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Content strategy is the backbone of any good digital marketing strategy. Without a strategy, you’re randomly throwing content into the void.
In order to develop a successful content strategy, it’s important to have a clear picture of who your audience is, what you want to say to them, and what you wish the overall outcome to be.
In this post, we’ll walk you through how to create a winning content strategy that will help you attract customers and drive conversion.
What Makes a Good Content Strategy?
A content strategy is simply a master plan for the branded, consumable, engaging material that your company releases into the world.
It includes content aimed at proving expertise, providing context, and reaching new customers. Some content can be made for making sales while other content is for increasing brand awareness.
A content strategy is not just one thing, it’s a collection of tactics for achieving an overarching goal. For instance, an online retailer that sells fishing supplies should not only write blog posts about how good their products are. They should also write posts to show that they know about fishing, and provide guides to help people tackle (no pun intended) their fishing woes.
Forming a winning content strategy may seem daunting, but really it involves three easy steps:
- Determine your desired outcome
- Get to know your target readers
- Decide what you want to say
Once you’ve worked through these three steps, you’ll have a winning digital marketing content strategy.
1. Determine Your Desired Outcome
Your digital content strategy will be directionless unless you have a goal in mind. Think of this goal as the foundation of your content strategy. Everything you do to build out your content will be based on accomplishing this one objective (or set of objectives).
Before you start thinking about your desired outcome in the future, take a look at what you have now. What purpose does your current content strategy serve? What are the strong points? Those can be leveraged in your new content strategy. What are the weak points? Those can be iterated on for your new content strategy.
Once you have a handle on what is and isn’t working for you, start to plan for the future. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want to increase engagement with existing customers?
- Am I trying to establish industry expertise?
- Is my goal to reach new customers?
A good content strategy will clearly address a specific goal. Once you know that goal, you need to determine your key performance indicators (KPIs), which are measurable methods for determining your success at accomplishing your goal. For instance, if your goal is to reach new customers, you might take a look at organic traffic growth over time.
Now that you’ve audited your current content strategy, determined your goals, and established KPIs, it’s time to think about your audience.
2. Get to Know Your Target Readers
Understanding your desired outcome is a great first step, but in order to create something tangible, you need to research your audience. Your target readers may be a demographic based on current customers, it could be based on customers you wish to have, or a combination of the two. The important thing is to determine the customer persona.
Based on the persona you wish to target, there are different strategies you can use to reach them — Instagram ads, blog posts, tutorials, listacles, videos; you name it. Maybe you can see where we’re going with this. Determining your target audience plays a big role in deciding what kinds of content you need to create.
Once your content strategy is up and running, you can use those KPIs you determined in the last step to see how successful you are at reaching your target demographic.
3. Decide What You Want to Say
The final step in developing your winning content strategy is (surprise, surprise) actually creating the content. Fortunately, with all the planning you did in determining your outcome and choosing a target audience, this step should be pretty easy. By this point, you should already know the medium you’re going to use to communicate and the overarching message.
Take some time with this final step and use your creativity. Brainstorm ways you can not only reach your audience, but engage with them. Find ways to keep them interested and build up some of that sweet, coveted brand loyalty.
4. Become a Digital Marketing Master
Udacity’s Digital Marketing Nanodegree program covers all of these topics (and more) in great detail. If you only spend 10 hours a week on the program, you’ll be an expert in digital marketing in only three months, all from the comfort of your own home. Enroll today!