How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps

February 27, 2022
February 27, 2022 Zee Dichev

A content marketing strategy acts as your company’s compass. This strategy increases visibility and turns prospects into customers. A content strategy overcomes a glaring weakness for every business owner: limited time. You can only promote yourself so often. However, content continues promoting your business as you sleep. People can find your content at any moment. You don’t need a sales team, and you can step away from your business.

You can be on vacation and get email notifications informing you of new sales. An effective small business content strategy creates that possibility. Every content marketing strategy relies on seven fundamental steps. Developing each stage of your marketing strategy will provide clarity and more customers. Let’s begin.

1. Create a Customer Avatar inbound marketing

Your analytics is more than a bunch of numbers. Each visitor is a person who took time out of their day to consume your content. Align your strategy with their behaviour. A customer avatar enables business owners to keep customers in mind. Every part of your content strategy should revolve around the experience you provide.

Many businesses cast wide nets only to end up empty. Narrowing your focus helps you attract more of the right people. Reviewing your existing customer base will help you create a more detailed avatar. The following data points can help you make an avatar:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income level
  • Location
  • Language
  • Single or married
  • Career and ambitions

Some audiences convert better than others. Craft content that speaks to your most engaged customers. You want more customers like them, and content can bring that crowd to you.

Create Avatars for Each Stage of the Customer Journey

Most people stop at a single customer avatar. This avatar provides a foundation, but not everyone is ready to become your customer. Some prospects are unaware of your product and its importance. Some content must raise awareness and educate people on your offer. Other prospects are aware of your offer. However, prospects compare different choices before making a decision. Some content should explain why your offer is superior to the competition. Prospects also have concerns about your solution. Produce content that addresses objectives to convert prospects into customers. A sole focus on a vague customer avatar ignores the different stages of the customer journey. Each stage requires different content to advance a prospect to the next step.

2. Establish KPIs for Your Content Marketing inbound marketing

It’s tempting to rush out of the gate, produce content, and implement the marketing tips. However, a content marketing strategy requires a nuanced approach. Companies must define success before implementing the strategy. Key performance indicators (KPIs) assist with measuring success. Establishing a few goals helps you align your efforts towards those goals. Every content brand should set a revenue goal. This revenue goal is the primary objective. Certain KPIs will push you closer to your revenue goals.

Vanity metrics such as likes and followers won’t thrust you towards revenue goals. You can get more likes and followers without seeing more revenue. Conversion rate is arguably the most vital metric. The conversion rate measures the percentage of people who take action. If 100 people visit your sales page and five people buy your product, your sales page has a 5% conversion rate. Your free content doesn’t act as a sales page. However, you’ll want a clear objective to measure your free content’s success.

You can create an opt-in page and promote it in each piece of content. You can measure free content by its ability to turn visitors into subscribers. Your email sequence can then turn subscribers into customers. Your KPIs act as the final destination on your GPS. You can measure progress by how close you are to your final destination. Businesses can only improve if they set goals and track results.

3. Identify Your Platforms

Years ago, some people emphasised omnipresence. This outdated strategy encouraged activity on every single platform. Companies and individuals seeking omnipresence often get overworked or hire many people. When new platforms emerge, businesses get distracted. They feel a need to pivot to places like TikTok without considering if that’s the best move for them. You don’t need to stay active on every social network. You only need to focus on social networks with most of your clientele. Graphic designers should focus their efforts on picture-focused platforms like Instagram and Pinterest. Business owners can benefit from business-focused platforms such as LinkedIn.

An effective content marketing strategy caters to the 80/20 Rule. Most of your results come from a small number of actions. Reducing your time on ineffective platforms gives you extra time for top platforms.

4. Plan Out Your Content

You can plan out content after determining your avatar, KPIs, and top platforms. Businesses should brainstorm topics that address each stage of the customer journey. Write down ideas as they come to mind. This brain dump exercise gives you many ideas. You won’t create content on all of them, but you’ll end up with many ideas. Content topics are core elements of any content marketing strategy. You need ideas to produce and promote content.

Business owners should also consider their primary content formats. Companies can select from blog posts, videos, podcasts, images, and other media. Not all of them make sense for your brand. Consider which formats attract new customers and take the least effort to produce. Video production has more steps than blog post creation. You should only create videos if prospects consume them and become customers. Follow the same rule with other content formats.

5. Create a Content Calendar

The brain dump gives you an unorganised list of ideas. Content calendars provide structure and help you get intentional with content creation. Many businesses only view content calendars as mechanisms to maintain consistency. You publish a new piece of content once a week or more frequently.

A content calendar does more than remind you when to publish content. Content calendars help you align content production with promotions. Let’s say you sell computer gadgets. Next month, you’ll run a promo for Mac computer gadgets. Creating content around Microsoft computer gadgets wouldn’t make sense at that time. You should instead produce content that explains why someone should get Mac gadgets. You should build awareness and build up curiosity for that specific product line.

Free content builds trust. Aligning that trust with product launches and discounts gives your content a purpose. That purpose goes beyond showing up just for the sake of it.

6. Create Content

Most people rush into content creation and treat this as the first step. Getting through the first five steps leads to more meaningful content for your brand. You’ll speak to your ideal customer instead of shouting out into the ether. Your content will resonate more deeply with your visitors.

Content production takes considerable time. Some people create their own content while others seek help. Many businesses hire freelancers to produce blog posts, videos, and podcast episodes. Freelancers create content for businesses so owners can focus on gaining market share. If you create your own content, stick with a content production schedule to stay on track. Falling behind on content production can lead to stress and feeling discouraged. Some creators produce content each day, while others bulk create for 1-2 days per week. You can also do a combination of delegation and creating your content.

7. Distribute Content

The final step is content distribution. After creating the content, it’s time to share it with the world. This part of the content marketing strategy gets detailed in a hurry. A solid starting point is to promote your content on your social media accounts. You should also promote new content to your email list. Content gives you a reason to show up to your audience. Let everyone know about your latest creation. You can also use advanced strategies like influencer marketing, paid advertising, and SEO. These distribution channels take more time to master but can lead to surge of invisibility.

Regardless of which content distribution strategies you use, measure the results. Reviewing data helps you make smarter decisions on how to allocate your time. Start with many distribution strategies and narrow your focus over time.

Want Help With Your Content Marketing Strategy?

A content marketing strategy can change the trajectory of your business. Scalability helps you reach more prospects without putting in more hours.

We know a content marketing strategy can get complicated and at the end of the day, you want customers and results. We take the complexity out of content marketing so you can get results. We’ll run your campaigns and monitor your stats to optimise your results.
Contact us today to see how we can help your business grow via content marketing.

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