The Ultimate Guide to Building a Content Strategy in 2021
If one of your business goals is to improve your digital marketing strategy, make sure you don’t ignore content marketing as it is an important part of digital marketing. Here are some facts you should know about content marketing:
- Essentially, content marketing is the act of creating, publishing, and distributing content with the goal of improving sales, increasing brand awareness, engagement, interactions and even customer loyalty. Think of blogs, social media posts, infographics, paid ads, and videos.
- According to Hubspot, blogs are the primary medium used in content strategies
- 70 % of marketers are increasing investments in content marketing
- Nearly 40 % of marketers say that content marketing is a very important part of overall marketing strategy
- 77 % of companies say that they have a content marketing strategy
The numbers don’t lie—content marketing can help your company reach its goals. However, before you jump into marketing, make sure you develop a content marketing plan. To help you out, the pros at VitalStorm have prepared the ultimate guide to building a content strategy that can help you get your company where you want it to be.
1. List Your Goals
The first step to developing any sort of digital marketing strategy is to come up with a list of realistic goals. The more specific they are, the better. Ask yourself what you want your content to do: Do you want to build up awareness of your brand? Do you want to build up engagement on your social media? Do you want to improve sales? Once you have defined these goals, think about the timeline within which you want to achieve them and set deadlines for yourself for more accountability. One way to do that is establish your KPIs or key performance indicators. These vary by company but according to Hubspot, the most common measure of success for content marketing is the improvement in total sales. Another measurement of success associated with content marketing is increased web traffic. Other KPIs might include:
- Reaching a revenue target within a month or year
- Improving your search ranking
- Reaching a certain level of weekly or daily engagement on social media
- Getting more subscribers
Once you have listed your goals and timelines, you have created the skeleton of your content strategy.
2. Who is Your Audience?
If you don’t know your audience or don’t take a visible interest in knowing them, they most likely won’t be interested in you. Take the time to learn about your demographic such as their location, age, education etc. You can use various analytics tools such as Google Analytics or Twitter Analytics to get a better idea of who is engaging with your material. Knowing your audience can also help you understand what type of content to build up on. If your demographic data indicates that your audience is heavily involved on social media, devote your time to ramping up your social media presence. Take the time to know your audience, what their needs and concerns are and what they expect from companies like yours. One way you can do this, is by creating a “buyer persona”, also known as customer avatars. This will not only include what content they are most likely to be drawn towards but any behavioral characteristics that drive them. Consider their values, their challenges, the places where they get information, how they act in the purchase process etc.
3. Be Honest with Yourself About Where You Are
Take some time to assess where your content strategy is. Have you been posting content regularly on social media or your website? Have you tried to ensure your content is well-written, specific and engaging? How much content have you put out in the last few months? Next, use analytics tools to observe how well users have interacted with your content and whether it would be useful to use content marketing to improve these analytics. SEMRush and Google Analytics are great tools for figuring out whether your content is reaching its audience, if it’s getting higher on the Google results page, whether there are any inbound links to the content and much more. Assessing your content helps you get a better picture of where you are starting in terms of content strategy.
4. Listen to Your Customers
We have mentioned this before, but we’d like to emphasize this again: Listening to your customers is vital. Keep an eye out for reviews and respond to them with the help of a content specialist who can embody your company voice while addressing the customer’s concerns. Look out for what customers are saying about your business, what services they are looking for and whether you can offer them. Be involved and be open to feedback from users, as that is of primary importance to customers.
With the pandemic, consumer behavior has changed. According to Forbes, 48.7 % of customers said they replaced products that they purchased regularly at a physical store with a competitor’s online alternative. That shows how important it is to revamp your digital presence—make your content strategy a part of your goals to improve your online presence. Now is the time put out blogs, advice, infographics and even videos about how your business can help the customer in question.
5. Measure Your Results
You can’t know how you are improving if you are not making it a point to measure your results on a weekly or monthly basis. You can do this by finding the best content marketing tools that can give you the most helpful information about the content you are putting out. Kred help you measure your online impact and influence, ClickFunnels can help turn your customers into leads and Tweriod tells you the best time to Tweet out content if you are using Twitter—the options are endless!