According to a survey conducted by the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 63% of businesses do not document their content marketing strategy. However, businesses that do document their content marketing strategy are more successful than those who don’t.
Without a sound content marketing strategy in place, success or failure is based on sheer luck. Don’t take chances! If you’re looking to build and execute a powerful content marketing plan, you need a solid strategy. Here’s how to build one.
10 Proven Steps to Building and Executing a Successful Content Marketing Strategy
1. Set Your Target
The first and most important step is setting the mission and goals of your content marketing strategy. Prepare a mission statement by clearly mentioning what’s important to you as a company. Make sure you include the following items in your statement:
- Your target audience
- The type of content you’ll use to engage them
- Benefits your audience will receive
Here’s how a mission statement might look: “We provide [target audience] with [content] to help them [benefits they’ll receive].”
2. Decide Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
The most effective way to achieve your goals is to make them measurable and specific. In content marketing language, that means establishing KPIs. Your KPIs will include:
- Revenue target
- Sales target
- Increase in traffic
- Improvement in search engine ranking
- Marketing expenditure
- Any other measurable activity you deem necessary
3. Understand Your Audience
Unless you’re clear about who your audience is, you cannot create an effective content marketing strategy and get the desired results. To create the right content, you need to understand your audience inside out. To do this:
- Collect the demographic data of your audience such as age, location, gender, income, etc., and analyze it.
- Solicit customer feedback from your existing customers to ensure you understand their priorities, their pain points, best ways to reach them, etc.
- Once you have the demographic data and customer feedback in your hand, create buyer personas describing your ideal audience and potential customers.
4. Analyze Your Content’s Current Position
If you already have content on the internet such as videos, blogs, social media, etc., analyze it carefully, and see how it is helping you achieve your goals. Conduct a content audit and analyze your content marketing strategy’s current position. You may also want to evaluate how your content compares to your competitors’ content. Make sure you check the following:
- Number of inbound links to your content
- Search engine rankings of your content
- Social shares
This exercise will help you fill the gaps in your content marketing strategy, and see what you need to change, add, and remove.
5. Find the Best Channels for Publishing the Content
As you walk through this process, you’ll get an idea of where your audience is most active. This will help you decide where to increase your online presence. You can leverage Google Analytics to get an overview of where your content is being shared the most. Using this information, you can select which network you should target to achieve maximum response and engagement.
6. Decide the Type of Content You Want to Publish
The next step is deciding the types of content you want to include in your content marketing strategy. Many successful content marketing strategies use a single content type as their base and publish it on their site. It can then be re-purposed and shared on other channels.
Therefore, blog posts are the most critical aspect of your content marketing strategy. They’re valuable, actionable, and shareable. Other types of content that you can include are:
7. Create a Content Calendar
Once you’ve decided the types of content you want to include in your content marketing strategy, and where you want to publish them, use a content calendar to schedule your content. You can use Google Calendar to add due dates and types of content to be published. You can also assign tasks to different content creators.
8. Produce the Content
Finally, start preparing the content. Think about your brand’s voice, and write accordingly. Do you want to be formal or casual? Make sure the content you’re writing is engaging and informational at the same time. Maintain consistency with your brand’s voice and keep in mind the SEO aspects, too (what your clients will be searching for when they’re online).
9. Distribute and Market the Content
The next step of your content marketing strategy is the circulation and marketing of the content. Here’s what you can do to distribute and market your content:
- Share the content on social media
- Use email marketing campaigns to distribute the content
- Identify influencers and ask them to spread your content
10. Quantify the Results
Finally, after you’ve executed your content marketing strategy, it’s time to measure the results. All you need to do is revisit your KPIs and analyze the response to collect the metrics.
Not sure how to get started with your content marketing strategy? We’re here to help. Contact us today!