Airplane Content Strategy

How To Develop Your Content Strategy

Content marketing is a great way to foster long-term growth for your business. However, you may not know exactly how to get started or develop your content strategy. In fact, less than 50% of B2B content marketers have a formal process in place when it comes to developing their content strategy. A strong content strategy is like gold since it attracts your target audience throughout the sales funnel and keeps them engaged even after they convert. Here are a handful of tips on how you can develop a powerful content strategy for your business.

Establish Your Business Goals Before You Develop Your Content Strategy

Content Strategy Business Goals

A BoardView study states that more than 80% of small business owners fail to keep track of their business goals. For businesses that actually record their goals, 40% fail to check to see if they achieve their goals. Lastly, 46% of businesses review or tweak their goals over the course of the year.

So, what do you need to do in order to be successful when creating your goals?

You should ask yourself the following questions before you start developing your content strategy:

  • What do you want from your content marketing plan?
  • What type of content do you want or need to create?
  • How can you improve your current content?

Here are a few goals to consider when developing your content strategy:

  • Improve SEO rankings
  • Generate thought leadership and expand influence
  • Generate more leads and improve conversion rate
  • Increase inbound traffic and improve brand recognition

If you want to drive more inbound traffic and improve your brand awareness via content marketing, then you should create a pile of keyword-targeted content to drive SEO traffic.

On the flip side, if your goal is to establish your status as a thought leader, then you should focus on creating original content or research-based articles.

Understand Your Target Audience Before You Develop Your Content Strategy

Content Strategy Target Audience

Effective content marketing is typically tailored to attract your ideal customer. That being said, it’s critical that you understand your audience and their interests so you can develop a powerful content strategy.

So, how do you create an effective customer persona?

  1. Identify the challenges and pain points that your target audience experiences
  2. Identify and understand their values
  3. Find your target audience’s information (age range, preferred social platform, etc.)
  4. Find your potential customer’s demographic (location, service area, etc.)
  5. List out their reasons to purchase

You can visit forums and social media sites to see what questions people are asking within your niche. You should also check out your competitors’ blogs to see what kind of content they’re publishing.

If you already have a sturdy customer base, you can also collect data via surveys or interviews to learn more about the problems they face on a regular basis.

Additionally, you can list all of the reasons why your potential customer may need or want to buy from you. This will help you better understand who they are and what their needs might be, which, in turn, will likely allow for more relevant marketing efforts going forward.

While everything we just mentioned is important, you will perform better if you decide which goal is most important. This is why it is essential that you clearly define your goals. Doing so will guide your efforts and help you produce the best possible content marketing.

For instance, if you want to drive more traffic and improve your brand awareness via content, then you should create an abundance of keyword-targeted content designed to drive SEO traffic. On the other hand, if your goal is to establish your status as a thought leader, then you should conduct first-hand research and publish research-based content.

Research and Plan Your Content Before You Develop Your Content Strategy 

Research and Develop Your Content Strategy

Consistency is the name of the game when it comes to blogging. Your inbound traffic will most likely take a dip if you slow your blogging frequency. Here are a few ways that will help you keep a steady stream of content so that you never run out of great ideas:

Content Curation

Content curation is an awesome content creation strategy that you can apply to just about any niche.

All you need to do is follow your competitors and key voices in your industry to keep up with what’s happening in your industry. You can bookmark sites, follow social media, and keep tabs on content-sharing sites to keep up with the movers and shakers in your industry.

Another way you can then add value when you curate content is by adding your two cents. You can also earn your salt by providing your audience with the latest trends before other sources share the same information.

Keyword Research

Content Strategy Keyword Research

If crushing SEO is a primary goal, then keyword research is a great place to start when you’re on the hunt for content ideas. This entails finding high search volume keyword phrases that your target audience might search for via Google. YOu can also do a quick search to see what other content comes up and then create a better version of the content that is currently ranking.

Analyze Competitors

Analyzing your competition is another great way to generate content ideas. All you need to do is follow their blogs and produce your own version of what seems to perform well.

You can also look for content gaps by identifying topics that your competition hasn’t written about yet. Comments and questions on their blogs can also indicate prime opportunities to create content that your target audience might find useful.

Creating the Content

Content Strategy Creation

Images & Media

Do you plan to include images and other media in your content? If you do incorporate media, will you require a graphic designer to create said content?

Research shows that articles with images get 94% more views than their image-free counterparts. While images garner more views, they also take time and resources to create. More importantly, it takes valuable time to create images if you decide to pursue that route.

In an ideal world, you’ll only add images to your content when they add value or help to convey what you’re discussing in your article.

Keep Content-Length in Mind as You Develop Your Content Strategy

Content Strategy Content Length

The average word count for top-ranking content typically exceeds 2,000 words. This leads one to wonder the following: is long-form content more effective?

It depends.

Longer content can be appropriate for something like an SEO guide where you need to provide your audience with in-depth information. However, short-form content is far more effective for simpler things like recipes and quick-hitting news updates.

Most readers are more likely to engage with short content. Furthermore, it’s also easier to create short-form content in bulk.

When it comes to deciding on content length, you should take note of the length of competing content. You also need to take into account your high-level goals. If you want to compete for the first listing on Google, then you need to create content of similar length or longer. However, length doesn’t guarantee success. Sometimes short articles can prove fruitful if you want to create a stockpile of content.

Publishing Schedule

Content Strategy Publishing Schedule

Effective content strategies are typically consistent with content creation, so it is wise to decide how often you plan to publish. You will likely find that some days are better than others based on demographics and your niche. That being said, you will want to research what day(s) and time(s) work best for your business.

You’ll also want to find the sweet spot in terms of quality and quantity. It’s vital that you publish high-quality content that provides value to your audience. However, you also need to publish enough content so that your audience doesn’t forget about you. That being said, the frequency at which you publish is 100% up to you.

When all is said and done, you need to determine the frequency at which you will publish and develop a content calendar. Doing so will help you stay consistent, which is clutch if you want to achieve your goals.

Optimize Your Content

Content Strategy Optimize Content

Before you even think about clicking the publish button, make sure you optimize your content.

Even if SEO isn’t a primary objective, you can improve the chances of your content ranking by conducting keyword research and including said keywords in your article.

If you have conversion goals (e.g. email opt-ins or generating sales), then you’ll want to optimize your content for conversions as well. Make sure to include a call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your article and scatter a few throughout your article too. You may even want to consider using highlighting or images to draw attention to your CTAs.

Promote Your Content to Further Develop Your Content Strategy

Content Strategy Promote Content

Google Ads are a Quick Way to Further Develop Your Content Strategy

Paid ads can prove to be a fast way to get your content in front of your ideal audience and grow your email list or following.

Facebook ads allow you to target cold traffic based on their interests. On the other hand, you have Google ads that rely on the content that users enter. You can also use retargeting to show ads to people who have already visited your website. However, it is worth noting that retargeting will become a thing of the past once Google does away with cookies.

Social Media and Communities

Once you create content, make sure you share it via social media and in communities that allow such sharing. This method of sharing is more effective if you spend time in these channels engaging with other users and sharing their content.

Email Marketing

Email marketing is another effective means through which you can promote your content. It’s wise to have at least one email opt-in form on your website so that visitors can sign up for notifications when you release new content.

Other Channels

There are other avenues you can consider for content promotion, such as guest posting, email outreach, and various public relations tactics.

Keep your eyes open for other channels to promote your content. You will likely want to experiment with promoting content on different channels and add new channels into you content promotion mix as you progress.

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