A content strategy is a process of managing your own content and media to reach your desired audience.
To reach your goals, you need to use a well-planned content marketing strategy template to maximise your content for the growth and visibility of your editorial content.
Importance of a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
Here is a step by step guide why using a good content marketing strategy template will help:
- Creating an edge over the competition
- To follow a guide to know what media topics to write about
- To stay within your brand-related interest
- To remain relevant to your brand and your story
- For a reliable source of web traffic for the goal of inbound leads
- More effective use of social media and marketing tactics
- Efficient use of time across your content team
- To effectively plan and keep within budget for your digital marketing efforts
- Promotion of your organization through channels
- To achieve your digital marketing content goals
As you can see there are multiple benefits to implementing a content marketing strategy. You need to invest the right amount of time and energy into your media content and brand strategy to ensure you have a solid foundation for the rest of your digital marketing goals.
That’s why in this post we have outlined step-by-step the ways to achieving a strong content marketing strategy. Let’s dive into it.
Steps to Achieving a Strong Content Marketing Strategy Template
1. Setting My Mission and My Content Marketing Goals
Before you can get started on your content marketing strategy template you need to recognise what you want to achieve.
Set your overall goals to guide you and your content marketing team. Is your overall goal creating brand awareness, increase blog subscribers, increase inbound leads, educate your audience or to improve your search ranking results? There is no right or wrong answer here, only what is right for your business and relevant to your business.
Knowing your end goal will help you decide on what content to produce, and which will be more effective for your end result. For instance, if you want to boost your brand awareness to reach a bigger audience, writing content and gaining a large readership base may be great for this. But it is a long term strategy with slow results if you create content to convert into inbound sales.
If you’re not sure about what goals you want to achieve, beginning with writing your content mission statement will help enormously. In your mission statement you should outline your target demographic, the benefit you’ll bring to them and the content you’ll use to reach them.
2. Know Your Audience
Knowing exactly who you are writing for will guide your content plan and keep a consistent readership base.
Who are you writing your content for, and what issues or problems are you solving for them? You can even have multiple types of audience, so it’s important to understand each persona and create content that is suitable for all. Marketing is all about the promotion of your content to a specific readership. In your team or individually, you need to plan throughout your content marketing strategy template your goals, against time, against media type, against calendar commitments and map them all out.
Listen to Your Audience
If you’ve been running your website for a while, you’ll be able to instantly understand your audience by looking at demographics from your website and social media analytics. You can even reach out to get feedback on your current content, what their needs are and how you can create helpful content to them.
You can listen to your customers through running questions on social media, or even through review websites.
You can even analyze what you readership engages with through the 3E’s of marketing. We’ve written previously about this digital marketing-specific process. The 3E’s are there to Engage with your followers, Equip them with relevant media and then you Empower them to share.
For new startups with no existing data to read from you can start by creating a buyers persona.
Don’t Have An Audience Yet?
No problem, we’ve written a two-part article on efforts you can make to gather keen listeners to your content. Publish other people’s content from Twitter or Facebook for instance that is relevant to the field your company is in.
Creating a Buyers Persona
A buyers persona is where you take demographic data and customer feedback and create the ideal buyer persona. These are your ideal readers and visitors so that you have a better understanding of their needs and wants for your content. This will make your content more valuable and relevant.
When creating your buyer’s persona, you need to include age, gender, pain points, challenges, social media use and behavioural motivations. It’s important to consider your brand and voice in how you communicate to your buyers.
3. Define your Brand Message
What is your brand message?
Pinpointing how you communicate your ideas and messages for your content is critical. You need to work out how you can stand out against your competition and how you can evolve your message as time progresses. This is ideally communicated through your blog posts and social media. Prove to customers why your worth buying from over your competitors.
First thing first, you need to work out where you currently stand.
Is your current content aligning with your vision and goals? This includes your social media posts as well as blog posts.
Anything that doesn’t fit with your vision and goals, cut it out. Keeping irrelevant content and messaging will confuse not just your followers but Google too, which will impact negatively on your SERP position.
Need to learn more about how Google ranks your website content? Here’s our guide on Google rankings >
If you’re a well-established website with years of content this stage is going to be rough for you. But there are tools out there you can use to help crawl your website and log all your content for easy analysing. Check out SEMRush or Screaming Frog.
4. Content Type
Knowing your demographic can now help you choose your content type.
Do you podcast, vlog, blog, have webinars, ebooks, case studies, interviews, worksheets, create infographics or send newsletters?
You need to carefully choose the right platforms and delivery method for your content in which to tell your story.
For many, a content strategy relies around a central core of content published on their website, which is then shared through outposts to reach targeted people.
Write content that will benefit your readership. So go back to your buyer persona and look at questions they need answering and plan this with strong keywords. It’s important for writing blog posts that you are using terms and keywords that your users are searching.
We have a variety of blog posts that can help you find the best keywords for your blogs. See here.
5. Create Your Content Calendar
Structuring Your Content
It’s so important that you structure your content in a way that benefits your website’s user experience. We recommend using the pillar content marketing structure.
Your content plan and calendar should slot easily into this. By working from a central pillar you can designate team members to write on certain pillar and cluster topics over a certain time frame.
Look out, as we’ll have more on a marketing content calendar coming soon.
6. Distribute and Market Social Sharing
Distributing your content is a key component in your content marketing strategy template. Otherwise, all your efforts of creating content is wasted if no one knows about it.
There are many ways to go about managing your social sharing.
- Use a social scheduler
- Use email marketing
- Notify influencers
You can use automatic social sharing tools like Missinglettr to share your posts to all your social media pages.
Missinglettr is great, as it recognises when a new blog post has been published on your website and created a full social media campaign to all your profiles. All you need to do is review and confirm it!
You can choose the length of time for your campaign, whether it’s one post or a yearlong drip campaign.
It’s a great tool for managing your social media posts through one platform and reviewing the analytics easily in one place.
Using an automatic email marketing tool such as Hubspot is an easy way to automatically send your new blog posts to your email subscribers. It also notifies you of how many people clicked to read the post.
Often people are motivated to proceed with a purchase if they’ve been recommended. Influencers usually have many followers who trust their opinions. So, if you’re able to get influencers to shout loud and proud about your brand, then you’re onto a winner.
It’s important to put tools in place to measure the success of your content strategy. You need to measure the performance of your content, find out who’s visiting your website, how you can hook and engage visitors so they can return time and time again.
Use a reliable website measuring tool. Many businesses use Google Analytics, mainly because it’s free. Google also ranks websites with great user engagement metrics. It takes into consideration the time spent on a web page, the bounce rate and returning users.
Social media analytics and insights:
Are you posting at the right time of day? Are you engaging with your followers? What is your average Click- Through- Rate (CTR)?
When it comes to social media analytics, don’t get carried away with irrelevant details. Especially with how big your following is. For businesses, it’s more important to focus on quality, not quantity.
Learn from your social media posts.
Use your opportunity on social media to learn from your customers. Find out their likes and dislikes. Reach out and chat with them, make your business profile more customer-friendly.
Which posts are getting the most shares, likes and engagement? From the results of this you can see which topics your followers like best, and which they aren’t that interested in. Your content calendar should have some flexibility, so you can make decisions from the reactions of your audience. At the end of the day your content is for them.
Who are the big names in your social media market? By getting in with some great influencers your content will have further reach. The more influencers you can bring into your circle the better for your brand and image.
Limit your social media pages
If your analytics are showing that you have low engagement, likes, followers on a social media platform compared to another, stop wasting time posting to this profile and focus your efforts into better performing social media pages. Depending on your audience demographics some social media pages will perform much better than others for the same content.
If you’re currently churning out content with no strategy or action plan, then you’re at risk of having irregular and confusing content that isn’t always interesting to your audience.
This can result in people unsubscribing from your mailing list, or never even returning to your site.
Having a well-structured plan from why you’re creating content and who it is for is a great way to organise and run successful digital marketing without becoming overwhelmed.