10 Steps To Create a Successful Content Strategy

10 Steps To Create a Successful Content Strategy

For several years now, content marketing has reigned supreme in the promotion of goods and services. It allows companies to make a name for themselves even when they are optimizing their budgets. So today I want to talk about what a content strategy is, how to create it, and how to make it effective. It should be noted that marketing starts to work when similar products with similar characteristics and application appear on the profile market.

That is, when there is competition and it is necessary to assert yourself, to prove that your product is the best and has certain advantages.

Each kind of activity has its own sales funnel. Even if you do not think about it or do not operate with such a concept. Through content marketing, you can significantly expand the top zone of that funnel. That's why a properly chosen and effective content marketing strategy is so important. It provides a step-by-step guide that details the following steps:

  • content creation and formation;
  • distribution of prepared information;
  • determination of effectiveness.

Of course, this is a simplified explanation. In fact, a well-designed, effective strategy has many more steps. But first things first.

Content strategy: what is it and why is it needed

It has two main objectives:

  1. increasing sales;
  2. provoking loyalty from the audience.

It is clear that both of these goals complement each other. And it is impossible to increase the figures of one without increasing the figures of the other.

Pay attention! If the increase in sales in general is relatively easy to assess and to notice, the loyalty of your target audience is not easy to assess, but without this indicator the growth of sales is impossible. Yes, and sustainable performance of the company in the market will not work.

Promotion through content (information) allows you to solve problems and achieve the above-mentioned goals. But in order to understand better how exactly the strategy is created, let's talk about the basics.

What types of content exist?

There are a lot of them! There is hardly any sense to list them all. But I will note the basic and most commonly used:

  • answers to questions (e.g., the popular "Frequently Asked Questions" section of websites);
  • reviews of products/services; 
  • interviews with experts;
  • case studies and research; 
  • descriptions of experiments;
  • statistical data;
  • tips and recommendations;
  • facts, checklists;

What content formats there are

I'll be honest - it's quite difficult to divide types and formats. Plus, the division is arbitrary. Types are a variety of ways to contain material.

Formats are different forms, ways of delivering material on the same topic to users. For example, it can be:

  • articles; 
  • videos;
  • infographics; 
  • presentations;
  • press releases;  

How to distribute content: effective directions

In order to get the most out of the information you prepare, you should choose the best method of dissemination. Depending on the characteristics of your target audience.

Here are the most effective and accessible channels to "deliver" information to users:

  • the company website; 
  • sending by email;
  • company blog (or personal blog);
  • forums;
  • social networks;
  • off-line media.

1. Define the goal

Note that a content marketing strategy will be effective only if it has a properly defined goal, fully consistent with the direction of your business, your product/service or brand features.

So, what goals can a content strategy have? Here are a few possible and very real, valid options:

  • Maintaining your audience's loyalty to your brand/website/company;
  • Attracting a new audience that is more solid, credible, solvent, etc;
  • Providing targeted content to consumers, allowing them to increase sales, to sell promotional items, etc.;
  • maintaining contact and reaching a new level of contact with the target audience;

Having defined the purpose, you will already understand in what direction to move further. You have made the first and important step on the road to success.

2. Defining your audience

Your content won't work effectively if you start attracting an audience that isn't your target audience through it. Therefore, knowing your audience is very important.

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential customer/representative of your target audience. Look at the information you provide from the perspective of the customer, the other people you will be influencing. Think, what is the usefulness of such information, what value it carries, to what actions it prompts?

Create a portrait of your customer, think about how exactly he behaves in social networks. Such a portrait should be created for each segment of your audience.

3. Using the brand in content strategy

For your strategy to be as personalized as possible, link it to your company/website brand. How do you do this? Here are a few steps to personalize and connect with the brand:

  • Implement brand colors - think about how your brand colors impact your potential audience and how they will look online;
  • select a font that is comfortable, readable, easy to read, and make sure the font is accessible for use online;
  • think about how sounds associated with the brand can be used - for example, to give voice to the brand. For example, large companies make sure that customers associate a certain tune with their brands;
  • Use any visual cues on the site - for example, it may be a logo. Also, a logo is a good option to accompany content even in offline media.

Your brand is your guiding star. Be sure to use it when creating your content strategy.

4. Analyze what kind of information your potential or real customer is looking for

Rational content strategy development involves doing some analysis to understand what your audience will be interested in. It is important for the information to be valuable, useful, and carry a certain semantic load for the client.

  • Information about the product/service. There can be no doubt - tell them as much as possible about the features of your products, services. So that the customer has no questions. Specify how the customer will benefit from using the product.
  • Think about how exactly will your relationship with your customers develop. What do you need for a more harmonious development and rapprochement? To do this, ask the technical support staff to provide information about what questions they are most often asked and what answers they want to get.
  • Demonstrate what exactly the peculiarities of the products offered. To do this, create profile content that allows the user to learn the most useful information about the product/service/site. Indicate exactly how the product provided should be used.

5. Talk about the company

Whether you have a company or an informational website, be sure to provide as much useful information about yourself as possible. Your audience will want to know exactly what you are, what your secret to success is, how you got started. Here is a sample list of exactly what I recommend about yourself:

  • The history of the company/site; 
  • The uniqueness of the site/products, showing exactly how the consumer benefits;
  • Communicate not only the company's history, but also tell about your employees. Perhaps about the best customers, providing information not only text, but also visual "components" - photos, videos.

This way you become closer to the client, showing your loyalty. The client, in turn, feels your affection for him, feels that he is on the same level with you.

6. Apply different types of content

 It's worth recognizing that different parts of your audience like different versions of content. So target different "information consumers" by providing content in different formats. When creating a content strategy, plan exactly how you will provide information to your audience:

  • plain text articles; 
  • attention-grabbing pictures, photos of products, products;
  • create interesting videos about your products/services;
  • create presentations.

Different variants of content - for different "parts" of the audience. In this way, you can increase your reach.

7. Use a calendar

Create a calendar that clearly plans out the steps for creating and publishing information. Here's exactly what you need to put on the calendar and how you need to do it.

  1. Take into account which dates you need to create special information for - for example, professional, religious holidays, product launches, etc.
  2. Include so-called recurring content in the calendar - for example, prepare weekly articles reviewing new products.
  3. Create a plan to reuse the information. There are times and situations when information should be repeated.
  4. Think about exactly how you can motivate your employees to participate in content creation.

8. Work to make your information as interesting as possible for your potential audience

When developing a content strategy, be sure to remember to make the information as interesting, informative and engaging as possible for potential readers. How do you do that? It is actually very simple:

  • before publication, be sure to check articles, so as to remove grammatical and spelling errors, since such "defects" have a negative impact on authority;
  • work on developing attention-grabbing headlines that will motivate users to open the article and read it;
  • use "magnets" in your content - special images that easily stick in people's minds, attracting their attention;
  • presenting information, skillfully divide it into separate, simple parts - long canvases of articles are difficult to perceive by readers, so divide the article into separate parts, use subheadings, numbered lists. All this simplifies the perception of information, increases the readability of the text.

9. Make an effort to make information searchable

To make content, you have to invest in it. For example, it can be time and skills, but if you don't have enough time, you will have to invest money - to pay for the work of specialists.

10. Allocate the necessary resources

To make content, you have to invest in it. For example, it may be time and skills, but if you don't have enough time, you have to invest money - to pay for the work of professionals.

To make sure your strategy is as effective as possible, spends your budget wisely and attracts maximum users, check out these tips and tricks. Adhere to them, then success will not be long in coming.

Content strategy development: more tips for beginners

  • Do not make cute posts with kitties. They will shoot a maximum of once. At best. Of course, if you promote cat food, then you can't do without such content, but are you sure that you promote cat food?
  • Clearly define the mission of your brand. Are you sure it's already defined? Think again! You'll probably find something else interesting and useful.
  • Look for as many platforms as possible through which you can engage and interest your audience.
  • Don't try to do everything yourself. Learn to delegate and distribute. What should be a team, I wrote above.
  • Properly organize the work processes within the team, so as to eliminate delays, procrastination, and just an inefficient waste of time and effort.
  • Do not worry! Work calmly and confidently. Worrying won't help you.
  • Don't try to cover all information causes-it's unrealistic! Prepare content only for those occasions that really matter to you and your audience.
  • Analyze. Analyze. Analyze. Analyze. Evaluate which pitch interested your audience the most. Think about why this happened. How else could you use this pitch?