A content strategy is one of the most crucial aspects of a successful content marketing campaign. It’s the foundation that determines your complete content plan, from planning to execution and reiteration. A successful content strategy ensures that your content will engage and attract your target audience and motivate them to fulfill your goals.
However, many businesses struggle to create a content strategy. Often they don’t even know where to start and what to include in their content strategy. Therefore, we will discuss 10 things that should be included in every content strategy. Keep these tips in mind as you create your strategy and ensure your website will be a success!
1. Your Goals And Objectives
The first step in creating a content strategy is determining your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve from your content? Do you want to increase brand awareness, attract traffic, build authority, drive sales, etc.?
It’s essential to have a clear understanding of your goals before creating any content. Otherwise, you won’t be able to measure the success of your strategy.
Your goals will also dictate the type of content you should create.
For example, if you’re trying to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to create easily shareable content and not be overly salesy.
On the other hand, if you’re trying to drive sales, your content should be directly about the product or service, focusing on conversion. Keep your goals in mind as you create your content strategy framework to ensure that you’re on the right track.
2. Your Audience Insights – Buyer’s Persona
As you identify your goals, you need to determine your target audience. What types of people are you trying to reach? The best way to do this is to create buyer personas. Buyer personas are fictional characters that represent your ideal customers.
To create a buyer persona, you need to gather data on your target audience. You can do this through surveys, interviews, and market research. Once you have this data, you can create a profile for your buyer persona.
Some of the information you should include in your buyer persona is:
- Demographics: Age, gender, location, etc.
- Psychographics: Interests, hobbies, values, etc.
- Goals: What they hope to achieve by using your product or service.
- Objections: The reasons they wouldn’t buy from you.
Creating buyer personas is essential in creating a content strategy because it helps you understand who you’re targeting with your content. If you don’t know who your target audience is and what they want, it’s impossible to create appealing content for them.
In-depth knowledge of your target audience helps you create exactly the type of content they need. Since your content answers their questions and helps them out, they not only believe in your suggestions and buy from you but return repeatedly.
3. Competitor Analysis
While you’re creating a content strategy, it’s crucial to research your competition. You need to notice two main things: What are their strongholds? What could they improve on?
Competitor analysis is an integral part of creating a content strategy because it helps you understand what’s already out there. If you can fill the gaps left by your competitors, your content strategy will not only be superior but unique as well. You can learn a lot from these two things and follow their lead to best them and plan your content accordingly.
You can take the help of various tools like Ahrefs, Moz, etc., for competitor analysis. Some of the things you should look for in a competitor analysis are:
- Their content strategy: What types of content are they creating?
- The effectiveness of their content: How well is their content performing? Are people engaging with it?
- Their SEO strategy: What keywords are they targeting? Are they ranking for them?
- Their social media presence: How active are they on social media?
By researching your competition, you can learn what’s working well for them and what’s not. This will help you create a content strategy that is better than theirs.
It’s also important to keep in mind that the market landscape is constantly changing. Your competitors may change, or their strengths may vary, so it’s essential to keep a tab on things.
4. Existing Content Audit
If you already have a blog, you must have some existing content in blog posts, articles, whitepapers, eBooks, etc. Before you start creating new content, it’s crucial to audit your existing content. This will help you determine what’s working well and what needs improvement.
When you’re doing a content audit, you should look at things like:
- Quality: Is it well-written? Is it accurate?
- Relevancy: Is it still relevant to your target audience?
- Engagement: Are people engaging with it? Are they sharing it?
- SEO: Is it optimized for your target keywords? Is it ranking?
- Conversion Rate: Is it converting leads into customers?
A content audit is an essential step in creating a content strategy as it helps seamless integration of new content vs. the old. When you know the gaps in your content, you can focus your efforts on creating high-quality and relevant content for your target audience.
When you’re doing a content audit, you should also take the opportunity to update your existing content. This could involve adding new information, fixing errors, or improving the quality of the writing.
Updating your existing content is an excellent way to improve your content without creating new content from scratch. It’s also a perfect way to get more mileage out of your existing content.
Once you’ve completed your content audit, you should know what needs to be improved or added.
5. Content Management System (CMS)
If you don’t already have a content management system (CMS), now is the time to choose one. A CMS is a platform that allows you to create, manage, and publish your content.
There are many different CMS platforms to choose from, so it’s essential to select one that meets your needs. Some popular CMS options include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla.
When you’re choosing a CMS, you should consider things like:
- Ease of Use: How easy is it to use the platform? Can you easily add new content?
- Functionality: Does the platform have the features you need? Can you add plugins or extensions to improve the functionality?
- Cost: Is the platform free, or does it require a subscription?
- Support: Does the platform have good customer support if you run into problems?
By choosing a CMS that meets your needs, you’ll be able to create a content strategy that is effective and efficient.
6. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Before you start creating content, it’s essential to set some goals. These goals will help you measure the success of your content strategy.
Some common goals for tracking KPIs in the content strategy include:
- Increasing traffic to your website
- Improving conversion rates
- Generating leads
- Boosting sales
- Enhancing customer engagement
To achieve these goals, you need to set key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs are metrics that help you track and measure the success of your content strategy.
Some common KPIs for a content strategy include:
- Website traffic
- Social media engagement
- Conversion rates
- Inbound links
By setting KPIs, you’ll be able to track the success of your content strategy and make necessary adjustments.
7. Timelines And Resources
Once you’ve set some goals and KPIs, it’s time to create a timeline for your content. A timeline will help you stay on track and ensure that your content is published regularly.
When creating a timeline, you should consider things like:
- How often do you want to publish new content?
- Do you have any deadlines for specific pieces of content?
- How long do you want each piece of content to be?
- What resources do you need to create the content?
By creating a timeline, you’ll be able to ensure that your content strategy is efficient and effective.
In addition to a timeline, you also need to consider the resources required to create the content. You’ll need to source writers, editors, designers, photographers, etc. The goal is to create an achievable content strategy.
Finally, don’t forget to budget for your content strategy. Creating quality content can be costly, so you need to make sure you have the budget to cover the costs.
8. Content Development Process
You can set up your content development process with all the information at hand. This process will help you create quality content regularly by dividing the content creation into smaller subtasks.
When setting your content development process, you should consider things like:
- Keyword research
- Content outlines
- Edits & revisions
- Content layout
- Images & videos
Make sure to allocate your team members responsible for each task with deadlines. This will help ensure that your content strategy is executed effectively.
9. Content Distribution Channels
Your content strategy won’t be complete without considering your content distribution channels, i.e., where your content will be published. Some common content channels include:
- Social media
- Email newsletters
- Landing pages
By considering your content channels, you’ll be able to ensure that your content reaches your target audience at the right time. It’s important to note that you don’t have to use every content channel. Instead, focus on the channels that will reach your target audience.
For example, if you’re trying to reach millennials, you might want to focus on social media channels like Snapchat and Instagram. On the other hand, newsletters might be the right choice if you’re trying to reach busy professionals.
10. Editorial Calendar
Finally, in light of your research so far, you should be able to create an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is a tool that helps you plan and organize your content. Some things you can include in an editorial calendar are:
- Blog post ideas
- Social media posts
- Email newsletters
- Landing pages
By creating an editorial calendar, you’ll be able to ensure that your content production and distribution are organized, and you can plan and publish your content regularly.
An editorial calendar can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. You can use a spreadsheet, Google Calendar, or tools like Monday, ClickUp, Airtable, etc. The important thing is finding a system that works best for you and your team.
There you have it! These are the crucial things you need to include in your content strategy. By following these tips, you’ll be able to create a content strategy that works for your business. If you need help getting started, feel free to contact us today. We’d be happy to help you create a content strategy that meets your business goals.
Karli is content marketing consultant behind Wild Idea, a content marketing and SEO collective focused on driving big results. With over 12 years in the marketing industry, she’s worked with brands large and small across many industries to grow organic traffic and reach new audiences. She writes on everything from marketing, social, and SEO to travel and real estate. On the weekends, she loves to explore new places, enjoy the outdoors and have a glass or two of vino!