Research shows that over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers use content marketing extensively in their work. The main goal is to increase and grow organic traffic using the tools available. However, less than half of marketers are confident about the effectiveness of their chosen path.
In fact, content marketing requires an integrated approach and careful strategy development. Read on to learn more about seven key steps towards 100% organic traffic.
Seven Stages of Content Strategy Creation
Global changes in the economy and the way we do business have highlighted what was already known: you have to be online if you want to survive under any conditions.
The task of your company is to be where your consumer will be in any case. However, thoughtless immersion in SMM and the use of all the latest tools does not guarantee success.
Follow the recommendations of the experts for a truly brilliant result.
#1. Start with Content Audit
The starting point of your journey into the world of content marketing strategy building is to rigorously audit your performance. You need to find out what works for your company and what doesn’t. Include the following items in your checklist:
- Top content;
- Worst content;
- Posting frequency;
- Keywords, etc.
The better and more detailed you analyze your current performance, the easier it will be for you to develop an effective content strategy.
Also, such an audit allows you to assess the quality of the released content, the degree of involvement, and the interest of your customers, see the feedback and performance. All of these factors affect the formation of organic traffic, increasing brand loyalty, and getting a competitive advantage.
#2. Set Your Key Goals
It may seem that this is still a preparatory step in strategic planning, while it is one of the most significant.
Understandably, your content marketing needs a goal, otherwise, you won’t get the return on investment (ROI) you need. However, the choice of the goal must be deliberate and thoughtful. Use the SMART technique to highlight the main thing and form the key goal and sub-goals of content marketing.
As a rule, the objectives include increasing brand loyalty and brand awareness, lead generation, increasing traffic or customer conversion, increasing sales. All of this can be achieved with the right content strategy.
The more specific your goal is, the more accurate your further actions will be: the chosen promotion methods, content delivery, and its form, etc. Do not ignore this step and take it as seriously as possible.
#3. Get to Know Your Target Audience
Get acquainted with your target audience so you know for sure who you are talking to. Conduct solid audience research to build your ideal customer profile.
Who are you preparing your content for? What communication style does your audience prefer? Which is more preferable: long-read or media content (like infographics)? Which channels are most convenient for your audience? What is the optimal release frequency?
This is just a small list of questions, the answers to which will help you shape your customer profile. To get information, you can analyze your own customer base, or you can cast a wider net and analyze an entire segment of the consumer market.
#4. Highlight the Types of Content
It is a mistake to consider only written text as content. Today it is a much broader concept that includes a variety of media and entertainment content. Even the most interesting article should be supplemented with illustrations that are relevant to the topic or contain statistical data.
Note that a video, infographic, podcast, or presentation can generate higher conversions than a written article. Therefore, the form of presenting information is as important as its content.
Choose the types of content that best fit your audience and needs. Also, consider the channels you use to promote. The ideal would be to use a balanced mix of multiple content formats.
Give yourself some time to experiment if you are not completely sure about the choice of content, but be sure to analyze each release – this way you will achieve the desired result faster.
#5. Build Content Calendar for The Whole Year
One of the tips for a successful content strategy is hidden in consistency. Do not be afraid to build a plan for a long period, think of it as a flexible tool for your content marketing that will help all responsible and interested parties to monitor the situation.
The annual calendar should not contain information on the topic of the article or infographics, as a rule, it indicates the frequency of publications, responsible persons, content readiness status and its form, promotion channels.
Using such a table, you can easily understand the degree of readiness of the material, the need to increase or decrease the deadline, etc. By the way, you can design your calendar using basic tools, for example, Google Sheets and Calendar, or use third-party programs, applications, or plugins.
Here is a list of editorial calendar tools compiled by Content Mavericks to help you decide which one works best for your team.
The annual content calendar will also help increase the productivity and efficiency of the team or its members, and will positively affect the success of the entire strategy.
#6. Pick the Right Content Promotion Strategy
Most experts suggest spending as much on promoting content as on creating it. In fact, promotion should take about 80% of your time, while creation should take 20%.
By following this rule, you can reach your audience and achieve your goals faster and more efficiently.
When planning your promotion, keep the profile of your perfect customer in mind, this will help you choose the channels that are best for you.
Here are some popular promotion channels:
- Advertising – pay for an additional display of your special offer or interesting material on social media or search pages;
- Forums – it may seem that this method is already outdated, however, this is one of the reliable ways to natively promote your services and products;
- Email Newsletter – is still a negotiable method of content delivery and promotion, but if you have consent from the customer, use it;
- Search Engines – content optimization for key queries can give high conversion rates for your blog or website;
- Social Media – is the easiest and fastest way to reach your target audience;
- Guest Posting – using large platforms, you can increase your audience reach.
Each of the above platforms has its own characteristics and use, as well as advantages and disadvantages. You shouldn’t concentrate on one thing. The same rule applies here as with content types – balancing and mixing will be more productive.
#7. Always Measure Your Results
Once you’ve set goals for content marketing, develop metrics to measure your performance as well. Why is there no universal measuring tool? Because the criteria for success directly depend on the set goal and are determined individually for each specific situation.
What do you mean by ‘brand awareness’? What criteria do you measure this? Here’s a quick key to creating metrics to track performance.
Conduct analysis throughout your content marketing campaign, don’t leave it for an end period. Intermediate results will help you to adjust, improve or change the strategy, strengthen some of its elements, or abandon unsuccessful ideas.
It will also help to learn the necessary lessons for future campaigns, especially if you are experimenting.
Although the outlined step-by-step algorithm seems so strict, you are free in your actions and should remain flexible and open during planning. In any plan, there is always room for experiments, new techniques, and methods. But be sure to maintain consistency in your content creation, monitor results, keep your finger on the pulse, and stay relevant to your audience.
Please share with us your opinion or ideas on the content marketing strategy for 2021. What have you already managed to implement and what will be new this year?
About the Author!
Kyle McDermott is a web developer, blogger, blockchain enthusiast, and business analyst. He loves to write about new technologies, business news, and sports events. Kyle is also a proofreader at Computools. Follow him on Twitter.