Throwing mud at a wall to see what sticks only ever leaves you with a muddy wall. The same is true of content. You can’t post just anything – you need a content strategy to govern what, when and where you post. This way, every campaign you run will fire on all cylinders.
Any content marketing strategy worth its salt considers three core areas:
- Business goals
- Target audience
- Search engine optimisation
Get it right, and your emails, blog posts and social media platforms will pull potential customers automatically. So what are you waiting for? Find out how to create a content strategy below.
What is a content plan?
Developing a content strategy involves planning how you’ll achieve your business objectives through content creation and distribution. In other words, how you’ll use types of content such as articles, blogs and social media posts to engage audiences and push them through your sales funnel.
What’s included in a content strategy?
Simply put, it’s all of the tools you would use to send information to your audience. This includes:
- Case studies
- Website content
- Social media
- Paid advertising
- Direct marketing
And you’ll also need a content calendar, which will outline when a piece of content is created, published and distributed – a bit like a timetable.
Why does my business need a content strategy?
Without one, you’re essentially shooting in the dark. What you say to your target audience (and when) matters because very few customers buy after just a single brand interaction.
To maximise conversions, you need to reach your audience at each stage of their buying journey with content that’s designed to move them towards a purchase. Jumping straight in with action-based content is unlikely to sway those customers at the awareness stage – in fact, it could turn them off completely.
But this is just the beginning. Other reasons to create a content marketing strategy include:
Improves organic search visibility
Think of it as a brand awareness exercise. If you invest the time in keyword research and write optimised web content and articles that are relevant to your target market, they’re more likely to find you when searching for their interests or a solution to their problem.
Builds trust among key audiences
How does your target audience know you’re credible? Why should they trust you as opposed to any of your competitors? Blogs and whitepapers are designed to build legitimacy and position you as a thought leader in your industry. Alternatively, if you’re a B2C e-commerce site, testimonials and case studies may do a similar job. Publish content like that, and your key audiences will start to value your input.
Establishes a strong brand identity
The type of content you put out is a reflection of your brand. But the way you sound is just as impactful. If you’re creating content that’s in an authoritative tone of voice, for instance, and speaking matter-of-factly about the industry you’re operating in, audiences will associate you with authority. It’s a similar case if you’re looking to disrupt an industry by speaking brazenly and applying humour to your posts. Audiences will come to understand what you stand for by what you say.
Turns website visitors into clients
What’s enticing visitors to stay on your website, or – even better – take the next step and get in touch? Content is key to the user experience and pushes them along the sales funnel. If you have tracking set up, you can even measure someone’s likelihood to buy based on what they’ve engaged with, which can help you tailor messages in the future.
How do you create a content strategy?
First, you need to identify your business goals and target audience and think carefully about the journey that needs to happen to encourage them over the line. What questions do you typically get asked by customers? How do you solve their pain points? What makes your brand different, and how do you communicate that?
This is where the help of an agency can be invaluable. By spending time with an experienced content team, you’ll land on a content mix that’s designed to achieve your objectives. They’ll then plot these out over several weeks or months to support your audience’s buying journey.
They can even perform a content audit if you’re building on an existing foundation. In this way, you can salvage old pieces of copy and repurpose them for a new audience or channel.
Once the strategy has been in place for long enough to gather data on its performance, an agency like ours will review what’s working and what can be improved. We’ll leverage website analytics and social media data before making any necessary tweaks to further optimise your content plan.
Where Making You Content comes in
Don’t know where to start? Speak to us today! Our team of content strategists will help you develop a plan of action over the course of a discovery session. We’ll dig into what makes you you, as well as identify your values and tone of voice, before building a content framework that sets you up for success.