Modern business owners have more on their plates than ever before. Not only are they faced with more competitive industries, but they must also stand out not just in person, but with their online presence too. And as any business owner will tell you, establishing and maintaining a strong web presence is no joke. But it’s absolutely essential for success in 2021.
And a critical component of growing your business online? Employing an effective content marketing strategy!
Keep reading to find out exactly what we mean by that AND how to get it done.
How Do You Define A Good Content Marketing Strategy?
As a business owner, you’re no stranger to strategy. You have a strategy for customer service, product distribution, employee satisfaction, and much more. As for the strategy you use to create and distribute online content? This is known as your content marketing strategy and it needs to be well-thought out to be effective.
You might be tempted to launch content wherever and whenever you feel like it. But has that really been working for you? We hear from business owners all the time who are finally getting the reach and response they hoped for now that there’s an actual strategy behind their content.
And if you’ve ever created content before, you know just how much time and effort it takes.
So, if you’re going to spend all of that time and effort, don’t you want to know you’re getting the maximum return on your investment? With a good content marketing strategy, you’ll know your content is being thoughtfully created, distributed, and shared to get the best results.
The advantages of a strong content marketing strategy
Approaching content marketing with a strategy comes with a number of advantages. First and foremost, it takes a lot of the guesswork out of content marketing. You’ll know things like when you’re going to publish content, where you’re going to publish, the purpose of the content, and much more.
(For more on the benefits of content marketing, check out this post next)
On that note, let’s cover some of those helpful points that will be covered in your strategy before we move on exactly how to create your content marketing strategy.
Points to cover in your content marketing strategy
Whether you’re tweaking an existing content marketing strategy or starting from scratch, make sure each of these points are covered within it:
- Who is your target audience? (I.e., who are you creating the content for?)
- What is the purpose of your content? Problem-solving? Informative? Building community?
- What makes your business unique and stand out from others?
- Content types you’ll utilize (blogs, videos, social media posts, etc.)
- Where will your content be published? Strictly on your blog? On social media platforms?
11 Steps to Creating a Good Content Marketing Strategy To Grow Your Business
We’ve got the basics out of the way, now let’s move on to the 11 specific steps you need to take to create a killer content marketing strategy to grow your business.
Set up your mission and goals
What is the goal of your content marketing strategy? Are you creating content to get new business, connect with current customers, establish an online presence? Your mission and goals will be the basis for the content you create, so this step needs to be covered before you move onto any others.
How are you going to determine the success of your content marketing strategy? There are a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) you can use to do this, but it’s just a matter of selecting the best options based on your goals.
Here are some you might choose from:
- Website traffic
- Content shares and likes
- Comments and interactions
- Followers and subscribers
- Conversion rates
Know your target audience
Are you writing an audience of 80-year old retired folks looking for their next vacation destination or are you marketing to a millennial audience? As you can imagine, the content you’d create for those groups is bound to be different. Make sure to get to know your target audience really well before you start marketing to them.
Here are some of the things you’ll need to know:
- Their age
- Pain points
Assess your current position
If you have already been creating content, you’ll want to assess your current position. Maybe your content is performing really well on some platforms but not on others. How can your content strategy be tailored to improve its performance on different platforms?
You can use many of the KPIs we just listed to help you do this. Track your stats right now, then check them again every week, bi-weekly, or monthly to see how your position is changing and what can be improved.
Figure out the best content platforms
We know how overwhelming it can be to think of ALL the different options for content marketing. Between blogging, multiple social media channels, video content, and so much more, it’s almost impossible to do it all. Or to at least do it all WELL.
But here’s the thing: you don’t need to publish on every single channel. Find out where your audience is most likely to be, then focus on those places.
Decide on content types
The same way you don’t need to publish on every platform, you also don’t need to create every type of content. Maybe blogging and YouTube content is what’s best for your business. Or maybe your audience prefers Instagram posts and Tweets.
Identify and allocate resources
This is where you determine how much time and effort you can realistically commit to content marketing. Your content marketing strategy needs to be realistic and based on your current resources. If you create a strategy that’s based on publishing five new blogs each week but you know you can only realistically commit to one, it’s better to go with your more realistic estimate.
Create a content calendar
Once you’ve determined the resources you can commit to content marketing, it’s time to make your content calendar!
So, let’s say you know you can commit to writing one blog post per week. Your content calendar needs to include details like which day that piece will be created, when it will be published (including time).
Create a good content
The backbone of every great content marketing strategy? You guessed it: good content!
Your content needs to be high-quality, relevant, and valuable. Focus on writing for your readers, not for yourself, and solving problems or offering value and you’re off to a great start!
Distribution and market
The next step is figuring out how you’re going to distribute and market your content! Do you plan to rely on SEO, PPC services, or an integrated approach?
At Blue Water Marketing, we’re big fans of the integrated approach. SEO results can be incredible, but they take time. On the other hand, a smart PPC campaign can start working TODAY. Combined, all of your bases are covered and you can expect the best results this way.
Assess the results
You’ve created a content marketing strategy and you’ve been sticking to it. Now it’s time to find out how it’s working. Let’s go back to those KPIs again and reassess!
Have you noticed your long-form content is performing a lot better on your blog than it is on LinkedIn? Do you notice content that’s published in the mornings gets more shares than late-night posts? These are just a few of the things to be on the lookout for.
Based on your results, you’ll know what’s working in your content marketing strategy and what needs to be updated.
Get a Traffic-Driving Content Marketing Strategy Done for You
Blue Water Marketing has just covered 11 steps to creating a great content marketing strategy. But did you know there’s a way to cover all of these steps with one phone call? Schedule a consultation with Blue Water Marketing today and entrust your content marketing needs to us!
Not only will we create a traffic-driving content marketing strategy FOR you, we’ll also employ the strategy, monitor its performance, and even create the content for you.
Click here to learn more about our content marketing services and get started today!