Interested in learning how to develop a content marketing strategy? You’ve come to the right place!
A content strategy is a critical component of any successful marketing plan. It helps you define your target audience, understand their needs and challenges, and develop the right content to address those challenges.
In this post, we’ll delve into the key components of a content strategy, providing examples and tips to help you create an effective one for your business.
What is a Content Strategy?
Before diving into the key components of a content strategy, it’s important to define what it is. According to the Content Marketing Institute, a content strategy is “the planning, development, and management of content—written or in other media.” It involves identifying your target audience, defining the types of content you will create, and determining the channels through which you will distribute that content.
Who Will Be Reading Your Content?
The first step in creating a content strategy is to identify your target audience. This includes understanding their demographics, interests, and pain points. By knowing who your audience is, you can create content that speaks directly to their needs and interests.
What Problem Will You Be Solving for Your Audience(s)?
Once you know who your target audience is, the next step is to identify the problems they face. This can involve conducting research, analyzing data, or simply talking to your customers. By understanding their pain points, you can create content that addresses those challenges and provides solutions.
What Makes You Unique?
In a crowded marketplace, it’s important to stand out from the competition. This involves understanding your unique value proposition and incorporating that into your content strategy. By highlighting what sets you apart, you can attract and retain customers.
What Content Formats Will You Focus On?
Content comes in many different forms, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and more. As part of your content strategy, you will need to determine which formats you will focus on. This will depend on your target audience and their preferences, as well as the resources you have available.
What Channels Will You Publish On?
In addition to content formats, you will also need to determine the channels through which you will distribute your content. This can include your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, and more.
How Will You Manage Content Creation and Publication?
Creating and publishing content requires a significant amount of time and resources. As part of your content strategy, you will need to determine how you will manage this process. This can involve creating an editorial calendar, developing a content creation team, and establishing workflows and processes.
Why Create a Content Marketing Strategy?
Now that we’ve covered the key components of a content strategy, let’s explore why it’s important to have one. Here are a few key reasons:
Helps you stay focused
By having a clear plan in place, you can stay focused on your goals and avoid getting sidetracked by irrelevant tasks.
A content strategy can help you streamline your content creation and distribution process, making it more efficient and cost-effective.
By creating content that speaks directly to your target audience, you can increase engagement, build brand loyalty, and drive more conversions.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy Framework
Creating a content marketing strategy framework can be a daunting task. However, it’s essential for businesses that want to achieve their marketing goals.
Here’s a step-by-step process to help you create a successful content marketing strategy framework:
1. Define your goal
Start by defining your content marketing goals. What do you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts? Do you want to increase website traffic, generate more leads, or improve customer engagement? Your goals will guide the rest of your strategy.
2. Conduct persona research
Once you know your goals, it’s time to conduct persona research. This involves creating detailed profiles of your target audience, including their demographics, interests, pain points, and online behavior. Use this information to create content that resonates with your audience.
3. Run a content audit.
A content audit involves evaluating your existing content to identify gaps and opportunities. Determine which types of content are performing well and which ones need improvement. This information will help you create a more effective content plan.
4. Choose a content management system.
A content management system (CMS) is software that helps you create, manage, and publish content on your website. Choose a CMS that suits your needs, whether it’s WordPress, Drupal, or another platform.
5. Determine which type of content you want to create.
There are many types of content you can create, including blog posts, videos, infographics, and podcasts. Choose the types that suit your goals and resonate with your target audience.
6. Brainstorm content ideas.
Use tools like Feedly, BuzzSumo, BlogAbout, Moz, and Answer The Public to generate content ideas. Brainstorm topics that are relevant to your audience and aligned with your goals.
Feedly is a content aggregation tool that allows users to curate and organize content from multiple sources into one place. It’s a popular tool used by content marketers to stay up-to-date with industry trends, research topics, and generate content ideas.
Here’s how you can use Feedly for content marketing:
- Set up a Feedly account: Create a free account on Feedly and log in to the dashboard.
- Add sources: Add relevant sources such as blogs, news websites, and social media accounts related to your industry. You can search for sources or add them manually.
- Organize content: Categorize your sources into relevant topics such as “social media marketing,” “content creation,” or “SEO.” This makes it easier to navigate and find content.
- Scan for content: Use Feedly to scan headlines and previews of new content from your sources. This can help you stay up-to-date with the latest industry news and trends.
- Generate content ideas: Use Feedly to generate content ideas by identifying popular topics and themes. You can also use the “Saved for Later” feature to bookmark content that inspires you.
- Share content: Share relevant content with your audience on social media or in your email newsletter. This can help establish you as a thought leader and drive traffic to your website.
BuzzSumo is a content marketing tool that allows users to search for popular content based on keywords or topics. It provides insights into content performance, social media shares, and influencer information.
Here’s how you can use BuzzSumo for content marketing:
- Search for popular content: Use BuzzSumo to search for popular content related to your industry or topic. This can help you identify the types of content that are resonating with your target audience.
- Analyze content performance: Use BuzzSumo to analyze the performance of your own content or your competitors’ content. You can see how many social media shares, backlinks, and engagements each piece of content has received.
- Identify influencers: BuzzSumo allows you to identify influencers in your industry who are sharing and engaging with content related to your topic. This can help you reach a wider audience and increase your brand’s visibility.
- Generate content ideas: Use BuzzSumo to generate content ideas by identifying popular topics and themes. You can also use the “Content Alerts” feature to receive notifications when new content related to your topic is published.
- Monitor brand mentions: Use BuzzSumo to monitor brand mentions and track your brand’s reputation online. You can see who is mentioning your brand and what they are saying.
BlogAbout is a content idea generator tool that helps content creators come up with new and interesting topics to write about. It provides prompts and suggestions based on keywords and topics.
Here’s how you can use BlogAbout for content marketing:
- Enter a topic: Enter a broad topic or keyword related to your industry or niche into BlogAbout.
- Get content ideas: BlogAbout will generate a list of content ideas based on your topic. You can browse through the list and choose ideas that are relevant to your audience.
- Customize your ideas: BlogAbout allows you to customize your ideas by adjusting the tone, style, and format. This can help you create content that aligns with your brand’s voice and style.
- Plan your content: Use the content ideas generated by BlogAbout to plan your content calendar. This can help you ensure that you have a steady stream of content to publish on your website or social media channels.
- Expand your topics: Use BlogAbout to expand your topics beyond your core niche. You can enter broader topics related to your industry to explore new areas and find new content ideas.
Moz is a suite of SEO (search engine optimization) tools that help marketers improve their website’s search engine rankings. It includes features like keyword research, site audits, link building, and content analysis.
Here’s how you can use Moz for content marketing:
- Conduct keyword research: Use Moz’s keyword research tool to identify high-traffic keywords related to your industry or niche. This can help you optimize your content for search engines and drive more organic traffic to your website.
- Analyze content performance: Use Moz’s content analysis tool to analyze the performance of your content. You can see how well your content is ranking on search engines, how many backlinks it has, and how it compares to your competitors’ content.
- Optimize your content: Use Moz’s optimization tools to optimize your content for search engines. This can include optimizing your meta tags, URLs, and images, as well as ensuring that your content is high-quality and relevant to your target audience.
- Build backlinks: Use Moz’s link-building tools to identify high-quality websites that you can link to and that can link back to your website. This can help improve your website’s domain authority and search engine rankings.
- Monitor your website’s performance: Use Moz’s site audit tool to monitor your website’s performance and identify areas for improvement. This can help you optimize your website for search engines and ensure that your content is performing well.
5. Answer The Public
Answer The Public is a keyword research tool that helps content creators find questions that people are searching for on search engines related to a specific topic. It provides a visual representation of the questions and phrases related to a keyword.
Here’s how you can use Answer The Public for content marketing:
- Enter a keyword: Enter a keyword related to your industry or niche into Answer The Public.
- Get question and phrase ideas: Answer The Public will generate a list of questions and phrases related to your keyword. You can browse through the list and choose ideas that are relevant to your audience.
- Customize your ideas: Answer The Public allows you to customize your ideas by adjusting the location and language settings. This can help you target your audience more accurately.
- Plan your content: Use the questions and phrases generated by Answer The Public to plan your content calendar. This can help you ensure that you are creating content that answers your audience’s questions and provides value.
- Expand your topics: Use Answer The Public to expand your topics beyond your core niche. You can enter broader topics related to your industry to explore new areas and find new content ideas.
7. Publish and manage your content.
After creating your content, it’s time to publish and manage it. This involves choosing the right channels to distribute your content and setting up a content calendar to ensure you publish regularly. You also need to monitor the performance of your content and make adjustments where necessary.
One useful tool for managing your content is an editorial calendar. This is a schedule that outlines what content you will publish and when. It helps you stay organized, ensures you are publishing consistently, and allows you to plan ahead.
There are many editorial calendar templates available online, including Hubspot’s free editorial calendar template. This template provides a framework for planning your content and includes fields for topics, due dates, and distribution channels.
Content Strategy Template
Developing a content strategy can be a complex process, but having a template to guide you can be helpful. Free content strategy templates are available online.
Here’s what a content strategy template should include:
Section for identifying your target audience
Define your target audience based on demographics, interests, behaviors, pain points, and other relevant factors.
Section for setting goals
Define the goals of your content strategy, such as increasing website traffic, generating leads, improving brand awareness, or driving sales.
Section for conducting research
Conduct research to identify topics, formats, and channels that resonate with your target audience. Equally essential is to analyze your competitors’ content strategies to identify gaps and opportunities.
Section for creating a content calendar
Develop a content plan that outlines the types of content you will create, the topics you will cover, and the channels you will use to distribute it. Then, create a content calendar that includes dates, deadlines, and responsible parties for each piece of content. From there, you’ll define the key messages and tone of voice that will guide your content creation.
Section outlining implementation
Assign roles and responsibilities for content creation, editing, and distribution. From there, you’ll develop processes for content creation, review, and approval.
Identify the tools and resources needed to support your content strategy, such as content management systems, social media platforms, and analytics tools. This will set your strategy up for success.
Measurement and optimization
Define the metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your content strategy, such as website traffic, engagement, and conversions. Once you have these defined, you’ll be able to monitor and analyze your content’s performance. You’ll then use this data to optimize your content strategy over time, continuously testing and refining your approach to achieve better results.
Types of Content Marketing
Blogging is one of the most popular types of content marketing. It allows you to showcase your expertise and establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
Ebooks are longer-form content pieces that provide in-depth information on a particular topic. They can be used to generate leads or provide value to your existing audience.
Case studies are stories that demonstrate how your product or service has helped a customer achieve their goals. They can be used to build trust with potential customers and provide social proof.
Templates provide a framework for your audience to create something specific. For example, a template for a social media post or an email newsletter.
Infographics are visual representations of information that are easy to digest and share. They can be used to explain complex topics or present data in a visually appealing way.
Video content is becoming increasingly popular in content marketing. It can be used to tell stories, demonstrate products, or provide educational content.
Podcasts are a popular way to deliver content to an audience that prefers audio content. They can be used to interview industry experts, tell stories, or provide educational content.
Social media can be used to distribute all of the above types of content. Each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, so it’s important to tailor your content to each platform.
Content Marketing Strategy FAQ
Do I really need to create a content marketing strategy?
Yes! A content marketing strategy helps you stay focused on your goals, ensures you are creating content that resonates with your audience, and provides a framework for measuring success.
What should my content marketing strategy include?
Your content marketing strategy should include information about your target audience, goals, content formats, distribution channels, and content calendar.
Do I need to share our content marketing strategy with other teams/departments in my company?
Yes! Your content marketing strategy should be shared with other teams and departments in your company to ensure everyone is aligned on goals and messaging.
How often should I update my content marketing strategy?
Your content marketing strategy should be updated regularly, based on changes in your business goals, audience needs, or industry trends.
How do I create a content marketing strategy?
The process for creating a content marketing strategy typically involves identifying your target audience, setting goals, conducting research, choosing content formats, selecting distribution channels, creating a content calendar, and monitoring performance.
What are the 5 steps on developing content strategy?
The 5 steps to developing a content strategy include defining goals and objectives, identifying your target audience, conducting a content audit, creating a content plan, and measuring and optimizing.