You’ve probably heard the phrase “content marketing” – even if you weren’t sure exactly what it means or how to use it in your business. The most recent HubSpot State of Marketing Report found 82% of marketers use content marketing to drive up to 60% of their company’s sales. Content strategy is the foundation of any content marketing effort, and a clear strategy helps you leverage the right content to meet your business goals. Here’s how to develop a content strategy that works for your company.
What is a Content Strategy?
We’ve all seen the power of a viral video or a memorable ad campaign to drive potential customers to a website. How many times have you clicked an article or video that made you stop and share? HubSpot estimates more than 70% of companies actively invest in content, so don’t underestimate how much planning and effort goes into the content you see every day.
You can’t always plan a viral moment, but you can develop a content strategy that will work for your goals. Content strategy is a written plan for how you’ll create and use content in your business, including audio, video, and written content that has been designed to meet business goals. It could include:
- Brand awareness campaigns
- Blog posts
- How-to videos
- Sales funnel emails and videos
If it’s content that can be consumed, it can be included in your content strategy. A successful strategy will inspire and engage your audience while leaving a positive impression of your brand.
Create an Action Plan
Content strategy begins with a written roadmap. Is your goal to drive more traffic to your website? If so, SEO will need to be a cornerstone of your content strategy. We’ll walk through some questions below to help you jumpstart your content strategy roadmap. Your plan can be flexible if goals change, but this will help you create a baseline to start with.
To get started, think through these prompts and use your answers to develop a formal content strategy:
- What do you want to accomplish? Is the goal to gain more conversions, increase brand awareness, cross-sell to existing customers, or all of the above? Be specific on what outcomes you’ll be measuring. This will help you identify what content is working and what needs to change if things don’t pan out.
- Define your audience personas. Most businesses have more than one audience, and you’ll need to identify whom you’re trying to reach. Just like you have customer personas for your sales process, you have audience personas for content. These could be past customers, potential customers, and existing customers, for example.
- What formats will you produce? If you’re just starting out, you might focus on building out your written web content like blog posts, research reports, and how-to guides. Other formats include videos, podcasts, webinars, and interactive content like quizzes. Your audience will help determine your formats. If you know your target audience spends a lot of time on YouTube or TikTok, video should be high on your content list.
- How are you going to deliver value? Does your audience need to know how to use your product? Creating how-to content should be a priority. Do you need to increase brand awareness in a crowded marketplace? You’ll need to create memorable, original content that highlights your unique products and services. Think through the messaging you want to communicate with your content, and make sure you’re delivering value with everything you create.
- Establish a budget. Video and interactive content takes a lot of planning and resources, so you need to know how much you can spend before you make a plan. Your content marketing budget might limit the amount of content you can produce in a month, but once you define a number you’ll be able to plan production.
- Publish your content! Create and publish at regular intervals to keep your audience engaged.
Developing a content strategy takes time. That’s why our team helps clients define goals and find the best ways to publish and share content. Our creative team can help you set up a content plan as well as produce and schedule content to keep your brand in front of your audience. If you want to find out more, schedule a call! We’re here to help you get your content strategy off the ground.