How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Creating a content marketing strategy requires both research and planning. You’ll need to dig into your goals and customers before you can map out your strategy going forward. Here’s everything you should consider when developing your plan…

Define Your Goal(s)

What do you want to get out of your content marketing? Are you looking to generate leads or email opt-ins? Or do you want to sell products directly? Needless to say, clearly understanding where you want to be is essential to actually get there.

Content marketing is a means to achieving specific business goals – don’t forget that.

Figure Out Your Target Audience Personas

Once you know your goals, you need to dig into the actual people you want to target. Audience personas can help you do that. I’m not talking about blindly listing off demographics – audience personas dig deep into your target audience to discover:

  • The problems they’re facing
  • What they need
  • What they’re interested in
  • How they talk (and how they like to be spoken to)

Brainstorm Content That Interests Your Personas

Next, you need to come up with the actual content that will interest your personas. Here’s where I see so many websites going wrong.

Your content does not need to directly promote your product or service. Instead, your content needs to tie to your audience personas. It needs to be something that they are interested in. Once they’re on your site, you can slowly introduce them to your product or service.

For example, if you sell resort vacations, you don’t need to write blog posts like “How to choose a resort vacation provider”. Instead, you can create content like “Top 7 Most Beautiful Island Resorts”. Those who are interested in island resorts may well be interested in a vacation provider sometime down the road.

Consider the Buyer’s Journey

If you’re developing a content marketing strategy for a business, your target readers are probably going through a predictable voyage called the buyer’s journey. To better sell your product, you’ll want to consider the different stages buyers go through:

  • Awareness – your potential buyer recognizes they have a problem that needs to be solved…they just don’t know the solution yet.
  • Consideration – your potential buyer researches all of the possible solutions to their problem.
  • Decision – your potential buyer hopefully becomes your actual buyer when they make their decision.

Try to create content that hits buyers at all stages. That way, you’ll be able to move them through from consideration to decision.

Create Your Editorial Calendar

Once you’ve brainstormed content that reaches your target audience personas and adheres to the buyer’s journey, you need to create an actual roadmap for how you’ll distribute your content.

Your editorial calendar takes the guesswork out of publishing. Instead of wondering, “which blog post should I write this week?” you’ll have everything mapped out in advance.

At the end of this post, I’ll discuss some handy WordPress tools which can help you integrate your editorial calendar with WordPress.

Nail Down Your Promotion Strategy

Here’s the dirty little secret of content marketing:

Content’s success is only as good as its promotion.

You might have the best content out there, but if you’re not getting eyeballs on it, not many people will notice.

To avoid that issue, you need to develop a solid content promotion strategy that you can apply to every post. Document this strategy in detail so that you can be consistent.

For example, if you’re promoting a standard blog post, you might follow a strategy like:

  • Share on social media accounts on the day of publishing
  • Email people who were mentioned in the post
  • Send a newsletter blast
  • Share again on social media accounts two weeks after publishing
  • Etc.