Expert Tips For How to Create a Content Strategy That Works: A Step-by-Step Guide
In case somehow you haven’t heard: Content is king, and there are no signs of that changing. Creating an effective strategy for your content, however, can be tricky without some key marketing principles in mind – and it’s easy to make mistakes that can hurt your brand and your sales. We here at Agency Partner will walk you through the steps for creating an effective content strategy so you can reach your target audience and grow your business.
So, What Exactly Is a Content Strategy
Content strategy is all about thoughtfully planning, creating, and delivering content with a cohesive, overall marketing goal in mind. Depending on what’s relevant to your business, content can refer to blogs, email newsletters, white papers, social media postings, and beyond.
You’ll want to build a framework outlining your plan and the elements needed to create the content. Keep track of things like the characteristics of your defined target audience, your relevant researched SEO keywords, deadlines for creation and publishing, and the intended platforms for the content.
This content strategy is not just about churning out whatever so your business at least looks like it’s still alive – it’s got to be of a quality that engages that audience in a way that drives your business towards that overarching goal.
How to Create a Content Strategy Framework
- Specify Your Goal
It’s hard to make a plan without a destination in mind. What is it you want to achieve with your content marketing? What is the purpose of the content you’ll be creating?
- Define Your Target Audience
Who will you be speaking to and trying to reach with your business strategy content? This will guide how you decide what all is relevant and likely to be most effective, from the content platforms you choose to the tone of your brand’s voice.
If you know your audience is mainly men over 45, you can reasonably figure that prioritizing publishing short-form videos on TikTok or linking blog posts to Pinterest won’t be a good use of effort. Clearly define your audience and focus on where they are.
Note: Don’t miss revisiting this step every time you create a new content strategy – your audience may have changed!
- Perform An Audit of Past to Current Content
This goes for both your own (if you already have current content) and that of your competitors. Look at what content is performing well and not so well and use that information to help decide what you should be putting your efforts into going forward.
A content audit is simply a smart idea to run on a consistent basis to check if your strategies are working or need some adjusting. The frequency will depend on how tightly your campaigns need to be monitored.
- Choose a Content Management System
It’s almost too easy to get disorganized with content. Do some research and find a content management system that will help you with creating, publishing, and ideally even performance tracking.
While there are some free options, the most comprehensive systems will likely need consideration of a budget. Just make sure the setup of the particular system you choose works best for your team’s workflow.
- Decide What Types of Content to Create
Think back to your defined target audience. Where do they spend their time online? What content types are they most interested in? What do you want the audience to do once they’ve seen or read or heard your content?
- Think Up Content Ideas and Research SEO Keywords
Here comes arguably the hardest part – what to post?! Get very friendly with Google search suggestions, take a look at your competitors, check out social media comments, or click around sites like Quora to spark some ideas.
Once you’ve got some relevant topics, consider SEO for the digital content and research which keywords you want to be targeting within the content. Sites like Moz and SEMrush are the classics for SEO research, and that’s because they work and are surprisingly user-friendly, even for those still learning how SEO works.
- Develop a Content Calendar
Whether it’s through a content management system or just an Excel spreadsheet, plan out what you intend to post and when. This will help you stay organized, make sure you’re staying mindful of supporting that overall goal across multiple platforms, and avoid making mistakes in a last-minute rush.
It’ll also help in establishing trust with your audience as they see you being consistent with your content and publishing. Reliability goes a long way in building customer relationships.
- Publish and Manage Your Content
With that content calendar in place, you’ve by now done all your necessary researching and brainstorming and planning to finally put into motion your no doubt brilliantly savvy content strategy – You’re a marketing pro now!
A content strategy is an important part of any digital marketing plan. It helps you define your goals and set priorities, which can be difficult when there are so many options available. The framework we’ve provided will help get you started creating a content strategy that works for your business. If you need help putting this into action or want to brainstorm some ideas, contact our Digital Marketing team at Agency Partner. Let’s drive your results together!