Today we’ll walk through the basics of content marketing and show you how to create a content strategy from scratch or make an existing one more effective.
What is content strategy?
It is a set of rules and guidelines that determine which communication channels are most effective for engaging the target audience. In addition, a content strategy includes a detailed posting plan—whether it’s Facebook posts, blog articles, or even TikTok videos.
A content strategy helps define the brand tone and creates cohesive communication with the customer, which is why it is a key element in a broader marketing strategy.
Why do you need a content strategy?
A content strategy defines marketing goals and helps you achieve them with greater productivity. It streamlines the work of your team, sets clear and understandable goals for creating and releasing content, and provides measurable metrics for analyzing performance.
In addition, following a clear content strategy helps to understand what works and what doesn’t work for a particular business: which communication channels bring the most value, and which topics the target audience is most willing to respond to. The benefits of a strong content strategy It increases
brand awareness. This is a very important benefit, especially for a newly opened business. Customers are reluctant to give money to companies they don’t know about, so a good content strategy focuses on building brand awareness through regular posting on social media and other media platforms. It drives
Traffic to the website.
By understanding how to create a website with good content, you will noticeably increase the number of visitors. One of the best ways is to start a blog and regularly fill it with interesting and useful articles. It is important to incorporate suitable keywords into articles; this will improve SEO and raise your blog to the top of the search engines for relevant queries. It turns potential customers into real ones.
Increasing brand awareness and driving traffic to the site logically leads to another cherished goal: converting potential customers into real buyers. This will help convince CTA (Call to Action) on the pages of the site and regular mailing lists with great deals.
Types of content marketing
Social media posts
Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, VK, and even Odnoklassniki-social networks provide almost limitless opportunities for brand promotion. Do not publish content on all popular social networks at once-it is not very effective and takes a huge amount of time.
Instead, analyze which platforms are most often used by your target audience and focus on them. Post regularly and track what type of content users are responding to best: for example, text, images, videos, or interactive formats like tests and surveys.
Blogging, for example, makes the business more rewarding for the customer by allowing you to post step-by-step guides, product information, and satisfied customer stories. In addition, a popular and regularly updated blog increases the company’s profile in the market.
Training and marketing videos help to establish a direct dialogue with the client. Use them to tell more about a product, introduce a team, highlight interesting cases, or support a marketing campaign. If the target audience responds well to videos, consider starting your own Youtube channel.
In recent years, podcasts have experienced a second wave of popularity—take advantage of this to bring even more attention to your business. The podcast topic can be anything, as long as it helps you establish yourself as an expert in relevant areas.
Manuals and checklists
Like a blog, guides and checklists provide the customer with useful information and build trust in the company. For example, an online beauty store might run a short infographic on sun protection or write a detailed guide to the best creams, serums, and tonics.
Cases There is no place for modesty in business; be sure to share success stories and talk about clients who have been helped by your products or services. Cases can be published in various formats, in the form of articles, posts, or video reviews. Newsletters: email
marketing is a great opportunity to keep in touch with your target audience on a regular basis and send personalized offers. We recently wrote a comprehensive guide to email marketing for those who are just getting started with this communication channel.
How to create a content strategy
- Set clear goals.
- Define CA.
- Research your competitors.
- Select communication channels.
- Create a content plan.
- Improve constantly.
1. Define your objectives.
Before creating a content strategy, it is important to understand exactly why you need it. So each post, video, or blog article will serve a clear purpose and not just serve as content for the site or social networks. To test the viability of a goal, use SMART technology and ask five questions.
- Is the goal achievable?
- Is the goal meaningful?
- Is the goal specific?
- Is the goal measurable?
- Is the goal limited in time?
In addition to the main goals we mentioned above (increasing brand awareness, driving traffic to the site, converting leads to real ones), you can set your own. For example, recruiting new employees, improving customer service, or rebranding a company. Whatever goals you set, make sure your chosen content strategy helps you achieve them.
In the process of implementing the strategy, the goals set may change—and this is normal. For example, you might start by building brand awareness and then focus on attracting new customers. The main thing is to adapt the content to follow the changed goal.
2. Specify the CA.
Knowing who the content is for makes it easier to make it more accurate and effective. When analyzing your audience, ask the following questions:
- Who can purchase my products and services?
- What are these people interested in?
- What content are they consuming?
- What is their “pain” (a problem that a business can solve)?
After answering these questions, create a portrait of the buyer. To do this, they collect information about potential customers’ gender, age, place of work, and habits.
If you already have a working online store, check this and other information in Google Analytics. If not, use other methods: conduct surveys, issue discount cards for filling out questionnaires and analyze customer profiles on social networks. Determining the target audience is a very important step because sometimes the real target audience does not coincide with the one that you envisioned when creating a business.
3. Research your competitors’
If a competitor’s business is ranking higher than yours in Google searches, analyze the keywords on their site and try to understand the traffic source. Use SimilarWeb to collect data and analyze the differences between your site and those of competitors. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
So make a purchase on a competitor’s website, leave contact information, contact technical support, and write a review on social networks, so you will understand what content they use in a given situation.
Identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Take advantage of the best ideas of your competitors and don’t repeat their mistakes. Perhaps a rival company is producing awesome blog posts but hardly using social media. Knowing this, you can create a content strategy that takes advantage of Facebook and Instagram posts and helps you stand out from similar brands.
4. Determine the best communication channels
When creating a content strategy, don’t try to reach out to all communication channels at once; it will take up all your free time and quickly drain your marketing budget. Instead, focus on a couple of promising sites and gradually expand your presence if the strategy proves effective.
For example, you can start with a blog and a Facebook page, so you have platforms for both serious content and short posts where you can quickly build an audience. When choosing communication channels, keep budget and team resources in mind.
For example, creating a video takes a lot more time and money than writing posts or designing checklists. Start with simpler, more budget-friendly content that you can keep producing on a regular basis.
5. Make a content strategy.
The content plan is the final stage in creating a content strategy. Collect all planned publications, advertising campaigns, and projects to launch new communication channels in it, and add clear deadlines and instructions for the team. The content plan not only makes the communication coherent and consistent but also greatly facilitates the work of marketers.
The daily creation of new posts, articles, and videos is a stressful process that can lead to burnout. By designing and planning content ahead of time, you can make your team’s work more measured and predictable, and you can provide additional resources during particularly complex projects.
6. Constantly strive to improve
Analyze the results. Once you’ve created your content strategy and implemented it, it’s time to test its effectiveness. First, look at bounce rates, average time spent on a page, and other Google Analytics metrics. They will help determine how users interact with the content on the site.
Also check the basic characteristics of users (gender, age, ability to pay, etc.) to understand how real customers match the consumer portrait you have created. Also, analyze social media. Platforms like Facebook, Youtube, and Instagram offer their own built-in analytics tools that show engagement and reach levels.
This way, you can track whether posts are generating positive dynamics and adjust your strategy in the case of unsatisfactory results. Listen to customers
Customer feedback can often be more helpful than the most advanced metrics. Pay attention to how they interact with posts and articles, and carefully study reviews and comments. Oftentimes, customers will say directly what they want, and it is in your business’s best interest to listen to them.