How social is your content strategy

7 steps to a content strategy - a guide

Regardless of whether you are just starting out with content marketing or have been dealing with the topic for some time: It makes sense to regularly review your content strategy - this is the only way you can be sure that it is current, innovative and convincing.

After all, you have more competition than ever. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most successful B2B marketers report that as of 2018, they will be spending 40% of their budget on content marketing!

The first step to competing is a solid, smart content marketing plan. If you're having trouble planning for the year ahead or need new ideas to include in your plan, read on.

What is a content strategy?

The Content strategy refers to managing pretty much all of the content you create and use: written, visual, downloadable ... .. whatever. It's the part of your marketing plan that continuously shows who you are and what expertise you bring to your industry.

Content Marketing - summ-it management consultancy - B2B marketing and business development

You've probably heard the importance of content creation to growing your business, but as you'll see in this post, it needs to have a well-planned purpose. There are a few important things to keep in mind when developing a content strategy:

Who do you create content for?

Who is the target audience for this content? For how many audiences do you create content? Just as your company could have more than one type of customer, your content strategy could have more than one type of person ("persona") Address.

Using a wide variety of content types and channels will help you serve different content for each type of audience you want to target and to engage everyone with whom your company does business.

Which problem should be solved for the respective addressees?

Ideally, your product or service solves a problem that you know your target audience will have.

A sound content strategy helps people decide on a product on both sides: those who are still figuring out what their most important challenges are, and those who are already using your product to overcome those challenges. Your content reinforces the solution (s) you offer and turns your customers into more qualified users of your product.

What makes you unique

Your competitors likely have a similar product to yours, which means your potential customers need to know what makes your product better - or at least differently. This is where the content comes in. To prove why you are worth buying from, you need to prove why you are worth listening to.

The content formats you will focus on

What forms will your content take? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? Now that you have identified the issues on which you want to take a stand, you need to determine which formats are best suited to represent that position.

The channels they should be published on

Just as you can create content in different formats, you also have different channels to post to. Channels can contain your own objects such as your website and blog, as well as social media objects such as Facebook and Twitter. We'll talk more about the social media content strategy in the step-by-step guide later in this article.

How to manage creation and publishing

Figuring out how to create and publish all of your content can be a daunting task. For a content strategy, it is important to know who is creating what, where it will be published and when it will go live.

Today's content strategies avoid clutter by managing content from a thematic perspective. Planning a themed content calendar makes it easy to visualize your company's message and assert yourself as an authority in your market over time.

Why do marketers need a content marketing strategy?

Content strategy

Content marketing helps businesses get reliable, affordable sources of website traffic and new leads. Think about it - if all you can do is create one blog post that gets a constant amount of organic traffic, an embedded link to an eBook or free tool is going to keep generating leads for you.

The reliable source of traffic and leads from your popular content gives you the flexibility to experiment with other marketing tactics to generate revenue, such as sponsored content, social media advertising, and distributed content. Plus, your content not only helps attract leads, it also helps educate your target people and increase brand awareness.

Well, let's dive in to see the ins and outs of creating a content marketing plan.

Content strategy / content marketing strategy with summ-it management consultancy

How to create a content marketing strategy

1. Define your goal

What is your goal in developing a content marketing plan? Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan? Know your goals before you start planning and it will be easier for you to decide what is best for your content strategy.

2. Define your target group (“Personas” aka “Buying Center”)

To develop a successful plan, you need to clearly define the audience for your content - also known as your "buyer personas„.

This is especially important for those who are just starting out or who are new to marketing. By knowing your target audience, you can produce more relevant and valuable content that they will want to read and work on.

If you are a seasoned marketer, your goal may have changed. Would you like to address a new group of people or expand your current target market? Do you want to reach the same target group? Reviewing the parameters of your target audience through annual market research is critical to growing your target audience.

3. Perform a content audit

Most people start out with blog posts, but if you want to venture out and try producing other pieces of content, consider which ones you want to create. For example, if you've been blogging weekly for the past year, creating an eBook that distills all of your blog posts into one ultimate guide would be one way to offer information in a different format. We'll go into different types of content that you can use further down the list.

If you've been in business for a while, review your content marketing activity and the results from it over the past year. Find out what you can do differently in the coming year and set new goals to help you achieve them. (Pro Tip: Now is a good time to align your team's goals with your company's other goals.)

4. Select the appropriate content management system

Have a system in place to manage your content. Some important parts of content management are content creation, content publishing, and content analysis.

A comparison between WordPress and Typo3 can be found HERE. If you would like to learn more about the outstanding possibilities of WordPress, you can find more content HERE.

5. Brainstorm content ideas

Now is the time to come up with ideas for your next content project. Here are some tools to get things started:

HubSpot’s website grader

HubSpot's website grader is a great tool to use if you want to see where you are with your marketing. From your blogging efforts to your social media marketing, Website Grader will evaluate key areas of your marketing and send you a detailed report to help you optimize and improve each area.

This tool can help you find out how to make your website more SEO friendly and discover new content ideas.

Get your thoughts going with IMPACT's unique content idea generator BlogAbout. This tool works a bit like Mad Libs, but instead of joke phrases, it shows you common headline formats with spaces for you to fill in the topic you have in mind.

This brainstorming technique will help you put general ideas into context that are attractive to your target audience. Once you have a headline that you like, BlogAbout lets you add it to your "notebook" so you can save your best ideas.

HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator

Get full year blog post ideas with the HubSpot Blog Ideas Generator. All you have to do is enter general topics or terms that you want to write about and this content idea generator will do all the work for you.

Feedly

This popular RSS feed is a wonderful way to keep track of trending topics in your industry while also finding content ideas.

BuzzSumo

Discover popular content and content ideas on BuzzSumo. The company offers a range of market research tools, one of which uses social media shares to determine if content is popular and popular. This information, in turn, will help you identify which content ideas are good when creating content about them.

Blog Post Headline Analyzer

CoSchedule's tool analyzes headlines and titles and provides feedback on length, choice of words, grammar and search volume. Once you have an idea in mind, run some title options through the Headline Analyzer to see how you can make it stronger and to brainstorm your idea further in the process.

6. Determine what types of content you want to create

There are a variety of content choices that you can create. Here are some of the most popular content formats marketers create, along with tools and templates to get you started.

Blog posts

If you haven't noticed by now, right now reading a blog post. Blog posts live on a website and should be published regularly to attract new visitors. Posts should provide valuable content for your audience that will encourage them to share posts on social media and other websites. We recommend that blog posts should be between 1,000 and 2,000 words long, but experiment to see if your audience prefers longer or shorter readings.

Ebooks

Ebooks are a top notch lead generation tool that potential customers can download after submitting a lead form with their contact information. They are usually longer, deeper, and published less often than blog posts that were written to attract visitors to a website.

Ebooks are the next step in the inbound marketing process: after reading a blog post (like this one), visitors may want more information. This is where calls-to-action (CTAs) come in, directing people to a landing page where they can submit their contact information and download an e-book to get more valuable information for their business. In return, the company that produces the ebook has new management that the sales team can contact.

Case studies

Case studies, also known as testimonials, are your opportunity to tell the story of a customer who managed to work with you to solve a problem. A case study is perhaps your most versatile type of content marketing because it can take many different forms - some of which are on this list. That's right, case studies can take the form of a blog post, ebook, podcast…. even adopt an infographic.

Your goal in a case study is to show the people considering your product that this is proof. Before selecting a client for a case study, determine what form the testimonial will take and what area of ​​your business you are trying to add value to.

Templates

Templates are a handy content format to try out as they generate leads for you while adding tremendous value to your audience. If you make templates available to your target groups to save them time and help them succeed, they will be more likely to be concerned with your content in the future as well.

Infographics

Infographics can organize and visualize data in a more compelling way than words alone. These are great content formats to use when trying to share a lot of data in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

Videos

Videos are a very engaging content medium that can be shared on both social media platforms and websites. Video requires a greater investment in time and resources than written content, but as visual marketing grows in popularity - after all, it's 40 times more likely to get spread on social media than other types of content - it's a medium to be used in should experiment.

Podcasts

Starting a podcast will help your audiences find your brand when they don't have the time or interest to read content every day. The number of podcast listeners is growing - in 2018, nearly a third of the US population listened to a podcast in the last month. If you have interesting people to interview or have a conversation with, consider podcasting as another content format to experiment with.

Social media

Once you've been posting content on your own website on a regular basis for a while, it might be time to start thinking about spreading your content on other websites. This could mean that you convert content into new formats and publish it on your blog, create original content specifically for external websites - such as Medium - or publish website content in various social networks.

However, posting on social media is critical to increasing your brand's reach and getting your content across to your customers who you know will be spending their time there. Social networks that companies often post on are:

  • XING
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google My Business
  • YouTube (yep - this is technically a social network.)

When opening a business account on any of the social networks mentioned above, it's important to post the type of content your followers expect. For example, on Instagram, users want photos, videos, and graphics that reflect current events, show user-generated content, or even go behind the scenes of your business.

There are many possibilities on Facebook: not only can you share your blog posts and website content, but you can also publish native Facebook videos, product promotions and original memos that will resonate with your customers. You can also interact with other companies that have audiences similar to yours.

While the goal on social media sites like Instagram or Snapchat is to connect more closely with your audience, your goal on platforms like Facebook and Twitter is to grow that audience, drive traffic to your website, and conversations in your industry to start. Do some basic market research to find out what platforms your buyers are on and design your content the way they want.

7. Publish and manage your content

Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you will be creating - it should also include organizing your content. With the help of an editorial calendar, you are on the right track to get a balanced and diverse library of content on your website. Then create a social media content calendar so you can promote and manage your content on other websites.

Many of the ideas you think of will always be current - they will be just as relevant in the next few months as they are today. However, you shouldn't ignore current issues either. Even if they aren't the bulk of your editorial calendar, they can help you generate spikes in traffic.

We know this is a lot of information, but the work has only just begun. It takes time, organization and creativity to be successful Content Marketing Strategy to develop. From creating the foundation of your Content Marketing Plan to adding tools to better manage your content, building your New Year strategy will be no problem if you follow the steps and explore the resources here.