Do you know that 82% of marketers actively invest in content marketing, while 81% view it as a vital business strategy? These Content marketing is a proven technique that has quickly grown in popularity, driven by its greater affordability and attention-grabbing ability than ads.
It aims to attract the target audience and drive them into profitable actions such as sign-ups, meetings, or purchases with the help of valuable content. And it has proven effective over the last two decades of its growth if you look at the content marketing statistics.
However, marketing through content is not a sure-shot way to success! And this is because businesses are racing to reap the benefits of content marketing, which is itself a very complex process.
The point is that you must apply content marketing techniques effectively and efficiently. And this is why you need to build a basic plan that guides your marketing efforts. In other words, you need to create a content marketing strategy!
Stay tuned to find more about various types of content marketing strategies and how you can build and implement the perfect strategy for your business. Let’s start!
Table of Contents
- What Is A Content Marketing Strategy And What is The Need For It?
- The 6 Elements Of A Powerful Content Marketing Strategy
- How Does Content Marketing Work?
- 10 Steps To Create A Winning Content Marketing Strategy
- How to Choose The Right Content Marketing Strategy For Your Brand?
- Top Content Marketing Tactics
- Content Marketing Strategy Mistakes To Avoid
What Is A Content Marketing Strategy And What is The Need For It?
Content marketing strategy is a detailed and documented plan for creating, publishing, and spreading educational or entertaining content amongst the target audience. It involves using content to subtly promote the company’s offerings while creating a positive brand impression and online presence.
Content strategizing and marketing indeed involve a lot of dedicated time and effort. But it’s worth it! Here is basically why you should start working on your strategy now-
1. It Offers The Benefits Of Documentation
The content marketing strategy provides a documented marketing plan. And this plan enables your marketing team to take timely steps with high coordination and clarity of objective.
2. It Motivates The Content Marketers
It encourages your content marketers to perform their best by setting achievable targets for them in advance. Moreover, it lets you measure and reward good performance for encouraging employees further.
3. It Allows Easy Measurement Of Results
It helps set suitable performance benchmarks that support measuring and analyzing actual performance.
4. It Offers An Overview Of The Content Marketing Efforts
It provides an overview of the marketing process, allowing better resource allocations and timely course corrections.
5. It Enhances Cooperation And Management Support
The documented plan makes it easy to gain the trust and cooperation of all stakeholders, including the management.
After knowing the content marketing definition and its importance, let’s forge ahead.
The 6 Elements Of A Powerful Content Marketing Strategy
Marketers create content marketing strategies based on various key factors. Here are the six fundamental elements that form the basis of any effective content marketing strategy-
1. Buyer Personas
A buyer persona is a fictional character that matches the ideal traits of your intended buyers. It encompasses the needs, wants, thoughts, and conditions of the target buyers and helps to find the target audience.
So, buyer personas form the basis of all marketing strategies. However, you must update the buyer persona regularly to incorporate any new developments.
2. Well-Defined Target Audience
You must also specify the target audience through proper market research at the beginning of the strategy creation. Determining the target audience will help you design the content and publishing schedule.
3. Specific And Measurable Goals
Any strategy is effective only when it has measurable goals. And the content marketing strategy is no exception! You must set specific, measurable, achievable, and time-bound goals to correctly implement your content marketing strategy. These goals also act as benchmarks for measuring and improving the strategy’s results.
4. Wide Content Variety And Publishing Platforms
An effective strategy must also consider using different content formats, including images, text, videos, gifs, and audio. Of course, not all content forms would suit your brand and offerings. But you must explore the potential of various types of content to find the best fit.
Following this, you must look for the best platforms for your content based on the other elements. These may include-
- Email marketing
- Social media websites
- PPC advertising
- YouTube or other video-sharing sites
- Online marketplaces
- Landing pages
- Other service-oriented platforms.
5. Content Marketing Platform
A content marketing platform is a software tool that helps content marketers plan, envision, collaborate, and create marketing content. It basically enables you to design and implement the best strategy on a low budget. And this eventually raises brand awareness, improves lead generation, and boosts revenue.
6. Distribution And Promotion Strategy
You must publish, share and promote content using the right paid and free channels. This sub-strategy includes using paid, owned, and earned media to share and popularize the content. It is a vital part of all content marketing models as proper distribution and promotion of content boosts its visibility.
How Does Content Marketing Work?
Content marketing offers readers informative and helpful material that provides insight, entertainment, or inspiration while promoting the brand and its offerings. It aims to convert unaware people into interested prospects or interested prospects into loyal customers.
So, marketing with high-quality content helps you retain existing customers while moving new prospects through the sales funnel. Here are the main steps-
1. Content Marketing Strategy Formulation
This step involves formulating the documented plan for creating, publishing, and also spreading promotional content amongst the target audience. The marketing strategy formed in this first step guides all the following steps.
2. Content Planning And Scheduling
This step involves the detailed planning of the content creation, publishing schedule, and promotion methods based on the overall strategy. You can do it for defined periods, followed by the renewal of the content plan and schedule.
3. Content Creation And Optimization
This step is where experts create and optimize content as per the plan. This step usually involves using content creation tools like Instacopy and Grammarly along with SEO tools like SEMRush and Moz. Optimization is crucial because content not seen by its target audience is useless! Try InstaCopy’s free blog post generator to craft converting posts.
4. Content Publishing And Promotion
Next, you must publish the content per the schedule on suitable platforms. You may also promote it using paid, earned, and owned media to maximize viewership from the target audience.
As you saw earlier, the publishing and promotion platforms usually include the following-
- Email marketing
- YouTube or other video-sharing sites
- Online marketplaces
- Social media websites
- PPC advertising
- Landing pages
- Other service-oriented platforms.
5. Content Analysis And Improvement
You must now analyze the content based on predefined criteria to determine if it meets your intended goals. This analysis will help you know the areas of improvement. And, therefore, help you improve the content strategy for the next campaign.
This step completes the content marketing cycle as you can incorporate the results of this analysis into the starting of the next campaign.
10 Steps To Create A Winning Content Marketing Strategy
The effectiveness of all your content marketing efforts depends on the underlying strategy. But the creation of this strategy involves a stepwise process that includes extensive research, planning, and coordination. Here are the 10 steps that you must follow to create a winning content marketing strategy-
1. Establish Your Goals And Objectives
Firstly, you must open a document and note your business’s mission statement. Then specify what your business has achieved and strives to achieve in the future. Then you must narrow the overall goals to specific objectives and find which types of content will help you achieve them.
For example, your goals may include one or more of the following-
- Growing your customer base
- Launching new products
- Boosting your sales funnel conversions
- Expanding your geographical coverage
- Increasing revenue from existing customers
- Improving your brand image and engagement
Your objectives will specify how your content will help you meet your goals in quantitative terms. For example, an objective may be doubling email conversion rates, raising your videos’ viewership by 80%, raising sales revenue by 20%, or increasing social media following by 50%. These objectives must be achievable, time-bound, specific, and measurable.
2. Get To Know Your Target Audience In Detail And Build The Buyer Persona
In the second step, you must align your business objectives with the target audience. So, you must perform comprehensive research to determine your target audience and study their needs, desires, thinking, and lifestyle. You may use these details to create a fictional character with the ideal buyer’s characteristics (or buyer persona).
According to the buyer persona, you must decide on the content types that find and impress your target audience at all sales funnel stages while meeting your business objectives.
3. Perform A Competitive Analysis
At this stage, you must study the strategies that successful competitors apply. You should then keep their key points in view as you move to the subsequent steps.
The examples set by established competitors can help you select the right strategy by learning from their hits and misses.
4. Assess The Available Resources
At this point, it’s vital to assess your available resources and plan your content strategy accordingly. The resources considered include expertise, human resources, budget, and technology.
This step is crucial because an unsustainable strategy will lead to wasting financial resources.
5. Conduct Topic And Keyword Research
Before you start creating content, it is essential to research to find the best opportunities for making impactful SEO content. This step involves researching the best topics and keywords for the content using various research tools. When done right, it ensures that your content gets the maximum visibility and attention.
6. Document Your Strategy
By this point, your content strategy will start taking shape, and it is important to start documenting it. Documentation would basically help your marketing team work cooperatively towards the common objectives without confusion. It will also help you get an overview of the progress and consistent support from all stakeholders.
Moreover, a documented plan will allow you to set standards, measure results, and make improvements conveniently. So, you must carry out documentation throughout the strategy formulation, implementation, measurement, and improvement process.
7. Check Your Inventory And Audit Your Existing Content
You must now audit your existing content to find opportunities for improving its SEO or reusing it through curation. Regular content audits will maximize your productivity while helping you benefit from past content again.
8. Build An Editorial Calendar
Next, build an editorial calendar that includes the schedule for creating and publishing content. It involves considering various environmental factors to find the ideal content types, amount, and timing. Don’t forget to consider special events, festivals, trends, and other personal aspects of the target buyers.
A well-planned editorial calendar can help increase conversions. So, you must use expert advice and specialized tools to create and implement it. Moreover, you should try to revisit it regularly to make any required updates based on market changes.
9. Create And Promote Your Content
You must now create and publish suitable content on the right platforms as per the editorial calendar. Try to maintain the highest content quality by using expert content creators and content writing tools at this stage.
Moreover, you may need to promote your content using the proper media channels to enhance its effectiveness and performance quickly. Here is the explanation of the media types you can use for this purpose-
- Earned media- These are the media channels that are not in your direct control and are instead based on promotion by word-of-mouth. And can earn this indirectly by satisfying your customers. Some examples of earned media include shares, likes, mentions, retweets, recommendations, reposts, and reviews.
- Paid media- This includes paid advertising to promote your content. The techniques used for paid media include PPC (pay-per-click) ads, display ads, retargeting ads, social media ads, paid promotional posts, and also paid influencer marketing.
- Owned media- These are the online properties that businesses own or control. They include websites, blogs, mobile sites, apps, and social media pages.
10. Track Your Results And Make Adjustments
This step is crucial to ensure the effectiveness of your content marketing strategy. It involves determining and documenting your marketing results and their analysis compared to the set benchmarks.
Address any shortcomings you find during the analysis. The results of this step will form the basis for an updated strategy and, eventually, a new marketing campaign.
How to Choose The Right Content Marketing Strategy For Your Brand?
Tailor the content marketing techniques to match your business goals and market environment. Accordingly, you must ensure that they meet these criteria while framing or selecting a content marketing strategy-
Right For Your Business Goals
Your content type and schedule must certainly align with your goals to make the maximum impact. The goals that you may aim to achieve through the content include-
- Bringing Brand Awareness.
- Boosting SEO through optimized content.
- Educating current and potential customers.
- Attracting new customers.
- Retargeting and fostering brand loyalty.
- Engaging with current and potential customers.
Right For Your Budget
The costs involved in content marketing depend on content types, platforms, publishing frequency, and promotion methods. So, you must clearly define your budget and look for the most effective content writing models within it.
You will certainly get high conversions without spending a fortune if you get the balance right. And this is chiefly the secret to an increased marketing ROI and competitive advantage!
Right For Your Niche And Target Audience
Decide the content type and publishing platforms based on the category of offerings and its ideal customers. Firstly, define your target audience and understanding the brand and its offerings. Secondly, based on that information, create your content and publishing plan.
For example, in case of fashion products, influencer marketing and visual social media posts can work well. This is because the target audience has young and middle-aged people who are active on social media and closely follow influencers. Moreover, the products require images for proper demonstration of their abilities.
Right For The Funnel Stage
The ideal type of content varies based on the stage of the buying process that you are targeting. A model commonly followed for determining the steps is AIDA, i.e., the awareness, interest, desire, and action process. And you must decide on varying content types, publishing schedules, and also sharing or promotion methods based on the funnel stages.
For example, customers who are unaware of the product would require a different approach than those who know about it but have not yet made the purchase decision.
Moreover, you may need to retarget your existing customers through regular engagement with newsletters, email marketing, traditional interactive videos, etc.
Read more about the Content Marketing Funnel.
Types Of Content Marketing Formats
It is essential to know which content marketing format is most suitable for you and for that you need to know the formats that exist.
Here’s a quick look at them,
- Blog Posts
- White Papers
- Case studies
- Testimonials and Reviews
- Thought Leadership or POVs
- Influencer Content
- Guides and How-tos
- Interactive Content
- Social Media Posts
- Newsletters and Email Lists
Top Content Marketing Tactics
The content marketing strategy will provide you with a vital action plan for your marketing campaign. But the tactics that help you ace each step are equally important! So, here are the top 10 content marketing tactics to help you maximize the results of your strategy-
1. Leverage the power of analytics
You must focus on measuring the results of your content strategy using analytics tools. After that, analyze the data and facts to find chances for strategic improvements.
2. Use personalization and interaction to create a lasting impact
Content your audience can relate to or engage with will always get higher results than passive or irrelevant content. So, you must use personalized and interactive content to maximize your content’s impact.
3. Run A/B tests
You must also run A/B tests wherever applicable by comparing results from alternative courses of action while other conditions are constant. These tests will help you optimize your marketing strategy over time.
4. Stay true to your values
Always make sure all your content reflects your core values and brand tone. By and large, maintaining a unique and consistent brand identity is key to improving your engagement with prospects.
5. Agility makes the difference
To be in tune with recent changes, you must constantly analyze your audience, competitors, and other market factors. Using this information, you can certainly improve your strategy to be ahead of your competitors.
6. Curate existing content
You can’t always come up with fresh ideas! It’s, therefore, essential to improve and repurpose your past content where appropriate to enhance productivity and regularity.
7. Keep track of your campaign with an editorial calendar
Continuously create, update, and follow an editorial calendar based on your research and planning. This calendar will basically keep you organized and timely in all your marketing activities.
8. Engage by responding
You must respond positively to comments on your content posts to create and nurture leads. Those making negative comments can possibly change their minds also with timely support or clarifications.
9. Reap the benefits of user-generated content
Remember to satisfy and engage people consistently by providing high-quality and exciting content. Eventually, members of the public will make and share positive content about your brand and its offerings. And this will be free marketing for you!
10. Create content in line with trending topics
Content on trending topics gets you more attention. And this would eventually lead to better sales. So you must plan content for predictable trends while being agile enough to meet unexpected trends.
11. Search Engine Optimization is still effective!
Always try to apply the best search engine optimization practices in your content. These include keyword utilization, content structuring, backlink building, core web vitals, and also search intent optimization.
12. Use competitor analysis
Use market analysis tools to interpret the existing content marketing strategy examples. Additionally, study the approach of successful competitors regularly and use the results to improve your content strategy.
With this we come to the end of the best content marketing tips.
Content Marketing Strategy Mistakes To Avoid
Building a perfect content marketing strategy in one go is often difficult, and you need a few adjustments. But some common mistakes can make the process unnecessarily tedious and costly. Here are the most common strategic errors that you must avoid-
1. Lack of clarity about your goals
Planning or organizing a marketing campaign without absolute objective clarity is like driving without a steering wheel! You must decide your goals clearly by consulting everyone involved before forming and implementing your content marketing strategy.
2. Not having a content review process
Content can not be perfect in one go, and there’s no place for mediocre content in the competitive market! So, you must use a team of knowledgeable editors to ensure the highest content quality.
3. Changing your content theme too frequently
Your brand has its own personality that people start liking and relating to. And you can express this personality mainly through the content it shares. So, you must maintain a consistent content theme to avoid confusing the audience. However, you must update the theme if the audiences’ needs or tastes change over time.
4. Use of clickbait links for undeserved attention
If there is one thing the audience hates, it is clickbait! If you use fake content previews to attract viewers only to disappoint them with irrelevant content, it is a recipe for disaster in the long run. Instead, you must maintain authenticity and originality to gain the audience’s respect.
5. Not reviewing the content performance properly
Not all types or themes of content will work best for your brand and its products or services. So, you must review the performance of your content to find what’s working and what’s not. This analysis will guide you in optimizing your content marketing strategy.
6. Not distributing or promoting your content sufficiently
You might make the best of content, but it’s useless unless it reaches and attracts the right audience. So, you must research the market and audience and choose the channels and promotion methods accordingly in the planning and analysis stage.
7. Not having a documented content marketing strategy
Without proper documentation, your content marketing efforts are likely to fail. This is because documentation of content marketing strategies helps maintain a common purpose and direction. It also helps avoid confusion during implementation and performance analysis.
8. Wrong or limited knowledge about the target audience
Not knowing your target audience in detail may lead to irrelevant and ineffective content that drains your resources. Hence, it is essential to focus on audience research and make a clear persona of your audience to guide your content strategy.
9. Irrelevant, low-quality, or excessively promotional content
Your audience is basically looking for content that entertains or adds value to them. People don’t want you to sell to them. So, your content must be relevant, valuable, and not too promotional.
10. Not creating content for all sales funnel stages or creating too little content
As you saw earlier, you must address every sales funnel with its respective type of content. So, your content must be sufficient to meet the objectives of every sales funnel stage.
11. Not using the right software tools for planning and implementing your strategy
Using suitable content creation, optimization, and analysis tools will certainly help you plan, implement, and control your content marketing with high efficiency. But doing the same activities manually will be infeasible and may lead to losses.
If you want to know more, do take a look at our content marketing guide.
Ready To Make An Unbeatable Content Marketing Strategy?
So we have seen various aspects and examples of content marketing strategies in detail. Moreover, we also discussed some useful tools, tactics, and common mistakes to avoid. You may have understood why content marketing is important.
It is now time for you to apply this information to create the best content marketing strategy for your business on the whole! It will definitely go a long way in helping your overall growth and that’s what we want from our end.
All the best!
1. Establish Goals And Objectives
2. Know Your Target Audience
3. Perform Competitive Analysis
4. Assess Resources
5. Conduct Topic & Keyword Research
7. Check Inventory & Audit Existing Content
8. Build Editorial Calendar
9. Create & Promote Content
10. Track Results & Improve
1. Buyer Personas
2. Well-Defined Target Audience
3. Specific & Measurable Goals
4. Wide Content Variety & Publishing Platforms
5. Content Marketing Platform
6. Distribution & Promotion Strategy
Basically, the benefits of content marketing apply to all types of businesses. regardless of their size and that includes both B2B and B2C. Having a strategy in place can be immensely helpful.