10 essential steps to create a winning content marketing strategy

Looking to create a winning content marketing strategy? Follow these 10 essential steps!

1. Define your marketing business goals and objectives

Such as every company has business goals and objectives, so every marketing department has marketing goals and objectives. Setting marketing goals is essential because they support businesses to achieve their goals and objectives.

Marketing goals differ depending on the stage your business is in.

If your business is looking to enter a new market, your marketing goal should be market development.

If your business is looking to expand its market share, your marketing goals should be market penetration.

Discover what strategies did Apple use to achieve market development and market penetration.

Is your business in early-stage development?

Your marketing strategy should focus on building a tribe and raising awareness. That’s a different strategy than entering a new market.

Here are 6 marketing goals that you could focus on depending on your set business goals:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Empower your email subscribers
  • Build brand ambassadors
  • Boost your sales through referral programs
  • Identify customer behaviour change
  • Increase website traffic with guest content

Learn how to achieve them.

2. Define your target audience – Be clear and specific on your audience’s pain points and challenges you are helping them solve

Now that you are aware of the marketing goals and objectives you need to achieve, define your target audience or buyer persona.

You need to have an in-depth knowledge of your customer’s profile or buyer persona.

Be very specific with a focus on psychographics more than demographics.

What are your buyers’ challenges, pain points, goals and aspirations? Write them down.

How can your brand help your buyers overcome their challenges, solve their pain points or support them achieve their goals?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you can now look into the type of content that helps your audience.

3. Choose your unique angle

There are thousands of pieces of content on luxury, but Louis Vuitton has a unique approach stemming from the brand’s longtime history.

Every business needs to find its unique point of view and use it to differentiate from the competition.

From a business standpoint, price shouldn’t be a differentiator because it’s a losing game. There will always be another business with lower prices than yours.

That is why your business should have a strategic plan in place. The main goal of the strategic plan you create for your business is to define how your business differentiates itself from the competition.

From a content marketing strategy standpoint, choosing your business’ unique angle means you will be able to create fresh and relevant content for your audience.

4. Define content guidelines and goals

Your brand’s content marketing strategy must include content guidelines and goals.

What type of content are you going to produce to help your audience? If your audience needs help to get better at their jobs, curate lists of digital tools, apps or platforms.

If your audience needs help to achieve their goals and aspirations, write how-to content, tips & tricks.

No matter what type of content you choose, the goal of your content marketing strategy should be to exceed your audience’s expectations.

The result of a successful content marketing strategy is to position your brand as a valuable resource for your audience.

5. Decide which content formats you are going to use

What type of content format is your brand best suited to produce?

If your content team includes talented graphic designers, then your brand could focus on beautifully designed images to publish on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn.

If your content team includes videographers, your brand could also produce long-form videos to be published on YouTube.

Whichever content format you choose to use, your content needs a powerful copy. A copywriter with a strong set of skills is able to turn a 1000-word blog post into a 10-image carousel on Instagram or an infographic on Pinterest or a 10-min video on YouTube.

Turning one piece of content (usually long-form) into five new pieces of content in different formats for different social media platforms is a great content marketing tactic.

6. Select the channels you are publishing to

There is a wide variety of social media platforms: some new (Clubhouse), some old (Facebook), and some that are growing under the radar of most marketers (Mighty Networks).

Should your brand be on every channel?

Experts say brands should communicate on the platforms their audience is spending time on.

Content marketing expert Joe Pulizzi argues that it’s time to revisit the well-known content marketing rule of Be where your audience is.

Yes, you need to be where your consumers are, but if your consumers are on 10 platforms, you need to choose which platform you focus on. At least at the beginning, before you start to diversify your efforts.

7. Set KPIs to measure the effectiveness of the content

A successful content marketing strategy is measurable.

The way to measure your marketing results is by setting KPIs.

A KPI in marketing is a measurable value tied to specific objectives.

What should you measure on Facebook? The number of likes, comments and shares are not KPIs, but vanity metrics. A valuable KPI for your content on Facebook could be the CTR to the website.

On Instagram, a useful KPI to measure the effectiveness of your content could be the number of saves your posts have.

If you look at the number of saves as the indicator of success, you need to design your content with this in mind.

What type of content prompts your audience to hit the save button? This should be the mindset underlying your content creation.

Need to learn more about KPIs? Check out 20 essential KPIs you should be tracking to improve your marketing (updated for 2021).

8. Prepare the content calendar

Now that you have the content marketing strategy in place, it’s time to start writing!

Map out the content for the next week or month for every channel you are going to publish on.

Write the copy and discuss it with your graphic designing team to find the best suitable format. Are you going to publish a post daily or twice a week?

Mark your calendar with the international days that are relevant to your brand and brainstorm content to celebrate them in advance.

9. Publish and measure KPIs

Once the content has been produced, publish it.

If there are comments from your audience, make sure to comment back without delay.

Thirty days later, check the analytics of every social media platform you have published on and calculate the KPIs.

For the next month, you can use these KPIs as a baseline for your content’s effectiveness and improve the content to drive growth.

10. Select the winning types of content and formats

Not every content template or format will become a hit with your audience.

Identify the content type that is not achieving satisfactory results and retire it.

Select the winning content and analyze it to discover what makes it successful.

Create new and improved content that replicates the winning elements.

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