Content Marketing

How To Plan a Content Strategy That Achieves Your Goals

CopyPress

Published: June 29, 2022

Businesses flood the internet with all kinds of content to help with their marketing efforts. So how do you stand out from the crowd? With a well-designed content strategy. When you plan a content strategy, it helps your marketing team know exactly what they need to do to accomplish your business’s goals and effectively attract your target audience. In this article, we discuss:

What Is a Content Strategy?

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A content strategy is a plan that decides where and how you hope to connect with your target audience through the content you publish online. This type of strategy focuses on defining your audience and understanding the major effects your content will have on them. Then, you can use that knowledge to develop a plan to meet your marketing goals. For example, if your marketing goal is to improve your website’s organic traffic, it can be helpful to create SEO content to improve your search engine ranking.

Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing Strategy

Though people sometimes use content strategy and content marketing strategy interchangeably, there is a difference. A content strategy is more of a big-picture idea or plan on how to attract your target audience. A content marketing strategy then establishes the smaller details on how to create, publish, and promote your content. Without the big-picture idea, a content marketing strategy wouldn’t really be able to function, at least not very well. That’s because it uses the information from a content strategy to create a more detailed marketing plan.

Once a business understands who its target audience is and how to attract them, it can develop a powerful content marketing strategy more easily. That includes targeting specific keywords, hiring content creators, or understanding if it needs additional resources to fulfill its marketing campaign.

Related: Content Marketing: Definition and Types

Why Is a Content Strategy Important?

Here are some of the main reasons a content strategy is important:

  • Understand target audience: As mentioned, the most important benefit to a content strategy is understanding your target audience. When you know who your audience is and what they want to see or read, you can ensure that you attract them to your brand and convert them into paying customers.
  • Set goals and roadmap: A content strategy not only helps you establish the goals of your marketing campaign but also helps you create a roadmap on how you’re going to achieve them. This plan allows you to track the progress of your campaign and ensures you’re always on target.
  • Optimize resources: When you create a sound content strategy, you understand how each piece of content fits into your goals and overall marketing plan. This allows you to allocate resources and money effectively so you’re not wasting time on unhelpful projects.
  • Find gaps in your marketing plan: Content strategies often include a lot of research. That research helps you uncover gaps in your marketing plan and shows you new opportunities to attract your target audience.

Common Types of Content Strategies

Here are some of the most common examples of content strategies that a business might use:

Search Engine Optimization

Content strategies for search engine optimization (SEO) are the most common. Their main focus is to bring new audience members to your brand and boost its awareness. They accomplish this by crafting content people can find on search engines more easily, improving your organic traffic and the number of visitors to your site. Then, the content uses well-placed calls to action to convert readers into customers or clients.

Most often, this type of content strategy focuses on educational content. Essentially, content that informs the audience or helps them solve a problem or challenge. That’s because people are most likely going to use search engines to search for this type of content in the hopes of finding a solution to their issues. Businesses use their content strategy to provide those solutions while simultaneously educating their audiences on the products or services they offer.

Read more: A Beginner’s Guide to SEO

Sales

A content strategy for a sales team works best to help finalize a sale. That works by targeting the most common hesitations or questions a potential customer might have about the services or products you sell. For example, let’s say you sell software to businesses that keeps track of their employees’ working hours. Some of your prospective customers might wonder how the software manages paid time off or how it pairs with other HR systems.

You can develop content, like well-designed eBooks, that answers those questions and squashes any of your customers’ hesitancies. Then, you can send that content to your leads and help finalize the purchase of your software.

Different types of content help with different situations. But it’s not always easy to know when you should use a resource article or blog versus an eBook or white paper. That’s why we’ve laid it all out for you. Download our free eBook on the content marketing pyramid that helps you understand the most common types of content businesses use and how they work together to improve your overall content strategy.

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Customer Success and Support

Customer success and support content strategies are most common with e-commerce or software-as-a-service (SaaS) companies. They help improve the satisfaction of your customers and clients after they make a purchase by answering any questions they have on the product or software. This content can come in many forms, such as a full library of content on your website or even a simple FAQ page. This not only helps demonstrate your loyalty to customer success, but it also helps to reduce the number of calls or requests your support team might receive.

What Should a Content Strategy Include?

The basic details you should determine and include in your content strategy include:

  • Who will read your content
  • What audience problems you and your content can solve
  • What type of content your audience wants to read
  • Where you’ll publish the content
  • How you’ll create the content

How To Plan a Content Strategy

Here is a list of steps to help you plan a content strategy:

1. Determine Your Goals

When creating goals, it’s helpful to develop big-picture objectives, as well as relevant, easily achievable ones. This can help you judge the effectiveness of your marketing campaign as it goes and allow you to reach your big-picture objectives incrementally. For example, let’s say you set a large goal of improving your overall search engine ranking and a smaller goal of increasing your organic traffic by 5%. The smaller goal of increasing traffic will probably be a little easier and completing it will help you judge the progress of your big-picture objective, as well as contribute to its success.

2. Define Your Target Audience

You might be sick of hearing it, but defining your target audience is probably the most crucial thing you can do for your content strategy. When you understand who your audience is, you can create content that you know will interest them. This can help you develop stronger leads and convert them into customers more easily.

As you define your audience, start with the demographic. What’s their age? Do most work in a specific career? Do they make a certain amount of income? Then, focus on their main problem. Why are they coming to your company? What do you offer that will improve their lives? Finally, look at other contributing and important factors. What type of content do they like to read or watch? Are they more of a desktop user or mobile user? Uncovering this information can help you create a more effective marketing campaign that delivers quality blogs and articles straight to your readers.

Read more: How To Find a Build a Relationship with Your Target Audience

3. Conduct Competitor Research

Conducting competitor research not only helps you understand your target audience even better, but it also helps you discover more effective ways to run your marketing campaign. Start by finding your top competitors in the industry. Chances are you already have an idea of who those are. Next, focus on the type of content they create. How are they attracting the same audience? What type of content are they producing? How high do they rank on the search engine results page (SERP)?

Once you see the success of their content marketing campaigns, start to look for gaps in their content strategy. Essentially, that means any content creation or promotion your competitors might have overlooked. For example, it’s possible that your competitors haven’t created any eBooks to promote their knowledge and services. That might be an untapped area of content marketing other businesses haven’t tried yet. Creating eBooks yourself might entice a large part of your target audience you didn’t think about.

Looking for a place to start your competitor research? CopyPress currently offers a free content marketing analysis tool that compares your website and its content with your top three competitors. Request your content analysis today to find low-hanging fruit opportunities, gaps in your content strategy, and potential content syndication partners.

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4. Understand Your Content Creation Process

Once you know what type of content will work best for your audience and how to stay competitive in the market, it’s time to look at your content creation process. For this, competitor research is another great place to start. How much content are your competitors producing? How many times a month do they post to their website, social media profile, or blog? Though quality will always be more important for content compared to quantity, if you’re starting from scratch, you might have a lot of catching up to do.

If you don’t already have the resources to develop a full content campaign, it can take a lot of time, money, and additional resources to get it up and running. That includes hiring writers, editors, quality assurance specialists, and project managers to oversee everything. But if you don’t have the resources to match your competitors, don’t panic.

CopyPress has a team of vetted writers, editors, and quality assurance specialists who know how to craft compelling content for any industry, no matter the niche. We have the capacity to scale up or down production to match your content strategy goals. We also designate a client success manager for every project to ensure our content fits your needs and meets your expectations, satisfaction guaranteed. Schedule a free strategy call with us today to see how we can start boosting your content marketing efforts.

5. Find the Right Metrics

There’s really only one way to track the success of your content strategy: metrics. Metrics help you measure the results of your content marketing campaign and understand if you need to make adjustments in order to achieve your objectives. A great place to find all the information you need is Google Analytics. This free tool tracks the data on your site and also gives you additional information on your audience, including their demographics.

Some of the most important metrics to measure for your content strategy include:

  • Pageviews
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • New visitors
  • Returning visitors
  • Clicks and engagement

Though each of these metrics are important in their own way, some might be more important to your specific campaign and goals. For example, you might notice that you’re generating a lot more pageviews since you started your campaign. That’s great, but if your goal is to increase conversions and your clicks or engagement level hasn’t changed, then your strategy might need improvement. Understanding which metrics you need to measure and focus on before implementing your strategy can help you measure its success as you go.

Having a strong content strategy is a great way to attract your audience, improve their satisfaction, and help you finalize your sales. It all starts with knowing the best way to create one. Want some help in understanding your current content market and what your competitors are doing? Schedule a strategy call with CopyPress. We can find gaps in your content strategy to help you soar above the competition and create the best marketing campaign for your brand.

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