It’s easier to achieve your content marketing goals if you have a well-defined strategy. Yet, research conducted by Content Marketing Institute revealed that 63% of businesses don’t even have a documented content marketing strategy. If you have been wondering how to make your content more relevant to your audience, this article will guide you on the steps to develop a content marketing strategy.
If you want to use content marketing to expose your brand to a more industry-specific audience, you need to develop a content marketing strategy.
The truth is, your content marketing effort may not yield the expected result without a well-defined strategy.
Even if it gets you a few results, it’s just a matter of luck. If you continue like this, you may end up wasting your time and effort.
But if you develop a content marketing strategy, your content tends to be more relevant and engaging to your audience. Indeed, this will attract more traffic to your website and boost sales.
In a nutshell, before you start posting any article on your website, you need to do your research and come up with a strategy. And here are 5 steps to develop a content marketing strategy;
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#1. Establish Your Goals
It’s essential to understand why you are creating your content before you develop your content marketing strategy.
Once you establish goals, you can easily create content that will resonate well with your audience. As a rule, answer the following questions to give you the clarity to set your content marketing goals;
- Do you want to establish thought-leadership through content marketing?
- Are you creating content because you want to generate more sales leads?
- Do you want your content to attract more traffic to your website?
- Do you want your content marketing activity to help you improve your revenue?
These questions will help you clarify your goals. And when you finally establish your goal, try to make it SMART.
A content marketing goal should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely. When your goal has these qualities, you can easily evaluate the success of your content marketing plan.
So, establishing your goals is one of the steps to develop a content marketing strategy. It gives you direction and helps you create content that your audience needs.
#2. Define Your Audience
Understanding your audience is one of the most important steps to develop a content marketing strategy.
Once you decide on the audience to focus on, try to understand their demography. Know the things they like, dislike, and their pain points.
With this, you can create high-quality content that appeals to your target audience.
Now that you know much about your audience. The next step is to define a persona for your ideal customer.
Of course, your persona should include demography like age, gender, location, education, income, etc.
It would be great to do more research to know your audience’s pastimes, motivations, and concerns. All these will help you write personalized and conversational content that will engage them and boost more sales.
#3. Research Your Competitors
Regardless of your niche, there will always be competitors to contend with. So, researching the competition you are likely to face when attracting your target audience is important. It’s one of the steps to develop a content marketing strategy.
As you research your competitors, note the type of content they create, how they are performing, and which one gets more traffic.
Your competitor’s research helps you understand the competitive environment and how you can do things differently to stand out.
Here are a few tips to help you research your competitors better;
- Start by taking inventory of your competitors’ content.
- Evaluate the quality of the content and how well the audience engages with the content.
- And come up with more engaging and appealing content.
#4. Complete Topics and Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most crucial steps to develop a content marketing strategy. Once you understand your audience, their demography, likes, dislikes, and pain points, the next thing is to do keyword research.
Keyword research plays a vital role in content marketing. And if you don’t understand how the process works, it may appear confusing, time-consuming, and complicated.
Generally, there are four main types of keywords – commercial, transactional, informational, and navigational.
Commercial keywords are for paid advertising strategies. Websites offering services like travelling and tour, SEO, HVAC repairs, roofing contractors, etc often use these keywords for paid ads.
Transactional keywords are keywords your target audience search for when they want to buy a product or service.
If your content marketing goal is to generate more sales leads, targeting informational keywords may be a bad idea.
These keywords don’t bring conversion because people that search for them are mainly looking for information.
Navigational keywords are keywords users type when searching for a particular brand name, product, service, etc.
The type of keywords to target depends on your audience and content marketing goals.
#5. Devise Your Strategy
After doing your research, the next step is to devise your strategy. It’s one of the crucial steps to develop a content marketing strategy.
During this stage, you will decide the platform to publish your content and promote them to more people.
It’s important to consider the content that is more appealing to your target audience. Do they like video content, infographics, white paper, etc.? Try to always create the type of content that your audience finds appealing.