your content strategy. Basically, putting your content strategy into action.
It’s all about intent. Without a plan, a goal or a “why”, you’re just pushing out content marketing. So, any good content marketing benefits from a strong content strategy.
With content strategy, you have an intentional path to follow towards your goals, making your content far more valuable to your company, and to your customers.
There are a few fundamentals that the most successful content strategies all have in common. Let’s break it down before you get started.
Research your audience
The audience that matters most to your company is the one that’s most likely to become a customer base for your business, so do your research. Build up a strong audience profile, one for each demographic and customer type. The more focused and specific you can be about what resonates with your audience, the better.
Define your goal
What do you actually want to achieve from this marketing strategy? There’s no sense in simply putting out content just to get impressions. Focus on what you’re really looking to achieve and set that as your goal. You can always add in additional goals as your marketing progresses to match your business aims.
Curate your brand
Even if every piece of content is written with your specific audience in mind and you’ve ticked off the goal-based purpose of each piece, you’re still missing a key component. Ideally, every piece of content should match your brand identity. So build out your brand’s look, tone of voice and vision before you begin.
Set up data tracking
Now that you know what you’re going to be writing, make sure your audience engagement is trackable across multiple channels and platforms. Industry standard trackers like Google Analytics 4 and platform specific tools like Facebook Audience Insights should be set up and tested before you launch anything major.
Research your competitors
Chances are, you’re going to have to be inventive to find ways of marketing your services or products to an online crowd, who’ve already interacted with your competitors. So take a look at what your most successful competitors are getting right to bring in customers and keep their attention. Analyse the topics, themes and platforms used, and what they had the most success with.
Lean into your niche. Your niche already makes you stand out, so lean into it and keep the focus on what you can offer over your competitors. If you found any gaps in topics in your competitor research, this is another niche you can tap into.
Now that you know what to aim for when creating content, it’s time to drill down into the details of your content strategy. Remember, this is something you can refine over time, but you’ll need a solid and detailed foundation of a strategy before you launch your strategy.
Now is the ideal opportunity to get specific. We suggest isolating the main goals and the top converting audience demographics as a good starting point. But within this overview, you’ll need to build out more specific and detailed topics and themes, that all link back to your overall business goals.
Themes and topics
The themes and topics of your content strategy should be grouped together. So you can quickly get an overview of what you’re focusing on, what needs some more attention, and spot any gaps in your content strategy to fill.
Create your framework
Write out a skeletal template of your overall strategy. This is your content framework. Think of it like the trunk of a tree that the branches of your content can all attach to. With multiple branches, you can cater to different demographics, business goals and specific events throughout the year.
Add medium-specific detail
A content strategy allows you to keep content relevant to which platform it is being created for. If you’ve got a well performing blog article, see how you can repurpose elements of it for multiple social media channels. If a podcast or video episode resonates with your audience, split its highlights across paid and organic content. This is where you can really see returns and impact.
Keep the entire funnel in mind
Don’t just write for new leads! As tempting as it may be to focus all of your content on topics that will bring you new customers, there’s the rest of the funnel to think of. Write and create with returning customers in mind. Reach out to your most engaged brand fans with specific and niche posts. Not every piece of content is designed with every customer in mind, and that’s powerful!
Measure your results
Remember those trackers you set up a while ago? Let them run for a few weeks to get some really detailed data. Then check out what’s working, and what needs some attention. You’ve put all this effort into your strategy, so now’s the time to let the results guide the next stage of your campaigns.
Get feedback and refine
Take your tracking data and match it with feedback. From customers, from your marketing team, from other marketing professionals. Now you can refine your plans based on this data and feedback. If you continue to do this throughout the next year, you may end up with a content strategy that’s quite different from your initial plans, but it will be optimised and should bring in even better results!
It should be clear now just how useful and effective a content strategy can be. In a marketing world of AI articles and generated content, it’s even more important than ever to create content that is actually useful and engaging. A strong strategy will help you stand out from the crowd and ensure that your content is always goal oriented.
It starts with discovery
Speak to us today and let’s start growing your business.Get in touch