I think everyone will agree when I say posting content alone isn’t enough to boost sales and make your marketing efforts effective. Pushing content online without a direction, without a digital content strategy, is like cooking food without salt. There is no use!
To yield results from your content, you need a target audience, a long-term goal, and a purpose.
Which begs the question-
How can you make your content impactful to create a web presence?
If you guessed a robust digital content strategy. You’re right.
A digital content strategy is a foundation for your website content, blogs, guest blogs, eBooks, articles, and more.
It might sound like a lot of trouble, but it’s worth it.
As soon as things start working and your content plan starts bringing in more users, you’ll realize numbers don’t lie.
As a content marketer, a content marketing plan is essential to produce results. Plus, you can be sure your competitor already has a strategy, so why should you be left behind?
Now you know why a content marketing strategy is important, let’s dive into what it means and how you can create an impactful one.
A content strategy is a comprehensive plan that helps you achieve your business goals using content.
For example, one of your business goals can be to create online awareness – to achieve this goal; you need to create content that highlights a heart-touching issue, address it in a positive way, and generates audience response. Your strategy will focus on positive content and in-depth SEO practices to create online awareness.
If you produce high-quality content can create a trusting relationship with your brand audience in the long haul.
A good digital content strategy is the first step for “the attract and retain stage” in a buyer’s journey. In addition to attracting new customers, your content strategy also comes in handy for sale enablement and customer satisfaction.
Moreover, with 70% of marketers investing in content marketing – it should definitely one of the important things on your list.
You know how you follow a map when you go on yearly hikes? Much like that, a content strategy acts as a map. It offers you the direction in which your content efforts should focus to create a maximum effect, so you know how to generate more ROI.
There are three fundamentals for a solid-proof digital marketing strategy. Let’s look at them.
The first thing you need to decide are the goals you want to achieve by implementing a content strategy. The goals will drive your content strategy and outline it from the start. Identifying goals is the first fundamental of a strong strategy.
Your goals can be but are not limited to:
The Content Differentiation Factor or CDF is the “it” factor of your content. It’s the fundamental of your content plan that differentiates you from your competitors. It helps you stand out from the crowd and gives you a unique identity. It answers these queries:
Once you have your unique attribute, you can start finding relevant topics to create digital content.
The essence of content marketing is to offer your audience the answers they’re looking for. You need to create value for your content, and to do that, your content should solve your user’s problems. The content you create includes:
When you publish trustworthy and authentic content, you build trust with your audience. Now, make sure when you start creating content it:
Basically, you should know your topic area, find relevant keywords, and then optimize your content according to it. Down the line, pick up topics related to your expertise. For example, if your expertise is “sports shoes,” then you can create content for topics like:
Here are some tools you can use to find topic areas:
How can you create a robust digital content strategy? Here are six steps to help you piece together a good strategy. Let’s see what you have to do.
The foundation blocks are the fundamentals I discussed in the last section. They are the key requirements you need to meet to create your content strategy.
You need to get them right before you move forward. Here’s a recap of the fundamentals:
Like we talked about them before, getting all these foundations accurate will assist you in creating a digital content strategy.
The next step is considering who your content is targeted at – the audience. Who are you creating the content for? Who’s going to read it?
If you’re unaware of your audience, here’s what you can do about that:
Before you create a content strategy, it’s important to do thorough audience research to understand who will be viewing your content. The audience research will help you identify:
How can you carry out proper audience research? The best advice is to talk to them. Pick people from your audience and ask them what they would like to see. There are quite a few ways to do this:
An audience or buyer persona is like a guide you can read before every content piece is created. The sheet has all the in-depth facts about your audience. The tool helps you know your audience personally and keeps you focused when you create content. This is what the buyer or audience persona may look like:
To create the persona, you need to ask a lot of questions from your audience that should revolve around the headings in a persona. The easy trick is to write down your questions then ask to create a proper persona.
If you didn’t already know this, SEO is the seasoning you need for your content. Your content material should be SEO optimized to make a difference online; hence, knowing and implementing SEO is very crucial.
When buyers go online, they search for specific keywords; for example, “buy cheap shoes online” – your job is to make sure your website link appears on the first page.
You guessed it; your SEO content is responsible for making your website reflect on the first page.
SEO starts with simple keyword research. Keywords are short phrases or terms, and here’s how you should choose them:
Basically, find your sweet spot between relevant keywords and the competition – something you can still rank with.
Now, let’s discuss the process of finding keywords for your digital content strategy:
If you can build online authority for your website, you are a quarter of the way there!
Your online authority has a ripple effect:
All these effects reflect in content marketing, and that’s why it’s necessary to build your online authority during strategy development.
You can start building your authority from the web pages and content pieces you want. Focus all your efforts there and start building. Make sure to keep maintaining your website content.
Tips for building authority:
Here’s the easy part of your content development strategy; the content creation bit!
You have your buyer persona, your keywords, the topic areas you should cover, and your content goals. Let’s look at how to create content.
Time to put your keywords into the content.
Make SEO-rich content to rank higher on search engines!
You need to make content creation systematic so that you always have something to publish on the website.
A proper workflow will act as a stem to your content strategy. The key is to lay out the steps for your team to create content – the process will make the overall execution easier. Start with these steps:
The steps should help outline a workflow to add content consistently.
The buyer persona you created before wasn’t just for show – this is where it comes in handy. Match your buyer person with your marketing lifecycle to understand where the buyer is during the purchase journey.
When you understand the buyer’s position, it helps you curate content accordingly, without the fluff. You can address customer concerns at the right time, and they will feel heard. Curate content for each stage of the marketing lifecycle.
The best way to ensure your content helps you achieve your goal is to make it purposeful.
When your content has a purpose, it instantly connects with your goals and takes your business towards more online success.
You can create mini-goals that help you create better content – of course, not every mini goal needs to be met, but they can be anything like:
Have a look at the type of content you need for each mini-goal mentioned above:
The next time you start writing content, make sure it achieves at least one purpose to fuel business growth. If your content idea doesn’t meet any of these goals, ignore it and move to the next.
Guest posting and blogging are a way to boost your online authority. When you suggest a guest blog to another website, it leads to more audience to your website.
When you approach third-party websites for guest posts, remember these tips:
The final step of your content strategy should be to manage and maintain every content piece you have created.
Don’t think just because you posted some content online; your job is done – it’s just getting started.
Promoting and managing your great content is an ongoing process to keep the momentum strong in the future.
So, what can you do to manage and maintain the published content?
To ensure your digital content strategy works, you will need outside help, like investment and resources. Here are some things you’ll need to set a budget for:
Budget everything from the beginning for smooth content creation and refrain from saving money on essential tools.
If you decide not to invest because “it’s just content,” you could lose a competitive edge. Make the investment and stay persistent with your content.
The only way you can target and attract users is by leveraging SEO. Apart from SEO, think of ways you can promote and market your content. Here are some ways you can try:
When I say maintain your content, I mean constantly monitoring it and making it better. You can’t expect your content to improve SEO rankings or make a difference if it’s outdated.
You need to audit, track, and measure the results of each content piece you publish online. Without this practice, you won’t know what’s working for your brand and how you can generate more ROI.
How can you maintain the quality of your content?
You can’t expect to excel at content marketing without a proper strategy. Your strategy is a foundation for your efforts, and it guides you towards maximizing ROI.
As quoted in CoSchedule’s State of Marketing Strategy Report, marketers who prioritize a digital strategy have a 313% more chance of achieving success than those without a strategy.
That’s an incredible figure, right? It shows how vital the role of a digital content strategy is when you start content marketing.