How to Develop a Content Strategy in 8 Simple Steps

A content strategy gives direction to your digital marketing goals. It’s what a successful business would use to attract more visitors, engage leads, and close deals. By developing a content strategy, a brand can accurately measure its digital marketing results.

And that’s why we’ve created this article to show you the eight simple steps in developing a competitive content strategy.

So, let’s dive in!

1. Set Your Goals

Start by defining what you want to achieve. It’s essential to know your goals before you start creating the content strategy. If you aim to build brand awareness, this should be clearly communicated in your plans.

Better still, create a mission statement. A mission statement will guide your most important ideas and give you better focus. With a mission statement, you can define what your target audience will get, the kind of content you create, and your business goals. 

2. Research Your Audience

For a content strategy to be successful, you need to know your audience. You need to understand their demographics so you can create the right content for them. Through audience research, you can create buyer personas that define their interests,

Buyer personas help you focus more on content that converts. Research is also excellent for when you are revisiting previous strategies. You can tell what’s working and what’s not in your plans. By revisiting, you can target new prospects or grow your current market.

3. Conduct a Competitor Research

It’s necessary to look at what your competitors are doing. By checking their online channels, you can tell what they are up to. It would be best if you also considered web scraping. Web scraping is an online tool that allows you to peep through competitors’ data without being noticed. It helps you retrieve information such as clicks, comments, or analytics. 

Through competitor research, you can discover gaps in their content strategy you can fill. You can also learn content strategies that work for them and apply the principles to your business. Competitor research is also relevant for revealing channels that offer better results for specific content.

4. Identify Your Unique Positions

Every business holds a unique content position. While some perform best with case studies, others do well with blog posts. When developing a content strategy, it’s essential to know what your audience prefers. You can use results from your previous research to tell what your audience likes best.

To identify your unique content positions, consider revisiting previous content. By repurposing some of your content, you attract new audiences to your site. If, for example, you have been writing various blog posts, you can create an ebook that combines all the topics in one place. You can also consider infographics to make it easy for some audience to understand your message.

5. Create a Content Calendar

With all the planning taking place, it’s essential to set a timeline for when they should happen. A calendar will guide your steps and ensure that you develop S.M.A.R.T goals. When we speak of SMART goals, we mean Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely plans. 

Create a system that allows you to manage your calendar. You can include a Content Management System(CMS) that indicates when to create and publish content. Through a CMS, you can stay focused on your goals, and so will your team.

6. Choose the Best Channels for Your Content

Every online channel serves a unique purpose. While some like the websites are relevant for sharing long-form, educative content, others like the Tik-Tok are best for sharing viral videos. Depending on your business’s scope, you will need to be careful with where you share your content.

If your focus is on business executives, try out channels like LinkedIn. If you want to create and grow your brand through informative videos, consider a channel like YouTube. Every content you create needs a distribution channel, and it’s up to you to find the best platforms for your business.

7. Decide What Content You Want to Create

There are several contents you can create. Here are a few you can choose from.

  • Blog Post

An example of a blog post is what you are reading now. Blog posts are published on websites and are used to attract visitors. They are also educative and describe the products and services of a brand. 

Blog posts are also relevant for ranking you on Google searches. If you create SEO-optimized blogs, you stand better chances of improving your online visibility and increasing ROI.

  • Ebooks

Ebooks are more detailed than blog posts. They cover topics in great detail and are used to attract visitors to a website. They are lead generation tools that are mostly used to convince clients to subscribe to an email list.

  • Infographics

Infographics deliver visual data. They organize content into graphic and text format, so it’s compelling to read. Through infographics, a brand can share lots of data in an easy-to-understand format. Infographics reduce the monotony of long, boring text.

  • Videos

If you are looking to create engaging content, then videos are the way to go. Videos are great at capturing an audience’s attention and ensuring they listen to your message to the end. Videos are excellent for attracting visitors to your site who can later share the videos on other platforms.

  • Case Studies

Case studies help you share success stories about your brand. They are excellent at describing a story and explaining how your business helped solve it. Case studies are essential for convincing clients that your brand has their best interests in mind. 

8. Publish and Manage Content

Another important step in content strategy is publishing and management. This is the point where you decide how to distribute and promote your content. If, for example, you are creating content for your website, you can plan for promotions on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. 

Managing content also involves the repurposing of some content. If some content ideas do not work, this is the time to research for better choices. You can decide to convert a blog post to a case study to attract more visitors to your website.

Final Thoughts

Developing a content strategy takes time and determination. It requires constant monitoring and evaluation to determine what works. A content strategy is not a permanent script. You can revisit your approach to give more life to your goals.

By Eunice Njuguna

Eunice is a freelance writer specializing in long-form, short-form, and shareable content.

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