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How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy in 5 Steps

Julia McCoy
Monday, 19th Feb 2024
Julia McCoy
5 min read · Jan 11 2022
how to create a content marketing strategy

So, you’re eager to dive into the digital realm and make a splash with your brand. You know it’s time to roll up your sleeves and master how to create a content marketing strategy. Consider this manual as your companion through each phase of crafting a dynamic content marketing plan.

From the basics of setting clear goals aligned with your business objectives to crafting compelling buyer personas, we’ve got you covered.

You’ll also learn how crucial it is to diversify your content portfolio across multiple channels for broader reach and deeper engagement.

Plus, get insider tips on managing this wealth of content without breaking a sweat.

Are you ready to gain practical knowledge on how to create a content marketing strategy that will lift your brand to new heights? Let’s get started.

Table Of Contents:

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

The heart of good content marketing lies in its strategy. Consider this your strategic playbook for connecting and resonating with your target audience by publishing worthwhile material on various platforms.

A well-thought-out content marketing strategy can help a business elevate its online visibility, drive more visitors to its website, and meet corporate goals through blogging, creating informative videos, and rolling out email outreach campaigns.

An effective content marketing strategy starts with setting clear objectives that align with what you want to achieve—be it enhancing customer engagement or increasing sales—and then mapping out how every piece of created or distributed content will help meet these objectives.

Infographic from Similarweb

Set Clear Objectives for Your Content

Starting on the right foot means having a clear idea of where you want to go. Think of it like planning a trip: you need a destination in mind to chart your course. The same goes for your content marketing strategy — it should be driven by specific goals that align with your bigger business objectives. By setting clear targets, you pave the way for success and ensure your efforts pay off in the long run.

A great content marketing strategy meets the needs of your target audience while helping you accomplish your goals.

To get started with goal setting, we’re going to use the SMART template. This framework is designed to break down the process into manageable chunks — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound — that bring clarity and focus to your content marketing endeavors.

Crafting clear objectives for your content marketing strategy illuminates the path each blog post or video should follow and ensures every piece of content aligns with those goals.

Whether it’s increasing brand awareness or driving more website traffic, it all circles back to what you initially set out to achieve.

Remembering why we create specific content types helps too. Blog posts cater primarily to achieving steady organic traffic because they remain valuable over time (evergreen content) while videos are designed to draw in prospects immediately.

Setting clear goals doesn’t just point us in the right direction; it also motivates us by mapping out the path to success. Each milestone we hit along the way marks progress in our business journey.

Infographic from Indeed

Know Your Target Audience

The next step in how to create a content marketing strategy is to know your target audience.

Audience research is crucial in content marketing because it helps you tailor your message effectively. By understanding who you’re speaking to, you can create content that resonates with their needs, interests, and pain points.

This targeted approach increases the chances of capturing their attention, building trust, and ultimately driving action, whether it’s making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing your content with others.

Plus, it enables you to refine your content marketing strategy over time based on audience feedback and behavior, ensuring your efforts are consistently aligned with what your audience wants and values.

In essence, knowing your audience empowers you to create content that connects and converts.

Create Buyer Personas

Building buyer personas helps you get into the minds of your target audience. This means looking beyond basic demographics to understand their challenges, desires, and behavior online. Imagine walking in their shoes — it gives you insight you can’t get from just data alone.

The more detailed your audience research, the better equipped you are to craft messages that hit home with each segment of your audience.

Consider the Customer Journey

The buyer’s journey consists of three stages: awareness, consideration, and decision. Each stage requires different types of content because as people move through their journey, their needs change.

By understanding each of these stages, you can produce materials that are precisely aligned with the shifting requirements of your audience at every turn.

For instance, during the awareness stage, they might need educational blog posts or infographics since they are just window shopping. By the time they reach the decision stage, customer testimonials or product comparisons might just be the final nudge they need to click the “Buy” button.

By adopting this detailed, buyer-focused strategy, each content element is meticulously positioned and purposed to guide the customer through each stage — transforming every interaction into a chance for meaningful engagement that brings them closer to making a purchase.

Example of a buyer persona’s customer journey from Ahrefs

Draft Your Content Marketing Plan

Crafting a content marketing plan is kind of like setting up dominoes — the pieces fit just right, and when you start the chain reaction, it’s pure magic. Think of it as laying down the groundwork, your sturdy strategy skeleton, that fuels all your creative efforts.

With a solid content strategy framework, you’re basically mapping out how you’ll handle creating, managing, and fine-tuning your content. This way, every blog post or video isn’t just random — it’s purposeful, grabbing your audience’s attention while contributing to your business goals.

Create a Content Calendar

An editorial calendar isn’t just about keeping track of deadlines; it’s about strategically planning when and where each piece of content will make the biggest impact. With a content calendar template, you can visualize how different pieces fit into broader themes or campaigns over time.

This organized approach helps ensure consistent output across platforms — be it through email marketing campaigns or long-form blog posts — while allowing room to adapt based on performance analytics.

Incorporating these elements into one cohesive document gives everyone in your team clear guidelines to follow for maximum efficiency in reaching desired outcomes.

Example of an editorial calendar from Content at Scale

Diversify Your Content Portfolio

When it comes to catching and keeping your audience’s attention, variety isn’t just the spice of life—it’s essential. Switching up your content collection entails not merely changing subjects but also utilizing assorted types and styles of content to captivate different slices of your audience in a meaningful way.

Blog Posts

Evergreen blog posts are a cornerstone for any content marketing strategy because they provide steady organic traffic long after their publication date. These pieces remain relevant over time, continually drawing in new readers with valuable insights.

The beauty of blog posts lies in their versatility — from deep dives into industry trends to how-to guides or listicles, there’s no limit to the subjects you can cover. This flexibility allows you to address multiple facets of your target market’s interests and needs.

Infographics

In today’s digital age where information overload is a common challenge, infographics have emerged as a powerful tool to capture the attention of your target audience. These visually engaging pieces can significantly enhance your content creation efforts by making complex data easily understandable at a glance.

Why do infographics work so well? The answer lies in their ability to combine text, images, and design to tell a compelling story that resonates with viewers. Studies show that humans can process visual information 60,000 times faster than text. This means infographics are not only more likely to be viewed but also remembered longer than traditional textual content. For marketers aiming for both reach and impact, understanding the science behind infographic effectiveness is crucial.

Social Media

The first step in any successful content marketing strategy involves building robust brand awareness. Social media platforms, with their billions of active users, present an unparalleled opportunity for brands to connect with potential customers globally.

By crafting engaging, relevant content tailored to the interests and needs of your target audience, you can significantly increase your brand’s visibility. A strategic approach includes creating visually captivating posts that speak directly to your audience, participating in trending conversations, and employing hashtags.

A critical aspect often overlooked by marketers is the power of social media to drive substantial traffic back to their website or blog. Each post shared on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn acts as a beacon guiding users to more detailed information housed on your main site. This not only improves SEO rankings through increased engagement but also enhances user experience by providing them with easy access to valuable resources.

User-generated content (UGC) has emerged as a goldmine for enhancing authenticity and trust among audiences. Encouraging satisfied customers or followers to share their experiences or reviews about using your products/services effectively turns them into brand ambassadors — amplifying positive sentiment across various channels without significant investment from you.
Platforms such as Instagram excel at showcasing UGC through features like stories and tags, thus providing businesses an avenue to spotlight real-life applications of their offerings.

Videos

Video content is hot right now. Videos are a captivating medium, unparalleled in their ability to draw and maintain viewer engagement. They offer dynamic ways to present information — whether through tutorials, behind-the-scenes looks at your business processes, or customer testimonials — that resonate on a personal level with viewers.

Diversifying your content portfolio ensures that each piece serves a specific purpose within your overall marketing strategy — tailored precisely for distinct segments of your audience.

Best types of content according to a Semrush survey

Manage Your Content Effectively

Content management involves more than just its creation; it’s also about crafting strategies to ensure it reaches the intended audience. It’s also about ensuring it finds its way to the right eyes and ears. Let’s talk strategy.

Choose a Good CMS

Picking the right Content Management System (CMS) can make or break your content marketing efforts. A good CMS lets you publish, manage, and track your content effortlessly across multiple channels. Think of it as the backbone of your digital presence — a place where all pieces come together smoothly.

The importance of selecting an appropriate CMS cannot be overstated because this choice affects everything from SEO to social media engagement. Consider options that offer extensive support for Google Analytics integration for a deeper dive into how well your content performs online.

Analyze Performance

Speaking of performance, utilizing Google Analytics is like having a GPS for navigating through the vastness of digital space. It tells you not just where you are but where you should go next by monitoring traffic and engagement metrics closely.

This tool sheds light on which types of content resonate most with your audience, enabling targeted improvements in future creations or updates to existing ones.

Choosing the right CMS is a game changer for your content strategy, boosting SEO and social engagement. Dive deep with Google Analytics to see what truly resonates with your audience. #ContentMarketing #SEOBoost Click to Tweet

Enhancing Engagement Through Personalization

Going back to the topic of buyer personas, these profiles are not just crucial for understanding your target audience but also for personalizing your content. When you customize your approach to fit your audience’s diverse tastes and needs, you really amp up their engagement and connection with your content.

Great communication begins with diving into analytics to really get who your customers are. With tools like Google Analytics, you can uncover gold mines of info about who’s checking out your stuff — like who they are, what they like, and what they’re up to.

Once you’ve got a solid grip on your audience’s likes and dislikes, make content that speaks to them personally. For instance, if your analytics reveal a bunch of outdoor enthusiasts among your followers, why not whip up some blog posts or videos all about outdoor adventures?

You can also personalize your email marketing campaigns. By personalizing emails for each subscriber segment, not only will you see a spike in open rates but also the likelihood of turning those readers into customers because they get the sense that every word was written just for them.

CRM systems can help you dig and collect valuable customer data. This data helps your content team deliver highly targeted offers and recommendations across multiple channels seamlessly.

Boost your engagement by personalizing content. Dive into data, tailor messages, and watch open rates soar. It’s all about knowing your audience. #ContentMarketing #Personalization Click to Tweet

Repurposing High Performing Content

Finding hidden gems in your existing content is like discovering a stash of treasures hiding in your backyard. It all kicks off with a thorough content audit to spot the pieces that are already shining bright.

When you do an audit, you might uncover opportunities to take a killer piece and give it a whole new lease on life across different platforms. Repurposing content is like breathing new life into your best work and reaching even more people with it.

Content Audits: Identifying Opportunities

A thorough content audit not only highlights what’s working but also pinpoints why certain pieces outperform others. This insight is invaluable because it informs not just how we can repurpose our valuable content but also guides future creation efforts toward success.

The process involves deep dives into analytics to understand engagement metrics fully. By analyzing these data points, we’re able to discern patterns that contribute to higher performance — be it topics, formats, or distribution channels.

Revamping Popular Blogs and Videos

After identifying which types of good content resonate most with your audience through audits, consider converting them into other effective formats. A popular blog post could evolve into a series of YouTube videos or an infographic summarizing key points for visual learners.

Turning your content into different formats is like squeezing every last drop of goodness out of a winning strategy. You get to connect with more folks on their favorite platforms, all while keeping your brand top of mind with awesome content across the board.

Got a top-ranking blog post that’s about to go stale? Perhaps a popular YouTube video you want to turn into long-form content? You can use Content at Scale to repurpose these pieces into fresh, 100% original content by simply entering their URL.

FAQs – How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

What are the 7 steps in creating a content strategy?

  1. What problem do you want to solve?
  2. Perform a content audit.
  3. Know your target audience.
  4. Create strategic content.
  5. Publish and manage content.
  6. Use email marketing.
  7. Measure and repeat.

What are the 5 essential elements of a content marketing strategy?

  1. Audience personas.
  2. Brand story.
  3. Content marketing mission.
  4. Business case.
  5. An action plan.

What are the 3 C’s of content?

The trio stands firm: Creation (making it), Curation (finding it), Circulation (sharing it). All three keep your game tight.

What is an example of a content strategy?

An effective strategy might focus on SEO-driven blog posts to boost organic search visibility while leveraging social media for increased engagement.

Conclusion

You now have the master plan for how to create a content marketing strategy that distinguishes your brand.

Start by defining precise objectives and deeply understanding your target audience.

Diversify your content to keep engagement high across all channels. Managing your content creation process effectively means less stress and more success.

Bear in mind, crafting outstanding material is merely a single piece of the larger puzzle. It’s also about making sure it finds its way to the right eyes at the right time.

So take these insights, apply them with dedication, and watch as they transform your marketing efforts into something truly remarkable.

Written by Julia McCoy

See more from Julia McCoy
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