The content you share can help to transform your industry reputation and create valuable customer relationships. A good content strategy could be just what your business needs to stand out from the crowd and boost your digital marketing game.
We’ve created this guide to take you through the steps we follow as an agency when creating a content strategy for our clients.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is the process of creating and sharing online material that doesn’t explicitly advertise your brand but does have a specific aim (brand awareness, conversions, etc.) Content can come in a variety of formats – ranging from a video or infographic to a blog or a social media post.
As long as the material you share is aiming to stimulate some sort of interest, then it is playing a part in your content marketing success. Content should be creative, valuable and relevant – there isn’t much point in sharing content with no real aim or purpose (which is why your strategy is so important).
What is a content strategy?
There is no doubt that your content can help to grow your business. However, for it to have a real impact, it needs to be well planned and have a clear goal. Your content strategy is the management of each online asset that you create. The process involves researching, planning, creating and presenting.
A content creator will usually work with other members of the team to outline the campaign goals and create a strategy that will meet them. A strategy will determine how you show who you are, and what you can bring to your customers. There are a few steps you’ll have to take to hit your digital marketing targets, so, we’ve outlined these below.
Decide on a goal
Why are you producing content, and where do you see your business once you implement your plan? Before we delve into a strategy, we take time to get to know our clients brand, industry, audience, performance and goals. Here are just a few examples of what your content marketing objective might be:
- Brand awareness
- More site traffic
- Working with influencers
- Creating customer relationships
- Generating backlinks
- Building a reputation in your industry
Do your research
The research phase is when we look into what is working for you currently and what we can aim to improve in terms of organic traffic, conversions, social media engagement and backlinks. As a results-driven agency, we don’t rely purely on intuition. Instead, we combine our ideas with solid research and real data.
Using specialist analytics tools; we can decide what is likely to improve results going forward. We will choose the format that is best for you depending on your current performance and your goals. This is called a content audit – and it will generally involve the following steps:
- Taking note of all your current content, which includes anything from a blog forum or social media schedule to videos and infographics.
- Evaluate how useful this content is and whether it’s adding anything to your site. You can do this by looking into things such as comments on your blog or how much engagement you receive on social media.
- Finally, you can identify the gaps and see what is missing.
You can figure out whether your content is helping you to meet your digital marketing goals. If you are starting from scratch, you can assess your competitors content and look into what is working for them. Looking into competitors can help you work out what might fit in the market or how you can fill any gaps. You might want to look into their content formats. For example, are they succeeding more with blogs or on their Facebook page? There are plenty of options when it comes to your content format, for example:
- Social Media
Seeing what tends to work in your industry or with a specific audience can help you make a decision on your own content format.
Build a buyer persona
Your target audience plays an important part in your strategy. So, when we are building a strategy for another brand, we will look into your content landscape in terms of your existing and target audience. We define a clear audience by creating a buyer persona for each of our clients.
A buyer persona is a representation of the absolute ideal customer. You’ll base the persona on a combination of market research and real data on your existing customers. A buyer persona makes it much easier to map out your content because you understand exactly who you are targeting.
A buyer persona is useful for any business, but, especially those who are just getting started or have less experience. It’s important to remember that your typical customer can change as your business develops over time. It’s good to keep reviewing who you are targeting and why – even if you’re a larger or more established company.
Do you want to expand your target market? Do you want to target different customers based on new research?
Brainstorm and finalise
Once you are happy with your research, you’ll start to brainstorm. It’s best to map out what you think will work at this point based on your audience and goals. Once you decide on the direction you want to take – you can take the final ideas into the next part of the process.
What we mean is, you can now bring together any ideas. Remember there is no harm in using different expert areas in the team – for example, an SEO perspective can be helpful when it comes to content. It’s also best to always combine any content marketing knowledge with your goals.
Create a content marketing roadmap
We use a content roadmap to keep track of our live campaigns and make sure they are complementing each other. The roadmap is the final part of the planning process, and we continue to use it throughout the campaign.
We base our content roadmaps on our client’s main goals, combined with our research. Each area of the content campaign will be mapped out, including who is leading the project, where and when it will be shared and what we’re aiming to achieve.
You can use your content roadmap to take note of any major dates that could influence what you share, for example, Black Friday sales. If you want to give your content a boost, it is essential to consider things outside of your business that will involve your audience.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or would like any help with your content marketing strategy, please feel free to get in touch with our London based agency.