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Content Marketing Strategy Explained [With Content Marketing Plan Template]

31 Jan, 2021

Simone Cunningham content marketing strategy explained

In this article, you’ll have the ins and outs of how to create a content marketing strategy explained.

You would have heard the saying:

“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” Benjamin Franklin.

In the streets of content marketing, (and life), this statement holds more weight than you could possibly imagine.

The marketing world is ever-changing and dynamic — tactics, technology, and trends are never stagnant.

This shouldn’t be a surprise to you though. Content marketing has been proven to be among the best methods of growing your business or brand.

Nearly 40% of marketers say content marketing is a very important part of their overall marketing strategy. (HubSpot, 2020)

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 75% of businesses have a content marketing strategy.

Are you simply starting out with content marketing and you’re learning the ropes? Or have you been around for a while and you need to revamp your content marketing strategy?

Whichever stage you’re in, you need to ensure that you do have a content marketing strategy in place—that it’s innovative, up-to-date, and highly engaging irrespective of how and when your customers intend to buy.

With a content marketing strategy in place, you’ll soon find out that the energy and time you spend to create content brings you closer to your business objectives.

 

Watch the video – Content Marketing Strategy Explained [What is content marketing?]

 

 

If you are continuing here, first, let’s clear the confusion surrounding content marketing strategy.

To download your Content Marketing Strategy Explained worksheet click here.

 

Content Marketing Strategy vs Content Strategy

 

What is a Content Marketing Strategy?

 

“Content Marketing Strategy” is the most searched query related to content marketing. (SEMrush, 2019)

I bet I now have your full attention.

So let’s start by defining what a content marketing strategy is.

 

content strategy infographic

 

Content marketing strategy focuses on the narrow subject of marketing content.

It looks at why you are creating the content, who you are helping, and the specific strategy to get it out there (market it). You are creating content to achieve specific results related to profitability and getting more customers.

A content marketing strategy is a method of growing an audience by producing, maintaining, and advancing consistent and frequent content that inspires, entertains, educates to convert strangers into followers and followers into customers.

 

What is a Content Strategy?

 

Content strategy, on the other hand, is the continuing process of modifying business goals and objectives into a method that uses content as the main medium of achieving these goals. Content strategy involves the setting up, creation, execution, and continuity of content.

Content strategy looks at content across the entire business; it is a framework for all content that’s created and published. The overarching strategy for everything that’s content-related within your business.  

Every business really needs to consider both—the big picture which is content strategy and the middle picture which is a content marketing strategy.

This brings us to the next critical question.

Do you really need a content marketing strategy?

 

Why You Need A Content Marketing Strategy

 

If you’re mostly operating alone or your business has a handful of employees, you might think that content marketing is so easy that a plan isn’t necessary.

Well, it’s okay to get going with your content marketing rather than having to wait till you have a solid plan.

But sooner or later you’ll find that you’re running out of ideas, losing direction, or just getting confused.

It’s at this point you’ll realize that you need to get organized, get a plan—and then document it.

 

Here are 4 benefits of a content marketing strategy:

  • Content marketing challenges won’t overwhelm you when you have an established strategy
  • A documented strategy makes you feel more confident in your work
  • It’s much simpler to gauge your success with a documented strategy
  • A documented strategy makes it easier to trade-in when it comes to stakeholders.

Now, let’s have a look at how you can go about creating a content marketing strategy.

 

How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy: 11 Simple Steps

 

Step #1. Identify Your Top Audiences

 

The first step is to gather demographics on your email subscribers, visitors, and social media followers.

These analytics will provide you with information you need on your audience’s:

  • Age
  • Education
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Key interests 

Google Analytics can help you with this.

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter also offer similar audience data.

 

audience data

Facebook Audience Insights

 

Study these analytics and make sure to focus on a few of your main audiences. You will need to research your audience’s needs.

Get information on your customers’ challenges, pain points, behavioral motivators, and sources of information. 

Then you’ll have a better grasp of:

  • The type of content your audience will appreciate.
  • How your content will help them.
  • What will make them have interest in your content

Related content: 6 Reasons Why Content Marketing Fails (and How You Can Fix It)

 

 

Step #2. Define Your Content Marketing Goals

 

Your typical content goals should include:

  • Getting high-quality leads and increased sales
  • More traffic to your website
  • Brand awareness
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Social media engagement to gain authority and traffic
  • Reduced costs of marketing over time
  • Gain influence as a thought leader
  • Increasing revenue as a result of your content marketing strategy.

 

Common content marketing goals

Step #3. Establish the KPIs

 

The best techniques to accomplish these goals is to make them measurable and specific.

This means you need to set up key performance indicators (KPIs) for your content marketing strategy.

KPIs should include what you intend to accomplish in terms of sales, revenue, traffic, SEO and different aspects of digital marketing like social media and email marketing metrics.

KPIs by content type

For instance, you might want to:

  • Get more signups for your lead magnet which translates to high-quality leads.
  • Achieve a certain number of comments, shares, mentions, likes for your pillar content.
  • Achieve a specific revenue target for the month or year.
  • Increase the number of new email subscribers.
  • Grow your site traffic and social media engagement.
  • Be invited to participate in certain key industry events.

You’ll also need to keep an eye on your marketing expenditure, monitoring your spending on various campaigns, and paying attention to the cost of obtaining leads and driving sales.

 

Step #4. Decide on the Content Types to Create

 

You need to determine which content types you’ll focus on.  

Blog posts are critical when it comes to content marketing. Ideally, your blog posts should be valuable, actionable, and shareable.

Video marketing is equally an important part of any marketing.

It’s a proven means to generate leads, engage your audience as well as keep them on your site longer. 

You should also consider incorporating infographics. Tools such as Canva and Piktochart can help you with creating memes and customized graphics for social sharing. 

Other content types to include are ebooks, podcasts, webinars, newsletters, worksheets, checklists, white papers, etc.

 

Diversity content types

 

 

Step #5. Select the Best Content Channels

 

As you make progress in your content marketing, you’ll start to get a sense of where your audience mostly hangs out—and where you have an opportunity to grow your online presence. 

Armed with this information, it will be easy for you to decide which platforms to target for content shares and social media engagement.

You can use platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Pinterest.

 

Content sharing across platforms

 

Step #6. Develop Your Workflow

 

It’s important to ensure that you have all the resources you need to implement your content marketing strategy.

This involves knowing who will be in charge of content production, the resources and tools you need, and the content workflow.

Depending on the size of your team, you can determine whether you’ll outsource content production or do everything in-house.

In case you need to outsource content marketing services, eWords Agency can help you with this.

You’ll also need equipment for creating professional videos and podcasting to host on sites such as YouTube, Spreaker, and Vimeo.

Check out our YouTube channel growth strategy to get started.

 

Step #7. Put it in a Content Marketing Plan (And Use It)

 

Now it’s time to write down what you have just outlined. You could document this content marketing plan in a Google Doc, Google Sheet, Microsoft Word Doc, or Trello Board.

Ensure that you place it where you can easily refer to it weekly or as often as you may need to. Alternatively, you can print it out and pin it to the wall next to your computer. 

Make it visible. Keep it at the top of your mind so that you refer to it when creating your content. It helps you from getting off track.

Download your free content marketing plan template to help you plan your content and beat your competitors. What’s included:

  • 7 actionable steps to guide you through creating your content marketing plan.
  • How to come up with new content ideas to create compelling and clickable content.
  • How to find out what your competitors are up to, so you can better their content and stand out.
  • How to turn your content into a lead magnet to attract new customers to you!
  • How to work out if your content is successful and the reasons why, so you can do it all again with brilliant results.

 

 

Step #8. Create A Content Calendar


Lack of planning leads to content marketing failure

Your content strategy should include knowing when exactly you’ll be creating and publishing content. 

A content calendar is the place where you plan your content for the weeks and months ahead.

You can have several content calendars on the go, one for planning the content formats and topics, one for publishing the content, and a separate calendar for social media content management. 

However you decide to organize your calendars, it’s critical for you to keep track of the content you are creating, where you’re uploading it, and when. 

As you build up your arsenal of content you’ll find your content calendar may just become your new best friend.

Other options you can use for task management and productivity are tools such as CoSchedule, Asana, and my favorite Trello.

Please remember that you need to create content based on what your audience needs. 

We mentioned earlier the need to create content around what your audience wants.

One way to find that out is to use or Answer the Public and Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer.

 

Step #9. Create and Publish Content

 

Now you must be ready to write, yes?

Great.

You’ll need to find out:

  • What’s already written about your topics.
  • How the content you create will add value for your target audience.

Include keyword research for better SEO and search ranking.

At this point,  it’s important to create content in a way that reflects your brand’s personality. 

Here’s Sprout Social’s advice on creating consistency with your brand voice. 

 

Step #10. Promote and Market Content

 

The next critical part of your content marketing strategy is distribution and marketing. Unless these are taken care of correctly, the results won’t be impressive.

For instance, you’ll need to:

  • Set a schedule for sharing your content on social media.
  • Use email marketing to distribute the content to your subscribers.
  • Inform any influencers mentioned in your content to spread the word further.

For your content to get traction, you’ll need to include paid media in your promotion strategy.

Focus on where your audience spends most of their time or which channel you want to grow first—don’t try to be everywhere at once unless you have a sizable budget. Also, consider where you can generate the most leads.

 

Step #11. Measure Your Content Marketing Results

 

Finally, it’s now time to measure the results of your content marketing strategy. 

To do this, you’ll have to check on the KPIs you had set at the beginning of the content strategy plan.  

Tools like SEMRush will help you to assess your content’s search rank. You can also track email signups using email marketing software analytics.

When you monitor progress, you’ll be in a better position to fine-tune your content marketing strategy. So that it’s always updated. 

That’s it! Now you know how to create an effective content marketing strategy from start to finish.

Don’t forget to download your FREE Content Marketing Plan Template here. Or fill in the form below.

 

 

It’s Your Turn

 

does your organization have a content marketing strategy

 

So, please indulge me.

Do you have a content marketing strategy in place? Is it documented?

How did you go about creating it? Do you have any other tips you’d like to share with us to assist other readers and subscribers? 

Or, do you need any help with your content marketing needs? That’s why I’m here.

Hey, I’m Simone

 

For 20 years, I’ve been creating compelling content and marketing for entrepreneurs, big and small businesses.

 

I’ll help you turn your traffic into loyal customers and return visitors. As well as create valuable content your audience will love!

 

Let me show you how to manage it effectively, create authority, and generate leads.

 

I have also created courses and resources to aid you in this journey. No need to fly blind anymore!

 

I’d really love to hear your thoughts on this in the comment sections below.

 

Also, if you have any questions, feel free to shoot.

 

As always, thank you for dropping by, for reading my blog posts, and for subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thank you too for watching my videos. I feel the love. 

 

See you on the next one as usual—yes?

Have something to say? Comment below.

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Simone Cunningham

Simone Cunningham

Director & Content Strategist

Simone is a content marketing strategist, and the Director and Founder of eWords Agency. For 20 years she’s been developing communications and marketing strategies for written and video content, and partners with businesses, government, and not-for-profits as an industry authority.

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