By now, you should already have an understanding of what content marketing is.
In fact, all businesses should already be implementing a content marketing strategy to establish authority, gain visibility, and attract new customers.
Even so, many businesses don’t understand how to implement a content strategy.
As a result, marketing teams may end up wasting a lot of time, money, and energy on content that doesn’t support the digital marketing efforts.
We don’t think you want that, which is why we’re going to take you through how to create a content strategy template that wins.
What is a Content Strategy?
You might be thinking, “I already know what a content strategy is!” But we find that many marketing teams only know the textbook version of the marketing term but don’t actually understand what it means, let alone how to implement it for business growth.
A content strategy is an ongoing process of transforming business objectives and goals into a solid content marketing plan that relies on content to achieve these goals. For instance, if your goal is to attract your audience from social media to your website, you will need to know how to utilize content to help you achieve this goal.
In theory, implementing a content strategy template is simple. So why are so many businesses getting it wrong? We’re going to discuss some common pitfalls.
Why Businesses Need a Content Strategy
We know, content marketing seems like yet another strategy that needs to be implemented. But it really is something that businesses need to prioritize. While a content strategy isn’t a single solution, it is an essential aspect of business success.
A content strategy enables businesses to connect with their target audience. You’ll be able to pinpoint what your audience needs, identifying how your company can meet those needs, and then delivering the solution within the content.
Essentially, a content strategy will help improve marketing results and increase your ROI by enabling you to understand what your customer needs.
5 Pitfalls That Marketers Face with Their Content Strategy
It’s true, creating a content strategy is all about trial and error. In fact, many businesses fail many times before finding the right content solution. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of 5 common pitfalls that we see businesses make with their content strategy.
1. Not Tracking your Content Strategy
We know, most businesses have a lot of tasks on their plates. As such, it can feel like an inconvenience to stop and document your strategy. But implementing a content strategy without monitoring progress isn’t really useful.
Businesses need to be able to continuously assess and adjust their content strategy to ensure they consistently deliver a quality customer experience and meet business goals and milestones.
2. Creating Content Without Personas
Another common pitfall that businesses face is working without a persona. A buyer’s persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data.
A buyer’s persona is very important to market segmentation because it allows businesses to understand their ideal customers’ needs, motivations, and behaviors for more precise targeting.
Without knowing this vital information, you won’t be able to create compelling content that reaches potential customers.
3. Not Optimizing for SEO
SEO is at the core of digital marketing but many marketers, unfortunately, don’t prioritize SEO when it comes to their content. You can create great content but when you fail to optimize, you’re missing out on an opportunity to make your content more attractive, increase visibility, and connect with your target audience.
4. Failing to Content Map
Another pitfall that content marketers face is using a one-size-fits-all approach and failing to content map. Content mapping is important because it strategically outlines how each piece of content will support the customer’s journey. When businesses fail to content map, it becomes difficult to move potential customers along the sales funnel and ultimately leads to ineffective content.
5. Producing Scattershot Content
This is one of the most common pitfalls that businesses face. Many marketing teams dive into content marketing without using any type of content calendar and with no commitment to content production. Unfortunately, this leads to inconsistent content. The problem with inconsistency is that you’re not actually creating value. When you’re not creating value, your content strategy isn’t working.
How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy that Brings Results
Okay, we’ve talked all about content strategies, so now it’s time to put everything into practice. We’re going to show you how you can begin developing a content marketing strategy that brings real results. But first, let’s go over a few questions you should ask yourself before getting started with content creation. These questions will help you develop a highly targeted content strategy that attracts more customers.
- Who will read the content? It’s important to not only think about who your audience is but also how many different audiences you will be making content for.
- What pain points will I be addressing in the content? To add value, you need to be able to solve a problem for your audience. This will get them interested and keep your audience engaged.
- What makes my business different from my competitors? Many other businesses are offering the same thing as your company. You will need to showcase how your company stands out from the rest.
- What kind of content will I create? There are many types of content that you can create. You must decide which platforms will benefit you the most. For instance, you can incorporate social media, video, infographics, or podcasts just to name a few.
- Which channels should I publish content on? Think about where your target audience spends most of their time. This will help you determine which channels will be the most effective.
5 Steps to Develop a Winning Content Strategy
1. Define Your Goal
Before getting started with your content strategy, it’s important to define your marketing goals. For a content strategy to be effective, every piece of content needs to be done with purpose. You need to know why you’re creating content in the first place.
Many businesses get into the habit of continuously producing content in order to rank high on search engines and get to customers. But constant production without knowing your end goal likely won’t produce your desired results.
For instance, are you creating content for brand awareness? Or, do you want to convert your current visitors into customers? Being able to answer these kinds of questions will help you determine what’s best for your content strategy.
2. Conduct Research
Thorough research is at the foundation of digital marketing. This is especially important when it comes to developing a winning content strategy and improving your content marketing efforts. More specifically, marketers need to spend time developing a buyer persona.
As we mentioned earlier, a buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. When you know who you’re targeting and where they spend their time, you’ll know which content formats to use and you’ll be able to produce more relevant and valuable content that engages your readers.
Developing a buyer persona is especially important if you’re marketing for the first time. This sets the tone for your content and lays the foundation for a successful strategy. Even if you’re an experienced marketer, conducting persona research is still key as your target market can change.
3. Run a Content Audit
Content audit? What’s that?
For a content strategy to work, every piece of content must work cohesively together. A content audit is a process that involves reviewing all content you have on your site.
This allows for better content optimization by letting teams see how well each piece of content is meeting your business objectives. An effective content audit will enable businesses to find gaps in their content and adjust processes to better serve the target audience. If you’re unsure of where to start with your content audit, don’t worry. Here are a few tasks to get you started.
- Create a list of all the content you have available.
- Research the success of each piece of content. You can use platforms like Google Analytics to check the performance of your content.
- Map your current content to your different ideal customers and where they are in the buyer journey. This will ensure you are creating relevant content.
- Pay attention to how well your content aligns on other platforms.
- Take a look at how organized your content is in relation to your website. Ease of navigation is important for search engines.
- Determine what content is missing and begin to think about new content to strengthen the value of your content strategy.
4. Incorporate a Content Management System
Simplifying the marketing process isn’t just convenient, it’s also necessary for businesses to keep up with demands and be able to push out quality content in a fast-paced environment.
A content management system is a perfect solution for marketing teams that want to get the most out of their digital marketing efforts. A CMS allows marketers to create, manage, schedule, and track content.
Full-service content management systems set the bar by offering a seamless experience for marketers to create highly targeted pieces of content that add value for customers.
5. Create Content
The last step in creating a content strategy is to begin creating content. Sounds simple right? At least we hope so. If you’ve implemented the above steps, you should be able to easily brainstorm content ideas for your next content project.
It’s a good idea to consider putting together a content team that can produce high-quality content and ensures that content is consistently implemented.
In today’s digital marketing landscape, being able to produce targeted content that adds value for your audience is essential to growth and success. Consumers rely on the internet to be introduced to new businesses, learn information, and make purchasing decisions.
Therefore, if businesses expect to get in front of their ideal customers and nurture them through the sales funnel, it’s crucial that they develop a content strategy that wins.
If you’re looking for a platform to help run your marketing, request a demo with Welcome today. We help businesses boost agility and maximize productivity through our software.