Whether you’ve been using the exact same approach or you are just starting out with articles promotion, it never hurts to revisit your SEO content strategy plan — just to make sure it’s innovative up-to-date, and strong.
After all, you’ve got more competition than ever. According to the Content Marketing Institute, the most successful B2B marketers report spending 40 percent of their budget on content marketing as of 2018 — up 1 percent from 2017.
The first step to getting a leg up on the contest is to have content that is the smart marketing strategy in place. If you want some ideas to include in your plan or having difficulty planning for the upcoming year, read on.
In this post, we’ll dive into:
- What content strategy is?
- Why your business needs a content marketing plan.
- The exact measures you’ll need to take to make your strategy, including:
- How your articles can generate leads.
- How (and what) to publish on social media.
What’s a Content Strategy?
Content strategy refers to the direction of pretty much any tangible media that you make and own: written, visual or downloadable – you name it.
It’s the experience you bring to your business and the part of your marketing program that demonstrates who you are.
You must have heard how important content production is to your business’ development. But as you’ll see throughout this post, it ought to have a certain intent.
Before we go any further, there are some things to think about when you create a content strategy:
Who Are You Creating Content For?
Who are you targetting your content for? Are you creating your content for your current viewers or for a new audience?
As your company may have more than 1 client, you need to create a proper content strategy that can cater to more than 1 group of readers or audiences.
Thus, using a variety of channels and content types can help you deliver content that is different from each type and engage everyone.
The Problem It Is Going to Solve For Your Audience
Ideally, your product or service solves a problem you know your audience has. Therefore, your articles should be able to educate and coach your readers.
A solid content strategy supports people on either side of your product: those that are still figuring out exactly what their challenges are. Your articles strengthen the solution(s) you’re offering and make your clients more qualified customers of your product.
What Makes You Unique
As your competitors have a similar product as yours, this means your potential customers will need to know what makes yours better — or, at least, different.
So, this is where your content comes in. To show why you’re worth purchasing from, you also want to prove why you’re worth listening to.
The Content Formats You’ll Focus On
What forms will your articles take? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? Having identified the topics that you want to take a position on, you’ll need to ascertain which formats to budget for so you can best convey that position.
The Channels Where It Will Be Published
Just as you develop contents of various formats, you’ll also need different channels that you can publish to.
In relation to your content strategy, The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and JESS3 can be your guide to help you discover which channels will fit your content formats.
Comprising of four concentric halos, each of them correlates to one another. As social media activities and digital marketing have become the front runners of the business world, the latest Conversation Prism 5.0 showcases the expanding shifts in the social media landscape.
We’ll talk more about the social networking content strategy from the step-by-step guide later in this article.
How You’ll Manage Creation and Publication
Figuring out how you’ll make and publish all your content can be a daunting task. This includes who’s creating what, where it’s being published, and when it’s going live.
Nowaday’s content strategies avoid clutter by managing content from a topic standpoint. When drafting a content calendar about topics, you assert yourself as an authority in your market with time and can visualize the message of your company.
Learn more about topic clusters in content strategy in the video below.
Why Do Marketers Need to Create a Content Marketing Strategy?
Marketing helps companies plan and prepare for dependable and cost-effective sources of site traffic and leads. Think about it — if you can create 1 blog post that gets a steady amount of traffic, a link to an ebook or free tool will continue generating leads for you as time goes on.
The number of leads and traffic will provide you the flexibility to study your content marketing strategies to create revenue, such as content, networking advertisements that are sociable, and content.
Plus, your content won’t just help attract prospects — it will help create awareness and educate your target prospects.
Let’s dive in to find out the specifics of how to develop a content marketing strategy for your business.
1. Define Your Objective.
What’s your aim for creating a content marketing program? Why do you need to produce content and make a content marketing plan?
Know your goals before you begin planning, and you’ll have an easier time determining what is best for your own strategy. That way, you’ll get a clearer grasp of your content objectives and who’s your right person to receive your content.
This is because different groups of sales funnel justify different types of content. You should never assume all content fits every situation.
In fact, great content begins from a well-defined purpose, either you want to promote your brand awareness, increase leads and conversion rates, attract new customers or everything else as a whole.
Want help figuring out the right objectives? Download this target planning template here
2. Conduct Persona Research.
To plan a successful strategy, you need to clearly define your content’s target audience — also known as your buyer persona. This is especially important for those people who are starting out or are new to marketing.
By understanding your target audience, you can create more valuable and relevant content that they’ll want to read and convert on. Google Demographics and Interests can help ease your buyer persona research to find out the types of sites that your audience frequently engages with.
However, if you’re an experienced marketer, your goal may have changed. Do you need to target a group of people or expand your current target market? Do you wish to keep the exact same target audience?
So, revisiting your audience parameters by conducting market research each year is crucial to increase the chances of growing your audience.
3. Run a Content Audit.
Most people start out with blog posts, but if you want to venture out and try generating other content pieces, consider which ones you want to make.
For instance, if you’ve been doing weekly blog posts for the past year, creating an ebook that combines all your blog posts into one ultimate guide would be one way to provide information in another format. We’ll go over unique kinds of content you can use further down on the list.
However, if you have been in business for some time, it’s best to review your article marketing campaigns and the results. This is done by running a content audit to determine what goals you aim to reach and can accomplish in your current campaign.
(Pro tip: This method will be the ideal time to align your team’s goals with the rest of your business’s goals.)
4. Pick a Content Management System.
Decide on which content management system that you can use to easily manage all of your contents. A few crucial elements of content management include content creation, content publication, and content analytics.
If you are a HubSpot customer, you are able to plan, create, publish, and quantify your results all in one place utilizing HubSpot’s own blogging application. Another content management system is a WordPress site hosted on WP Engine.
5. Brainstorm Content Ideas.
It’s time to begin thinking up ideas for your next content project. Here are some tools to get the wheels turning:
Hubspot Website Grader
HubSpot’s Website Grader is a superb tool to use if you want to see where you’re at with your marketing.
This tool can send you a detailed report that will help you enhance and optimize each area and grade areas that need improvement from your content marketing to your social media marketing efforts.
By using this tool, you are able to figure out new content ideas and how to make your website more SEO-friendly.
Get your mind gears going with IMPACT’s unique content generator, BlogAbout. This tool works a bit like Mad Libs, but rather than creating joke sentences, it provides you simple headline formats using blanks where you can fill in.
This brainstorming technique can help you put ideas in contexts that would be appealing to your target audience. As soon as you have a headline you like, BlogAbout enables you to add it to your”Notebook” so you can save your best ideas.
HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator
Get blog post suggestions for an entire year with HubSpot’s Blog Ideas Generator. All you need to do is enter general subjects or terms you want to write about, and this content generator does all the job for you.
Feedly is a popular RSS feed that provides a way to keep track of topics that are trending while finding article ideas simultaneously.
Discover popular content and content ideas at BuzzSumo. This company offers a number of market research tools, one of which utilizes media shares to decide whether a piece of content is well-liked and popular.
Subsequently, this information helps you see if you were to create content about them which content ideas would do well.
Blog Post Headline Analyzer
CoSchedule‘s tool analyzes titles and headlines and provides opinions on search volume, word choice, grammar, and length. Run a title options through the Headline Analyzer to move your idea along, and to see how to make it stronger if you have an idea in mind.
6. Determine which kinds of content you would like to produce.
There is an assortment of content options out there. Here are some of the most popular content formats marketers are currently creating, and resources and templates to get you started:
Types of Content Marketing
- Blog Posts
- Case Studies
- Social Media
If you haven’t already noticed, you’re currently skimming through a blog article. Blog posts live on web site and must be published in order to attract visitors.
Posts should offer content to your audience which makes them prone to share posts on networking and across websites. We recommend that blog articles be 2,000 and between 1,000 words in length, but experiment to determine whether your audience prefers shorter or longer reads.
Take a look at HubSpot’s free blog post templates for writing great how-to, listicle, curation, SlideShare presentation, and newsjacking articles on your personal blog.
Ebooks are tools that potential customers can download after submitting a form with their contact details. They’re published less often than blog articles, which can be written to entice visitors to a site, and typically more comprehensive.
Ebooks are another step from the inbound marketing process: After reading a blog post (such as this one), visitors might want more information.
This is where calls-to-action (CTAs) come into play, directing people to a landing page where they can submit their contact info and download an ebook to find out more precious information for their business.
Subsequently, the company has a new lead for the sales staff.
Case studies, also known as testimonials, are your opportunity to tell the story of a client who succeeded in solving a problem by working with you.
A case study is possibly your type of content marketing because it can take many different forms. Some of the common forms are blog article, ebook, podcast or even an infographic.
Your goal in a case study is to show the people that are considering your product the evidence is in the pudding. You should determine also the area of your business to which you are trying to drive value and which form the testimonial will take, before choosing a customer for a case study.
Templates are a useful content format to try since they generate leads for you while providing tremendous value to your audience. When you give your audience with tools that are the template to save them time and help them succeed, they are more likely to keep engaging with your content in the future.
Infographics visualize and can organize information in a way that is more compelling than words alone. These are content formats if you are trying to share plenty of data to use.
If you are ready to begin, get HubSpot’s templates for creating beautiful infographics in under one hour.
Videos are an extremely engaging content medium that is shareable across multiple sites and networking platforms.
Videos require a larger investment of time and resources than written articles, but as visual advertising increases in popularity — after all, it is 40X more likely to receive shared on social networking than other forms of content — it is a medium worth experimenting with.
HubSpot Research recently found that movie is the most preferred type of content. Plus, video captures most of the people’s attention.
Starting a podcast will help audiences find your brand if they don’t have time or interest in reading articles every day.
The number of podcast listeners is growing — in 2018, nearly one-third of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast in the last month. If you have interesting people to conversations or interview to host, think about podcasting as another content format with.
Here’s HubSpot’s comprehensive guide to starting a podcast.
As soon as you’ve been publishing content on your own site for some time, it might be time to start thinking about distributing your articles on other websites.
This could indicate publishing website content on various social networks — or repurposing content and publishing them creating original content for sites that are external — such as Medium.
Posting on social networking is pivotal to delivering your content to your clients where you know they spend their time and amplifying the reach of your brand.
Common social networks that businesses usually use to post include:
You can also interact with other businesses that have a similar audience as your own. That your followers expect to see when launching a company account on any of the social networks above, it’s important to post the sort of content.
On Instagram, for instance, users want photographs, videos, and images that reflect current events, show off user-generated content or even go behind the scenes of your organization.
On Facebook, for what to article, your choices open up a bit: Not only can you share blog content and your blog posts, but you can post product promotions, native Facebook videos, and first memes that resonate with your customers.
While the aim of media sites like Instagram or Snapchat is to connect more intimately with your audience, your goal on platforms like Facebook and Twitter would be to expand that audience, drive traffic toward your site, and begin conversations.
Do some market research to discover which platforms your buyers are on, and mold your articles to their expectations. There are a plethora of content types to diversify your site when you are ready for ideas. Check them out below:
7. Publish and manage your content.
Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you will create — it should also cover you will organize your content. With the help of an editorial calendar, you will be on the right path for publishing a well-balanced and varied content library on your site.
After that, create a social networking content calendar so that you can promote and manage your content on other sites.
Lots of the ideas you think about will be evergreen — as they are now, they are just as important months from now. That being said, timely topics shouldn’t be ignored by you either. They can help you create spikes of traffic while they may not be the majority of your calendar.
You don’t have to limit yourself, although people today count on integrating holidays like Thanksgiving and New Year’s in their marketing efforts. If there are it could be worth publishing articles in social networking or on your blog.
We know this is lots of information, but the job has just begun. It takes time, organization, and creativity to cultivate a marketing strategy that is content that is successful.
Setting up your plan for the new year won’t be a hassle if you follow the steps and explore the resources here to incorporating tools to better manage your content from building the base of your content marketing plan.