develop-a-content-strategy

The Ultimate Guide On How To Develop A Content Strategy

Content rules the internet. It ruled the internet in the past, and its importance has increased even more now. The black-hat marketers were able to game the system and rank high in the search engine with crappy pieces of content in the past, but it is nearly impossible today.

Understanding Content Marketing and Strategy

We can define content marketing as a type of marketing that deals with the publication and promotion of online content that offer value to the targeted audience to stimulate interest in them. There are various types of digital content, and they are a blog, video, case studies, social media posts, e-book, and more.

On the other hand, content strategy is a plan for the management and optimization of various types of written, downloadable, visual, and different types of content for establishing brand authority and making an impact on targeted audience to get more leads and sales eventually.

In today’s world, it is incredibly crucial for marketers to have a solid content marketing strategy in place. With so many online articles, videos, and other types of content published per day, you cannot expect people to find and interact with your content without a strategy.

Content-diversity

Image Source: Fourdots

However, a solid content strategy can give you a substantial return on your investment for a long time.

The study shows that it only costs one-third of traditional marketing cost to implement content marketing and it produces three times more leads.

Whether you are in B2B or B2C space, you need a content strategy in place. According to recent surveys, over 90% of B2B marketers (Source) are using content marketing, while over 85% of B2C marketers are using content to market their products/services (Source).

Tools that will help you to create a better content strategy

Keep in mind that I’m not recommending you to sign up for all the tools that I’m about to mention in this section. It depends on your strategy and goals.

However, you need essential software to manage your marketing and customer relations. A HubSpot marketing automation and HubSpot CRM software will help you achieve your marketing and customer relationship from a single platform. HubSpot does not charge a dime for its basic plan, and that free package alone is powerful to help you out.

Some other tools that you can look out for are:

  • Buzzsumo to find out about trending content and influencers.
  • Use Evernote for organizing and sharing your content with your team.
  • Trello to manage your tasks and teams.
  • Clickfunnels for developing powerful sales funnels
  • Canva for designing visually appealing images
  • SEMRush for your SEO strategy development
  • MailChimp or other similar software for email marketing

Besides these tools, you can explore for more, according to your needs.

What types of content should you create?

There are numerous types of content like video, podcasts, social media posts, infographics, interviews, slideshows, webinars, and so on. Again, the content you should focus depend on the nature of your company and your content strategy.

For now, I only want you to be aware of the list of content marketing tools and the types of content.

The-Content-Marketing-Matrix-content-types

Image Source: Small Business Trends / Smart Insights

How to come up with a content strategy for your business?

After knowing about tools and the types of posts, let’s get into the steps for creating a content strategy.

  1. Note down your goals

Producing content without goals is meaningless. Before putting your effort in creating different types of content, write down your priorities. What are your goals? Is it to generate awareness, get people to sign up for a free webinar, answer objections, get more sales, or others?

One must customize their content based on the buying cycle of the customer. For instance, a video works great for awareness, FAQ for answering objections, sales page to make a sale, and so on.

  1. Know your audience

It is only possible to get great results if you know your audience. Try to know as much as possible about your targeted audience. Know about your potential customers’ age, interest, gender, interest, and so on.

There are plenty of ways to research your audience. You can use Facebook audience insights, Google Analytics, HubSpot analytics, and so on. Learn how to use these tools to extract more in-depth information about your audience and note it down.

  1. Do not try to serve everyone

Not every single person in this world is your customer. Instead of trying to produce content for everyone, you should focus on your niche. There are tons of useless resources on the internet. If you decide to be a generalist, you might end up being yet another crappy content producer.

Focus on building authority in a space like a big fish in a small pond. Be knowledgeable in your niche and produce content that would stand out. By creating fantastic materials regularly, you will slowly start gaining hardcore followers of your brand.

  1. Do content audit

There are two important outcomes that you will get from the content audit:

  • You will know what types of content work best for your business.
  • You can increase your traffic.

Use tools like Google Analytics to go through your site pages or some other types of analytics to run a content audit. Here is a link to a resource that goes deep into the process of performing a content audit.

content_audit_flowchart_image

Image Source: Ahrefs

Ahrefs saw a spike of 7.57% in their traffic after deleting 31.7% of their posts (Source). It will help you learn and adjust your strategy.

Alongside content audit, you should also use other analytic tools for checking out your landing page performance, social media posts engagement, conversion rate, and so on for learning from your mistakes.

  1. Have a content calendar and a content management system

A content calendar is a calendar that mentions the list of materials to publish on a different point of time. It enables you to post content regularly without any interruption. Here are some of the ways to come up with content ideas:

  • Monitor your competitors
  • Use Google Alerts
  • Browse through forums, Q/A sites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, social bookmarking sites like Reddit
  • Use blog about, Feedly, HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator for getting suggestions
  • Utilize the power of Buzzsumo to know what types of topics are trending

Content-Calendar-Example

Image Source: Content Marketing Institute

You should also get your hands on the content management system for organizing your content and monitoring it. A HubSpot Software has its own CMS. Another popular CMS is WordPress.

  1. Give rating to platforms and types of content

The types of content that you should focus depending on your goals, the nature of a business, and other factors. I talked about the kinds of content in an earlier part of this article. In that list, assign a rating that performs best for your business objective.

For instance, Pinterest and Instagram could work best for the fashion industry, and whitepaper may work best for a B2B consultancy. Focus more on platforms that work and allocate only a small portion of your time on lesser effective platforms.

  1. Publish, Manage, Measure, and Update

Finally, you should publish content regularly and organize all your online materials. After some time, you should measure the performance and optimize your strategy based on performance. It is a regular cycle to follow for content marketers.

My Final Take

Only putting out a few articles or videos on the internet is not even enough to get a few visitors. You need a solid plan to gain attention for increasing your list and conversion rate.

Now that you have read this article, I believe you will not have a hard time creating a content strategy for your company. You need to do your research to come up with a plan, but this article will act as a blueprint that will give you a direction. You will notice that you will get much more return on your investment if you take actions with a clear strategy in place.

I hope you have found what you need to develop a content strategy. If you want to add more to this article, let us know your opinion below.

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Published by

Danish Wadhwa

Danish Wadhwa is a HubSpot certified marketing expert and IT pro. With a handful of experience in the web, he has served a number of clients across the world. As a techno-savvy person, he believes in experimenting with new tools and techniques.

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