“What is one tip you have for someone creating a content strategy?”
To help you best create an effective content strategy for your brand, we asked content leaders this question for their best insights.
From connecting goals directly to key performance indices to maintaining content quality over quantity, several tips will serve you well in creating the best content strategy to effectively market your brand.
Here are 10 tips, from industry-recognized content leaders, for creating a content strategy:
What Is A Content Strategy?
Before we get started with the advice directly from content leaders, let’s first define what a content strategy is.
Content strategy is the practice of ideating, planning, producing, publishing, and maintaining content.
Contrary to popular belief in some digital marketing circles, content strategy is not simply a list of keywords to create blog posts around.
Content strategy is the end-to-end for the topic planning, content creation, and ultimately governance of content. It involves specifying the type of content that will be created, where it will be published, how it will be promoted, and ultimately how it will be maintained and kept up-to-date so that it can continue to bring traffic, leads/orders, and revenue to the business.
With that said, here are 10 tips from content leaders about creating a strong content strategy.
1. Connect Goals Directly to Key Performance Indices
In creating a content strategy, it is essential to tie your stated goals directly to a measurable KPI. For instance, if a goal is “engagement,” I’d suggest connecting that to a lesser-known KPI called Content Completion Rate. You can calculate that by looking at article reading time vs. time on page and scroll depth.
If you know how long it takes on average for a user to read a piece of content, then you can compare that to the time they spent on the page to see if they were there long enough to read it. Then, confirm those metrics with how far they scrolled down the page.
By matching goals to KPIs, you’ll be able to provide analytics that demonstrate the success of the strategy.(Matthew Vermillion, If This Then Creative)
2. Tap Your Co-Workers for Topic Ideas
We have internal subject matter experts who review articles – which leads to new topics. The key is having conversations (don’t just send a document to be edited.)
During each conversation with colleagues, topics come up naturally — they use industry terms and concepts that don’t always turn up in SEO tools or competitive research. [Using this strategy], you know you’ll have a truly unique perspective — and during your meeting, you can add the ideas to your editorial calendar in real-time.
Once you build rapport and plant the seed your co-workers will start coming to you with new content ideas they think of.(Monica Thysell, OnPay Payroll Software)
3. Create a List of Keywords for Your Niche Content
Create a list of important keywords and phrases. Keywords will help optimize your content for your target audience. Boosting your ranks on search engines will generate increased traffic to your content.
This is because the relevance of your niche keywords matches the keywords potential customers are using to find results that best relate to their search query.(Lyudmyla Dobrynina, Optimeal)
4. Focus Your Strategy on Achieving a Single Goal
Content marketing can do a lot of different things: build links, generate traffic, convert prospects, rank for lucrative keywords, increase brand awareness, you name it. But while any content strategy can achieve parts of each of these goals, the best results come from focusing a strategy on a single goal.
The type of content that performs best through organic search (“how to” articles, listicles, “what is” posts) is often terrible at generating links or raising broader brand awareness. Search content is too situationally useful to a particular person at a particular moment in time: they have no incentive to share the article with their network because their network is unlikely to be experiencing the same problems they are at that moment.
So list out all the desired outcomes for your content strategy, order them by priority, and shape your content to stand the best chance of achieving that one, crucial goal. Hit that goal, and then move on to the next.(Ryan Law, Animalz)
5. Set an Email List Building Strategy Early on
Though one might think of content strategy as simply churning content for your relevant target audience, it is not that simple.
You can create the most interesting, compelling content for them, but if you fail to convert your readers into subscribers, you fail to make revenue full stop. That’s why crafting an email marketing strategy is very important; collecting their emails early on, and sending them relevant calls to action helps you stay in contact with them no matter what. This can also help you target them with relevant webinars, events, and product sign-ups later on.
Remember your email list is your gold.
If your Instagram, Facebook, or website gets hacked, at least you have a hold on your clients and potential customer base for the future.(Yara Abboud, Yara Writing)
6. Take Time to Plan the Details of Your Content
I’ve been working in the content team for the past 2 years, and one thing I’ve learned is that “Content is king.” Quality content needs to be perfectly planned down to the last detail and requires a lot of planning. You need to carefully study and understand your target audience before creating content for them. Otherwise, your content strategy will be like shooting an arrow in the dark. Identify their pain points, where they hang out, and what information they are craving. Choose a platform based on this data and create content according to it.
Suppose your website provides various online courses on marketing. So you know your target audience will be students between the age of 18 – 22. They are tech savvy and constantly consume content on YouTube and quora. So, just focus on these two platforms and create content specifically for these two.(Sany Saju, Stratosphere)
7. Let Your Content Answer the Hard Questions for Your Audience
A lot of content marketing strategies are being created around keywords and what the competitors are doing.
Everyone is forgetting that at the very core, content was meant to answer the questions of an audience.
So when you focus on capitalizing only on keywords in silos, or just replicating what your audience does, you miss the boat on connecting with your target audience – who out there is ten steps away from converting simply because a big concern is still unanswered.
When you’re creating a content strategy, look for the unanswered, harder questions as well – that can turn into a big differentiator too for your business.(Vanhishikha Bhargava, Contensify)
8. Follow Simple Questions to Streamline Your Content Strategy
Streamlined strategies can often be more effective than overly complicated ones.
Start with the question “What could we create and publish (on repeat) that our target audience will think of as “Need to have?” Then ask, “How can we make sure they see and consume it?”
The answers are usually pretty simple.(Ashley Guttuso, AudienceOps)
9. Adapt to Your Product Market Fit
If your target audience changes, your content strategy should change to reflect your company’s pivot.
Experiment with new ways to reach your audience and ensure that you measure results over time to show to management.
While most c-level executives understand content, they don’t understand how content strategies work and care more about results than the 8-12 hours you put into producing and pitching high-quality articles.(Brandon Gubitosa, Plural)
10. Maintain Content Quality Over Quantity
I always advise my clients to focus on quality over quantity. Writing good pieces takes time, and readers prefer solid articles over fluff.
I know lots of marketers and business owners have a “rain or shine” type of mentality when publishing content, but I believe you should never sacrifice quality over a publishing date.(Gabriela Rendon, Back 2 Work Mom Club LLC)
Need Editing For Your Content?
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Schedule a free editorial assessment here to learn more.
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