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How to Develop a Content Strategy in Five Steps

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 7 min read
How to Develop a Content Strategy in Five Steps

Intro

If you intend to have organic marketing play a key role in your business's campaigns, then you cannot disregard content marketing. However, content marketing is not about publishing any piece that comes to your mind; it's instead about sticking to a predetermined strategy that serves to accomplish a purpose.

Unplanned content is primarily why most blogs typically feature practically useless and irrelevant posts that are rarely useful to the target end-usersю

If you're wondering just how content mаrketing helps with the bigger picture, then you're in the right place. This article will treat you to a top-to-bottom systemic evaluation of the atypical strategy. You'll also be able to decide at the end whether or not it's a proper fit for your trade model, and draft out a marketing aid to help you understand your potential audiences better. Another equally smart move would be to keep yourself updated on the latest industry news and tips that may have a profound impact on your marketing.

Develop a content strategy (Image source: Unsplash)

As soon as you've got this, you'll be able to develop an effective strategy that'll be most relevant to your audience. So, how do you improve your mаrketing game and create a content strategy in 5 steps? Let's dive in.

What is a Content Strategy?

Content strategies are critical to formulating and delivering relevant content for a target end-user. The process of creating content typically involves filling out and developing a content calendar (digital or physical), deciding on the channel that best suits your intentions, researching the peculiarities of your targets, and ultimately working on the content pieces.

What many people often fail to realize when they set out to create a content strategy is that it's not quite the same as a content marketing strategy. An effective content marketing strategy differs from a barefaced content strategy in that, as opposed to focusing more on the intended end-users, you instead concentrate more on how you'd get more followers on social media, get more subscribers for your company's newsletter or acquire more buyers.

Succinctly, any set of plans designed to help you meet an objective falls under the set of a marketing strategy. However, remember that succeeding at content curation goes beyond narrowing down the end-user or phases of the buyers' path. Handy tools like basic HTML for content writers often come into play. Not knowing how to create working code on a fundamental level with HTML would often predispose you to the possible horrors of failing at getting the proper design or spending a lot of money on a freelance web designer just to fix some little changes.

Does Your Business Need a Content Marketing Strategy?

Ever wondered: Are content marketing strategies not just scammy over-hypes? Well, here are some reasons attesting to the efficacy of the approach:

  • You save more by relying on content marketing than full-fledged outbound marketing. On average, several organizations obtain more leads with a content marketing strategy than with outbound marketing. Your business is more likely to be trusted by an intending buyer if it's well-ranked on SERPs. Consider running comprehensive web audits to fix your blog's outstanding webpage issues.
  • Businesses that churn out regular strategic content stand a greater chance of being thought leaders in their field. Over 70% of business-related content marketers affirmed that they were regarded more quickly as thought leaders in their fields.
  • A well-planned company blog stands a greater shot of being ranked higher on a Search Engine Results Page compared with another without any particular strategy in place. Organizations with good strategies typically obtain about 100% more inbound and a staggering 430% better-indexed web pages.
  • Content marketing is indispensable to brand strategizing. Readers are more likely to buy stuff after checking out reviews from a blog post.
  • Businesses with blogs have a higher chance of obtaining more leads per a specified period than others, relying solely on good old outbound marketing.

Some years ago, whether or not you'd rather develop content for your company was a matter of choice. Nowadays, it's something of a necessity to adopt content marketing in your trade campaigns. It's no longer enough to rely on virtually obsolete techniques such as paid advertising to pull in leads.

The digital shopping landscape is evolving, and it's important to evolve alongside it. Consider building a community around your brand or even a product, as those approaches are the most effective nowadays.

Does Your Business Need a Content Marketing Strategy?

To be successful in this, you'd want to rely on being able to vet the best SEO keyword opportunities available for your niche. The best keyword finders facilitate this by allowing you to see a list of relevant related keywords, complete with search volumes and difficulty ratings.

How to Generate Strategic Content Ideas for Each Funnel Stage

So, how do you curate content relevant and just about appropriate for different stops of your customer's expedition? Let's find out.

Stage One: Creating User Personas

User Personas are models that detail the peculiarities of your target demographic. To succeed at this stage, your chosen persona must be as specific as possible and have characteristics of your preferred audience ascribed to them.

The primary objective behind making a user persona is to get a clearer picture of the problems they might be facing and how your solution could best help them out.

Stage One: Creating User Personas (Image source: Unsplash)

Always keep in mind that central to the success of any mаrketing is being able to effectively comprehend the needs of your targeted end user and customize your solution to their preferences and peculiarities. More succinctly, you come up with a product tailored to their needs which clears up whatever questions they may have. On average, the Content Marketing Institute recommends the creation of about 3 to 5 user personas for every segment of your target demographic. Keep things in between 3 and 5, however. Oversegmenting your population could be counterproductive.

Three central factors to consider when making each persona include your target audience's role in their organization, the problems they need help with, and their overall goal.

Stage Two: Mapping the Buyer's Journey

After modeling your intended audience with a persona, spin up specifics tailored to each stage of your persona's buying journey. The personas you've modeled often require different and specific messages at the separate stops of their trip.

Traditional mаrketing typically presents the buyer's journey as a linear progression from Awareness to Purchase. However, a new analysis from Hubspot suggests that the digital shopper often goes through a nonlinear path and usually bounces between phases.

Nonetheless, keeping the facts at heart as a focus of your strategies is often the intelligent and proper step to take.

Stage 3: Defining Your Channels

For every distinct point of your customer's journey, you'd want to produce content best tailored to their state of mind. Some mаrketing mediums are more suitable than others for every expedition phase.

Stage 3: Defining Your Channels (Image source: Unsplash)

Nailing down on the best way to reach your intended end-user improves the efficacy of your campaigns and boosts your overall chances of meeting your objectives nicely enough. Be it obtaining leads or getting more newsletter subscribers.

Optimizing for different channel sections is not the only hack to consider when strategizing. You'd also want to monitor the state of your backlinks with top-of-the-line backlinks monitors available. Such a tool lets you know who's linked to your site or who's even stopped linking, giving you a peek into how your campaigns are coming along.

Stage 4: Creating a Strategic Content Matrix

How relevant a piece of content is to an end user can not be decided based on the end user's current stage in the mаrketing funnel. The users’ pain points, peculiarities, and the objectives they need to meet with those equally play a role.

The quality of your content is a major factor in this sequence as well. Primarily, what’s been said plays the most important role to the target user. Thus, creating and proofreading content requires diligent workers. Mark Waldeng, who is a senior content specialist and also works as a writer for PapersOwl, highlighted: “The final stage of checking the texts for plagiarism and making sure they are unique defines the whole process. There exists a plagiarism checker free software that is very useful and shows true results. A quality text on a site shows the utmost attention and dedication to the business while also serving other purposes within the strategy frame.”

Simply, it's not enough to stick with a user persona or customers’ expedition to curate successful content. The strategist must conjoin both. That way, there would be an ample chance to continually target each perk at every stage of the buyers' journey.

So, to that end, how do you proceed?

To make good on this approach, you must spin up a table with your individual user personas lining the rows and the separate stages of your buyer's expedition aligning the columns. That way, you could incorporate any relationship between both parameters when generating your content ideas.

Upon completing your matrix, you now have a powerful tool to aid your marketing efforts in your arsenal. Even more intriguing is that you can now get down to content creation with the framework you've put in place.

Afterward, by applying the techniques we've discussed, you won't merely be pushing blog posts that are no more useful and satisfying a purpose; they'll be directed and relevant to your intended audience.

Stage 4: Creating a Strategic Content Matrix

A handy tool to keep close to you should update you on the doings of your competitors. When you see what's working for other folks with a backlink checker, you can notch up your SEO game and then modify their strategies in a way that suits you. Staying ahead is as easy as entering your competitor's domain name in the input field to check out their present Domain Ranking, how many websites there are backlinking to them, and an estimate of the dofollow/nofollow links they currently have, and more.

Stage 5: Creating a Sequence

Having clear and relevant content is only one component of an effective inbound mаrketing campaign. An equally significant procedure is to start and make an automated workflow that serves as a guide and allows you to get your published pieces in touch with the right market at the right time.

So, how do you know you're hitting it off with your strategies? Easy, you choose and monitor a predefined KPI. Such could be observing just how many leads or even newsletter subscribers you obtain over a specified period.

Or it could even be as basic as monitoring how your site moves up and down search-engine results pages with a Rank Tracker. The best rank tracking software would often provide you insights through visual alerts. You can also track any language for any Google, Yahoo, Bing & Yandex location, or even local rankings.

Over to You

Throughout these phases, you should be able to work on a mix of good content for each of your target customers throughout their buying decision. From there, you’ll need to create campaigns and touchpoints that deliver those types of content to the right folks.

The next time you set out to create content that would engage your audience, incorporate the facts of their peculiarities and their stage of decision in the mаrketing funnel to ensure you do not mess up big time. Do not forget to learn the basics of working on an automated sequence, as that would save you a lot of possible wasted effort in the future.

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