Julia Voloshchenko, Public Relations Manager, Usetech
Every business, regardless of circumstance or scope, needs an effective content strategy. It allows you to engage with your audience, attract new customers, and communicate your mission and values. If you’re just starting to grow your business, or if you’re rebranding and turning to a different target audience, you definitely require a content strategy.
According to Search Engine Journal, content strategy remains a marketing priority. Statista research notes that 62% of respondents believe it’s important to stay in touch with customers through content. It’s not for nothing that there is a phrase that content is king, and numerous studies confirm this every year.
So, what are the five steps for creating a content strategy?
1. Establish your goal
First, ask yourself a few questions: what is your content strategy aimed at? Attracting new customers, showcasing expertise, solving readers’ problems, and increasing brand awareness are just a few of the goals you can set for yourself.
But my point is that an effective content strategy needs to be in tune with your overall business goals and be measurable. Focus on the SMART model (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Based) when setting goals, and then you can make a clear and consistent plan.
Your goal may change after a couple of months or six months, and that’s okay. If that’s the case, you should simply work on adjusting your content strategy, as I’ll discuss next.
2. Identify your target audience and their pains
Building a content strategy and choosing the type of content depends directly on the target audience and their requests. For example, they may be CEOs, company managers, HR managers or communications specialists. Divide your target audience into segments and write the goals and “pains” of each segment.
I suggest mapping your audience. In the usual sense, this is the Customer Journey Map (CJM), but in a different way. For example, you can divide your audience into several segments, write out their pains, requests, and goals, and then find specific examples of audience members. It’s even better if you conduct an audience survey, but that takes time and resources.
3. Develop a content plan: select content types
Perhaps this is one of the major tasks that you are facing. Focusing on your goals and your target audience, you need to choose the type and content of the content that you will publish.
If you are a representative of the B2C sphere, then I suggest using the following content ratio: 60% content aimed at brand awareness and its products, 40% to attract new customers. For B2B brands, the following percentage can be used: 40% recognition, 60% customer engagement.
The content can be diverse, but you have to start from your audience and their needs, otherwise the content will not be in demand, and you will waste time in vain. These can be cases and experiences, current research, articles and guides, UGC content (the advantages of which I wrote about earlier).
For example, at Usetech I use a 40/60 ratio and publish the following types of content: expert comments and articles about AI or ML, information about IT consulting, research, and industry awards of the company.
Before creating your content, I advise you to ask yourself a few questions:
- Does this content cover the needs of my target audience and solve their problems?
- Is this content relevant now and will be relevant for a long time?
- Does our company have the resources and sources of knowledge to publish this content?
- Can we share the company’s cases and experience?
If you answered at least three out of four questions positively, then you should start creating content.
4. Select channels for publishing content
Again, it depends on your target audience and the popularity of channels in your country and the world. But this is, firstly, your owned channels such as your blog and social networks. Then it can be blogs on third-party platforms.
Content on these platforms should be optimized for the platform format for better interaction.
5. Analyze and adjust your strategy
As I said at the beginning of the article, after a couple of months or six months, you may want to adjust the strategy. To do this, keep track of statistics and analytics: which channels are most often used by your target audience, which types of content are most successful and lead to new customers, etc.
Also, make sure to follow updates and trends in content marketing and test new approaches.
Additional content strategy tips
- Communicate with your audience: thanks to this, you can learn about their interests and needs, and adjust your content strategy. Ask about their pain and actively interact in the comments.
- Don’t forget about analyzing competitors, but not to copy their content strategy—to find what they do not have, but you will have.
- Scale your content. Test different formats: we all remember the popularity of videos or mini-presentations. And don’t forget to monitor the impact of the content format on the influx or outflow of new customers.
- Actively share your content. Without distribution, even the most interesting article may not get into the top search engines.
Content strategy has long been one of the goals of global marketing and one of the ways to attract new customers. Don’t miss the opportunity to take your business to a new level and create truly unique content.
You can read the original 5 Steps to a successful content strategy article on the Quora for Business Resource Center.