Have you heard of the phrase ‘content is king?’
Let’s be honest: content is no longer king in today’s online environment. It is the kingdom. While a king can be overthrown and replaced, what can you do without a stable kingdom? Not much, right?
Initially, content marketing was only a means to stand out from competitors, but it’s now a basic need for modern brands.
Content marketing has proven to be an essential marketing strategy for businesses worldwide. It is right at the core of most effective digital marketing campaigns.
Companies are now constantly in a race to establish themselves as the experts and thought leaders of their industry. They are churning out massive amounts of content to their consumers in an effort to generate more leads. But only a few are reaping the benefits of their efforts.
What are they doing wrong? What differentiates businesses with successful content marketing campaigns from those that are failing in their efforts? A robust content strategy.
And the numbers back this up.
According to a report by Semrush, 78% of companies that had success with content marketing in 2021 had a documented content strategy. Similarly, 81% of companies with unsuccessful content marketing didn’t have a documented content strategy.
Before we can explore why content strategy is vital to your business, let’s first find out what content strategy is and what it entails.
What Exactly is Content Strategy, and What does it entail.
Content strategy is a detailed proposal or scheme on how you plan, create, distribute and monitor the content for your business. Well-curated content allows a business to create awareness, increase engagement and build trust with its audience.
The content can be the form of:
- Blog posts
Your content strategy will center around creating content for your existing or potential clients focused on your business and how you will distribute it to those clients. An effective content strategy also clearly defines the timeline for creating, publishing, and promoting the content.
With many businesses developing and publishing a lot of content without any strategy and not keeping the customer in mind, your business can stay ahead of competitors by investing in a content strategy that will help you create content that your existing and potential customers are craving.
Importance Of Content Strategy to Your business
A content strategy brings forth the following benefits:
Helps you create valuable content that converts.
The main reason for implementing content marketing for your business is to generate leads that convert. But not every content will meet that goal. You can promote your content well, get thousands of views and engagement, but make zero sales.
This might be because:
- Your clients and prospects didn’t find your content valuable, or
- Your content was valuable, but you didn’t distribute it to the right audience.
Employing a good content strategy can help you avoid those problems. The first step before creating any content is to conduct thorough research that will help you understand your audience better. Ask yourself these questions before you start the process of drafting a content strategy:
- Who is my audience?
- Where is my audience?
- What type of content does my audience want?
- How do I package my content to meet my audience’s needs?
- What distribution medium should I use to reach the said audience?
Once you have that figured out, you can create content that is beneficial, educative, and that has the potential to build trust. Building this kind of authority makes businesses stand out and eliminate competition.
It will help your track your client’s journey.
A good content strategy will help you track the journey your customer takes from the moment they come in contact with your business to the moment they make a purchase. Once you have established that journey, you can create content in sync with it to help you take advantage of this journey.
If customers are more likely to buy your product or service after reading your email newsletter, you should create more content for your email subscribers. You should then track where they’re subscribing to your email and exploit that avenue. If they’re subscribing after reading your blog post, you should create more content to make more prospective customers subscribe.
Next, you should find how they came in contact with your website. Was it from a link you shared on social media platforms? Did they find your brand on google after a search? Depending on how they found you, create content that will take advantage of that journey.
Knowing your customer’s journey will also help you stay in touch with them and sell more products to them in the future.
Tracking clients’ journeys will help create content that your clients will find helpful. You can create offers along the way to influence clients’ actions and decisions at every stage.
It will help you stay within your budget.
Cost savings is a strategy every business employs. Without a clear content strategy, your content creators and marketers will run amok and spend as much money as possible to create and promote content.
A good content strategy will help you create content within a budget since you will know how much you need to spend at each stage of your content marketing efforts. The budget you create will save you money on:
- The tools and technology you need to create and distribute content.
- The channels you will use to promote your content. You will know which promotional channels to avoid.
- Creating your content team; you will know if you need an in-house team or will you outsource your content creation.
- Ads; you will know beforehand how much you want to spend on ads.
Content marketing is a long-term investment, and it is only a well-thought strategy that can help you budget for today and tomorrow and not run out of money before you can see the fruits of your labor.
It will help you measure and achieve goals.
A successful content marketing strategy should be able to achieve a specific goal. Before creating content, you should first ask yourself what your end goal is;
- Do you want more engagements?
- Do you want to create brand awareness?
- Do you want to increase sales?
- Do you want to attract or retain customers?
You will then prepare tools to measure the effectiveness of your content. This strategy will help you know what is working and what isn’t. The metrics will also help you know the type of content your customers want.
It will complement your entire internet marketing strategy.
Creating different content for all your internet marketing platforms can be very costly and time-consuming. Content strategy will help you create content that works in harmony with your entire internet marketing strategy.
You can create a blog post and share the same content with your email newsletter subscribers. The same content can also be broken down to and shared on Twitter, for example, to complement your social media marketing.
A good content strategy will help you create content that you can use to promote your affiliate marketing and Inbound marketing efforts. You can create content on platforms like Quora or Reddit, and direct prospective clients to your website to make a purchase or subscribe to your email list.
It Will Help you Create Content that Ranks.
The best way to stay ahead of your competitors in the digital world is to produce content that will appear higher on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). And without a proper content strategy, there is no way your business could achieve this.
Creating content that will appear on the SERPs will require that you define your buyer well and target them using the keywords they are typing in their search bars. Perform extensive keyword research using premium services like Ahref and finally produce high-quality content that is SEO friendly.
It will help keep your up to date with trends.
Without a clear content strategy, you risk creating outdated content. The content marketing trends are ever-changing. A strategy that was popular one year ago can be utterly useless today.
According to HubSpot, some content marketing strategies to watch out for are:
- Short-form videos
- Strategic SEO
- Social Responsibility
- Digital events via webinar presentations.
Leveraging new trends is the best way to stay ahead of competitors.
How to implement a content strategy for your business
With almost every business doing content marketing, how well you will implement your content will decide if you will lead the pack or lag behind.
The first step to creating a successful content strategy is creating a roadmap that will help direct your entire project.
See this example below:
Roadmap for creating a winning content strategy.
Let’s break down the roadmap above:
Know your goal: Before creating content, know what you want to achieve. Do you want to make more sales, or do you want to create brand awareness? Your goal should guide your content creation, not the other way round. Your goals should be realistic and achievable.
Research Your Audience: By knowing who you want to sell to, you can create valuable content tailored for them. Properly targeting your audience, new or existing, will improve your conversion rates. You can target your audience based on their demographics, content preferences, and shopping behaviors.
Both of these free tools will help you research your audience, and your competitor’s audience and help you develop a buyer persona.
Audit Your Content: Since you now know your audience, you need to look at the content they’re consuming. You can do this by comparing your content with your competitor’s content.
Knowing your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses will assist you in identifying your own. Find out what they are doing wrong and create a plan on how to improve on that.
Get the Right Tools: Your notepad alone won’t cut the deal. You will need to invest in proper content management systems (CMS) to help you create, publish, manage and analyze the content. A CMS tool will help you document your content strategy from start to finish on one platform.
Assemble a Team: Content marketing is no one-person job. Assemble a team that will help your business throughout the process. You can either build an in-house team or outsource the work to freelancers. Your budget will dictate your path; an in-house team will be full-time employees.
Determine the type of content to create: At this stage, you know everything about the audience you want to reach and the content they prefer.
Create content specifically targeted to that audience. The type of content that you can create includes
- Audio – Podcasts, and Audiobooks.
- Video – Webinars, tutorials and educational videos, testimonials, etc.
- Visual Content – Narrated Slideshows, Infographics, Presentations, Images, etc.
- Written Content – Blog posts, Emails, Whitepapers, Checklists, etc.
Create, Publish and Distribute: Create high-quality content that will deepen engagement, add value to the conversation, and help your clients and prospects solve a problem. Publish your content on the right platforms and distribute it in a manner that is natural, not spammy.
If the content you created is images and you are looking to create more awareness for your business, you might want to distribute them on Instagram and Pinterest, and videos should go to YouTube. And if your goal is to create real-time engagements, your content will do best on Twitter and public forums.
Manage and Analyse your content: Now that your content is live, it is time to check on the results. Find what worked and what didn’t. The data you collect here will help you create and implement your next content strategy.
Most distribution platforms have inbuilt analytic tools, but to accurately measure the impact of your content, you will have to employ third-party tools like HubSpot CMS Hub.
What is the end goal of a Good Content Strategy?
When it comes to your content strategy, winging it just won’t cut it!
You need to invest time and resources throughout the process from research all the way to promoting the content. In this day and age, a good content strategy is the heart of a successful marketing campaign.
Some of the benefits of a good content strategy are:
- Increase organic traffic to your website. By leveraging social media and producing content that makes it to SERPs, you will increase your website traffic organically.
- Rank your business higher on search engines – By investing in SEO and creating quality content that users find beneficial, your business will consistently rank ahead of your competitors.
- Establish your business as an authoritative force in your industry – By making newsworthy content, answering customers’ questions, and helping them solve problems, you establish your business as an industry leader.
- Attract new customers and retain the existing ones – By being aware of your customer’s journey, you can attract customers with similar personas and keep in touch with existing ones.
- Naturally create brand awareness – You will watch your brand awareness grow since you are using quality content instead of spammy Ads.
- Lower your content marketing budget – A good content strategy will help you set a content marketing budget and stick with it.
Actively investing and properly curating your content strategy is the investment required to have a successful content marketing campaign. Without which, you risk getting lost in the pool creating content that adds no benefit to your business.