If you are doing any kind of digital marketing, at all, the answer is a resounding, “yes”! In fact, businesses with a content strategy reported feeling:
- significantly less challenged with every aspect of content marketing
- more effective in their use of all content marketing tactics and social media channels
- able to justify spending a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing
So, what is a content strategy and how do you do it?
- It’s the high-level, holistic vision and framework that guides all the pieces of content you create.
- It’s the system through which all your pieces of content are working together to achieve a cohesive goal.
- It’s what stops you from posting willy-nilly pieces of content that aren’t aimed at the right people, aren’t doing anything for your business, or generic content that doesn’t get found or shared.
- Long story short, it’s the ‘Who, What, Where, When, and How’ of your content marketing :)
- An effective content strategy starts with identifying the ‘who’: your buyer personas. One of the first steps in your strategy should be figuring out who those personas are (we have a handy guide here, in case you haven’t done that yet)
- Isolating these buyer personas also means you can do keyword research, then work those keywords casually into your content to help boost your SEO.
- It also asks deeper questions like ‘who are we, as a brand?’ This will help to determine your content tone and what fields you’re experts in, guiding your content.
- Finally, take a quick look at who your competitors are, and what kind of content they’re creating so you know how you can stand out in comparison.
- Your content strategy must include the different types of content you’ll use (ex: Blogs, infographics, webinars, larger downloadable content pieces, social media posts, social media ads, emails, marketing newsletters, etc.).
- All of these should be part of a robust, holistic content strategy at one point or another.
- With so many types of content, how do you know which ones to pick? Your buyer personas can help you out there: what kind of information would they find useful? What sort of content are they most interested in or engaging with elsewhere?
- Small business owners might not have the time to attend a 6-series webinar, so shorter, more digestible pieces of content are ideal for them. Think about checklists or templates.
- Stay at home parents have a little more time on their hands when the kids are at school, so they might be a better audience for longer, instructional tutorials.
- Your content strategy must also include where your content will live, both internally and externally.
- Internally, a content management and automation system like Hubspot means you can upload, manage, schedule, and track all your content from the same central hub, making your life much easier.
- Externally, figure out which platforms will be best for your content.
- Again, this all comes back to your buyer personas: where are they hanging out online? What platforms are they already using? Because that’s where you want to be.
- Also make sure to be clear where you want them to go: are you driving them to a landing page? A form? Your website? Make sure the path to conversion is clear as crystal on your strategy.
- Create a content calendar as a physical timeline of your content strategy.
- Make sure to include the date of publish, and also the time—there is a ton of research on the best times of day (down to the minute!) to share your content.
- Most blogs should be posted between 9:30 - 10:00 am, as that’s when most people are coming online.
- Emails tend to do best sent late-morning during work hours (think 10am), and the best times to post on Instagram are during the day (except for between 3-4, weirdly!) on Monday and Tuesdays.
- The final step in your content strategy is checking how your content is performing.
- Content strategy isn’t stagnant—it’s a series of constant tweaks and adjustments based on analytics and learning.
- Include reporting in your content strategy to get an overall look at how everything performed.
- Did no one see your post on Snapchat? Might not be the best platform. Your emails didn’t get opened? Maybe the subject line wasn’t enticing enough, or you sent it at the wrong time.
- There are no mistakes, only learning opportunities. If you picked the wrong platform or made the wrong content, it’s just a chance to adjust your strategy and try again next quarter!
So, there you have it, some of the basics to get your content strategy up and running. Now, go out there and make it happen!
Need help building your content and content strategy? We can help!