Craft Your Own Content Strategy with These Simple Steps

Craft Your Own Content Strategy with These Simple Steps

If you’re looking to increase brand awareness and revenue, you can’t just create random content in the hopes that it will draw customers to you. You need a content strategy in place to help you figure out who your target audience actually is, what they’re looking for, and what it is that motivates them.

Once you know that, you can start to craft content that your audience will want to consume, as well promoting your business and/or product(s). This could take the form of blog posts, videos, social media posts, and more. If successful, your content strategy will help establish trust between your brand and audience—driving traffic to your website, helping you stand out from your competition, and increasing your revenue.

Here are nine simple steps that will help you craft your own content strategy:

  • Know your purpose
  • Define your audience
  • Conduct a content audit
  • Focus on your topics
  • Carry out keyword research
  • Develop content ideas
  • Manage and publish your content
  • Repurpose your content
  • Monitor your progress

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  1. Know your purpose

Before you even start thinking about what kind of content you want to create, you’ve first got to figure out what the purpose of your content strategy is. The best way to do this is by looking at your business goals.

Are you looking to

  • Promote a specific product or service?
  • Increase revenue?
  • Draw more traffic to your website?
  • Increase social media engagement?
  • Beat your competitors?

It’s not just about what you want, though. A good content strategy will help both you and your audience. That’s why you need to think about what your audience will gain from your content. Are you offering a solution to a problem they have, or targeting a pain point they’re unknowingly suffering from? Answering these questions is the starting point for your entire strategy.

  1. Define your audience

Next on your agenda is defining your audience. This is a vital part of your content strategy. You need to know who you’re writing for in order for your content to make an impact. Now, it’s important to make the distinction between your general audience and your buyers:

  • Your general audience engages with your content
  • Your buyers will purchase your product or service

In order to craft content that will engage your general audience, and potentially convert them to buyers, you can look at demographic data from your website/blog visitors, social media followers, and email subscribers. This will give you valuable insights into your audience, including age, gender, location, general interests and more.

  1. Conduct a content audit

Before you can start adding new content into the mix, you’ve first got to assess your existing content to figure out whether or not it aligns with your current goals and what your target audience is looking for.

Convinced you’ve got to scrap your entire content backlog? Don’t start your mourning just yet! Even if you’ve got blog posts that are no longer relevant, you might still be able to repurpose them—taking sections to create new guides, social media posts or even slideshows—or revamp them so that they do meet your new goals.

To do this, you’ll need to create a log of your website and blog content. If the thought of doing this manually gives you a headache, you can make things easier on yourself by using a tool like Screaming Frog, which will crawl your website and give you:

  • URLs
  • Page titles
  • Meta descriptions
  • Duplicate pages 
  1. Focus on your topics

Now that you’ve got your audience locked down, it’s time for you to focus on your content topics. It’s not enough to simply write about your product(s) or service(s). Though it’s important to promote yourself, you also need to focus on topics that your audience cares about and wants to learn more about.

With that in mind, you should try to brainstorm topics. If you can, try to involve as many departments as possible, as this will give you different angles to target—a marketing department will have different ideas to those in sales, or those who are working in customer service.

  1. Carry out keyword research

With your new list of topics in hand, it’s time for you to carry out some keyword research. More specifically, you need to figure out which keywords you need to be targeting with your new topics and what types of questions your audience are asking.

To gain an edge, use resources that will give you actual search data. Here are some to get you started:

  • Answer The Public
  • Keyword Explorer
  • Keyword Generator

If you can, try to create a list of short- and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords (up to three words) are relatively general, but high in search volume. In comparison, long-tail keywords (over three words) drive lower search volumes but tend to be more relevant to what people are looking for. Remember: it’s not just the number of visitors that counts, but also their quality!

  1. Develop content ideas

Now that you know what topics and keywords you want to focus on, you can get to work developing your content ideas. Arguably, this will be one of the most exciting aspects of your content strategy.

Don’t just assume it’s all about web copy and blog posts! You want to develop a wide range of content types to target your audience. Let’s say, for example, that you’re looking to promote new products. Though it would be easy to write a blog post about them, creating a series of videos that can be easily shared on social media and in email newsletters might be far more engaging.

Focus on your buyer personas and think long and hard about what content types might work best for you:

  • Blog posts
  • How-to guides
  • Email newsletters
  • eBooks, white papers and reports
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Social media posts
  • Slideshows
  1. Manage and publish your content

So, you’ve created a new batch of content and you’re raring to go. Time to start publishing everything, right? Nope! As tempting as it might be to just throw your new content ideas at the wall to see which ones stick, you need to be slightly more methodical about it.

You need to create a collaborative content calendar that will allow you to monitor the creation of your content, the editing process, and publishing. If you use something like Trello, you can organize your content into columns by week or month, use labels to differentiate between content types, and attach deadlines. You could also create a separate calendar to track your social media content.

  1. Repurpose your content

Once you’ve published your content, don’t just brush it off and forget about it. Content isn’t a one-and-done deal. You can always return to it to improve it and, most importantly, repurpose it to appeal to audiences who might prefer a different format.

If you’ve created a how-to guide, you can repurpose it to create an infographic, a slideshow, or just simple social media posts. Short-form content can be combined to create an eBook or a white paper. Even videos can be cut up or combined, depending on the audience and platform.

  1. Monitor your progress

Congratulations! You’ve managed to craft your own content strategy and see it through to the end. The final step is to see if your hard work has paid off. Though it’s unlikely that you’ll be an overnight success, you should gradually start to see results with some of your content.

The best way to figure out just how successful your content is by looking at:

User behaviour metrics: page views, unique visitors, average time on page, bounce rate, and pages per session.

  • Engagement metrics: likes, shares, mentions, and comments.
  • SEO metrics: organic traffic, backlinks, and keyword rankings.
  • Company revenue metrics: number of new leads, conversion rate, and cost per acquisition.

You’ll want to record this data and use it to figure out what you’re ranking well for, which content types are most effective, what impact the time of day/week has on engagement, and so on. This data will then help you to determine what needs improvement and also give you a better idea of what interests your audience the most—making it much easier to craft future content.