5 steps to developing a content strategy

Content marketing is not a quick fix, but rather a long-term investment. It is primarily intended to engage customers through thought leadership rather than to build brand exposure or sell products.

Today, content marketing is becoming an important aspect of marketing. Its popularity is growing every day. Many marketers all over the world are embracing content marketing. When you think about it, there isn`t a better way to build brand loyalty within a community than through content marketing.

But the most frequently asked question is, if it is growing in popularity, why do many marketers not see immediate results?

The thing to remember about content marketing is that it takes time! Content marketing is not a quick fix, but rather a long-term investment. It is primarily intended to engage customers through thought leadership rather than to build brand exposure or sell products.

When developing a content marketing strategy, it is essential to have one that is documented rather than something that is created in your head. This is where the majority of content marketers go wrong. They do not keep track of their strategy.

5 steps to developing a content strategy

Here are the five most important steps to take when creating your content strategy.

1. Establish your objectives.

Great content must serve a purpose, and that purpose must be defined by specific goals. Begin by identifying your mission, business and/or marketing objectives, and key performance indicators (KPIs).

This is the point at which you should consider whether content, and thus a content strategy, is the best way to achieve your current business objectives. If the answer is yes, proceed to the next step.

2. Understand your target audience

The success of your content strategy will be driven by two factors: your unique selling proposition (USP) and, equally important, your target audience. That is why it is critical to conduct research on your current and desired audiences.

There are numerous tools available to help you achieve this, such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, and don`t forget that research papers can also be your friend.

Create your customer persona after you`ve defined your target audience (s). This will assist you in determining what content your audience will be interested in.

3. Examine your content

You`ve determined who you`ll be speaking to and the types of content they`ll be interested in, so it`s time to dig deeper into what your current content is saying and where the gaps are.

Next, investigate what your competitors are up to. What your competitors say as well as what they don`t say can teach you a lot. Importantly, this will also allow you to identify the market gap.

4. Create content themes

It`s time to make your audience`s interests, as well as your brand`s strengths and priorities, the foundations or “themes” of your content strategy.

Answer the following questions using what you know about your audience and what you learned from your research and content audit:

  • What content have you identified as being consumed by your target audience?
  • What do you have the authority to say as a brand? Answer honestly, as this will help your brand`s authenticity.
  • What unique value can you bring to the conversation as a brand?
  • What platforms will allow you to deliver this content most effectively?

5. Associate your content with your marketing funnel.

First, create a customer journey map that includes the stages of awareness, consideration, purchase, usage, and advocacy. This will help you identify your customers` varying needs at various points in the marketing funnel and map out what content will meet each of these requirements.

After that, create a messaging matrix to help you identify your key messages and proof points. This matrix will serve as the foundation for all future communication.

Last but not least, start mapping out your content under the heading’s hero, hub, and hygiene.

Hero content is a major campaign moment that speaks to a large, diverse audience.

The regular supporting stories that continue your narrative are referred to as hub content.

And hygiene content is essentially your `help` content, answering the frequently asked questions by your customers.

By following these five steps, you can develop the fundamentals of a content strategy and be well on your way to producing great content that resonates with your customers and differentiates you from your competitors.

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