Creating a content marketing strategy can seem very daunting at the outset.
But it doesn’t have to be.
In reality, a good content strategy is there to help you. It helps you define your goals, your audiences, and your channels. It should be fluid and move with the demands of your business.
If you are looking for some helpful content strategy tips or just some ideas on getting started making content, take a look at our guide.
We will show you the six most important things you need to think about when creating meaningful content for your brand.
1. Understand Your Audience
The first thing you need to understand when building a content marketing strategy is who are you creating content for?
Define your audience. You may have several audiences consuming your content, similar to how different people will be drawn to your product.
Each type of audience member will consume your content differently. Some will use certain channels. Others will avoid them. Think about where you find these people and how you will reach them.
Create personas for each client type. This is a classic marketing tool that will help you personalize each member of your audience.
Give them memorable names like Heather Homeowner or Fiona Facebook or something that identifies their key features. Then dig down into what each character wants and needs.
If you really know your audience, you can give them exactly what they want. Instead of just targeting people in broad strokes, you can create a targeted content marketing strategy that speaks directly to them.
People love to be treated as individuals, so make it possible to do that by truly understanding who they are.
2. Smarten Up Your Goals
Why are you creating this marketing plan? What do you want to get out of it? Are you doing it because someone said it was necessary?
You need to know the answers to these questions before you can really start putting any plans down on paper. Think about your business. What are its needs? How is your content strategy going to support those needs?
You also need to consider your overall marketing strategy and how your content marketing plan fits into this bigger picture. How will it affect your brand as a whole?
If your content strategy targets a young and digitally savvy audience, but your brand is older and more offline, how will it be affected?
Your plans will grow and shift with your business. You may start out wanting to convert leads or raise brand awareness but then shift more towards getting repeat business or building customer loyalty.
As your business goals change, so will your content strategy.
Ensure that you make your goals SMART: Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. As you define your goals, be sure you can measure them against each category.
3. Define Your Uniqueness
What makes you, you? How about online? What makes your brand stand out from the rest in the vastness of the internet. Lots of people will be doing similar things to you. How are you different?
Start with your products. Consider what makes them the best. Are there any unique angles you can come from when promoting this?
Do you have a personality in your company which you could promote to raise your profile? Be careful with creating a monster here, but it is certainly something that you could leverage if done in the right way.
Why do your customers love you? You could start by asking them.
4. Identify Your Competition
As well as looking inwards, you need to be looking towards your competition. The best way to do this is to start with a competitor analysis.
Look at what they are doing. Consider their channels. What messages are they sending? Consider what works well and what doesn’t work so well. It should teach you how to create content that succeeds.
Famously there is a method called the Skyscraper technique when it comes to creating content. Find something that someone else has written and do it bigger and better.
This doesn’t just have to apply to written content, however. You can apply it to all your channels. Make sure you make it original. Don’t copy. Expand upon and improve what your competitors are doing.
Also, is there something nobody else is currently doing? A big enough competitor analysis could spot a hole in the market. Analyze your competitors closely and see what is revealed
5. Choose Your Channels
Once you have analyzed the competition and you understand your audience and where to find them, you need to choose your content channels.
Not all channels are created equally, and some will require a larger budget of time and resources if you intend to make content for them.
For example, video is very resource heavy, and if your audience is not consuming this type of content, it may not be the best channel for you.
A channel can mean various outputs: social media, your website, YouTube, a podcast, a blog. Whichever you choose, you have to be sure it is right for your business.
If you have been following the other content strategy tips up to this point, these answers should be much clearer for you.
6. Pick and Stick to Publication Plans
Build an editorial calendar. It is an essential tool for publishing your content. You will have by now different audiences, different channels, and different goals—all of these need to be on your plan.
Consistency is key in content marketing. Your audience will know when and where to expect messages, especially if you are using your content strategy to support your customers.
If you are not publishing with the frequency that they have grown to expect, they will lose confidence in you and move on. Keep them informed and use an editorial calendar to help you to plan when and how.
Create A Content Strategy That Works For You
The key takeaway is that your content strategy needs to be a living document. You will need to review it every few months to make sure it is still meeting your business’s needs.
Apply the tips that we have outlined here and see what a difference they can make to your content marketing plan.
If you would like help defining a content strategy, please check out our services and find out how we can help you grow online.