In order for your to rank better in Google, you need to provide valuable information to your users. It is not enough for you to point out the services that you offer. That’s what everyone else is doing and they hope to rank and get business.
In order for you to stand out of the pack, you need to provide valuable information in form of articles, graphics, and videos. This is what we call content strategy.
The process of creating a content strategy is quite tricky for beginners and there is a lot of room for errors. That’s why you need to follow specific steps in order not to create a strategy that will serve no one and will lead you to a dead end.
But before we go in and talk about how you can create your very first content marketing strategy, we need to cover what exactly is a content marketing strategy.
What is a content marketing strategy?
According to Content Marketing Institute, content marketing strategy is a combination of editorial and promotional strategies. The main goal of this strategy is to attract and retain customers by delivering relevant, valuable, and consistent content.
The strategy aims to create relevant content and promote it through various channels. By using the different channels of promotion, you are capable of reaching the target audience.
Here are some tips on how to plan your content marketing strategy.
Before creating your content marketing strategy
Define the goals and audience of your content
Content marketing begins with defining the goals of your content strategy. For example, if you’re a new entrant in the market, your primary goal is to build trust and awareness for your brand. The best way I suggest that you build your credibility is by sharing valuable information about general topics and to show the results that you have achieved with your work.
If you do not have so-called “case studies” then you need to build your portfolio and share your experience. But that is a different problem.
The next step is to define who your target audience is. Defining an audience gives you a clear picture of who will be reading your content and how do they behave online. It is important to know what content will appeal to your audience and how you are going to engage them into a conversion.
Often businesses fail at content because they have the wrong idea about the purpose of their content. They simply publish mediocre articles with links to their services just because they think that it is enough for them to rank better in Google. That’s not true. You need to create valuable content that has clear value for your prospects. And the best way to do that is to ask your audience what they want and you have to provide in-depth content (sometimes even personalized) in variable formats – articles, infographics, youtube videos and etc.
In the near future, I will add a link here to an article that gives you in-depth information on how to determine your buyer/target persona.
Creating the content marketing strategy
So, once you know who your audience is and what you expect from them, you should start creating your content strategy.
The first thing that you need to consider is what topics your audience is interested in. You can use Google’s search trends tool to get an idea of the topics they are searching for and the most popular blog posts about them. Run some keyword research and find out what are the most common topics among your users and what they are interested in right now.
If you don’t know how to run keyword research, read my article on that here.
After you have your keywords it is important to combine them in topic clusters. The topic cluster strategy is quite similar to the keyword strategy, but instead of focusing on words and phrases, you are going to focus on the complete topic. This method guarantees that you cover all keywords but also makes it easy to organize your website and we know that a well-structured website is vital for good rankings in Google.
After you have your plan for topic clusters ready, you can start writing articles about your service area and offer valuable content to your audience. In the ideal case scenario, you should create at least a dozen of high-quality articles that are linked into topic clusters, so that you have enough content for 3 months.
It is important to plan your articles’ titles and descriptions because these have a direct effect on the rankings of your articles in search engine results pages (SERPs). A powerful title should be able to understand what the article is about as well as a good description.
After you have your articles done and ready to publish, you shouldn’t go and post everything at once. It is a good idea to create a content calendar. It helps you to stay organized and know what to post on which day.
When selecting the publishing frequency, you should take into account your audience’s behavior and their search behavior. For example, if you publish an article on how to clean swimming pools three times a week, the users will be familiar with it and they will visit your website more often. It is important that you don’t create a wall of information for them because then they will get bored and won’t come back.
Stick to your topic cluster plan and post interesting information based on your research and your audience’s interests.
Types of content marketing strategies
The cornerstone of your content marketing strategy is blogging. It is not as a big deal as people think it is. Once you have an idea for an article, a simple Google search will give you tons of inspiration on how to write it. As long as it solves someone’s problem and is valuable, you can add it in your content marketing strategy.
E-books can be a great addition to your content marketing strategy, but you should take your time to research and create the e-book on a high-quality level. Going for short e-books is always a good idea, but they need to be informative and highly relevant.
One of the most popular ways to keep your customers engaged is to give them a perspective on how you solved someone’s problem. Case studies can be great for prospects and current customers because they get to know how you use your skills to help them.
Webinars are a great way to promote your business and also inform your audience. If you do webinars on a regular basis, they will become your focal point and you will get more leads and customers. Also, make sure to make them interesting and not too long. The rule of providing value and solving someone’s problem still applies to webinars as well!
One of the most popular ways to get traffic is to find high-authority websites and get them to publish your infographics. It is also a great way to drive traffic through social media. Creating infographics is not that difficult. If you know how to use PowerPoint, you can easily create a high-quality infographic. Try out Canva as well. They do have really easy to use templates.
There are several ways you can incorporate videos into your content marketing strategy. You can create videos of your employees explaining how to use your product or you can talk about what kind of services you offer in a video format. You can also use videos on landing pages to make them more appealing and interactive. Videos are awesome for instructional and how-to guides. Make sure to use them because they can bring your content marketing strategy to a whole new level.
Podcasts are not very popular all over the world and they do take some time to create, but they can be very rewarding if you go viral. The reason that podcasts are so powerful is that they are slowly and surely starting to grow on people. Just think about it the most popular app for 2021 “Clubhouse” is a podcast-like drop-in audio app. People love it and that should give you some ideas 😉
Content marketing strategy promotion
After you have written everything, you shouldn’t just wait on your SEO to kick in and get readers. You should start posting the content you have created on different websites and social media.
The goal is to build an audience for your website and brand. Start with the content that has the greatest reach, such as podcasts, videos, forums, and social media networks.
You should share your content on YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook to drive traffic back to your website. You should add your best articles in your email newsletter so that you can contact people through emails and posts.
Of course, you have to organize an Email marketing newsletter but that is a topic for a different article. I will add a link once I have a guide on how you can do that.
It is important to be proactive and put out your content on websites that your future audience is hanging. You have to stand out with your value so you can get recognized. Mediocre content will lead to mediocre results.
Let’s talk about some places you can promote your content for free
Reddit is one of the most popular sites on the Internet. The core of what makes it work is that people vote on content and every piece of content has a place where it can be submitted. If something gets to the number one spot on the Content Rankings, it will get a lot of exposure. So do not be shy and use Reddit to promote your blog or company.
Quora is the best source for high quality, timely answers to any question you may have. A great place to come when you’re looking for reliable information and expert insight on a massive range of topics. The way you should think about this platform is that you are the expert and you are sharing insightful information with everyone. You can incorporate it in your content promotion strategy.
When it comes to content writing, Medium is the spot to be. With more than 100,000 new posts every day, it’s an incredible place to find engaged audiences — and grow your own following — by sharing your knowledge. Yes, you have to write new and unique content for Medium but it gives you the option to promote your main website by adding links and this is basically free exposure. Take action and use Medium!
Content marketing strategies can be really hard to create and execute but after reading this small guide you should have an idea of how to properly go in these unknown waters. I really hope that I managed to save you a few hours of research and weeks (or months) of trial and error.
Stick around for more digital marketing and SEO guides! There will be much more in the near future!