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How do you create a content marketing strategy?

How to create a content strategy that really generates traffic

If you don’t have a good content strategy, you’re a bit lost.

Seriously, think of your content marketing strategy as a map: you need one to get where you want to go.

What if you don’t have a map? You’re going to lose.

This means you will lose countless hours and dollars producing content in the hope that it will help you grow your business. With fingers crossed!

This is a perfect recipe for exhaustion and, ultimately, for failure.

If you want to succeed you have to be strategic. Especially when the competition is so tough.
So how to create a content strategy?

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know to create a powerful content marketing strategy that constantly brings traffic to your website.

Sounds good, doesn’t it?

What is a Content Strategy?

A content strategy is an action plan designed to guide content marketing activities and ensure that they meet a specific business objective.
This includes;

  • content planning,
  • production,
  • publication,
  • promotion,
  • monitoring,
  • and SEO optimization. 

It also includes all kinds of content you produce, such as videos, articles for your blog, podcasts and social media posts.

Being strategic helps you generate income.

In 2018, only 39 percent of content creators had a content strategy. 

However, this number increases to 65 percent of the best performing organizations.

The idea is to make sure that each piece of content you produce resonates largely with your target audience and serves so that people can become real customers.

As a result, different types of content will serve different purposes.

For example, you can write blog posts to rank on Google for certain keywords, so you can connect with new customers. 

Or you can create a video to show your products in action and educate potential customers about your products.

Simply put, a powerful content strategy will allow you to maximize the performance of the time and money you invest in content marketing.

So how to create a content strategy?

Step # 1 of the Content Strategy: Define your Goal

You can’t create a route if you don’t know where you want to go.
Each piece of content you make must have a clearly defined purpose, such as:

  • Get backlinks from other websites and social networks to attract more traffic to your website.
  • Appear in the first search results in search engines such as Google and YouTube.
  • Educate and nurture your clients, potential clients, and followers in social networks.
  • Move readers or viewers along the sales funnel, to complete an action (for example, to subscribe to your email list).
  • Promote participation in social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Then, before you start, make sure you set clear goals for your content marketing efforts.
These objectives must be intelligent, or “SMART” by its acronym in English:

  • Specific: There should be no space for interpretation.
  • Measurable: Goals must be quantifiable.
  • Achievable: Be ambitious, but also realistic.
  • Relevant: Your goals should lead you to the final result you wish to obtain.
  • Time limit: There must be a clear start and end date.

Here is an example of a SMART content marketing objective:

Specific: Our goal is to increase blog traffic by increasing our publication frequency from two to five times per week.

Measurable: The goal is to increase traffic by 12 percent.

Achievable: Traffic to our blog increased by six percent last month when we increased our posting frequency from one to two times per week.

Relevant: Increasing traffic to the blog will increase brand awareness and generate more potential customers from SEO and social networks.

Time limit: At the end of this month.

SMART Goal: By the end of this month we will increase blog traffic by 12 percent by increasing our publication frequency from two to five posts per week.
To create a SMART goal in your content marketing strategy, ask yourself questions such as:

  • How does this contribute to our overall marketing goals?
  • Is this the most effective way to achieve the desired end result?
  • Do we have the necessary resources to realize this objective?

Once you’ve set your content strategy goals, it’s time to go to step two.

Step # 2 of the Content Strategy: Define your Target Audience

What exactly is a target audience?

In short, a target audience is a group of people who are likely to respond positively to your content, which is why every piece of content you think should have a target audience in mind.

By defining your target audience, you can better understand how to create content that suits your interests, needs and emotions. 

In turn, this will lead you to have a stronger brand and higher conversion rates.

So how to define your target audience?
First, you must create a buyer person or consumer profile . 

Let’s see an example.
HubSpot provides a detailed example of a consumer profile. 

This includes all basic demographic information and psychographic information, such as their priorities, their possible objections, their criteria for making decisions and what they consider valuable.

Ok, but where do you get this information?

Well, if you already have an existing customer base, investigate more deeply and try to establish common ground. 

And if you don’t have customers yet, start by researching the customer base of your nearest competitor.

Ask questions like:

  • Where they live?
  • How old are they?
  • What is your gender?
  • What are your interests?
  • Who are they online?
  • What is your level of education?
  • What kind of jobs do they have?
  • How much money do they earn?
  • What motivates them to buy something?
  • What worries you most when making a purchase?

Once you have defined your target audience, you can begin to identify effective content topics.

Step # 3 of the Content Strategy: Develop Effective Content Topics

Your target audience should be the one who defines the content you create.

Simply put, if you want to get potential customers from search engines or increase your level of interaction in social networks, you need to create content that your target audience will love.

Find out what your target audience is looking for and what it constantly interacts with. 

There are many ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to use SEO tools to see what people look for in search engines.

Great, right?

There are also a lot of tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs and SEMRush. There are even tons of extensions for browsers, like Keywords Everywhere.

Let’s see how this is done.

How to conduct keyword research to identify content opportunities

You probably already have information about your target audience. So start by making a list of some relevant and important topics.

Then, it’s time to see how many people are looking for these terms.

In this example, we will use the Keywords Everywhere browser extension: this tool is simple, fast and easy to use.

Once you’ve installed the extension, you’ll see information about the keywords every time you use a search engine like Google, YouTube, eBay, Etsy, Bing or Amazon.

Specifically, Keywords Everywhere will display the keywords:

  • Volume: How many searches a keyword receives per month.
  • Cost per click: The average cost per click of the keyword when performing pay per click advertising.
  • Competition: How competitive is the keyword.

When you start using this tool, try to find keywords that have a monthly search volume of thousands or tens of thousands.

In this way, the volume will be large enough to attract a large amount of traffic, but not so much that your content is lost.

Okay, now you should have some solid keywords that you know your target audience is actively searching for.

Turn your keywords into content topics

For example, if one of your keywords is «snowboard helmet», you could generate a brainstorm on the following topics:

  • The 10 best snowboard helmets in 2020
  • How to choose the best snowboard helmet for you
  • 7 reasons why you should always wear a snowboard helmet

Just remember the golden rule of content creation: it’s never about you, it’s about your readers.

This is why 90 percent of the most successful content creators prioritize their audience’s informational needs over their own sales and promotional messages.

So try to be useful and attractive.

If you are suffering to find good content ideas, then consider using BuzzSumo.

BuzzSumo is a particularly powerful tool that allows you to see the highest performing content for certain keywords:

Once you’ve chosen some great ideas, it’s time to choose the format of your content.

Step # 4 of the Content Strategy: Identify the most effective Content Format

Today, there are tons of different content formats available. These are some of the most popular types used by content creators:

  • Blog Posts
  • Emails
  • Videos
  • Photos
  • Graphics and infographics
  • Webinars
  • Publications in social networks
  • Podcasts

Now, each of these formats also has many options.

For example, if you make videos: you can create vlogs, product reviews, tutorials, behind the scenes, interviews, parodies and questions and answers.

According to the place where you hope to attract more to your audience you must decide the duration of your content and on what platform you plan to publish it.

For example, if you want to shoot a video, will you post it on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram Stories or on your own website?

It is vital to answer these questions in advance, as they will define the type of content you need to create.

For example, a Facebook story must be shot vertically, but a YouTube video will perform better if it is shot in landscape.

But here’s the question: you can’t do everything and you shouldn’t do everything.

Unless you have a massive team and an endless budget, trying to produce content in many different formats will exceed your resources.

For small businesses, it is best to have only one or two content formats that you can really devote to.

But with so many options available, how will you decide which one to use? It’s simple: you don’t decide. Your target audience decides for you.

Red Bull is a great example.

As an energy drink, the Red Bull brand has to do with extreme sports that require great energy and activities that push people’s boundaries.

That is why they create content about extreme sports such as rock climbing, snowboarding, skydiving, surfing and motorcycle racing.

As a result, the vast majority of Red Bull content is video. The video not only provides the best means to present these sports, but it is also the main format that people use to participate in them.

When deciding what content format to create, keep these questions in mind:

  • Is there a format that best presents your themes?
  • What format is your target audience consuming the most?
  • Where does your target audience spend more time online?
  • What format generates more interaction in social networks?

Although you can personally prefer one content format over others, always opt for the content format that is most effective for your target audience.

Step # 5 of the Content Strategy: Determine the Frequency of your Publications

Consistency is key.

Without a consistent content marketing strategy, you will not generate the momentum needed to attract organic traffic.

Now, the type of content you make will largely define how often you should share it. For example, you are likely to post more social media updates than blog posts.

Two main things must be taken into account: your resources, which are limited, and what your audience wants.

Creating long-term publications or videos require a lot of time and money, especially if you decide to hire a writer or a video producer. This will restrict the frequency with which you can create quality content.

In short, the longer the content, the less publications you will make of it.

Another important thing is to provide the right amount of content for your target audience.
If you publish very little, you will not be cultivating a deeper relationship with your clients. 

But if you publish too much, you will overwhelm them and many will seek to cancel their subscription.

And if you’re still not sure where to start, check out what your competition is doing and if they use content marketing successfully. You must also decide when to share your content on social networks.

To do this, think about when it is most convenient for your target audience to view your content. 

Also, do a social media analysis to find out when your audience is online the longest.

Once you’ve decided on the frequency of your posts, create a content calendar.

You can use a simple spreadsheet to keep track of the content you are creating, or use a tool like CoSchedule , Asana or Trello .

Start by making simple columns to track where each part of the content is in your general content marketing strategy.

Very well, you have defined your objectives and your target audience, you have identified the promising themes and the format of the content, and you have created a content calendar.

However, your content strategy does not end there.

Step # 6 of the Content Strategy: Plan your Content Promotion Activities

Every great content strategy includes the promotion of such content.

The marketer and entrepreneur Derek Halpern recommends dedicating 20% ​​of your time to creating content and 80% of your time to promoting it.

“If you spend time writing some content and that content only receives 1,000 readers, it is likely that there are one million people in the world who can also benefit from what you wrote,” writes Halpern. “Why, then, should you spend more time creating content, when you already have something that your ideal customers can benefit from?”

So what is content marketing?

Here are some ways you can promote the content you have already published:

  • Promote your content with your existing email list to deepen customer relationships.
  • Share your posts on social networks.
  • Reuse parts of your content in different formats (for example, take short clips of your long videos to create Facebook videos and Instagram Stories ).
  • Pay to promote high-performance social media posts.

You can also use tools such as Buffer or HootSuite to schedule your social media posts in advance. To enhance your content marketing promotion activities, it is better to include them in the content, such as:

  • Create a new investigation in your niche that other people can link.
  • Include material and sources of prominent brands in your niche, then send them by email in the hope that they will read, share and generate backlinks.
  • Ask influencers for a phrase to include in your content and then ask them to share it.

Remember to continue promoting the previous content that still works well.

Step # 7 of the Content Strategy: Continuously Improve and Optimize your Content and Strategy

This part is where the magic happens.

By tracking the performance of your content, you can draw valuable conclusions that you can use to improve your content strategy in the future.

Ideally, you should have a simple spreadsheet that allows you to clearly measure the performance of your content.

Here is an example of a content marketing board:

A simple spreadsheet like this will allow you to keep track of your key performance indicators over time.

The data you track will depend on your goals and the format of your content. For example, you can follow:

  • Video metrics (for example views, subscribers, viewing time, etc.)
  • Website data (for example page views, clicks, records, bounce rate, etc.)
  • Social interactions (for example comments, how many times it was shared, how many “likes” it received, etc.)

You could even use URL shorteners to track clicks on individual videos and social media posts on your website.

Step # 8 of the Content Strategy: Update and Expand the Previous Content

An important part of search engine optimization is updating the previous content. Fortunately, these changes do not need to be massive.

For example, it is inevitable that parts of your blog posts are outdated. When this happens, you should remove those parts, add new relevant information and optimize the keywords.
This simple practice can be extremely effective.

This makes sense. The most recent content is more likely to be relevant to search engines. That’s why search engines like Google prioritize updated content.

Of course, you cannot update or change parts of videos on YouTube or Podcasts in iTunes. However, you can make a new video on the subject.

If you have a piece of high performance content that your audience loves, why not create more content on the same topic?

In general, it all comes down to a simple phrase: do more of what works and less of what doesn’t.

Summary of Content Strategy

A content strategy is your map for success in content marketing.

Without a content strategy, you will not be able to create effective content or allow your performance to constantly improve in the future.

In summary, when creating a content strategy, make sure:

  • Define your goal: Create SMART goals to make sure you are using your resources effectively.
  • Define your target audience: Make sure you know exactly who you are creating content for.
  • Develop effective content themes: Identify the topics that your target audience will love.
  • Identify the most effective content format: Create content in the formats that your audience prefers.
  • Determine the frequency of your publications: Publish enough to attract your audience, but not enough to overwhelm it.
  • Create a content marketing calendar: Be consistent in your content marketing strategy to build momentum.
  • Plan the promotion of your content marketing strategy: Spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time promoting it.
  • Track and improve your content marketing efforts: Get useful information to constantly improve your content strategy over time.
  • Update and expand previous content: Update old content to improve SEO and expand high performance topics.

Do not miss. Create a content marketing strategy.
Already have a content marketing strategy? Tell us how you do it in the comments below!

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