You’ve launched your website. Now what? How do you get the much-needed traffic? One of the answers is content marketing. But is there a successful strategy? We’ve invited Kevin Zhou from Keyword.com to share some valuable insights on the topic. Keyword.com is an accurate keyword rank tracking and competitor insights tool used by thousands of businesses from around the world. Trusted by Puma, Tinder, Shopify.
Are you struggling to get quality traffic on your website despite spending lots of time creating content? If yes, this post is for you.
Irrespective of what you sell, good content is the foundation of any marketing strategy. To get an edge over your competition and actively engage with your audience, you need to have a cohesive content marketing plan in place.
Here’s a quick guide on how to create a content strategy plan. I’ll also show examples of effective content marketing strategies you can draw inspiration from to plan your content effectively and ultimately drive traffic to your website.
Let’s dive in!
1. Define your objective
Content marketing helps you create and promote resources that will enable your target audience to learn more about your brand. But how do you ensure that your content marketing is moving in the right direction?
Identify your goals before you begin planning.
Is your goal to generate more leads, spread brand awareness, or drive more people to visit your store? Having S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals is key to setting realistic benchmarks.
But what is a S.M.A.R.T goal? Let me illustrate with an example. “Increase New Customer Reviews by 30% Year Over Year,” for instance, is a Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound goal. Here’s why:
Specific: The goal is clear. There is no room for interpretation.
Measurable: The increase by 30% of new customer reviews is quantifiable.
Achievable: If you increased 20% reviews last year, 30% is an achievable target.
Relevant: Let’s assume the goal is relevant to the overarching sales objective. Time-bound: There is a timeframe within which you should have achieved your target
If you follow the SMART goals methodology, you can help your business achieve its strategic objectives. The method will allow your team members to align their efforts in one direction so you can achieve those goals.
2. Conduct a persona analysis
To develop a successful content plan, you need to create buyer personas based on their age groups, demographics, preferences, and interests first. If you know your audience, you can create content that will resonate with them and get them to you.
For instance, Red Bull, a leading energy drink brand, creates content keeping its target audience— the young, dynamic, and adventurous ones–in mind. Here’s a perfect video example from their library.
Red Bull doesn’t focus much on hard selling. Instead, it covers topics its audience is interested in, like extreme sports and thrilling life experiences. That helps consumers associate the brand with other values that go far beyond Red Bull as a mere product and energy drink. In the end, that encourages customer loyalty..
Whether you are an established business or are just about to enter a new market, a persona analysis is crucial. It will help you determine what your buyers want. You can also create content that will resonate with them.
3. Examine the content you already have
If you’ve been in business for a while and have a good content repository, it’s best to review it. A content audit can help you understand how you can reutilize your existing content in unique ways.
It can also give you insights into what works and what doesn’t. Just analyze existing data sets and check the actual state of your content. Ask yourself the following questions:
- How is your content performing?
- Is your messaging resonating with the customers?
- What content brings you the best results?
- What do you need to improve?
Once you have the answers, start planning your content based on what you have and what else you would need. So, your content audit sheet may look like this:
Let’s look at a real-life example. Robin Sharma, a best-selling author, and life coach knows exactly how to optimize content marketing efforts by using content in an efficient way.
Robin promotes his books across different marketing channels but he doesn’t create new content for each channel. Instead, he repurposes a single content to ensure it fits the requirements of each platform. In other words, all the podcasts, audiobooks, blog posts, and even social media posts about one book, for example, would have the same basic content.
In other words, once you know what you have in your content repository, you can create a plan to use your content effectively and efficiently. The rule of thumb is – Audit, Repurpose and Repeat!
Your ultimate objective is to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in your content strategy and adapt your content plan to your current marketing goals.
4. Decide on a content management system
A content management system (CMS) allows you to create, manage, and track your content. It helps you streamline your content marketing strategy.
You can use popular CMS like Hubspot and WordPress to integrate all your content marketing efforts in one place. With the help of WordPress page builder tools like Colibri, you can design and optimize your website to drive more traffic. The tool lets you revamp aspects of your website–including the headers, page content, footers, navigation menus, and global and even individual styling–in a single interface.
A content management system can also help you monitor progress and streamline communication across teams as you create your content. It allows you to manage plugins like free web forms, live chat, and email marketing.
A CMS allows you to do content creation, content dissemination, and content analytics from a single platform.
5. Come up with content ideas
Coming up with content ideas is probably the most critical step in the content marketing process.
You can use online idea generator tools to get your content ideas off the ground. Automated tools help you narrow down topics based on your specific preferences. Choose the relevant topics and build your content around it.
Make sure you include relevant keywords in your content to make it more search-friendly. You can use various SEO tools to help you optimize the content.
The main goal, though, is to create content that people will love. For that reason, always consider your target audience before finalizing your content ideas.
6. Decide what kind of content you want to create
There are various types of content you can create for your audience. You can have blog posts, eBooks, infographics, videos, podcasts, and social media posts. You name it.
You don’t need to create all those types of content, though. Pick your content format/s according to your target audience’s preferences. The idea, after all, is to get them to you.
You can easily update blog posts and upload them on your website to attract new visitors. You can also use blog posts to inform your target audience about what’s new in your niche.
EBooks and podcasts are other engaging types of content. You can, for instance, run a podcast series on your site and create a hook for your customer to revisit it and listen to the next episode.
Infographics and videos are visually appealing. If you want to cover a lot of data and statistical insights, an infographic or a quick video are probably also your best option. They are great at making complex concepts digestible.
7. Manage and publish your work
Creating a seamless user experience on different content marketing channels can be a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be difficult, though.
You can easily automate and manage your postings using an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar allows you to keep track of your posting schedules across multiple channels, including social media networks.
Editorial calendars help you plan your content in advance. With a little bit of customization, you can schedule your content for publication across different platforms using the tool. That gives you more time to focus on improving the quality of your other content.
If there are specific holidays that might appeal to your audience, it’s best to mark those on your calendar so you know what needs to be published on those days.
It’s good practice to take into account important holidays when planning your content using your calendar. So, you can schedule the publication of a blog post on How to Increase Black Friday Sales, for example. That way, you can appeal to a more extensive audience base.
8. Track Your Results
There’s often a great sense of relief after publishing a piece of content. You feel like the job is done, which it is in part.
If you’re creating content for search engines, you’ve still got a lot of work ahead of you. You will need to build links to your content, and promote the article through various channels. Alongside this, you need to monitor if your marketing efforts are generating a positive result.
You can check and track keyword rankings using tools like Keyword.com which helps you keep track of your progress. You can use these insights to track your progress. Keyword monitoring will also help you identify existing content that needs to be updated or promoted.
The methods used to get content before potential customers are continually evolving. The core principles to ensure success, however, remain the same. You need to plan and create a top-notch content marketing strategy first based on research.
Define your objective and audience, audit your existing content, and use a content management system. Don’t forget to brainstorm new content ideas. Then, publish and manage your content using an editorial calendar.
Just follow these tips. You’ll create that robust content marketing strategy that will generate your desired results.
Kevin is the Founder and CEO of Keyword. He has been in the SEO industry for over a decade, speaking to both SEO agencies and clients. He spent the last decade of his life building a platform to help SEO agencies cut through the noise and close high ticket clients.