How to create a content marketing strategy for 2020?
Content marketing is one of the most effective ways of building brand reputation, credibility, and authority. When executed correctly, a content marketing strategy even helps you generate qualified leads and convert them into paying customers. It’s cost-effective and delivers long-term benefits such as customer retention and loyalty.
Unless you’re living under a rock, you likely already know about the impeccable benefits of developing a digital content marketing strategy. However, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has further emphasized the importance of content marketing. Here’s why this is the right time to invest in content marketing.
Why Content Marketing?
As social distancing and self-isolation become the new normal, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to stay connected with their audience. In such a scenario, overly promotional campaigns will do more harm than good. Instead, you should focus on building a strong rapport with your audience by providing them with useful and valuable content.
A rock-solid content marketing strategy keeps your brand alive in the memory of your existing and potential customers. This, in turn, will help your business gain momentum and quickly bounce back once regular operations resume. It’s particularly crucial when your business may have been forced to shut down for an indefinite period.
However, it’s worth mentioning that content marketing isn’t just about publishing random content on various platforms If you want to reap its benefits, you must outline a consolidated strategy. Before we discuss the steps to create a content marketing strategy, let’s first delve deeper into the concept.
What is a Content Strategy?
Simply put, a content strategy outlines the type of content you’ll publish and the channels you’ll use to promote it. It involves a series of steps, ranging from identifying your goals and target audience to tracking and measuring the ROI of your content.
Image via 2040 Digital
It’s now time for us to outline a step-by-step guide for developing a robust digital content marketing strategy from scratch.
Step to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing isn’t just about creating and promoting attractive infographics, high-quality blog posts, engaging videos, etc. If you want your content strategy to yield the desired results, it’s crucial to outline a plan. Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Perform a Content Audit
Even before you start building your content strategy, you’ve likely already published some kind of content. This could include blogs, social media posts, newsletters, podcasts, etc. The first step is to analyze your existing content and measure its performance.
You can use social media analytics as well as tools like Google Analytics, Moz, etc. for this purpose. The key is to identify top-performing content and determine whether it’s still relevant for your audience. Additionally, you can spot gaps in your strategy and devise new ways to resolve them.
At WriteForMe, we will provide you with a FREE Content Marketing Playbook to help you jumpstart your content marketing efforts.
2. Set Objectives and KPIs
Do you want your content to drive more organic traffic to your website? Or do you want to grow your email list by converting website visitors into subscribers? Or maybe you just want to expand your reach and gain more social media followers? Your answers to these questions determine the type of content you create and the channels you use to promote it.
You can use the SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound) approach to identify short-term and long-term goals. Next, assign key performance indicators (KPIs) to each goal. KPIs are measurable metrics that let you determine whether you’ve reached a particular goal.
3. Understand Your Audience
Developing a deep understanding of your target audience forms the core of your content marketing strategy. It involves identifying various demographics such as the age group, gender, location, academic background, profession, etc. of your target audience. Additionally, you should have a clear idea of their aspirations, pain points, preferences, etc. It’s recommended that you create distinct buyer personas for different stages of the sales funnel.
4. Perform Keyword Research
Your content marketing strategy is only as good as the keywords you target. The right keywords help your blog posts rank higher in relevant search engine results. They also come in handy when you’re brainstorming content ideas. Moreover, you can leverage them to make effective use of hashtags on social media.
You can use various Google Search Console and various keyword research tools to identify the most popular and relevant keywords in your niche. Next, validate these keywords and determine whether it’s worth focusing on them.
Image via Google Search Console
5. Outline a Content Calendar
The quality of your content is as important as the frequency at which you publish it. Firstly, you should identify the type of content that will find maximum traction among your target audience. Next, create a list of topics that will address their pain points, educate them, or resolve their queries. Lastly, create a publishing schedule and delegate various responsibilities among different members of your content team.
6. Create a Distribution Strategy
Now that you’ve published an awesome piece of content, don’t just wait for your audience to discover it. Outline a rock-solid distribution strategy that leverages all the channels your target audience likely frequents. Some of the most commonly used channels include social media, search engines, email, streaming platforms. You can even repurpose a piece of content and share it in various forms across different channels.
7. Track & Measure
Monitoring your content is crucial for determining its ROI and understanding whether it helped you achieve your goals. It helps you identify and rectify any looped in your content marketing strategy. The KPIs you’d set while outlining your marketing objectives will come in handy at this stage.
For instance, if you want to boost website traffic, check the total number of unique website visitors over the last month. Compare this figure with data from the previous month to determine whether the objective was fulfilled. You can use various tools including Google Analytics, Google Search Console, social media analytics, etc. to measure your content marketing ROI.
Content marketing is an indispensable part of every successful brand’s marketing strategy. It requires meticulous planning, foresight, and research. When done correctly, it delivers a high ROI and helps you build a strong rapport with your audience.
Have you run into any challenges developing a content strategy for 2020? We want to know your pain points! Share in the comments below what you and your team have struggled with this year.
At WriteForMe, we will provide you with a FREE Content Marketing Playbook to help you jumpstart your content marketing efforts. Get started now!
Erika Steuer keeps WriteForMe running smoothly as the Operations Manager. With previous experience managing the marketing efforts of businesses in the for- and not-for-profit sectors, she understands how busy a company’s marketing team often is even though it’s crucial to stay in front of the right audiences online for continued success. » More blog posts by Erika Steuer