CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY. A STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE
Content marketing can be called the backbone of SEO promotion. Its goal is to attract the target audience through the published information, gain their trust and motivate them to take the action you need.
Stages of developing a content strategy
Let’s start with what a content marketing strategy is. It is an action plan to create and publish helpful content to potential customers to motivate them to take the targeted action. Below, we will consider the main steps and tools for implementing a content strategy that will help publish texts and turn them into a competitive advantage of the project.
1. Goal Setting
Content should not be created by itself and only for show. It is essential to clearly understand why your project needs the information that you plan to publish. Otherwise, there may be many texts and videos, but you will not get any practical effect from them. Depending on the goal set for a certain period, the nature of the content placement strategy and its content will have their characteristics. Here are some examples of the dependence of a content marketing strategy on its task.
- The goal is to increase and diversify traffic. Solution: posting useful SEO-optimized content on your resource, publishing articles on third-party sites, collaborating with famous bloggers, an active advertising campaign in various sources that your target audience visits.
- The goal is to form the status of an expert. Solution: publication of case studies with the results, research and experiments, interviews, instructions, guides, and reviews, where your company acts as a specialist. As in the previous example, when creating a content marketing strategy, it is essential to involve external sources: third-party blogs, thematic online and offline resources, social networks, etc.
- The goal is to build a reputation and remove objections. Solution: posting reviews both on your website and on third-party ones, publishing cases, answers to frequently asked questions, videos with the personal participation of the CEO or employees. It is essential to pay attention to dealing with negative reviews.
- The goal is to increase sales. Solution: a detailed demonstration of the benefits of products or services provided by the company. The primary tool of the strategy is its information resources: website, communities in social networks, email newsletters. Videos, reviews, product comparisons, case studies, information about promotions, news, and special offers are the most effective types of content.
A content marketing strategy can solve several problems at once, but you must determine which ones will be the highest priority in a certain period. For example, you just launched the site, and there are no visitors on it yet, and there is no one to inform about promotions and discounts. In this case, it is better to focus on driving traffic.
2. Target audience
Content is not created for everyone, especially since it is not made for the business owner. This tool should have the aime at the target audience. The more accurately the portrait of the target audience is indicated, the more correctly you will be able to communicate with him, influencing decisions and motivating you to take the action you need. Any aspects that unite your potential client are essential here: gender, age group, geography. The pains, fears, objections, and interests of the target audience are excruciating, and they must be taken into account when developing a content strategy. In other words, if the content you create contains information about how you can be helpful, the user will pay attention to it.
3. Competitor analysis
Concentration – on the leaders of the business niche. It is from them that you can and should learn. Chances are, you know who is the best in your market. Competitors in SEO can be found using search engines, choosing the most successful sites that rank high in the search results for key queries. Research what types of content your competitors are using, where you can find information about them and their product, how and what they are talking about with their target audience. Be sure to keep this valuable data in mind when crafting your content marketing strategy.
4. Determination of content distribution channels
An effective content marketing strategy must necessarily include those implementation channels best suited to achieving the goal.
Types of content distribution channels:
1. internal, or own:
- communities on social networks;
- email newsletters;
- YouTube channel;
2. external, or third-party:
- guest posts on partner sites and thematic blogs;
- cooperation with bloggers;
- offline sources (printed publications: periodicals or unique literature, advertising brochures, work at exhibitions, etc.);
3. attracted – the distribution of helpful content by the target audience particularly reposts in social networks.
We recommend that you work with range in parallel, using different types of distribution channels. At a particular stage in the project’s development, focus on the option that is more suitable for the implementation of the specific goals outlined in the strategy.
5. Choosing a content format
The format of content that will more effectively influence the target audience depends on its nature and goals. In addition, it is worth considering other features of the approved content marketing strategy, for example, the chosen channels of information dissemination. Let’s take a look at what kind of “wrapper” you can pack your content in.
Popular content formats for Internet projects:
- Videos. The video format is used for publishing reviews, comparing products, demonstrating product capabilities, interviews, lessons, and workshops, behind the scenes of a company, or specifics of interaction with customers. Videos can be posted both on your site and on external channels. Creating a YouTube channel will allow you to use another exterior (and very popular) platform for contacting your target audience. Plus, YouTube works as a search engine, and properly optimized videos will bring new leads.
- Text Content. Text content is the backbone of any strategy. It can be placed almost everywhere, both on your website and on other sites, including print media: in product cards, blog articles, case studies, texts in categories and on the main page, information “About us”, etc. A separate plus of the text is the effective use of main queries. In this case, there are many more opportunities for placing SEO keywords: here, they appear in tags and titles and inside the content itself.
- Images and photographs. Images can be used separately and as an illustration of text content or a video announcement. Images can enhance the semantic effect of text material, are faster to remember, and attract attention.
- Infographics. It is a particular type of image in which the meaning of the test material is conveyed in a concise and more convenient graphic form. These are easy-to-understand and memorize schemes. Infographics can be used to complement textual content, shown in a video, published independently (for example, on social networks), sent out in email newsletters to subscribers.
6. Developing a content plan
After collecting and analyzing the necessary information, you can start creating your content marketing plan. This step involves drawing up a clear list of actions, types of content and main topics, sites for its placement. The plan should cover a specific time, include a description of goals, tools, and time frames for their achievement.
7. Implementation of the plan and creation of content
The success of this, the longest, stage directly depends on how accurately you adhere to the previously outlined strategy. Another essential component is creating high-quality content: useful, engaging, and necessary for your target audience, unique, well-written (captured or drawn), and properly optimized for SEO. You can independently write text content or prepare a technical specification and assign a task to a copywriter.
8. Increasing distribution channels
When creating a content development strategy, think about how you will attract the target audience to it. For example, by posting an article on your website, you can use:
- reposts in social networks;
- email newsletters and push notifications;
- publications in messengers;
- links on the YouTube channel;
- SEO promotion;
- advertising with opinion leaders and partners;
- contextual and targeted advertising.
9. Evaluation of the effectiveness
Be sure to analyze how effective the developed content marketing strategy was. Evaluation is necessary to understand in which direction to move on, what more work needs to be done, what does not bring results, and what could be a mistake.
- the position of the site for the collected requests;
- traffic dynamics;
- changes in user behavioral factors;
- conversion rate;
- the open rate of letters and the percentage of clicks from them;
- coverage, views, likes, reposts, comments in social networks;
- duration of video views.
10. Updating Previously Published Content
You should fix all the content you ever publish on paper. Follow the changes of the previously posted information. Over time, it can lose its relevance. Updating materials that have not been updated for a long time are lost in the data stream. Use previously created content, supplementing it with new data. It is a good chance to save a lot of time and money on developing new material. You will remind yourself about your competence and revive interest in a forgotten but still up-to-date topic.
Effective development and promotion of any Internet project are impossible without the use of content marketing. In turn, without developing a plan, it will be much more challenging to develop this direction. So take some time to create a content strategy and follow it.
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