How to Develop a Strong Content Strategy

March 7th, 2019 by Michelle Neuhoff Boyd

Notepad with words content marketing concept and glasses

You’ve heard it time and time again, “Creating a strong content marketing strategy is essential.” Is it really that important? Well, according to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing produces three times as many leads as outbound marketing yet costs about 62 percent less.

You might still be wondering, what goes into creating a content marketing strategy? Is all of this planning really necessary? While it might seem like something you can just do on a day-by-day basis, building a strategy helps you work more efficiently because you and your team will have already decided how to handle potential issues. But because there are many elements to putting together a successful marketing plan, we’ll walk through some of the most important ones.

Define Your Goals and Set Your KPIs

What are you hoping to achieve? You might be looking to get more traffic, position your company as an expert in the industry, increase revenue, improve your search engine rankings, or increase brand awareness. Hone in on what’s most important to your business and clearly define your goals. Set yourself up for success by making your goals S.M.A.R.T. When doing so, make sure your goals are measurable and decide which KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) make the most sense for tracking your campaign’s success. And remember, not every metric is a KPI.

Know Your Audience and Solve Their Problems

How will your content help your customers? Your product or service exists and matters because it solves a problem for someone somewhere. Ideally, it should solve a variety of problems for many types of people. An effective content strategy addresses the appropriate audiences by using a variety of content types and educates your audience while they look for information about their problems. But not everyone is at the same stage in their problem-solving quest. Some might still be understanding their problems while others are out there looking for solutions. Keep the marketing funnel in mind as you build out your content strategy.

Content strategy with words awareness, consideration, decision

Decide on Publication Platforms and Content Types

How do you reach your audience? As you work through the process of understanding your audience, you’ll get a better feeling for where they spend their time. First, focus on covering the essentials on your website and blog, and then consider opportunities to broadcast your content beyond that. Make sure your site covers everything that your audience needs to know about your company, its products and services, and what sets you apart. Use your blog to demonstrate your expertise in your niche and maybe even use this as an opportunity to build out other content types that can be shared elsewhere or repurposed into different formats (like infographics and videos).

Create a Content Calendar

When do you post what? Now that you know what you want to create, you need to think about how to execute your plan. Creating a content calendar makes it easier to stay focused, keep everything organized, and be productive. You can start with just one month of content in the beginning, but you’ll want to continue building it out in advance and take note of seasonal events, holidays, and other dates that might help you create timely, relevant content further down the road. Take a look at the content types you’ve decided on and then lay out your content strategy, keeping in mind the best times to post and how often to do so. Note any evergreen topics that are relevant throughout the year. They can help you fill in current gaps in your content or provide some flexibility in a time crunch.

Distribute Your Content and Measure the Results

What does success look like? It’s finally time to see how successful your strategy has been. To do so, you’ll want to refer back to the KPIs you set and see if you’ve hit your targets. Be sure to think about what’s changed in your industry. Were there any special events or seasonality that might have caused spikes or lowered performance? Be sure to look at your results month-to-month and year-over-year. Monitor your progress and make adjustments at regular intervals.

Does all of this sound like too much? Creating an effective content marketing strategy can be challenging and stressful, but Search Influence can help! Our content marketing experts know how to research, plan, and execute the goals that are most important to you. If you’re looking to get support on building a content marketing strategy or if you would like a consultation while creating one internally, we’ve got you covered. Speak with one of our strategists today at (504) 208-3900 or fill out this form to request a marketing analysis and proposal.