Setting up a strategy that brings sustainable income through a stable traffic flow is the main goal for any successful business. Even if you have had a stable content marketing or you are just starting to establish your brand, it is always a smart move to keep updating your content strategy.
Since Hubspot’s Not Another State of Marketing Report predicted that almost 70% of all businesses are investing in content marketing, your plans should also be flexible to meet these increasing demands whenever necessary.
Whether it is updating tools or bringing in innovative ideas, every market is trying its best to stay ahead of the competition. The first step to staying ahead is to have a solid plan that improves the way customers view and buy products.
If you are running out of ideas or plans to increase customer engagement, read on.
This post will give you useful insights about content strategy, why it is essential, and how you can successfully implement it.
What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy means making plans to maximise traffic and generate lead by improving user experience through the use of texts, audio, visuals, or downloadables on a website. It reflects your brand image and demonstrates your specialities in the industry.
Creating engaging content is crucial for the development of any brand, and through this post, you will learn how a well-planned strategy can trigger your marketing value.
Before you start, here are some critical questions to help you develop a strategy.
1. Who is your audience?
Who will be reading your content? For how many people are you creating the content? Does your business have more than one type of audience? Will your content reach customers from other backgrounds?
Since your audience has different interests, you must strategise your content in different channels so that it is engaging to all the different types of customers.
2. What will you offer your audience?
The purpose of your content has to benefit the audience in some way or the other. Whether you are offering solutions to a problem, enhancing lifestyle, or educating your audience, your strategy is to sound like an expert.
Your services should provide support for those already using your products and those who are still conflicted about using your product. The goal is to ensure that your content influences your customers to try your products or continue supporting your services.
3. What sets you apart?
There will obviously be others who provide the same service or offer the same products, so the challenge is to make your facility stand out. Customers should have a compelling reason to choose your product over others.
Content creation plays a significant role in this situation. Your strategy should include creating unique and better service with informative and engaging content.
4. Which content format should you choose?
When publishing content, there are different formats to choose from. Your content can either be infographics, blog posts, or videos. So you have to pick a platform to invest your budget in, depending on your topic and how well you can handle the setup and how familiar your audiences are with social media.
5. What channels will you use?
Different types of channels include websites, blogs, social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, etc. After picking a format, you will also have to choose the platform where you want to publish your content. Your strategy should include researches on which channels do your audience use most and how to create materials that are sharable in these platforms.
You will find more of the social media content strategy below.
6. How to manage content creation and publication?
This is a crucial and challenging part. You have to know the exact source, format, and platform for the content and when it will be published and by whom.
You can ease the management process by using a social calendar to create more persuasive topics so that you stay ahead of the competition.
Benefits of creating a content marketing strategy
The main benefit of content marketing strategy is making practical plans that will continuously supply leads and traffic to your website.
According to HubSpot, the key to increasing and getting steady traffic is to create content that is sharable across different platforms so that it continues to generate organic traffic even after it is published.
For example, you can create a blog post and embed a link to a product or tool from another website. It will ensure that you have twice the chance of generating an audience and twice the exposure.
This evergreen content will allow you to try other marketing strategies to generate revenues in the form of sponsorships, free ads, and even distribution of content!
Using this strategic planning will not only generate leads but also educate prospects and build brand awareness in the long run.
How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Now let’s move on to making content marketing strategies more practical with the following steps:
1. Set a Clear goal
The first step is being clear about your goals and why you need to set up a strategy. When you have clear priorities, you will be more determined to make it work and make better choices when choosing your options.
To help you figure out the right content goals, you can download goal planning templates here (link)
2. Research your audience
For your strategy to work, you need to know your target audience so that you can produce relevant content that resonates with what they want. Identifying a “buyers persona” is especially useful when you are starting or entering a new market.
It is also vital for experienced marketers to follow this step so that they can come up with new content to attract new potentials. It is also a good way of keeping track of the consumer’s trends to keep them engaged. Conducting yearly audience research is essential to establish your validity in the market.
3. Run Content Audit
Auditing your past content to fit into a new format is an effective way to venture into new platforms and keep your content fresh.
For example, if you have several contents on one topic, compile them into one format so that your readers can go directly to one platform, and view the content with one click. That way, you don’t have to make new content, but give out the same information in a different format.
There are several types of formats you can try, and we will go through that later on.
Running a content audit with past content is especially useful and time-efficient for experienced marketers. It gives you instant material to experiment with a new format and a new audience without too much effort.
4. Have a Content Management system
The role of a Content Management System (CMS) is to create, publish, and analyse content. Having a CMS allows you to create, manage, and track each material, which is crucial for any business.
If you are not familiar with CMS, virtual tools like HubSpot CMS can help you plan, create, publish, and track the outcome of all your posts in one location. You can also use apps like WordPress, which are user-friendly and comes with extra facilities like a web form, CMR access, analytics, live chats, and email marketing.
5. Discuss Content Ideas
The next step is to come up with a practical idea for your content. For inspiration, you can check out some of these tools:
HubSpot’s Website Grader
This tool gives you new content ideas and helps you make your website more SEO-friendly. It also displays your current status in the digital market by sending you analytics and how you can make vital changes to make your site more efficient.
Blog Ideas Generator
Blog Idea Generator by HubSpot generates new ideas for any terms or topics you suggest. The best part is that this tool helps you come up with creative ideas for free for a whole year!
The RSS Feedly is a web extension that allows you to keep track of all trending topics in content marketing and suggests new ways to improve your content at the same time. It gives you other materials to read so that you can organise and share your content easily.
This tool helps in generating ideas that will keep your audience hooked. It analyses your audience and contents and comes up with catchy headlines that resonate with your audience. This brainstorming tool puts general ideas together and comes up with modifiable headlines and allows you to save as drafts in the “notebook” for later references.
This tool analyses content shares on social media to determine if the topic is popular and liked by many users. There are several tools in this company, and one of the features is searching for trending topics and ideas that can help you come up with new content.
CSchedule’s BlogPost Headline Analyser
This tool helps you create stronger and more engaging titles by giving you suggestions from your options. It provides an analysis of the word length, grammar, word choice, and volume in the keyword search. You just have to run a title through the tool, and it’ll help you pick ideas for your content.
6. Find the right type of content
Finding the right kind of content to draws traffic from so many options can be daunting. Whether it is using pictures, videos, audibles, or infographics, choosing the right type of content is crucial in marketing strategy.
In the next section, you will learn about the most shared content and how to create them using popular templates and tools.
7. Manage and publish the Content
A marketing strategy should not only publish your content but also keep it organised. With tools like an editorial calendar and social media content calendar, you can post a diverse and well-balanced library of content. Using these tools will not only promote your brand but also manage materials on the extensions.
Using a virtual calendar can trigger traffic and leads. It not only helps in managing the content but also publishes timely and relevant content throughout the year.
Many content creators use popular holidays such as New Year or Halloween to boost traffic, but you don’t have to limit yourself only to these holidays. You can create content based on seasons and other events throughout the year. If there are any events that people are excited about, use it as inspiration for your upcoming content. You can plan these contents by using a tool that provides a list of social media holidays.
Types of Content Marketing
Now let’s look at the eight different types of content marketing that you can create for your audience.
1. Blog Posts
Blog posts are written content that stays on the website like this current article you are reading. To attract a new audience, you have to post regularly.
Posting in a blog requires valuable information or entertainment to make it sharable on other websites and across social media platforms. As per our analysis, blog posts between 1000 to 2000 words are an ideal length, but depending on how engaging you can make it, you can either choose to lengthen or shorten it.
If you are not familiar with it, you can check out some free blog post templates. The free samples will inspire you to write compelling curations, listicles, how-tos, and other skills like SlideShare presentation and newsjacking.
EBooks are a great way to generate leads through downloads by potential customers after they submit contact information on the lead form. They contain more in-depth and longer content than blog posts, and you don’t need to publish them as often and can be an excellent lead to attract website visitors.
Publishing Ebook is a practical step to develop an inbound marketing strategy as it draws in readers who want more information after reading a blog post. This is where you can put up CTAs (call to action).
The CTA is a landing page where readers can give out their information before accessing the Ebook. Business transactions happen when you give out valuable content in exchange for their contact information and generate leads.
3. Case Studies
A case study is also another effective way to market your content in the form of blog posts, podcasts, Ebooks, infographics; you name it! Since it can take so many forms, you can talk about customers who have benefitted from working with you in a versatile format.
Through case studies or feedbacks that you show on your content, other potentials will see proof of your services and influence them to work with you. It is, therefore, essential to choose the right form for these testimonials so that it adds value to your business.
Templates are one of the most valuable content formats as it quickly generates leads while providing quick information to the audience. When your audience can quickly access the tools that will help them get information and take action more quickly, it will keep them engaged and more likely to return for future content.
When words are not enough to express, adding infographics can have a tremendous impact on the way your audience consumes the content. Infographics make it easier to share large data and easier to understand.
If you want to start making more engaging content, try using our templates that create professional-quality infographics (link) for different types of topics within an hour.
Videos have the highest engagement rate against all other media. They are highly shareable across different websites and all social media platforms.
Even though producing good quality videos are more costly and require more time and effort, the result is rewarding. Videos are four times more sharable and engaging as compared to other content media, so it is definitely a type of content worth using.
One of the reasons why videos are so popular is because you can combine visual, audio, and infographics in one frame. It not only gives out more precise info but also saves time and makes it easier to understand.
Podcasts are also one of the most engaging content. With the people multi-tasking in all walks of life, listening to podcasts allows the audience to benefit from your content while doing other things. It is especially preferred by people who don’t have the time to watch or read content every day.
The number of people who listen to podcasts has tremendously increased since 2018. So if you would like to collaborate with a guest or expert in your industry, creating podcasts can be a beneficial move.
If you want to start an experiment with podcasts, you can try out our podcast starter. (link)
8. Social Media
After you have executed your plans and you have content to publish, you can concentrate on distributing it to different social media platforms and other websites.
You might have to recycle previous content into new formats or create original content to blog, focusing on making it friendly for external sites and social media.
A lot of potentials spend much of their time on social media, so posting on a platform that has a lot of attention is crucial for extending your business reach and exposing your brand. The more people it reaches, the more traffic you will generate, so you have to know how to gain social media followers and engage them towards your website.
Some of the most popular social media that have a broad scope for your content and where many users can be potential clients are:
While these are common platforms, learning to manage your account as a business entity is crucial. Your posts should reflect the brand’s images, goals, and services, depending on which platform you use.
For example, if you are using Instagram, which is usually a visual-centric platform, you can choose photos, videos, and graphics to post. It should reflect current events, trends, and snippets of your business. You could post photos showing your progress and behind the scene while creating your content.
Make sure to use relevant hashtags, location tags, and captions for these posts. You can give out bits of information in the caption and direct your audience to go to your website by providing a link in your bio section. Using relevant tags and geotags helps users and audience find you easily. It also filters search results for users with the same interest, enabling you to network your brand.
On Facebook, you can post your opinions, share blog posts and memes, photos and videos, and even post promotions. It is a versatile platform, and almost any type of content works on Facebook. You can even ask a few of your friends and acquaintances to like and share your website too. This platform not only helps in networking but also in promoting the brand and generating customers.
While Instagram and Snapchat allow you to connect with your customers intimately, you can use Twitter and Facebook for a professional approach. Focus on gaining an audience and generating traffic lead toward your website and a platform to start discussions about your company and the industry.
Whichever social media you choose to share your content, make sure to do some market research to determine your marketing strategies. It will give you ideas on how to mould the post according to the buyers’ expectations and give you organic and sustainable traffic.
Lastly, know that creating content requires creativity, organisation, and time to learn and grow. Adding tools that organise and manages your content in your strategy will surely make the task more accessible if you explore and follow all the steps listed in this post.
Until then, keep your options open, be flexible, and don’t be afraid to take risks and explore new formats and platforms. Remember that the key to any successful strategy is consistency, so choose a topic that you are passionate about, and you will find ways to excel in it.
For other tips and tricks that create a yearly strategy within a few minutes, use HubSpot’s Marketing Plan Generator.
Perhaps hiring a digital marketing consultant to improve your online marketing is critical for your content marketing strategy.