How to Develop a Content Strategy in 10 Easy Steps
Does your content strategy look like your dancing style – flailing your arms and legs around like you’re being attacked by a swarm of bees?
A successful content strategy is more like a well-orchestrated ballet in which every participant knows exactly when to jump in and when to glissade out. An unsuccessful content strategy, on the other hand, is like a tap dancer wearing crocheted slippers.
If you are a klutz when it comes to doing the marketing dance, you are not alone. Only 38 percent of business-to-customer (B2C) businesses surveyed by Content Marketing Institute (CMI) have a documented content strategy in which they have planned out their dance moves in advance.
Simply having a documented content strategy can be an indicator of content marketing success, in that 65 percent of the most successful marketers have a documented strategy detailing the content they will produce. They know that developing a content strategy can align teams around an organization’s common goals, keep teams focused on documented priorities, and provides clarity on the target audience. Developing a content strategy can also make it easier to determine which type of content to produce.
Learning the steps to developing a content strategy can get your sales department up and dancing in no time!
10 Steps for Creating a Graceful and Successful Content Strategy
1. Plan your dance before the music plays
Establish your mission and goals. Create a content marketing mission statement that details your target audience, the content you will use to reach them, and the benefits they will receive. You can use the following formula to create your organization’s content marketing mission statement:
“We provide [target audience] with [content type] to help them [accomplish this goal].
You will also need to determine the benefits your organization receives by producing content. These goals may include improving revenue, making sales, increasing traffic to a website, and reduced marketing costs.
2. Kick up your KPIs
Establish key performance indicators (KPIs), which provide milestones that help you determine if you are on the right path to success. KPIs include the goals you plan to reach when it comes to sales, revenue, SEO, website traffic and different aspects of digital marketing like email marketing and social media metrics. KPIs help you determine whether you hit certain revenue targets within a quarter or year, for example, or measure a content marketing strategy’s success rate at increasing traffic to your website.
3. Get to know your audience
To create content that reaches your intended targets, you need to understand who your audience is. Get to know your audience by:
- Collecting demographics, such as age, gender and income, on your website visitors, email subscribers, social media followers and maybe even their favorite dance moves
- Get customer feedback about their needs, how you can address their needs, and their feelings about the content you are currently producing
- Creating buyer personas that describe your ideal customers
4. Assess your current position
Review your content, assess its usefulness, and identify gaps. Use fancy tools to evaluate your website or simply compare revenue with your marketing efforts.
5. Pick your music
Determine the types of content you want to provide. Blogs are important, of course, but so are videos, podcasts, white papers and audio files. The ideal content will be actionable, valuable and shareable.
6. Put a nickel in the jukebox and choose your partners
Allocate the appropriate resources. Decide who is in charge of producing and maintaining content, determine what types of human and digital tools you will need to create and manage the content, and your publishing workflow.
7. Keep in step
Lack of planning is a common mistake when it comes to developing a content strategy. A content calendar helps you publish the content you want, on time and in the right places. You can use Google calendar if you are publishing a small amount of content now and then, but you might benefit from using an online editorial calendar if you are managing large amounts of content regularly.
8. Create content
Sit down at the keyboard and start pumping out content! Better still, hire a professional content writer to create interesting blogs, informative white papers, engaging podcasts, and more. Be sure content is appealing, well researched, and geared towards enticing customers towards your sales funnel.
9. Let everyone dance
Upload the content to your company website. Post it to social media platforms, or post teasers with links to the content. Submit the content to trade magazines and industry websites.
10. Applaud your results
For more information on developing a content strategy, contact WriterAccess. Our army of professional writers can create content that keeps customers coming back for more.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more. She writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.