A lot of folks confuse the term content strategy with content marketing strategy.
And most people will say, “There is no difference at all!” but an expert content marketer will say the opposite.
Well, the idea behind these terms can be confusing, I agree.
If I may say, there’s one obvious word that links both terms - content.
Content is what businesses use to sell stuff, educate, add value, and nurture prospects.
As to why and how content works, I will break it all down for you today.
According to Google, interest in content marketing started rising around 2011.
As you can see, interest in content marketing has consistently continued to climb.
Think of a content marketing strategy like this...
A #ContentMarketingStrategy is a mixture of under the radar sales techniques and organic marketing.
A content marketing strategy is used to soft sell potential customers by educating and teaching them about your products and services. Some of the content you might use are blogs, white papers, mobile marketing, PR, social media marketing, inbound marketing, email marketing, SEO, and much more.
Content marketing is a way for you to sell customers on your business without making them feel like they are being sold. You use content to engage and deepen the relationship you have with prospects and current clients.
An excellent content marketing strategy answers the following specific questions:
To understand the difference between these terms, I want to define what a content strategy is.
A content strategy is like the blueprint of a house. It is a master plan for how you are going to use content in every aspect of your business. It involves the planning, development, and management of every piece of content, not just your content marketing pieces.
A content marketing strategy is simply a piece of or a subset of your overall content strategy as it concentrates only on creating, measuring, and publishing pieces of content marketing that target specific audiences.
See the difference?
So, how do you create a content marketing strategy? Let's see...
Now that we know what a content marketing strategy is, here are the steps to create one...
It is imperative to know what goals you want to achieve with your content marketing.
Without goals, you are shooting with a blindfold on.
Here are some goals you may want to focus on:
When you figure out your content marketing goals, it's time to proceed to step 2.
Marketing key performance indicators or KPIs are essential in creating a content marketing strategy because they will tell you if your strategy is working or not.
Here are a few content marketing KPIs worth tracking:
Take note that you don't need all these KPIs, simply identify the ones that matter to you most.
Now that we have identified your goals and established the KPIs, it's time to know and identify your target market.
Ask yourself these questions:
Start by creating a buyer persona to describe the type of client you want to target using content.
When you know who your ideal clients are and the information they need as it relates to your products/services, it becomes much easier to outline the type of content you need to create and the topics you should focus on.
A content audit helps you evaluate your current content and improve your future content marketing strategy.
It helps you answer the following:
Conduct a content audit regularly to identify your most significant pain points and where your successes lie.
Just because you have access to almost every content platform doesn't mean you should publish on all of them.
Identifying your content publication channels could make or break your strategy. Not choosing the right channels could translate to a loss of time, effort, and money.
Here are a few great channels where you can publish your content:
Just like choosing a content channel, you must carefully select the type of content you want to create.
There are many types of content that you can create. Here are a few of them:
In picking the type of content, you need to choose the ones that will help you achieve your content marketing goals in the best possible way.
Don't forget your ideal clients either, what type of content do they gravitate towards and enjoy consuming?
So have decided on the type of content you want to create?
If your answer is YES, then welcome to step 7.
This step is where you'll make sure you have all the resources you need to execute your content marketing strategy.
Answer the following questions:
This one is related to the one above.
Gone are the days when planning a content schedule involves a physical pen and paper. Today, what many content marketers use is a content calendar.
A content calendar is a shareable resource that organizations can use to plan and monitor all content activity.
The benefits of creating a content calendar are:
Now that you have completed the first eight steps, it's time for the heavy lifting part of any content marketing strategy.
Your first task in this step is to research. There are many content research tips you can use to improve your strategy.
Next is to create your content. You can choose to be professional or casual at this point. My tip is to write content that will reflect your brand’s personality.
Once you create your content, it's time to move on to the next step...
Promotion and marketing is the key to getting the best results out of your content. Remember, step 1? Content promotion allows you to reach your goals.
Here a few ways to promote and market your content:
Now that you have successfully promoted your content, it is time to measure results.
At the end of the day, it's all about return on investment or ROI.
Measuring the effectiveness of your content is the only way to know if you need to tweak, change, or delete something in your strategy.
Your content KPIs will play a huge role in measuring success, so go back to them when you reach this step.
Also, I recommend you take advantage of content marketing tools to measure and track your content.
And that's it, folks! That's how to create a killer content marketing strategy.
Creating your strategy will take time, but when you're done, you will have a framework that will lead you to success.
For additional content marketing resources, check out the articles below, or TALK TO US!
So, what do you think about this article? Are you ready to create a solid content marketing strategy? Did I miss any tips?
Leave a comment, and we'll respond as quickly as possible!
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Creating a solid marketing strategy is a must for effective marketing? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Marketing Strategy to learn more.
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Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help local service-based businesses eliminate the confusion of marketing. As a marketing partner, we help clients put in place and manage a simple marketing plan so they can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a challenge. We can help.