An optimized content marketing strategy can have the power to boost site traffic, educate users, bring in new customers, increase conversion rates, drive revenue, and overall, help build a stronger brand.
Learning how to create a content strategy has become one of the most important educational needs for today’s businesses, considering the effects this can actually have in terms of search engine rankings and website success in general. Your content will rapidly become the voice of your company, so you can’t afford to make any mistakes in this department.
Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing, or you believe that it’s time to change your approach here, to access better results, you might need some guidance on the topic.
How should you write that perfect content marketing strategy? What are the most important steps to take here? What should you focus on first? The following guidelines will help you develop and execute a content marketing plan that actually delivers the expected results:
Set your objectives straight – what are you trying to accomplish?
First things first, determine your main goals. What are you trying to accomplish through content marketing? Setting out a mission statement and having an outline of your primary objectives will help you stay organized and focus on what’s actually important. For optimal results, it’s important to stay on track, and a few mission statement outlines will help you do that:
- The audience you’re targeting
- The type of content that can reach your target audience
- The benefits they can access through your content
Mission statement example: We provide audience X with X type of content to help them X business objectives.
The main content marketing goals can vary from one business to another, but usually, the main purposes include:
- Boosted revenue
- Increased sales
- Higher traffic rates
- A boost in site authority and credibility
- SEO results
- User engagement
- Decrease in bounce rates
With things figured out here, you can proceed with the next step of the process.
Determine your key performance indicators
You need measurable and specific goals – that’s the most effective way to actually achieve business objectives. What does that mean? Determining your KPIs (key performance indicators).
KPIs will allow you to keep up with project milestone, check them off your list and figure out when and if you’ve reached your targeted purposes. KPIs can be anything from SEO and traffic metrics to revenue and conversion rates.
Key performance indicators usually have a certain number included. A few examples are:
- Obtaining a specific number of newsletter subscriptions
- A particular site page’s search ranking
- Hitting revenue target
Establish your KPIs from the start, and use them to make the most of your content marketing strategy.
Get to know your target audience
For content marketing success, you should be addressing the right audience. How can you write high-quality, interesting and engaging content, if you don’t actually know who your readers are and the topics they’re interested in? You have different useful approaches available here:
Tap into demographic data
Collecting information on your site visitors, social media followers, and even email subscribers is an important action to take here. Through web analytics, you can collect the data you need to better understand your audience, useful details including gender, age, income, and education.
If you use Google Analytics tools, you can do even more extensive research, and collect data on your audiences’ interests. Simply go to the ‘Audiences’ section, tap on ‘Interests’ and select ‘Overview’
Access feedback from current customers
If you have the possibility to, don’t hesitate to ask your current site visitors what they think about your content at the moment. Customer feedback will help you reach a few useful conclusions: how do they perceive your current content quality? What are their main needs and desires related to your business profile? How can you help solve their issues through your content?
With customer feedback, you can understand your audience’s priorities more easily, and decide on the subjects that will reach readers better.
Develop buyer personas
Create buyer personas using the demographic data and customer feedback above mentioned. Buyer personas, also referred to as customer avatars, will help you create the type of content that is useful for your readers, your audience would actually respond to, content that resonates with their needs.
You have different template options available for this task. You can use Qualaroo’s smart surveys, HubSpot’s templates or different types of guides.
Find and use the right content creation resources
When you’ve reached the point where you have to actually start writing, you’ll likely encounter different challenges. Writing content is nowadays, easier than ever, considering how many resources and tools you have available. For your content projects to be on point you’ll need to:
Brainstorm the right content ideas
Finding the right topics to write about isn’t easy. Even if you know who your audience is, and what they’re mainly interested in, your content ideas should still ones that drive immediate attention.
To simplify the brainstorming process, use some of the tools available nowadays:
- HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator – all you need to do is enter your three primary key terms and you’ll rapidly get at least five viable blog topic. You can choose the subjects that work for your site best, and start writing.
- BuzzSumo – this is a great tool used by content marketers all the time. It gives you access to multiple topic ideas, but its support doesn’t stop here. With BuzzSumo you can also check top trending content, find out the number of shares and social media engagements your content receives, and have backlinks displayed.
- Alltop – this is a news aggregator that gives you the chance to know what’s happening online. Regardless of profile, you will find out the most popular topics on the internet, whether they’re about fashion, science or religion.
Ensure readability and avoid grammar and spelling mistakes
A compelling topic will become irrelevant if your content is full of grammar or spelling mistakes, doesn’t flow well, isn’t readable or is simply poorly written. To prevent having posts on your site that don’t meet high standards, use writing services and tools to your advantage. A few popular examples would be Grammarly, Trust My Paper, Hemingway Editor, Siteliner or Canva.
Focus on quality – inform, engage, be transparent
Attracting your target audience through content means you have to focus on quality first. Is your written content engaging, informative, useful or entertaining? When you’re writing posts for your site, maintain transparency to optimal levels, and include in your articles information the reader can actually use.
To demonstrate the actual business value of your content, measure it against KPIs, as it was suggested above.
Just regularly posting content on your site won’t be enough, it needs to be compelling, something that site visitors can enjoy reading and might actually share further.
Create strong headlines
A good headline can drive immediate interest and invite readers in. if you check a few statistics, you’ll discover that 80 percent of users will read your headline, but only 20 percent of them will actually read the rest of your content. These numbers clearly show how much a strong headline matters for content marketing success.
Get readers to act
What is your content topic about? Will it actually advise readers on how to apply a certain lesson? Getting readers to act is one of the main aspects to keep in mind when you are mapping out your strategy.
The reason people may be looking over your posts in the first place is to learn and become better at something, so give them tips, provide them with guidance and make your content actionable in general.
Optimize your content for social media sharing
You already know how important social media is for site exposure and success. A simple share form one of your content readers on a popular social media channel, and you can boost your number of site visitors, or even have that post go viral.
This is why, when you are writing content, you need to optimize it for social media sharing. Add buttons on your posts that allow users to easily share your article on these networks.
Keep a content calendar
Starting out with content marketing demands commitment from your part. Writing and uploading a few posts won’t be enough to get readers, boost site traffic, and reshape convert leads into customers. Update your site with great content regularly.
You have to know exactly when you want to publish new posts and what platform to use. For that, you’ll need to keep a content calendar. Stay organized, value regular posting, and schedule and plan your creation processes effectively.
Content marketing remains critical for a powerful online presence. Driving more traffic to your website, and getting users to actually stay in your site becomes easier when your content marketing strategy is on point. The guidelines above underline the most important actions to take when you are trying to write that perfect content marketing plan.