12 Steps to Build your Content Strategy
Bmoozd • Content Strategy
Are you ready to start building your content strategy like you’re building a house?
According to the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Prof, 63% of businesses do not have a documented content marketing strategy.
Of the 37% of companies who do have documented marketing strategies. They have found that their content marketing efforts are very successful for their businesses.
Without a clear strategy, businesses cannot effectively harness the power of content.
In this article, we have a step by step guide you can follow to help you build your content strategy for your business. If you are looking for a comprehensive guide on setting up and running your own content strategy, you’re in the right place.
The first step is to create a marketing mission statement. This will make it easier for you to focus on what is and isn’t important relating to your business.
Your Content Marketing Mission should cover three points.
- Target Audience
- Type of Content
- Audience Benefit
Your content marketing mission can be summed up in one sentence.
“We provide [target audience] with [type of content] to help them [audience benefit & business goal]”
With this statement, you can submit multiple missions and decide which ones you find to be the most important and effective for your business.
There are multiple different goals that you might be wanting to achieve thanks to content.
Here are some examples of goals you can input into your Content Strategy.
- Influence. Improving the brand recognition of your company and establishing yourself as a leader of your industry.
- SEO. Making sure all of your content is optimised which can lead to more traffic.
- Sales. Increase the number of leads you have for your business.
- Reduce Marketing Costs. Producing content can drive sales leading to your costs being reduced.
- Social Media Engagement. Increase your presence on social media platforms.
These are a few goals for your business in regard to creating your Content Strategy. Your goals should be specific to your business and how content can be effectively used to reach your set goals.
2. Key Point Indicators – KPI’s
You have goals you want to reach.
If you want to reach your goals, you need to know what your end goal is. You can say “I want to increase visitors to the website”. However, how many visitors count as an increase?
Using your existing knowledge of how many visitors you get to your site a month. You have a basis for your KPI. You can say you will increase your number of visitors by 10% per month within half a year.
Of course, you can always edit and change these figures and dates to your specific business needs. Some ideas of other key point indicators you can use are:
- Revenue Target. This could be per week, month, quarter or year.
- Getting more people to join your website as a member.
- Email Subscribers. For news about your latest offers or Newsletters.
- Site Traffic.More people engaging with your site thanks to new content.
- Search Engine Rankings.Appearing higher on google searches, especially locally.
- Getting people to interact with your company. This can be through, likes, comments, and shares.
- Getting invited to work on work with other companies or attend and speak at industry events.
All of this needs to be kept track of. You need to try and achieve these within a certain amount of time. This will let you know if your Content Strategy was successful or not.
You can then use this information and adjust your specific content strategies accordingly.
3. Building your Audience
Do you want your content to be successful? Of course you do.
For this, you need to have your audience in mind when you are planning your content strategy.
The first thing you should do is analyse your existing audience. Who are your current members, subscribers, and followers? See if there are similarities around their age, gender, education, and income.
You can use these as indicators to build your audience.
If you do not have a pre-existing audience, you need to think about the people who would buy your products or services. What information do you know about them?
All of this information will help you decide on the type of content you create.
It would also be a good idea to understand the key interests of your audience. For example, you may be a company that makes their own pet toys, your customer’s interests could be cats and dogs.
Think about interests that might be relevant to your company and your products or services. You can use these as a basis for what your content you be.
One of the best ways for you to receive this information is through customer feedback.
You can send emails to them with links to surveys or run a quick quiz on your Instagram story to learn about what they like and how they prefer to receive your content.
This information can be invaluable.
4. Your Foundations
Before you can even begin writing you have to look at your current position. What content platforms do you already have?
How many pages on your site do you have? Do you have a blog? How many social media portals do you have?
Does your current content contain inbound links? Is your current content optimised for search engine rankings? Is your content being shared on your other portals?
An examination of your platforms will help you understand how your content strategy will come together.
5. Your Content Channels
From your research and questionnaires, you can see what the best channels are for your business. Wherever you see the most interactions with likes comments and shares – these are the best platforms for your business.
It would also be worth taking a look at your competitors. Where do you see them posting most? What are their strongest content channels?
You can use this information to guide your own decisions in regard to the content channels you decide on posting too.
This research can help you understand what content channels your current audience enjoys, and what content channels your potential customers will engage most with.
6. Your Materials
Your materials are the types of content that you will be posting on the various channels you have chosen. There are some types of content that you should definitely include in your content strategy.
A successful content strategy will have a core stream of content published to the main site. This can then be used as a basis for content to be posted on other websites.
This will be a blog or article page on your website. This is important for you to have for your business for a few different reasons.
Regular posting on your website lets search engines know that your business is constantly running and receiving regular updates. This will help it appear higher on search engine rankings.
Posting articles also gives visitors to your site more to explore. If a visitor wants to learn more about your business, articles and blog posts can be sources of information for them.
The articles you post need to be fully optimised for search engines so your site can rank higher. They need to be relevant to your business but have enough range and diversity to reflect all elements of your business.
You can also add in links to your product or services pages. These articles can drive sales for your business. It would also be smart to tie in your articles to what is relevant to popular topics that are trending.
7. Other Content Types
There are many additional types of content that you can include as part of your digital marketing strategy.
One of the most popular types of content that you can include is video. Videos are proven to retain visitor’s attention and keep them on your webpages longer.
This can increase lead generation and reduce bounce-rate. If you are looking to learn more about different types of video content and how they can positively impact your business’s website, read our article here.
By extension, any form of visual content will keep people on your website and encourage them to read the content.
This content could be in the form of an infographic. An infographic is a unique and artistic way of displaying information in a visual form. Other content you can use can be eBooks, webinars, templates and more.
Even podcasts on your website can keep people engaged with your content.
Now that you know the type of content you will be posting, who it is aimed at and where you will be posting it. The next step of your content is making sure you have the right resources to execute your project.
In this stage, you need to think about who will be in charge of creating and maintaining your content. Will it be managed by one person or does it require a team?
What tools and resources do you need? Do you need to download new software or purchase microphones and cameras? It will all depend on the type of content you want to use for your website.
When will you publish it? How regularly will you post? This can be learned through research into what is most effective for your audience.
It is also possible for you to outsource many of these different types of content to freelancers. This can all be managed by a calendar.
9. Content Calendar
There is nothing worse than being disorganised when it comes to a strategy.
For your content strategy, it is vital to know when you will be posting your range of content, what platforms you will be posting on and the type of content it will be.
This can all be accomplished through the use of a Content Calendar.
A content calendar marks the dates and times of the types of content you will be posting.
When, Where and What.
With a content calendar, you can also keep track of the progress of content; seeing how far along it is to completion. This will help you to manage and produce your content.
The next step is where it finally begins. Using all of the research and information you have compiled, begin creating your content. Keep in mind that this content needs to be created weeks or even months beforeyou begin to post your content.
This gives you an abundance of content for you to organise and select which content you want to use to make sure that everything you post will be as effective as possible.
When you are constructing your content, you need to look at the content that is already online from your company and your competitors. This can help inspire your content.
By looking at their content, you can spot gaps in their content which you can expand upon. Does their content leave any unanswered questions? Why not have your company answer those questions for the customers.
You can also find out what the top-performing content is on Google. This could be what is generally trending or what is popular in your area of business. Either way, it can guide you in the direction of new content topics.
If you are writing your content make sure that it is optimised for search engines. This will help your content perform better and help when it comes to distributing your content.
When you are considering how to distribute your content, first you need to think about how to make sure it will work for search engine optimisation (SEO). Written content needs to be written with SEO in mind.
By making sure your written content is optimised for search engines, it will help people find your content by searching for the topic. It is also important for you to distinguish keywords for your videos and podcasts too.
In your descriptions for your videos, you can add hashtags and a short description explaining what the content is about. When people are searching for topics, they usually just search for one or two words.
For this reason, you need to make sure that these keywords occur frequently in your description. This will ensure your content gets far more views.
If you are looking to get more people to view your content, why not send your new content to your existing audience. If you are creating new content being posted on your website, video platforms or podcast channels, you want people to engage with them.
Why not send out an email campaign to your current customers. Create new email lists for these specific types of content that you will be publishing and allow existing email subscribers to opt-in and opt-out of receiving email updates on the content you will post.
Post about your new content across your various social media channels. You can attach various hashtags onto your posts so that you can extend the reach of your social media posts. This will ultimately expand the reach of your new content to audiences who are searching for those relevant hashtags.
If you mention any influencers in your content, it can spread the reach of your content even further. By notifying them, they may even be able to share your content on their platforms and get your content seen even more.
Remember to include your new content in your monthly newsletters. This will help keep your followers and subscribers up to date with all of the new changes you are making to your content channels.
The great thing about notifying your existing audience by social media and by email is that you know that they already have an interest in to your business and receiving information about your content.
12. Knowing Success
Once you are deep into your content calendar, you can now begin to collect the results of your content. It is time to find out if your content is successful. Returning to look at your KPI’s, you will be able to see if the content you have posted is successful.
From this information, there are a few different options you have. You can look at your results and decide if they have achieved your KPI’s.
If Your content has achieved your results, it is time to break down why? Could it be that your content was effective enough? Did your social media posts about this content use a unique hashtag to help reach new viewers?
Whatever the reason, you know that it has been very effective for your business and proved the effectiveness of your content strategy. You can use this to guide future content topics.
Making sure that your new content topics stay in the same realm as your existing popular content, this will help keep your readers or viewers happy, and coming back for more.
If you did not reach your KPIs, it is time to change your content strategy. What are you doing wrong? Are you not using the right keywords for people to find your content? Is your content engaging and inspiring to people who choose to view or read it?
If there is a high bounce rate, you might have a problem with the layout or design of your content which results in people not being motivated to read or view your content.
You need to sort these problems and try again, adjusting and adapting your content strategy to see what is most effective. This will help your content achieve your content strategy goals.
Rarely, you may find the results of your content strategies fail completely. You haven’t even gotten close to reaching your KPI’s and you can’t see any success from the creation of content to distribution and marketing, it would be best to leave it behind.
You can learn just as much from a failed content strategy as you can from a successful content strategy. You have learned what does not work and you can use this to guide your new content strategy in the right direction and lead your company to success.
You have now built yourself an incredible content strategy for your business to occupy and use to expand and grow. I hope you found this useful and you can use our tips on building your content calendar for your business.
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If you or your business needs any help with creating and executing your own content strategy, here at Bmoozd we have services to help you create a tailor-made content strategy for your business.
We can also create content for you and publish this content on social media. Check out our content page here to learn more.