How to (Easily) Start Planning Out your Content Strategy
Everyone on the internet keeps emphasizing the importance of content and calls it the king! But no content marketing campaign can reach its full potential without a tactful and foolproof strategy. If you don’t have a documented content strategy, you’re missing out on plenty of revenue. But creating a content strategy from scratch is not a child’s play.
Gone are the days where business success or failure was just about getting lucky. Why would someone risk their efforts and resources going to waste when the least they could do is create a killer content strategy?
What is a Content Strategy?
A strategy that uses content to achieve business goals is a content strategy. As simple as that! For instance, if you’re looking forward to enhancing brand awareness, the first step is to concentrate on SEO. The goal should be to drive traffic to your platform by increasing the visibility of your website on the SERPs.
A good content strategy enables sales, instigates customer satisfaction, attracts new prospects, and retains loyal customers. Now that it’s clear what a game-changer it can be, it’s time to start planning out your content strategy. Check out the 65 Tips to Create Powerful Brand Content here.
How to Easily Start Planning Out Your Content Strategy
It’s okay to be a little overwhelmed when you first start to plan it out. The whole point of this post is to make the process as transparent, seamless, and easy as possible. Making and executing a content strategy is not just about writing a few steps and being done with that. There are some vital parameters to consider without which your strategy won’t be 100% effective.
Questions to Answer Before Planning Your Content Strategy
Whether you’re planning a content strategy for your own business or someone else’s, here are some questions you need to know detailed answers for. This will help adopt a customized approach towards strategy creation and eliminate any vagueness at the beginning itself.
1. Who is your audience?
t’s crucial to have a crystal clear idea of your target audience as it will help you determine the content channels and types for obtaining the best results. At all times you have to keep in mind that the more you engage your target audience through different channels, the more are the chances for better conversions. Also set aside the content format you’re planning to focus on. For example, blog posts, videos, infographics, and so on.
2. How are you different than your competitors?
Proving to your audience that you are unique is the most challenging step in today’s world where everything is trying to gain their attention. But no matter how tough it gets, it’s important to prove to customers why they should buy from you. If you’re offering services in a very saturated market, consider providing a useful upsell.
A value-based approach is what’s going to keep you intact in the business world. For instance, if you’re offering tutorials on how to make coffee, consider providing links to where your audience can buy ingredients and equipment necessary to make the best coffee in the world!
3. How are you going to manage the creation as well as the publication of content?
Creating and publishing content is the part where you get your hands on the task and start executing the strategy. If you have a team, have assigned responsibilities, and know who’s doing what. It’s also vital to keep a record of what kind of content goes live when it is published, and the necessary metrics to track how it benefits your business.
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Steps to Plan a Killer Content Strategy
When you have the necessary answers to the above questions, it’s time to get into the minute details and plan out the exact steps. Let’s dive right in!
1. Set The Goals, a Mission Statement, and KPIs
Your mission and goals should indicate what your brand stands for. A good start to a content marketing strategy plan is to draft a mission statement. State what you provide to the target audience and how it benefits them in that statement.
Here is an example of a hypothetical mission statement of an imaginary digital marketing coaching firm. “We teach aspiring marketers the knowledge and certification on the art of selling and help them attain high-ticket clients.”
Now that you have your mission statement and goals in line, it’s time to establish some key performance indicators. Having KPIs will help you are cross off milestones as you achieve them. Some metrics include traffic, sales revenue, performance, and other aspects such as social media and email marketing metrics.
2. Get Demographic Data and Customer Feedback
With the help of email subscribers, social media, and web analytics, you can gain insights into the age, education, and income group of your audience. You should also know how your current visitors feel about your content, what their urgent needs are, and how your content can solve their problems. The appropriate customer feedback can help businesses understand their audience’s priorities and serve them better.
3. Create Personas and Conduct Research
Determining the target audience is not enough on its own. For your content strategy to be successful, it’s important to assign a clear definition to your target audience known as a persona. Conduct in-depth persona research and broadcast your offering to prompt conversions. Experienced marketers need to revisit their audience parameters from time to time. A good rule of thumb is to conduct early market research and expand or eliminate as a suitable.
4. Figure Out The Ideal Content Type and Channels
You can either choose between profitable content types or use a combination of some or all. For instance, most businesses use blogs as the top of the marketing funnel and slowly direct users to the bottom. The same goes for YouTube video content. Whatever content type or combination of different types which use, make sure they are valuable, shareable, and actionable.
Use one platform as the primary content channel and others with a successful online presence as outposts. Check out the social networks where your audience hangs out and be a part of it. Serve them there with the type of content they like.
5. Map out The Journey of Your Customer
Your relationship with the target audience doesn’t end at brand awareness. It’s important to remember that driving revenue is the end goal. Map out the journey of your customer you can follow through your entire content marketing funnel. People research before they purchase. Therefore, offer them plenty of information before trying to sell them anything. The middle of the funnel is where you engage with your audience and find out their pain points. Then it’s time to direct them to the solution and pitch your offer. That’s the bottom of the funnel.
6. Make a Content Calendar
The most important part of planning a content marketing strategy is to make a content calendar and schedule what you have to post. If you don’t have to publish a lot of content, marking on Google calendar is sufficient. However, if it’s too overwhelming for that, there are plenty of other task management and productivity tools for the benefit of the business as well as the entire team.
7. Select a Content Management System
A Content Management System is a place for creating, managing, and tracking the content. The crucial parts of a CMS include content publication, creation, and analytics. WordPress is the most popular CMS which allows you to draft blog posts, create stunning pages, and install plugins to increase its functionality.
8. Distribute and Market The Content
Your content will end up being just a grain in the sand if you don’t know how to distribute and market it. Throwing a blog post on your website and expecting the world to magically show up is bizarre! Distributing and marketing content is the last, but the most crucial step of a a content strategy.
For instance, if you create content for the finance category, LinkedIn is the biggest hangout spot for your target audience. The same holds true for Twitter when it comes to people being in marketing and media. On the other hand, Instagram is the hub for retail companies and users having personal accounts. The same goes for Facebook.
Mix organic reach with paid ads when it comes to first distributing your content out there. Create an opt-in and collect emails so that you can send relevant newsletters to those who are interested in your content. To further spread the word, contact influencers in your category.
When it comes to content marketing, businesses should leave no stones unturned in making the most out of it. But it’s crucial to have a systematic and clear strategy in place. This way, when you start implementing, you will have a solid framework to refer to during implementation.
Moreover, don’t be hesitant to make frequent updates to your content strategy so as to avoid any stagnancy. So what are you waiting for? Follow the above process to create a killer plan for your content strategy and watch the revenue flow towards your business.
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