How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Content Marketing


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Content Marketing Strategy

Are you creating content? Do you have a strategy? Is it working? If the answer to those questions is no, keep watching because today we’re going to give you a top level overview of the things you need to include in your own content marketing strategy.

 

Your Target Audience

Let’s kick off with target audience. There are many ways in which you can target your own audience. First and foremost I recommend creating buyer personas. Now you can create a number of personas based on various stages of the buying cycle as well as various needs of your buyers. Don’t look to create too many personas. I would stick to a span of numbers between 5-10 because you don’t want to over complicate things at this stage. Another way in which you want to create or find out information about your target audience is to pull off data in GoogleAnalytics and you can pull off an audience report there. This gives you key demographic data based on things such as location, age, gender, personal interests. Once you’ve painted up a really good picture of who you’re targeting, you can then create your own goals and objectives for your marketing campaign. Now every business will have their own business plan and down from that they’ll have their own marketing plan and marketing goals and down from that you’ll have your content marketing plan and content marketing goals. It’s key to remember that each piece of content that you create has to have its own goal and objective. Now a goal could be something like driving preferred traffic, organic traffic, social shares, engagement. conversions, leads, sales and so on and so forth. However, it’s all well and good saying I want to create a piece of content that’s going to deliver lots of traffic.

 

Setting A Content Goal

The way in which you can achieve this is by setting objectives. Now your objectives could be something like to entertain, to provide information, to educate, to persuade, to create, to controversy. Now a good example would lets say you want to create a piece of content that sustains traffic over a long period of time. That’s your goal or your objective would be to create something that educates, that provides insight. Something that you know is going to draw businesses back to your sight and a good example there would be a Whitepaper, a user guide, a how to guide. So that just shows you a good example of when it comes to your goals and objectives, there are lots of things that you need to be thinking about, but they all need to be in line to your marketing plan and then your overall business plan.

 

Social Media Is Key

Number four, you create a single piece of content. First and foremost you want to be getting involved on social media. So set up profiles on the big hitters like GooglePlus, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Populate them. Engage with visitors and users. Answer comments, answer questions and so on and so forth. One of the things I would also recommend is to find industry specific sites, niches such as Q&A sites or Local business profiles and look at how those Q&A sites to specific areas of interest to your own business and again populate that, engage with visitors, engage with users. One of the key things you want to be getting out of this process is to build up your own community of followers, but also to start engaging with key influences in those communities and this will help massively when it comes to the promotional aspects of your strategy. So you know who you’re targeting, you’ve put out your objectives, you’re active on social. Now it’s time to start establishing those ideas.

 

Content Audit

First and foremost what you want to be doing is performing a content audit so you’re going to your own site and measure and map out everything you’ve ever done in terms of content. So look at blog posts, look at infographics, look at videos, look at everything you’ve done. In a spreadsheet you want to have various columns. Have content type, have content title, the number of page views, the number of social shares, the number of comments and pay close attention to analytics to meet your objectives. Any idea that you come up with always map it against your content audit and have a look at what has worked and what hasn’t worked.

 

Competitor Analysis

Secondly after your content audit, you’re going to be doing a competitor analysis so in a similar way you’re going to be looking at about 5-10 of your strongest competitors. Look at the content that they’ve created. Could be you look at off page stuff, so guest posts, newsletters, surveys. That type of thing. This kind of gives you a good idea of, a rich sort of idea of what your competitors are doing and you can measure that against what you’re currently doing and if you’re not doing that, let’s say for example you find you perform a back link analysis of your competitors and you find a variety of sites that they’re writing for, they’re writing on. Again that kind of provides you with some insight. You might be able to approach those sights for a follow up opinion or a different angle. Okay. Just an idea for you to consider. GoogleAnalytics is also something I would utilize when it comes to creating your own content ideas. GoogleAnalytics first and foremost you can perform as a site search. You can look at the data that you’ve received from that and you can see basically where people land on your site and they perform a site search internally. This provides you with a rich source of insight because they can be asking you questions, queries, so on and so forth.

 

Track Your Content

Now, GoogleAnalytics also provides you with information on key performing pages so it could be a particular product or service that you then want to create content around. Could be that you find a particular product or service isn’t performing as well as you’d like and you actually find out that people are actually dropping out of the buying cycle. Well in this instance again you can look at the content that you possibly create to help feed those people back into the funnel and hopefully, potentially get a sale or conversion. I’d also look at, again it goes back to the content audit, and look at the top performing pieces of content and see what has worked and understand why. It could be a piece that’s very very target towards products or services that’s actually worked well or likewise it could be something that’s industry specific, but not so much specific to your brand. It’s a good idea to have a good blend of those types of content.

 

Focus On A Niche

You also want to make sure that your content is niche focused for a target audience so you need to perform a key word research. That pretty much goes without saying and the key words that you establish within your key word research should obviously feature in the content you create. This itself gives you a good idea of content ideas, but also utilize something like GoogleTrends where you’re able to look at trending topics, not just those core key words and this is useful when it comes to creating more long tail content.

 

Take Advantage Of Events

Finally you want to be looking at your own internal events, your own calendar, your own internal news and utilize that. Utilize that and leverage that when it comes to creating your own year end content. So you’ve got all of your ideas and you now want to match that over an editorial calendar. You want to be looking at mapping this over a three month, six month or 12 month period and you really should be factoring in those key dates, those key events. You also want to be looking at more standard national holidays, so things like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Christmas, Easter and really think about your overall campaigns and how you can tie that in with those holidays. Your editorial calendar should really also feature promotional aspects so it stands to reason that any piece you create needs to have a promotional phase. Whether that promotional phase is on social or whether you have that whole outreach program that you want to organize, it’s totally up to you, but your editorial calendar must feature who is going to promote that and the other good thing about an editorial calendar is it holds people accountable so not only will you have the live date, publish date or the upload date and the promotion date, but you can account and assign who that individual does those activities.

 

Social profiles Are Key

When it comes to promoting your content as I’ve mentioned, we really lay the foundation when you’re populating and engaging on your social media profiles, but in addition to that, you can really look at other things like an outreach program and this is basically where you want to gather a list of [unclear 8:25] benefit from that content. It could be that you’ve actually featured people within a piece of content or you’ve featured a resource in a top ten list or something like that. Anywhere you think someone will benefit from having that content, seeing that content, and sharing it and so on and so forth, that is really crucial to your own promotional efforts.

 

Measure, Measure and Measure Some More

Finally it goes without saying that whenever you create content you want to measure it and the way that you measure your content is really relevant to the golden objectives that you set out in the first place, but as a basic, as a very, very standard level, you want to be setting up GoogleAnalytics, a tracking code and you want to be setting up goals within there. You want to be looking at key things like where’s the traffic coming from, the age, the location. You want to be looking at the number of visits, where those visits are going after they’ve landed on your content and again this provides you with a richer insight into the effectiveness of your own content.


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shootout56
SEO Expert and frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, Forbes.com and Entrepreneur. Currently living in Salt Lake City with my wife and three children.

About shootout56

SEO Expert and frequent contributor to The Huffington Post, Forbes.com and Entrepreneur. Currently living in Salt Lake City with my wife and three children.

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