Content roadmaps are essential to your content marketing strategy. Discover how to make a successful content roadmap to maximize your productivity here!
If you’re in the digital space, you’re probably already aware that content is king.
However, excellent content that resonates with your target audience doesn’t just come out of thin air. There is no one formula for coming up with content that is engaging, relevant, and high-quality. Instead, you have to build the right strategy to help you accomplish your business goals.
This is where a content roadmap comes in.
A content roadmap can help you come up with a content strategy that works. It will help you plan and execute content that resonates with your target audiences, as well as help you achieve any business goals you set. With a strategy in place, you can ensure you are optimizing all your resources.
In this article, you will learn how to create a successful content roadmap for maximum productivity.
Considerations: Rule of Thirds & The 3 E’s of Content Types
While there is no one way to develop quality content, you should consider a few things before building your content roadmap. Your roadmap can help you devise a working content strategy and create quality content that will go the distance. This is where the Rule of Thirds and the 3 Es of content types come in.
The Rule of Thirds
This rule is known as the golden rule when it comes to the composition of visuals. Think of a square image split into nine equal parts, with various elements of the visual appearing in key points like the image’s intersections. This makes the visual more eye-catching, appealing, and engaging. It also gives more depth to the subject, compared to simply putting it in the middle. By creating content with respect to the Rule of Thirds, you can create more engaging and higher-quality content that will resonate with your audiences.
The 3 Es of Content Types
For a successful content strategy, you must incorporate three types of content into your content roadmap: engagement, evergreen, and events.
Engagement content is content that is geared towards engaging with your target audiences. You can use this to ask them questions and create discussions, which would help boost engagement to your site.
Evergreen content is content that drives traffic to your page at any time of the year and is relevant for all seasons. It serves as the foundation of all your content because it is what your audience is most likely to revisit. Of course, not all articles or pieces of content you develop will have an evergreen quality. However, having a content roadmap will make it easier for you to generate content that could potentially be evergreen for your brand.
Last, but not least, is events. Content centered on events will bring in bursts of traffic to your site because they become highly relevant for a brief period of time. If you stage events for your brand or highlight any relevant events connected to your brand, people are likely to want to know more about it.
1. Establish Your Content Goals
Establishing clear content goals first is crucial to ensuring that all your efforts and resources are going to the right place.
What is your end goal? If you don’t know your destination, then how will you know the direction to head in?
When setting goals, you must ensure they are measurable, updated, and focused. What timeline is needed to achieve your goals? Estimate and analyze your goals with specific numbers, and compare them to current data for an accurate assessment.
Additionally, blog content typically aims to achieve a combination of one of these three goals: brand awareness, search engine optimization, and lead generation or conversions.
Here are how each of these goals can help your business.
Getting more people interested in your brand and helping them learn more about it boils down to brand awareness. Brand awareness is a cornerstone of every marketing strategy, and it informs the majority of your content strategy. You need to make sure that you are reaching the right people, and you can do this by researching your target audience.
Brand awareness helps you communicate and connect with your customers. It is not enough for them to just know your name. They need to know the qualities that set you apart from your competitors and make you stand out. Content marketing is excellent for boosting brand awareness because it helps you distribute your content to different platforms. Brand awareness also helps your target audiences become more familiar with your goals, values, and brand voice.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization, or SEO, helps you stand out in the digital space. Currently, the digital space is filled with content from brands across every industry you can imagine. Naturally, it can be challenging for any one brand to have an edge on their competition through digital presence alone. Adopting a search engine optimization strategy can help your website and content rank higher on the search engines, allowing more people to find you.
Lead Generation and Conversions
When you generate leads, you have a better chance of generating sales. By securing quality leads, you are more likely to encourage them to convert and actually purchase your product or service. Lead generation is important because it allows you to develop a content strategy that helps your customers through the buyer’s journey, pushing them further down the sales funnel.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
Who are you trying to reach? Knowing your target audience is just as important as knowing the goals for your content roadmap. This is because you need to tailor your content to fit your target audience's wants and needs. You can use all the content you want, but if it doesn't resonate with your target audience, then you are likely wasting precious time and resources.
To identify your target audience, you first need to do some research. Look for what makes them tick, and make sure to identify their pain points. You can do this by analyzing the demographics and psychographics of your target customers. This can help you present your product or service as a solution to your customer's problems. After you gather enough information on your ideal customer, you should then create a buyer persona.
A buyer persona entails creating a fictional character that possesses all the traits and qualities of your target customer. For example, you own a company that sells fast-drying mops at an affordable price, and you are targeting middle-class mothers. After researching and gathering enough information, you create a customer persona named Carol.
The more detailed your customer persona is, the better. You can have a deeper, more holistic understanding of who you are targeting. Here is an example of a customer persona: Carol is a 37-year-old mom who lives in the suburbs with her two kids, and she works in the retail industry. She enjoys cleaning, and she is looking for a tool that can help her despite her busy schedule.
3. Research Your Competitors
To get ahead of the game, you need to know what your competitors are doing. You need to know the strategies that are working well for them. You also need to know what is not working, so you can avoid it. By doing research on your competitors, you can gauge how you can enter the market and use your findings to inform your own content roadmap. You can also find untapped opportunities, which you can use to your business’s advantage.
The main goals of doing a competitor analysis are to discover your strongest competitors, anticipate your competitors and the market’s next moves, and inform your content strategy. Typically this entails researching for the most effective content types, analyzing keywords that work, and securing customer feedback.
4. Map Keywords to Headline Development
Your content team needs to brainstorm on topics and themes you can use in your content strategy. Oftentimes, content teams opt to develop topic clusters, which allow them to churn out multiple pieces of content. Using the right keywords is essential to your overall SEO strategy as they can help your content rank higher on the search engine result pages. With the right keywords, you can make it much easier for your target audience to find you in the digital space.
Here, keyword mapping and developing content clusters are essential. Keyword mapping is when you use keywords relevant to your niche across your site. By doing keyword research, you can find the exact keywords that drive traffic to your content and place them strategically on your site to boost your SEO efforts. With keyword mapping, you can, quite literally, make a map of all the keywords that you use throughout all your pages.
Content clustering, on the other hand, works hand-in-hand with your keyword mapping strategy in boosting SEO efforts. Through a content cluster, you can boost your authority in your niche. You can put together similar content to make it easier for your audiences to find, and you can use this to enhance your website architecture.
5. Create a Content Calendar
In creating a successful content roadmap, you need to create a content calendar.
Posting content, as established, is a science. You cannot simply post whenever you feel like it, and you cannot act on a whim. By doing so, you could potentially lose out on ways to engage with your audience, and you could waste your resources if you do not have a content calendar.
Content calendars help your content team stay organized, and they help provide structure to your content roadmap. Typically, content calendars contain the posting schedule, as well as the type of content to be posted and the platform for posting. This makes it easier for your team to collaborate with external teams, too, as they could easily show the content calendar to give an overview of the content strategy.
6. Content Briefs
Another essential element of your content marketing strategy is content briefs.
Written content is one of the most effective ways to communicate with your target audiences, and it is one of the best ways to market your brand. That is why content teams prioritize writing blog posts to keep their audiences engaged.
However, marketers and content teams alike know the struggle of encountering a less-than-stellar first draft that does not quite hit the mark of what they want to achieve. Sometimes, there are even cases of writers creating articles with perfect grammar and form, but they do not capture what the client wants them to convey. This could be a waste of time and resources, and it could hinder the flow of your content strategy. That is why developing content briefs is essential.
A content brief serves as a guide for how a written piece should go. It contains the focus of your content, your target audience, the goal of the article, voice, point of view, and a brief outline of the article's direction. It can also be incredibly detailed to ensure that no points are left uncovered.
Here is an overview of what information to include in a content brief:
- Working title/potential headline
- Word count target- How many words are needed to cover the article topic comprehensively?
- Main topic of the article- What is the main theme or angle of the article?
- SEO elements- Primary keyword and secondary keywords
- Target audience- Who are you trying to reach? Who is the written content for?
- Article goal- What do you want readers to gain from reading the article?
- Call to action prompt- What do you want readers to do next? What products or services do you want to focus on?
- Resources- Reputable sources of information and data to build context around the main topic and subtopics.
- Outline- Subtopics to cover and potential subheadings
7. Keep Up-To-Date With Industry Trends
One of the ways your content team can create content that is relevant, high-quality, and timely is by keeping tabs on current trends and events. The market is ever-changing, and it requires effort on the part of your content team to keep studying and analyzing it. By being on the lookout for any shifts in the trends, your marketing team will know which waves to ride and how to capitalize on whatever is in.
8. Perform Regular Content Audits
In the fast-paced world of content marketing, content audits are a must to know what actually works for your brand. When you do a content audit, you are essentially analyzing the performance of your content and examining if they are effective in helping you achieve your brand goals. By doing this, you will know how to improve your content and develop pieces that actually resonate with your audiences.
You can examine the performance of your content by studying the insights. Insights give you data on how your posts are performing online, and you can use this information to identify any gaps and optimize your content strategy.
9. Use The Right Content Planning Tools
In today’s digital age, it is not difficult to come by tools for content planning. The tricky part is determining the right tools for your team. You need to do some research to find the content planning tools that fit right into your content roadmap and consider your budget, time, and learning capacity.
For example, if you need a tool to help you keep tabs on and optimize your SEO efforts, Ahrefs may be the one you are looking for. It helps you have a deeper, more holistic understanding of your SEO strategy and see where you can improve. Platforms like Canva, on the other hand, are best for helping you create visual content. You no longer need to be an expert at graphic design because Canva’s drag and drop features make it easy for anyone to create quality visuals.
These two are just examples of content planning tools that work for many content teams. There are different areas of content strategy to consider, and it is highly recommended to use content planning tools for each one to speed up and optimize your workflow.
Partner with WriteForMe To Customize Your Content Roadmap
Content roadmaps help you achieve maximum productivity, and they help you produce quality content for your brand. However, it can be quite daunting to do this, especially for smaller content teams. That is why WriteForMe is a go-to for many brands wanting to boost their content marketing strategy.
WriteForMe is an all-in-one content team that helps you develop a content strategy that works. With WriteForMe, you can produce quality content tailored to your specific digital content marketing goals.
Contact WriteForMe today to get a FREE customized playbook to help you develop a successful content roadmap.