As the cliche says, 'Content is king'. When you are just starting with the content marketing plan, you need to ensure that you are not wasting your time.
60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. That is a lot of content. And I know you are thinking that it would be so much better if you were doing the same amount of work, but this is not what we need to think about.
We need to focus on how we can create high-quality content and a robust content strategy plan? The first step for a new content marketer is to figure out what type of content you should be creating.
It can be something simple like blog posts or videos, but it could also mean doing in-depth research on a topic that would help your audience better understand your business and solve. However, the problem lies in creating a content strategy for your content marketing campaign.
This article will share everything about the content strategy and how you can implement it to align with the business goals.
What is Content?
Before we move further to the content strategy definition, here is what we mean by content.
Content is a set of informational items designed to be helpful, attractive, and relevant to users.
Content can be provided in many formats, including text, images, video, audio, and interactive media. It is designed to be shared by users through social media, blogs, websites, or other online platforms.
The most common types of content are blog posts, articles, videos, and images. Content is something that will attract the attention of your target audience uniquely. You can write about what's going on in your business or about the most important things that you want to share with them.
The content is divided into four elements that help content marketers align with the marketing goals in digital marketing.
- What information should you include in the content? Is it factual, informative, or a combination of others?
- Which medium would you be publishing the content? Is it a social media platform like Facebook or Twitter or a large community forum like Medium or any CMS or blogging platform?
- What do you want to accomplish with the content?
- Should content be in the form of texts, images, videos, or augmented reality?
Once we have all these answers, it's time to create a robust content strategy for the business.
According to Kristina Halvorson (Founder & CEO of Brain Traffic), "Content strategy guides the creation, delivery, and governance of useful, usable content."
In other words, the content strategy is defined as the execution and management of the content lifecycle to boost marketing efforts and the conversion of your customers.
Developing a content strategy is not an easy task, and it requires proper planning, creating, and monitoring of the content.
It is highly recommended to start with defining the purpose of the company or business, understand their target audience (who are they?), what type of content will be more suitable for them and how it can help them achieve their goals.
With this information, you can create a content strategy that fits your business's needs and the market trend of the time. However, you need to invest in getting great content for your brand.
Be it the large blog posts or video creation; your content team needs to brainstorm the ideas with the marketing team to develop a robust content marketing strategy.
With a content strategy, you can start creating high-quality content that will increase your brand awareness and customer engagement.
What do content strategists do?
Content strategists are responsible for identifying the business goals and creating content that will help achieve them. They are also tasked with monitoring the performance of their content to see if it's effective in achieving its purpose.
This means they should be able to analyze, monitor, and measure the results of their content strategy. They should also be able to determine the effectiveness of their content by analyzing which parts are working and what they need to improve.
Content strategists can be assigned the responsibility of managing different departments like marketing, public relations, social media, etc.
They are also expected to create content to help the organization generate leads, convert visitors into customers and increase their brand awareness.
As a content strategist, the primary goal is to understand the buyer's persona and know the larger goals that you are contributing to.
Furthermore, they are expected to create content that is effective in driving your business and creating an impact on the consumer.
A good content strategist should identify what drives people's actions and emotions, understand their buying habits, and determine which kind of information they prefer or would need.
The content strategist is responsible for creating the
- Doing content audit,
- creating a content plan,
- content production,
- preparing an editorial calendar, etc.
And, all this would only be achievable if you have a clear business goal in mind. So, how do create the content goals that align with business objective?
How to design a content strategy?
So, how would you create a content strategy to align with the content needs?
Define your content goal
The foremost step is to define the content goals that will be aligned with your business objective. Know why do you want to create the content marketing plan in the first place?
Do you want to generate leads? Do you want to convert visitors into customers? Do you want to increase brand awareness?
When you have the answers for this, jump on to the next step.
Conduct the buyer's persona research
The next step is to conduct research on your target audience or what may be called the buyer's persona.
In this step, you have to find out who they are? What are their buying habits? How would they perceive your business, and what kind of information would they prefer from you?
It also depends on whether you want to target the existing audience or create a new target audience for the product or service.
Perform Content audit
A content audit is a crucial step in content strategy development.
The primary purpose of this step is to identify what type of information would be most beneficial for your audience and which kind of information they already have.
It's not enough to create the same content format for your product. For example, you can create a long-form eBook by distilling the various pieces of content that you have created in the past.
You can create a simple video that tells the same information in less time and gets your target audience's attention.
Review the results of your content marketing programs by using an audit tool like this one so you can understand which part works well and where improvements are needed before you start again.
Choose a blogging platform
The blogging platform you choose also plays some part in developing a solid content strategy. A Content management system or CMS platform can create, manage, and track your content so that you can create a successful content strategy.
CMS platforms have functionalities such as content creation, content publication, and content analytics. You can also prepare a content calendar to plan out your content.
Brainstorming the ideas
Brainstorming is an important step in the development of a solid content strategy. This process helps you to get creative and generate new ideas for your blog posts, website, social media channels, and other forms of digital marketing.
Like any other form of brainstorming exercise, you need to generate as many ideas as possible. Use brainstorming techniques like mind mapping, free writing, and creative thinking exercises for this purpose.
Your content strategy must be flexible enough to accommodate all kinds of content that could be generated during brainstorming sessions.
Models of content strategy
The content strategy is the process of planning, developing, and implementing a plan for all forms of digital marketing.
It includes online marketing activities such as search engine optimization (SEO), blogging, social media management, and mobile app development.
However, you would need a content model to create a successful content strategy for your campaign.
A content model describes all the different kinds of content you have on your website. It breaks them down into their components, describes them in detail, and maps out how they are related to one another on your site.
It is like a template that you can use every time you create content for the business so that you don't have to start everything from scratch. A robust content model creates a smooth workflow and plans different content types at the same time.
A content strategy model can be made clear by dividing them into two elements; Content type and content attribute.
- Content types: A content type is a distinct form of template that you would use to create multiple pieces of content on the same website and in the same format.
- Content attributes: A content attribute describes the functional and technical characteristics of a specific kind of content you have on your website. For example, a course site will have attributes like models, fees, contact us, and others.
For this purpose, a content map shows the relationships between content types and attributes.
A content map is a visual representation of your website with all the content types and their attributes displayed on it. This helps create a hierarchy or smoothen the workflow in the content creation process.
Content Strategy for SEO
Content strategy and SEO often work hand-in-hand. Content strategy is a subset of SEO. But without an understanding of the "why" behind your content, it can be challenging to manage both at once effectively.
To do this, you need to know what content your website is about. That's where the "why" of SEO comes in.
The purpose of content strategy is to establish a long-term vision for your company, which then guides how you create and maintain your online presence.
The central point of effective content strategy is establishing a vision for your content and optimising it to achieve a particular goal.
Identify the question, desires, and expectations of your customers. Then identify the content that best meets those needs.
Here are quick tips on how to align content strategy with SEO:
Map content to the customer journey
The customer journey map shows how people move from knowing something to doing it and deciding to do it differently in some way or another.
To create a customer journey map, you need to start with the target audience. The customer journey map helps identify the key points that will lead to your conversion goals.
Align with search intent
The search intent is the critical factor in understanding what people are searching for. The first step to ensuring your content meets this need is identifying how it aligns with the search terms people use when looking for information online.
Intent matters. So much so that the majority of paid search campaigns are now built around intent.
Identify what people are looking for, then figure out how to help them find it. Create content that is relevant and useful, and the easiest way to do this is by focusing on what you know.
Use your content to educate, inform and entertain. Use the right channel for the right message at the right time.
Launch SEO content clusters
A content cluster is a way of organizing content on a website into topically related 'clusters.' Each cluster is a group of related pages, which may include multiple articles, videos, images, or other types of content.
The goal of a content cluster is to create the most natural reading experience for the reader. The best practice to do so is by creating pillar content for your website that is broad and informative.
Finally, link your cluster pages to this pillar content and link back from pillar to cluster pages. Do not forget to link the authority page to the cluster page and pillar page so that the search engines can understand the hierarchy.
Why is it important to have a Content Strategy?
A content strategy is essential for a company to ensure that its content is valuable and informative.
In addition, a content strategy can help a company make decisions about how it will handle its content, which can help it plan its content and avoid falling behind in the competition.
A content lifecycle needs to be followed to align with the goals. Strategy leads to execution, and execution leads to results, which you use in your strategy on an ongoing basis.
And, all this comes down to created optimized workflow and increased ROI in content marketing.