When it comes to attracting more online customers, few strategies are more effective than a well-thought-out approach to content marketing. Content marketing serves to bring more customers to your website or landing pages by improving the SEO of those pages and pushing them higher up in the search results of search engines such as Google. Content marketing also serves as a way to broadcast key messages to the customers who do find your web pages and convince them that your product or service is the ideal choice for their needs. This dual-pronged benefit of content marketing makes it one of the most effective of all digital marketing strategies. To help you make the most of all that content marketing has to offer, we'll take a look at nine steps your can follow to build an outstanding content marketing strategy.
Step #1: Set Your Goals
Every content marketing strategy needs a predetermined goal or set of goals that will serve as the foundation you build your overall strategy around. Content marketing can be used to achieve a wide range of purposes, from improving your SEO to creating more social engagement to boosting the conversion rate of your website. Before you begin developing your content marketing strategy, it's important to determine which of these goals you would like to place an emphasis on in order to create content marketing campaigns that align with your overall brand strategy.
Step #2: Establish KPIs
A goal isn't actually a goal unless it is measurable. After you decide exactly what you would like to accomplish through your content marketing strategy, you will want to establish KPIs that will enable you to measure your progress toward that goal. For example, if your goal is to improve your SEO then traffic to your website is an important KPI to establish and measure. No matter what your specific goals and KPIs are for your content marketing strategy, it's also important to track how much you spend on each campaign in order to ensure that your campaigns are producing results that justify their expense.
Step #3: Determine Your Audience
It's important to be clear about who your audience is before you can create content designed to reach them. Collect and analyze demographic data on your customers in order to determine the demographic of people who are interested in what your company has to offer. Next, pinpoint the specific needs, desires, and pain points of your ideal customer. Information such as this is data that will prove very valuable when it comes time to actually start creating content.
Step #4: Choose Your Content Channels
The content that makes up a content marketing strategy can take a number of different forms, and written text is only one of those forms. Pictures, videos, surveys, and infographics are all examples of content that can be used for marketing purposes. Asking and answering questions such as what is an infographic and delving into the unique benefits of each content type will help you choose the content that is best suited for your content marketing goals.
Step #5: Choose Your Content Types
There are plenty of beneficial places to publish content, including your website and blog, social media channels, and third-party sites. An important step in developing a content marketing strategy, therefore, is to choose the specific channels where you would like to publish your content, keeping in mind the goals you've set for your content marketing strategy. Publishing content on third-party sites, for example, is a great way to drive more traffic to your site via backlinks, while publishing content on social media channels at the right time can improve your social engagement.
Step #6: Allocate Resources
Unless you are planning on handling every aspect of your content marketing strategy on your own, it's important to form an understanding of the resources you have available to leverage as you go about producing and publishing content. These resources may be in-house resources such as marketers, designers, and copywriters already on your team who are able to produce content for your company in-house, or they may be third-party resources such as freelance writers and designers or websites where you are able to purchase content templates. If you need eye-catching images to realize your ideas better, you may address photo editing specialists and explain what outcome you expect to get.
Step #7: Create a Content Calendar
Creating a content calendar that you will use to schedule when and where you publish specific content is an excellent way to stay organized and ensure that your overall content marketing approach is in line with your goals and objectives. Once you've determined the channels where you will publish your content, the type of content you will create, and the resources you will use to create it, establish a calendar that includes where and when you will publish each piece of content you decide to produce as well the resources you will use to produce them.
Step #8: Create and Publish Content
Once you've fleshed out your content calendar, it's time to actually start producing and publishing content. This process can obviously take a number of different forms depending on the type of content you are creating, where you are publishing it, and the resources you are using to create it.
Step #9: Measure Your Results
Measuring your results is one of the most important aspects of an effective content marketing strategy. Using the goals you set for your content marketing campaigns as the standard by which they are judged and using your KPIs as a means of seeing how your results stack up to that standard, measure the results of each piece of content, each marketing campaign, and your overall content marketing strategy in order to determine what is working well and what isn't.
Nothing is more effective and attracting visitors to your web pages and keeping those visitors engaged than great content marketing. By establishing specific goals, developing a thorough approach to creating, scheduling, and publishing content, and using the result you measure as a means of continuous improvement, you can build a content marketing strategy that is sure to help grow your online business
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Robb Fahrion is a Co-Founder and Partner of Flying V Group. He is passionate about helping businesses grow using the power of the internet. Robb graduated from Chapman University in Orange, CA and currently resides in Costa Mesa, CA. Robb enjoys writing about digital marketing, helping his clients turn their dreams into reality, and he is a HUGE Mike Trout fan.