How to Develop a Content Strategy (with Examples)

content strategy

In today’ s crowded and increasingly digital marketing and advertising landscape, you need a strong content strategy in order to reach your audience .

Here’ s i9000 why:

Your articles strategy is what makes your brand visible on search engines. It helps the right customers find a person at the right time and offers the best possible user experience as soon as they’re on your website.

In this guide, we’ ll cover the specific methods you should take to develop your content strategy, plus real-world articles strategy examples from manufacturers who are doing it right.

Let’ s begin!

Quick Takeaways

  • A content strategy is a healthy approach to delivering information in order to customers. It is different from articles marketing, which is the execution of your strategy.

  • Clearly-defined goals and performance metrics are usually foundational components of your content technique. They keep your strategy focused and help you measure its success.

  • Buyer personas are a beneficial tool for defining your target audience prior to launching your content strategy.

  • Strong keyword research is necessary to successful SEO for your content strategy.

  • Amplifying your content by yourself platforms and making it shareable for users will increase your own brand visibility and reach.

Exactly what content strategy and why is it important?

A content strategy is a holistic approach to delivering the information your customers need across stations and at every stage from the buyer journey . It makes content an organized asset for your company — one you can leverage to push traffic, leads, engagement, product sales, and other business objectives.

As you can see below, businesses can choose from a wide range of content to deliver at each phase of the customer journey. Potential customers at each phase have different needs and require different kinds of information, meaning companies must be intentional about what, how, and when they provide the various content they develop. Having a defined content strategy is critical to this effort and one of the surest ways to increase content ROI.

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Content strategy versus content marketing

It’s important to note that a content strategy is not just like content marketing .

Think of it this way: your content strategy defines the overall mindset, culture, and style for conntacting your customers through content. Content material marketing covers the execution of that strategy — your techniques, tools, channels, and of course actual content.

This distinction is crucial. Any business can publish content with fairly minimal effort. But to create consistent, high-value, relevant content material that both helps your customers and drives your larger business goals is a much more complicated undertaking. This is demonstrated inside a startling statistic from SEMRush that found that while 91% of companies use articles marketing, only 9% would rate the results of their functionality as excellent.

So where’s the missing link? I’d venture in order to guess that almost all of those businesses feeling dissatisfied with their content’s performance are missing a solid content strategy behind this. But you don’t have to be one of these. Let’s dive into how you can develop a content strategy that will connects the actual content a person create with the goals you wish to accomplish for your business.

10 steps to the killer content strategy for your brand

Arranged your goals

The first critical step to a content strategy that will provide is to fixed well-defined goals that can guide your strategy and help you measure the ultimate success. I recommend using the SMART goal framework, which usually helps you set goals which are specific, measurable, attainable, related, and time-bound. Setting crystal clear goals and knowing what you want to achieve better positions you to definitely outline the rest of your content strategy.

SMART analysis

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Specify buyer personas

Buyer personas are representations of the customers that help you determine needs, pain points, motives, and behavior. Ultimately, they need to help you understand what your customers want to accomplish and how your offerings can help them do it. That is why you should always keep your gentes focused on actionability rather than arbitrary traits.

When you’re developing personas, aim to define:

  • Content your target customers use
  • Topics they are interested in
  • Types or formats of content they prefer
  • Channels they use
  • Stage of the purchaser journey
  • Keywords they use to search and
  • Questions they request

This can help inform the content support beams you should focus on (more on that next), what topics to cover, and what types of content will best engage your own audience.

Figure out content pillars and sorts

Content pillars are the main categories from which all your content ideas originate. Think of them as the “buckets” or “themes” under which usually all of your content can be structured. They’re central to your content strategy because they determine what issues to your audience and act as a guide for your creators, maintaining them focused on creating parts that align with your larger goals.

To actually use pillars to drive outcomes, you should keep them somewhat wide, allowing you to come up with a range of topics and content ideas to fall under them. Tag every piece of content you create underneath the appropriate pillar(s) so that you have got visibility into the volume and types of content being created for each. Finally, stick with your articles pillars for an extended period of time to give your content a chance to drive SEO outcomes .

Set up your brand voice

Your brand voice defines the overall personality you put forth when you communicate with clients. It’s an important component of how brands make connections using their audience and plays the central role in the consumer experience. Your brand tone of voice, like your pillars, also serves as a guide for content creators and ensures your content is definitely an accurate reflection of your company.

To develop a powerful brand voice, you’ll wish to set parameters around language and develop . For example , should your blog posts be casual and conversational or formal and purely informative? Which words or even phrases should be used consistently to refer to specific products or buyers and which should always be avoided (like cliches or outdated terms)?

It’s a good idea to merged a documented guide with dos and don’ts about brand voice to help articles creators stay consistent and on the mark.

Conduct keyword research plus develop your SEO technique

Did you know that 93% of all online experiences start with a search engine? If you don’t rank on s earch engine results pages (SERPs) for keywords and phrases that your clients are searching for, you’re essentially unseen to your audience.

One of the keys to rating on SERPs is effective keyword research. You can conduct it using tools like the Keyword Magic Device from SEMRush. Once you have keyword ideas, you can develop your SEO technique by aligning keywords with the buyer funnel and your content material pillars. These steps ensure your articles gets to the right customers at the right time.

For more on how to conduct keyword research with the SEMRush device, watch a quick overview upon each below:

Brainstorm content ideas

This is the fun part! Now that you’ve outlined buyer personas, content pillars, plus brand voice and executed keyword research, you have the data you need to begin coming up with your content ideas. This means outlining topics, titles, and types of articles you’ll create to engage your audience.

Think creatively about how to connect each of your topic suggestions. For example , a how-to designed for using one of your products may be best published as a video , while a top ten list of resources on a particular topic might be better as a listicle article.

The Content Marketing Institute recently created this particular helpful articles brainstorming guide with techniques to help you feel inspired and get more creative with your teams.

Create a content calendar

Your content calendar is a critical part of the delivery plan for your content strategy. This determines how and when you’ll publish your content and continues you on track and accountable. Check out our previous content on content material calendars and templates for more on how to develop one, or download our own template ( connected here plus shown below) to get started today!

Outline important metrics

How can you determine if your content strategy is a success? First and foremost, you’ll need to outline which key metrics you’ll measure. Many of these metrics will come from your original WISE goals, but now that the associated with your content strategy has been created, you can get even more specific.

The five most significant key metrics I recommend using to assess content efficiency are:

  • Traffic – Traffic is the one metric you must measure. If no one is landing on your website, no one is reading your content, and your technique will not be successful.

  • Conversions – Conversions measure the rate from which your web visitors take action (such as signing up for your newsletter or making an ecommerce purchase) right after interacting with your content.

  • Engagement – You can track engagement by looking at data points for example time spent on your site and number of pages visited per session

  • SEO Performance – Track SERP rankings and exactly how they are changing over time.

  • Expert – High authority hard disks better SEO and more traffic. Authority is not quite since cut-and-dry as the other metrics, but you can use this guide from Moz to help you determine your own.

Make awesome content

Content creation is no small executing, and publishing consistently is among the most important drivers of content marketing success. Part of having a strong content strategy will be thinking thoroughly and realistically about who is going to develop and publish your content.

Your two primary options are to create content material internally or to outsource to an agency . Both have pros and cons, but I will say this: if you don’t have an internal team that is knowledgeable about creating optimized content and it has the bandwidth to do it, outsourcing is almost certainly your best option.

The biggest concerns companies typically have about freelancing content are cost plus loss of control over content, so let’s address those here.

There’s simply no denying that outsourcing comes with costs. But if you do not already have an established content group, outsourcing is actually more cost-effective than building a team internally. When you outsource, you don’t have to consider costs like salaries, advantages, or office space. You don’t have to consider the time or additional human resources needed to manage a new group.

Outsourcing furthermore allows your existing group to focus more on strategic work related to your core business initiatives.

As for control over your content, know this: a good content marketing agency will take time to get to know a person, your goals, your brand name voice, and much more. They will possess ways to maintain ongoing conversation with you built into their procedures that allows you to see and offer feedback on all of your brand’s new content.

Explore outsourcing more in our article about the 11 Benefits of Outsourcing Article marketing .

Enhance your content

This particular one’s a no brainer! Don’t just publish content and hope it does well on it is own. Amplify your content by making it as shareable as you can and sharing it yourself in other places. Share your articles on social networking , include it in newsletters and emails, and inquire employees to share content , too! Simply speaking: the more your content is discussed, the more it’s seen, and the higher your ROI onto it will be.

Content strategy examples to inspire you!

While we don’t have access to various other brands’ internal documents plus strategy development meetings, we can see great strategy when it is reflected in content. To obtain inspired, check out these seven real-world examples of high-quality content strategy execution.

Hubspot’s inbound marketing strategy

When Hubspot launched in the early 2000s, founders Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah were pioneers of inbound marketing with on the web content. Realizing that traditional sales methods were getting less effective as individuals were inundated with more media plus information, they quickly started building a blog covering topics relevant to their customer foundation.

Over time, they established strong brand specialist and online presence for any wide range of marketing topics. Nowadays marketing professionals know them as a go-to resource for incoming and content marketing information. Their success lies seriously in their ability to pinpoint customer needs and create high-volume, top quality content — blogs, movies, infographics, original research and much more — that addresses all those needs.

Spend a few minutes scrolling through their own blog and other content your local library and it’s clear the way the customer is at the center of every thing they create. You can see it, too, in Hubspot’s consumer code — a guide by which the entire company operates. Dharmesh Shah’s strong dives into how you can grow your brand utilizing their customer code are valuable reads.

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Blendtec’s “Will it Mix? ” videos

Blendtec’s marketing team released their “ Will it Blend? ” video clip series in 2007. This featured founder Tom Dickson blending extremely non-blendable items to show just how powerful their own product was. The collection was a hit — it increased their sales by 1000% and now has hundreds of millions of views.

The reason I like it as being a content strategy example is perfect for their clear brand voice in the videos. Blendtec made the decision that selling a useful household product didn’t have to be boring. They created a relatable, funny brand voice that connected with customers and produced their brand recognizable in order to consumers.

Mark Deere’s The Furrow syndication

Did content material marketing exist in the 1800s? If you read original issues of John Deere’s ‘The Furrow’ magazine, the answer is really a clear yes. John Deere has been submitting The Furrow for well over a century — since 1895 — to help farmers solve common complications they encounter. John Deere products are the secondary message, although they are woven into stories and articles to demonstrate how they can make farmers’ lifestyles better and easier.

A lot has obviously changed since 1895. But the team at John Deere has smartly stuck towards the content strategy roots established by The Furrow. It is still a premiere brand for farming equipment known for their particular long-standing focus on customer needs first, brand second.

As for The Furrow itself? More than 500, 000 clients still receive it every year.

The session here: when potential customers recognize you as a thought leader in your industry, a brand they can turn to for important information, they’ll also turn to you as it pertains time to make a purchase.

American Express’s OPEN Discussion board

American Communicate has always shared their own commitment to supporting small business customers. Their OPEN discussion board has been one of the smartest ways they do it. OPEN discussion board aims to be a hub of thought leadership that small business owners can utilize to grow their own businesses. It features articles around finances, marketing, administration and other topics important to small business owners. The catch? The content originates from other American Express clients, not the brand itself.

Hosting a location where small business owners can talk about ideas and learn from peers has proven valuable to their customers. Today, the OPEN UP forum is a core a part of their content strategy. They have helped build community amongst customers and allowed American Express to create content on a larger scale.

Here’s a recent OPEN Community forum feature from Inc. Magazine columnist Norm Brodsky plus serial entrepreneur Brian Hecht on how to write business plans:

Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series

Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series is another example of a brand giving real value by addressing topics that address client needs and challenges. The Whiteboard Friday series, started by Moz founder Flanke Fishkin, launched when Moz itself was a very young company. Rand used the video clips to address common and complex industry topics in a visible, engaging way.

The series quickly acquired momentum. The content was beneficial and SaaS professionals replied, subscribing to their channel in droves. Rand is no longer along with Moz today, but the series still publishes every Fri. It’ s now one of the longest-running B2B video series.

Check out this Whiteboard Friday episode on optimizing competitors’ branded key phrases:

Patagonia’s concentrate on shareability

Remember we said how important it is to amplify your content? Well, the team at outdoor clothes and gear brand Patagonia are pros. They make highly shareable content that’ s lean on the hard sell and heavy on meaning. Their messages focus what their customers care about: sustainability, helping the environment, and knowing your impact as a consumer.

Ads like the one below — element of Patagonia’s now-famous “ Don’t Buy this Coat ” ad in the New York Times — was also published in blog posts and on social media platforms, which makes it easy to share and thus distributing awareness and increasing Patagonia’s reputation as an authority on sustainable products and purchases.

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Patagonia furthermore operates several targeted blogs on platforms like Tumblr, like their Worn Wear blog, where customers discuss their own stories of putting on their Patagonia gear. Crowdsourcing this kind of content on systems where sharing is the main activity? It’s about as smart a content strategy as you can get. It has high shareability, brand presence in the platforms where their clients already are, and built-in social proof with every new post.

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Red Bull’s experiential content

The world understands Red Bull today as being a content marketing guru brand name, and for good reason. Their brand personality explodes with each piece of content they develop, and they utilize many different content material types across channels.

The key to Crimson Bull’s content marketing achievement is their focus on promoting an experience. They showcase an entire Red Bull culture rather than just talking about their products on their own. People now associate the Red Bull brand straight with high-adrenaline, extreme sports. They have capitalized on this specialized niche to build a loyal consumer base with their content.

A quick look at their own YouTube video channel homepage (which has more than 10 mil subscribers! ) shows just who their target audience is. That is effective target marketing!

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Ready to create a content strategy that works?

Start with the resources you have. Produce a strategy plus commit to a high level of quality and a focused brand message. Keep growing your content strategy as you find out more about your customers. Then, engage with all of them and build the link between your brand and the individuals your business exists for.

Need help getting started? Take a look at our SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION Blog Writing Services or routine a free consultation today!

The post How to Develop a Content Technique (with Examples) appeared first on Marketing Insider Team .

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