5 steps to a strong content marketing strategy
Success in marketing always starts with strategy. And that's the same your content marketing. There's no proper exection without proper thought. But how does that foundation work? In this blog we tell you how to set up a content marketing strategy that does lead to results. Follow these five steps and your strategy will be rock solid!
A little context
At Endeavour we also work on our content marketing strategy. And as a content marketing agency, that's actually the trickiest part: precisely because you're diving into a different company for every assignment, defining your own identity and expressing it is a challenge. That's why we like to share the knowledge we find in our search with you. Including these steps to arrive at your content marketing strategy.
What is a content strategy?
If you already know this, then you can skip this heading. Nevertheless, we'll briefly mention it, in case there is still uncertainty about it. Content strategy, according to HubSpot, is managing all types of content that you create. It's the part of your marketing plan that continuously shows who you are and what expertise you bring to the industry.
Although writing and creating content are obviously already important, planning is (almost) even more important. You can have a bucket of strong content lying around, but if you don't deploy it properly, it won't contribute to achieving your goal. Therefore, map out your entire plan. From your target group to your goal and from your resources to the media. Only in this way can you analyze what works and what doesn't. And where adjustments are needed to achieve success. And where adjustments are needed to achieve success in content marketing.
Content marketing strategy in 5 steps
Let's get started. With the step-by-step plan below, you will concretely lay the foundation for your content marketing strategy.
1. Think about who you are doing it for
This seems obvious. Yet it is often consistently forgotten: determine your target audience. Only when you have a clear picture of who you really want to reach, you communicate to that audience. After all, you address a group of school children differently than a group of 65+ women. Just saying.
The more concrete your persona, the easier it is to align your content to it. Need help setting up your target group? Create personas using the app Xtensio.
2. Think about what you want to achieve with it
It is probably important to you that your blog is read, that your website is found or that you as a company get recognition for the cool, progressive, world-changing things you do. And that's your right.
All of these goals can be your ultimate goal for your content marketing strategy. But whatever you choose as your goal: choose one. Planning your content becomes a lot easier once you know what you want to achieve with it. This will also make it easier for you to determine what content does or does not fit with it.
3. Take a critical look at your current content
In my research for this blog, I came across an article by the Content Marketing Institute about the ROI of content marketing. Michael Brenner (author of the article) recommended to take a close look at your own team's content, to see where the gaps are and how you can improve your content.
"Internally, it is also important to remember that many teams inside your business create content. And creators love their content like a mom loves her baby. Although the content may stink, we can't call anyone's baby ugly."
Brenner, Content Marketing Institute
A good way to assess this content after the fact is to create a printout of your content using a (free) tool like Screaming Frog. You can use this tool to see exactly which pages are all hanging out in your website. In this way you can scan to what extent these pages (such as blogs) are still contributing to your newly formulated goal from step 2.
Furthermore, look in Google Analytics under content drilldown for figures such as: time on site, bounce rate and exit rate. These statistics show to what extent the page matches the question of the visitor. Is the time on site short, the bounce high and the exit percentage too? Then you can cautiously draw the conclusion that this page does not connect with what your visitor is looking for. So you could delete this page from your content.
Can you spot a trend within your content? Then also pass this on to your team. This way you avoid having to call someone's baby ugly and you have more leverage to make your point. Based on numbers then, right? Not based on opinion. Just say the content baby is "cute," in that case.
4. Decide what content you want to use
Currently at Endeavour we are working on different content formats. From whitepaper to video and social posts to webinar. We deploy content across the board and analyze the results. Different types of content are deployed with different purposes. Inherent in the strategy is that the content aligns with what the user needs.
Just to illustrate, you can use the following content types:
- Cornerstone Content
- Social posts
- Fact sheets
For more options, check out Hubspot's comprehensive content types list.
5. Post and monitor
Have you figured out what you want to post, to whom, when and why? Time to create a content calendar! In the calendar you put, among other things:
- When you want to post
- What you are going to post
- What the call to action will be
- What your objective is
- Who your target group is
- And what the results will be after you post
And then it's finally time to post! Be sure to update your results in your content calendar a week after posting. This way, after a few months, you can determine which posts have worked well, and which ones less so. Think about likes, shares, comments & views, as well as previously mentioned statistics like bounce rate, time on site and exit rate.
See there, your roadmap for your content strategy. Let this connect to your proposition and goals of your company for that year. So you know immediately how you stand in terms of content. Need help? Contact us!