What is Content Strategy?
The goal of your content strategy is to help you achieve the overall business targets. A content strategy is your plan to create valuable information that will attract your target audience to your sales and marketing funnels and give them enough value to keep them engaged with your sales team.
This strategy looks at your business goals as a whole, not just one piece of it. And when you do a content audit and then create a plan for integrated pieces to suppose your business goals, you will have a successful content marketing strategy creating valuable content that is measurable against your business objectives.
You should be looking at the process in the following way:
- business goals
- sales funnels
- topics relating to your product or services
- keyword phrases that will support search engine optimization and lead visitors to your content.
- Your content should have a call to action (cta) as part of your sales funnels to start the conversation with your sales team.
- Your sales team success connects back to your business goals.
What A Content Plan Does For Your Business?
You don’t have to be an expert content strategist to create a solid plan to build your organic traffic to your sales funnel. Regardless of the content management system you use, your content production needs to be consistent with complete search engine optimization to increase your change of getting in front of your target audience.
Part 1 – The foundation of your Content Strategy Plan
1 – Setting Your business goals: your content marketing efforts should link and support your key business objectives.
2 – Take a look at who your customers are and make sure this target audience is front and centre before you plan your content. Does your buyer persona need some tweaking? It is also known as your customer avatar. Now is the time to make any adjustments you need before you have a completed plan. You want to make sure you are providing content that applies with who will be reading your content. What is their search intent? If you know what
3 – Review the marketing funnel that lead to your purchase. Does it need updating? What kind of content will be needed to support and drive visitors to it? What problems are they looking to solve?
4 – Keyword research: here is where some tools can help considerably. Don’t guess at what keywords matter. Do your research and make sure you are looking at what your competitors are ranking for that you are not – also known as a keyword gap. We use SEMRush to do this competitive research and build our keyword phrase list that ties to our funnels.
5 – A content audit: don’t ignore the writing you have already done.
6 – Concentrate on valuable information – this is the beginning of your sales funnel, so no hard selling. And while, you definitely want to create usable content for the search engines, that you need to keep your potential customer at the forefront and write compelling content that answers the issue they need to solve. What do they need to know? Show them who you are and start building that relationship. Make sure you have some long-form content in the plan. and not just for the search engines. “According to a study by SEMrush, long-form content generates 3X more traffic, 4X more shares, and 3.5X more backlinks.”Source: terakeet.com
Part 2 – Building a Successful Content Strategy Plan
What should your content marketing strategy include?
1 – Create a pool of topics that support your services, products and the funnels that lead to them. Your content will be worked through these core topics clusters and intertwined to lead your visitors to other great information. Don’t think of individual pieces of content as an end result, but one piece of a larger puzzle. Those pieces to to fit together. Relevant content that increase a positive user experience while still supporting your sales teams’ goals.
2 – Create 2 to 6 subject lines for each topic cluster. Knowing these will allow your to create a scheduled content strategy plan. You don’t need to write your blog posts at this stage, but having even a rough headline will help you lay out your content calendar.
3 – Schedule our your year: Yes, look at the full year. Do you want to cover particular services or products on a certain month? Or do you want to do a blend to keep your offers front and center all of the time? However you want to break it up, schedule out your weekly topic using your headlines. Make sure you are tracking the topic cluster and funnel they belong to.
4 – Include rich media: content type can affect your editorial calendar. So if you want infographics or video to be included into your blog post make sure you make note right into your plan. Web pages with video media in their content “generating 1200% more shares than text and image-based content combined.”Source: neilpatel.com
5 – Schedule your resources: you are a resource and so are any of your content team. Plan out who will be writing each one and you’ll be able to make sure no one is overwhelm and has the time to do a great job on content quality.
By planning your content calendar out, you will never be left scrambling for a topic and writing at the last minute – hopefully! If you need some extra help, here are tools we use to help shortcut the process:
- SEMRush: for keyword and competitor keyword gap research. It simplifies what can be a long and tedious process.
- Frase: optimising content with competitive long tail keywords, titles, and top topic clusters. Frase takes your keyword phrase and gives you the top 20 competitors using it and how they are using it.
- DIY Marketing Content Strategy template: we created this template to streamline our process.
These tools are part of your content team. Remember content creation is an ongoing process. Each quarter you should be reviewing your business goals and your content strategy plan and making adjustments to keep focused on your overarching goals.
Now dive in and start your plan!
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Founder & CEO of ThinkFlame, Shelly Patrick, trains individuals and companies to understand how their marketing affects their sales conversation and how to integrate marketing into their yearly plans for consistent growth.