Content Strategy To Skyrocket Your Marketing Returns

Traditional marketing is getting less effective everyday. Today’s customers ignore advertisements and conventional marketing techniques that continually interrupt with unwanted information

Instead, customers prefer to educate themselves before making a purchase decision. This self-education process begins with online search. Customers gather information and compare available solutions.

That’s why to attract and engage new age buyers, businesses must provide them relevant and valuable information to help them educate themselves. Such content helps businesses build authority, improve brand awareness and trust. It also helps engage website visitors and keeps them coming back for more.

Today’s buyers have also become more busy and are strapped for time. Businesses must create content that is focused and consistent.  Instead of focusing on quantity, businesses must focus on quality.

To create focused, consistent and quality content on a budget, businesses need a content strategy.

In this article, you will learn how create a content strategy and implement it using content marketing.

What is content marketing?

Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.

What this definition means is

  • Content marketing is a long term strategy, not a short term campaign or tactic.
  • It’s about building relationship with your audience with helpful content.
  • The final goal is to generate leads and sales.

What is a content strategy?

There’s this popular definition of content strategy by Kristina Halvorson

Planning for the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content.

A content strategy answers the following questions

  • Who is the target audience for your content?
  • What topics will you create content about?
  • What formats will you distribute the content in?
  • How will you measure success or failure of your efforts?

A well defines content strategy helps you

  • Get the maximum business value out of content.
  • Create content consistently and never lose the schedule
  • Avoid content waste by creating targeted content
  • Measure your content marketing efforts

How to develop a winning content strategy

Set content goal

The first step when developing a content strategy is to set goal. Example goals are

  • Improve brand awareness
  • Generate leads
  • Generate Sales
  • Customer advocacy
  • Improve search rankings
  • Generate traffic
  • Provide better support

Without a target audience, you won’t be able to create focused and consistent content. A key component of your content strategy is to define your target audience.

Define target audience

Without a target audience, you won’t be able to create focused and consistent content. A key component of your content strategy is to define your target audience.

A target audience can be formally documented using audience personas. An audience persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer.

You can develop audience personas by interviewing your existing as well as prospective customers. Following data will help create an audience persona

  • Demographics (Job title, age, gender, industry, income levels etc)
  • Purchase journey
  • Learning habits & research methods

Define content format

When you build your audience persona, you will be able to discover their learning habits and research methods. This will help you create and deliver valuable content in a format that your audience prefers.

You content can be in various formats including

  • Blog articles
  • Ebooks and whitepapers
  • Infographics
  • Videos and webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Research reports etc

Audit existing content

There’s a good chance that you already have the required content. It can be in your company brochures, website, support emails or in other communication collaterals. You can easily reuse this content without spending a lot.

Review the existing resources. Some of this content will need to be updated while some may need to be removed. In either case, this exercise will help you identify the gaps in your existing content strategy.

Plan content & schedule

The content that you don’t already have needs to be created. The best way to create content consistently is to define a schedule.

The final step is putting everything together and come up with a content plan. There are many editorial calendar templates available which you can use to schedule your content. You can even create your own form of calendar. It should roughly include stage of your audience in the buyer’s journey, topic of content, format of content, date of publishing and what action you expect your audience will take (CTA) etc.

Metrics to measure success/failure

The last but the most important component of your content strategy is to define the metrics that you will use to measure success. Depending on the goal you set in the first step, your metrics can be

  • Views, likes, shares (Improve brand awareness)
  • Number of marketing and sales qualified leads generated (Generate leads)
  • Revenue (Generate Sales)
  • Number of new clients generated via referrals (Customer advocacy)
  • Number of keywords you rank for and their search ranking (Improve search rankings)
  • Number of website visitors (Generate traffic)
  • Reduction in number of support calls (Provide better support)

Conclusion

Content strategy is essential for successful content marketing. A good content strategy involves setting content goal, defining audience persona, deciding content format, re-visiting existing content, creating a content schedule and measuring metrics.

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Vaishali Badgujar

Content Marketer at Time Doctor
Vaishali Badgujar is a content marketer at Time Doctor, a SaaS time tracking & productivity tool for companies & freelancers. She is a content marketing expert & specializes in link building.
Vaishali Badgujar
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