You wouldn’t go on a road trip without fuel and a map, would you? Of course not. Because you’d never arrive at your destination. Likewise, if you wish to gain recognition, traffic, and leads from your content marketing efforts it’s critical to learn how to develop a content marketing strategy.
Each year the Content Marketing Institute surveys content marketers to learn about their work. And the research consistently shows that “a documented strategy is often a key indicator of content marketing success.”
Why? Because a documented content marketing strategy gives you the information you need to drive results.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy and Why is it Important?
A content marketing strategy is a document (or set of documents) that describes how you plan to attract and engage your target customers with content. It typically includes an analysis of your customers and the types of information they’ll need as they look for solutions to problems you can help them solve. It will also discuss your business goals and the role your content will play in supporting those goals. And, finally, it will outline your plans for building and distributing content given your available resources.
Creating a content marketing strategy is important for any business that produces content because, quite frankly, content is an investment. You’re investing time and resources into assets that will have a profound effect on how people experience your business.
When you set goals and craft content with intention, these assets can deliver a return on your investment, for years after you do the work. But if you create content haphazardly, it may have little effect at all, which makes it easy to get discouraged.
A content marketing strategy gives your work focus. Stating exactly why you want to create content and what you expect it to do for you, is powerful. It provides you with the insight you need to research, plan, and build great content that will inspire your customers to take action.
Ready to get started?
Here’s how to develop a content marketing strategy in 10 steps:
- Establish Your Goals and Objectives
- Get to Know Your Target Audience
- Perform a Competitive Analysis
- Assess Your Available Resources
- Conduct Topic and Keyword Research
- Document Your Strategies and Tactics
- Inventory and Audit Your Existing Content
- Build an Editorial Calendar
- Create and Promote Your Content
- Track Your Results and Make Adjustments
Now, before we go any further, I want to make something clear. Building a content marketing strategy is a cycle, not a process. When I help clients with their content marketing strategies, we start small by picking one or two areas of focus. Then we create and promote their content, track the results, and adjust our plans as we learn. I will walk you through each of these important steps below. But you and your consultant can adjust the order and revisit steps to accommodate the needs of your business.