A content strategy provides you with a clear outline of what type of content you need, the content you produce, and how you will deliver and promote the material. A successful content strategy does not refer only to written text, but it also incorporates the images and videos you create to support your material.
A content strategy requires you to have an intimate knowledge of precisely who you want to target. You need to know their pain points, what they want to see from you, and how you can best persuade them to make a purchase. You cannot build a trusting relationship with your readers or a strong content strategy without this insight.
Your content strategy will help you determine the type of content to create for your target buyers throughout the buyer’s journey. The better you understand what their buyer’s journeys look like and what they want to see at each stage, the more capably you can create effective content and promotional material. This explains why brands that have a documented strategy see greater success than those who do not.
If you have prepared yourself by outlining your customer personas and their buyer journeys, here is what you need to know to build an effective content strategy.
How should you find topics for your content strategy?
To uncover the topics and keywords you will need for your content strategy, you need to lay out your buyer’s journeys along with your target personas. You want to know the types of questions that arise for each persona at different phases of the journey.
Interviewing and speaking directly with your customers can help break down this information. Have your sales team interview incoming and existing customers. Ask them what mattered the most to them as they moved closer to a purchase. Learn more about their obstacles and considerations as part of your content strategy efforts.
Look also at the typical phases people experience as they move through your journey maps. For example, as people move into the consideration stage, they tend to focus more on comparing you to your competitors. Therefore, keywords that focus on gauging your performance compared to others in the sector will play a large role in helping your content strategy.
Take your insight about your customers and their journeys to the Data Cube. Use the information on the rate of competition for different keywords and the traffic to start creating lists of keywords for the different phases of the journey. You can also use the Data Cube to dive deeply into the material produced by your competitors to get a better idea of the keywords that they rank highly for but you do not. This can help you add more keywords to the list.
Once you have your list of topics and keywords, you will be ready to start determining how to create the content strategy that will help your organization.
How do you create content for your content strategy?
Remember that content for your content strategy does not only involve written text. You also want to think about alternate types of content such as videos, images, social media, and infographics. You need to know the type of material that will fit best with your target keyword and topic along with your customer and where they are on the buyer’s journey.
Data Cube can help again with this. When you search for a keyword on Data Cube, you will learn the types of content that appear in the Google SERP for that particular query. For example, you will see if the Google SERP displays images, videos, or Quick Answers. Content creators write what most benefits your content strategy.
As you create content for this particular query, make sure you go through the process to properly optimize your material. This includes using the keyword correctly and naturally throughout the piece.
Remember to also organize the content properly so that it is easy to read. People browsing material online today tend to scan the content. They do not read every word you have written. Therefore, to make the content more friendly for these readers and your content strategy more effective, you want to make sure you regularly use sub-headlines and bullet points to help people easily digest the material.
How do you promote the content for your content strategy?
Now that the content has been produced, you need to promote it at this stage of your content strategy to get it in front of the intended audience. This is a big step in your content strategy and will require careful consideration of who the content has been created for and where they are on the buyer’s journey.
If you want to reach new prospects through your content strategy, then organic search may be a top priority. If you want to nurture existing leads, then you will want to coordinate with those who produce the email lists so that you can send the material to those targeted leads.
You will also want to work with your sales team and customer support team. Both of these teams will be able to help with content intended for those towards the end of the buyer’s journey as well as existing customers. Remember that the full buyer’s journey incorporates existing customers as well, convincing them to buy again and become brand advocates. Producing content for these customers to help them get the most out of their purchase can help them feel more loyal to your organization, and therefore more likely to purchase from you again in the future.
How do you measure the success of your content strategy?
Now that you have created and promoted your content, you need to measure your progress and success rates. You want to watch how your site traffic improves with the publication of your content. Remember that not only will your content need to attract new visitors to your site, but you will also need to make sure that your content strategy effectively engages your existing leads. This means you will want to pay close attention to your conversion rates at each stage of your funnel as well. See if you can do a better job of nurturing leads as they move from one stage to the next.
Similarly, track your response rates to your email campaigns. See how many click-throughs you get and how well this traffic engages with the rest of your site. Keep track of the types of the content and emails that see the best results.
Finally, remain in regular communication with your sales teams and your customer support team to see how well your content helps them do their jobs. Although this data might be harder to quantify, understanding how people seem to respond to your end-of-funnel content strategy can help you better understand your ability to engage users throughout the buyer’s journey.
Your content strategy will help you prioritize the material you make, know what your prospective customers want to read, and how to nurture people through the buyer’s journey. As you develop a concrete strategy, you will see greater success moving forward.