For contemporary marketers, content strategy has become the marketing tactic of choice. If you want to get your ranks high up on the first page of Google, creating a good content strategy is the way to go. It should be high-quality content that compels the readers to spend time on your page while also connecting with it. This will help you gain an increased number of leads and conversion rates.

Over the last 3 years, the percentage of B2B content marketers who have a documented content strategy has increased by 9% and continues to do so. According to the content marketing institute’s B2B content marketing report, about 43% of marketers have a proper content strategy in place. The rest of the people struggle to maintain their position in the market because they lack planning and the audience does not connect with their content.

Before you understand how to create a good strategy, you need to understand what exactly you are working on. Therefore, let us understand the basics first –

What is content strategy?

A content strategy is a documented plan that is designed to help content marketers set down their goals and guide their activities to make their business successful. This includes planning, promoting, SEO optimization, tracking, and publishing.

Content does not always have to be text-based, it can be in the form of videos, images, podcasts, and even social media posts. Planning and implementing a content strategy always pays off.

The basic idea of a strategy is to work on the content that will resonate with the audience and provide you with a return on the time and money you invest.

Now that we know what a content strategy is, let’s understand why it is important to have one-

Why is it important to have a content strategy?

Having a detailed plan laid out in front of your eyes will help you remain on track. Without one, you will not be able to get good returns because you will end up switching from one marketing tactic to another and your mind will be all over the place instead of focussing on a plan.

Here is what will happen if you have a strategy drafted-

  • You will feel less challenged at every step of marketing if you have everything chalked out from before.
  • You will find yourself more productive while putting your strategy into effect.
  • You will be able to allow yourself to spend a little over the original budget because you will have a plan of action right in front of your eyes.
  • Your team will know exactly what they are doing and why they are doing it, so you will be on the same page.
  • You will be able to test your ideas, monitor your results and work on a strategy accordingly.

How do you create a winning content strategy?

Creating a content strategy can turn out to be a little complicated. To assist you with that, here are some steps that will help you create a winning content strategy –

1.  Set down your goal

You cannot chalk out a strategy without understanding what your ultimate purpose is. Every piece of content that you create should have a goal behind it, be it gaining more leads, selling more products, or even just creating brand awareness.

Determine the Outcome

Determine the basic idea of what the outcome of your strategy is supposed to be. Outcome-driven goals will urge you to take actions towards the strategy you have laid out. Ask yourself questions like what you hope to achieve by investing in content marketing?

  •   Do you want to increase traffic?
  •   Do you want to position your company as an authority in the related industry?
  •   Do you want more people to sign your company newsletter?

Once you have it cleared out, you will be able to work on the strategy accordingly.

Set up the Framework

You can make your work much easier by adopting the SMART framework-

S – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable                       

R – Relevant

T – Time-based

1.   Specific – Write down exactly what you want to achieve, be specific for effective planning. (ex., increase conversion rates, generate more leads)

2.   Measurable – Include the information that will determine the success of your goal and how to measure it and reevaluate when necessary. (ex., if you want a 10% increase in the website traffic or you want to increase the leads generated from 100 to 150 per month.)

3.   Attainable – Avoid setting goals that are unrealistic or unattainable. Measure the success over a period of time and then address the new goals accordingly and reasonably.

4.   Relevant – Get real with yourself and set down your priorities. Establish relevant goals for your business that align with your business values and long-term objectives.

5.   Time-based – Every goal needs to have a target date that will push you to work towards it. It will keep you motivated and inspired.

2.      Identify your target audience

A target audience is the specific group of people who will want your product or service and so you will show your ads to them. The target audience can be decided based on age, gender, location, income, and interests.

In the field of marketing, it is important to understand your audience to make your content strategy effective. That will determine every content strategy of yours because it will cater to that particular group of people. Identifying your audience will help you build a better relationship with them and they will emotionally connect with you and your product. Here are some ways which will help you determine the target audience –

  • Conduct market research and keep up with the latest trends.
  • Analyse the base of your content and get client reviews.
  • Use tools to help you identify the target audience.
  • Go back and keep reviewing your content.

Aspects to understanding your target audience

  • Location – Find out where your biggest audience base is located in? This will help you tailor the content according to specific regions which in turn will get more leads and conversion rates.
  • Traffic source – Understanding where your traffic is coming from can be of big help. If they are coming from search engine result pages, through social media, email newsletters or any other source. This will help you understand where you need to focus the most.
  • Landing page – Determine which page is the page where your users are spending the most time. Try and optimize those pages further because they can help you drive more traffic.
  • Technology – Adapt your content according to various devices like a mobile phone or a tablet. Adjusting the content will help the users read freely on other devices and you won’t miss out on any users.  

3.Improve your customer experience 

How will you increase the chances of your customer buying your product? The key is to research to understand their needs, likes, dislikes, and then make them want to buy your product. The marketing funnel will help you determine your audience’s likes and dislikes. The marketing funnel is a path that your customer makes from being just a visitor to buying your product.

Create a Marketing Funnel

  • Awareness – the would-be customers see your brand through a social media post or an email newsletter.
  • Consideration – The visitor now looks at your product showing some interest because they visited your website.
  • Desire – The visitor likes your brand or connects with it, and now wants to buy your product.
  • Conversion- The consumer has now become a customer
  • Loyalty- This largely depends on the quality of your product and services. If good, then consider that the one-time buyer has now become an all-time loyal customer.

Make sure that you target your customers at all stages of the marketing funnel. You can also analyze which page the audience is spending the most time on and work on that. Once they are aware of your brand, remind them of your products and services via social media, email, etc.

4.      Create a social media presence

This is very important. If you are actively selling your products online, then you probably already have a social media presence. However, if that is not the case, you need to become active on social media platforms. When you are a part of social media, you are not speaking to a specific individual or even a group, you are speaking to everyone who is a part of the platform. This is why choosing a social media platform where you can find your target audience can be difficult with the numerous platforms out there. 

Tips to create your social media presence 

  • Gather data and analyse the customer’s behaviour when on your page or other pages that sell similar products
  • Visit competitor profiles and take inspiration about the latest trends and customer likes
  • Make use of online tools like google analytics that will help you gather data

Begin with the help of these pointers and find the right place to promote your content.

5.Create a content calendar

How will you make sure that your content is going out on schedule? Create a calendar and share it with your entire team so they know what they are working on and what the time period is. Schedule the content that you have to create from the calendar and make altercations if and when required. It will help you organize your blogs, articles, social media posts, email newsletters, etc for that week or month.

Several online tools will let you schedule your work with your team. It also helps in finishing the work faster and completing work within deadlines. And if you are ahead of time, you will have more time to analyze the results of ongoing strategies and implement them in future strategies.

Why do you need a content calendar?

  • Saves time – A social media planner lets you plan way ahead and avoid multitasking. It will help you maintain a list of ideas whenever you are feeling inspired, regardless of the time. 
  • Reduce risks – When you plan your work ahead of time, you reduce the risk of not having any content for the following days. It makes it a lot easier to recheck your work and focus on other strategies.
  • You won’t miss out any more – A social media calendar helps you keep a note of any global events, so when you plan something, you can plan accordingly by understanding which content is relevant to your audience. 

6. Plan your budget

The success of your marketing strategy hugely depends on your budget because a poor budget can turn into poor execution and a higher budget can give your great results. On average, a business or a company spends about 25-30% of its marketing budget on content marketing. To develop a proper budget, you need to know how much each type of content costs. This varies from location to the experience of the person. Several digital marketing agencies can help you in this area.

Here’s how you can allocate your budget –

  • What are the goals that you want to achieve?
  • How to distribute the content?
  • What tools do you need to use?
  • How will you analyse the success?

This will help you identify the key performance indicators and finally understand at which stage of the content strategy you need to spend more money.

7. Analyse the effectiveness of your content Strategy

Once you are through with designing an effective content marketing strategy, it is time for you to analyze the data you have gathered. Re-visit your strategy from the beginning, learn from past mistakes and make required changes in the outline. Analyzing the feedback on your content for user feedback can help you boost your website ranking.

You need to understand where your consumer is coming from, which page they are staying on the most, is social media working for your website, how many leads you are generating and how many sales you are being able to make. This will allow you to focus on the content that is working most. If the content is underperforming, you can always work on them to increase engagement.

A good piece of content can fetch you lots of customers but only when behind that piece is a great marketing strategy. There will be a lot of changes in the process of how you strategize your content but the core will always be to have a great content marketing strategy! If you find it too difficult hire content marketing services and let them make the perfect content strategy for your business Use the easy steps above to build a master content marketing strategy!

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