Building a Comprehensive Content Strategy 101
Having a solid content marketing strategy is essential for engaging with and retaining your users. In the content creation funnel, don’t just get started for the sake of having a couple blogs to show; develop the strategy first and then get going.
Decktopus Template Series: Content Strategy Sample Deck
User engagement is becoming increasingly significant by the day, so much so that it's started to inherently influence a platform’s SEO ranking. The old tricks in the book such as having 2% keyword density are off the market; the quality of the content you produce is extremely significant for SEO purposes. Don’t even try to fool search engines!
That is why having a solid content marketing strategy is essential for engaging with and retaining your users. In the content creation funnel, don’t just get started for the sake of having a couple blogs to show; develop the strategy first and then get going. Content benefits take some time to kick in; let your users organically engage with your content and you will see your rankings go up soon.
Now, how can you approach content marketing strategy to boost site engagement and increase conversions?
6 Tips for a Solid Content Marketing Strategy
1. Establish Your Targets
Purposeful content wins; so you should know why you are creating the content? Are you trying to enhance brand awareness, boost conversions, appeal to novel customers, improve SEO scores, drive lead generation? Once you have that set, you may notice that content creation may not be the ideal channel to get you there. Or, you may notice it is, indeed, the best channel! Find the right types of content that will allow you to successfully reach your target.
2. Know Your Audience
Good content will be targeting a specific line of audience and deliver to their needs and preferences. It would be helpful to conduct research into your target audience, understand what kind of content they typically engage with, and which channels they visit. You can also use tools such as Google Analytics to better gather information regarding your prospects. Here, you can gain access to critical information including average time on page, pageview, bounce rates and so on.
3. Develop Content Focusing on Your Niche
Don’t just try to create content that will be applicable to the most people. The real value can be found in focusing on a niche that you have expertise on. Don’t replicate content and find your unique voice so that you have a greater chance of becoming a thought leader. Of course, it is helpful to survey recent trends; but, try to correlate that with your niche.
4. Track Content Marketing Results
Effective content marketing strategies involve solid ways to track performance and gain insights from these metrics. You should be tracking how people respond to your content and shape the following content calendars around these insights. Popular metrics you should be keeping track of include consumption metrics, social sharing metrics, conversions, lead metrics, sales metrics and so on.
5. Keep Communication Channels Open with Customers
In addition to the data and performance metrics you should be keeping track of, an extremely significant and helpful channel where you can gather insights is your customer base. Listening to your customers and adjusting your product offerings is a great way to show them you care. Through conducting outreach to customers and swiftly responding to their feedback will help you gather insights and deliver to user preferences.
Organizations like Decktopus make it their priority to listen to customers on a regular basis, continuously asking for feedback in their community channels such as Slack, social media and support channels. For instance, many new features we’ve integrated here at Decktopus is completely based on customer feedback; so if you’ve been enjoying our forms, tables and charts features, as well as PPT and PDF export functionality, you have our users to thank.
6. Go Big With Your Content
Are you considering methods to amplify your content? You should be designating audience segments that are frequenting a certain portion of online channels and deliver your content there. Track what resources will be relevant to utilize to reach a wider customer base, and prioritize them in the way you create and deliver content. If a good strategy looks like partnering with influencers, reaching out to already existing powerful customers for user testimonials, that is the way to go. Get creative!
What Does the Decktopus Content Strategy Template Include?
Understanding the growing importance of content in the era of digital transformation, the Decktopus team gathered relevant statistics and data to compile what needed to be in a comprehensive content strategy and calendar; the resulting analysis gathered out content strategy template. So what’s in the template?
Our template includes a cover page where you should outline your company logo, a title for your strategy or calendar, and an accompanying image. This slide deck is immediately followed by the business objective that this content strategy is supposed to serve towards. Are you trying to build your brand awareness, drive leads, look for conversions? Understand where you are coming from as you set out for this content journey so that your creators know the purpose behind their content initiatives.
Following this, we have our content distribution channels that may include Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Website blog, or Youtube. You may also choose to deliver content with third party providers for broadened audience reach or collaborate with influencers. Then, we get to our content calendar goals which may include the following items:
- Increase brand awareness by growing potential followers and SEO ranking
- Turn customers into advocates by increasing engagement such as web visits and click rates
- Drive leads by increasing conversions such as visit rates
- Improve customer retention by testimonials, newsletters, and more.
Your content calendar may include various domains such as blog posts, curated content, collaborations, chat, and video. You can also extend to more contemporary and ever evolving content such as stories, podcasts, clubhouse sessions, live demos and more.
An important step to take here would be to establish the tone of voice and make sure everyone is on the same page with the kind of content they are creating. Are you looking to be intimate, engaging, conversational, funny? Conversely, are you trying to be formal, educational, professional, distanced? In many cases, the more casual voice comes through more for the audience and helps you connect more to the audience base. But, if you are covering a very serious subject matter where there is absolutely no room for jokes, then the formal attitude may be necessary.
What Should be in Your Content Strategy
Deliver towards the audience and understand the “Why?”. Are you trying to reach a wider audience and attempting to grow the user base? Or, are you trying to enhance brand image in the media to get traction from different audiences? You could also be looking to boost your SEO score and integrate more keywords into your site.
Give your targets a timeline. Creating a definite deadline for some of these content calendar goals will help you take action in a timely manner and deliver to those needs in the necessary pace. Where are you trying to get to in 3 months, 1 year, or even 2 years?
You must additionally be aware of your customer persona, where you understand your target audience and make sure you are delivering content to this niche audience base. Are you addressing mid level executives and professionals? Are you looking to get heard by tech savvy individuals excited about innovation and technological developments? Are you an ecommerce company serving people obsessed with the newest trends in clothing and retail?
You must also identify what your KPIs for success will be. Is it going to be the number of blog views, number of post shares, the level of your SEO score, and the number of views on your Youtube videos?
Overall Look into a Content Strategy
Data shows that content strategy usually relates to six domains that are interchangeable; these include people, process, measurement, maintenance, focus, and foundations. The people side of things outlines the roles and responsibilities of content teams and the relevant producers. The process side of things involve tools and templates, workflows, style guides, QA process and more. Measurement is about review of the processes against KPIs and auditing content.
The maintenance domain involves adapting and testing to review and improve content operations. Focus includes business goals, brand strategy, user needs, KPIs and more. Finally, the foundations domain is about determining the values, tone of voice, substance and structure.
Effective Content Strategy Steps
In a comprehensive content approach and strategy, you must consider the content plan, as well as the content audit, production plan, performance measures, and, finally, the distribution plan.
Align your content with the customer journey as you develop the content plan. Identify what topics, needs, and questions need to be addressed in your content plan and scope. In the second step of the funnel conduct your content audit where you audit existing content to determine what can be improved and what can stay as it is. Maybe you will need to create certain things from scratch and update accordingly.
In the production plan phase, determine the genre and format of each content piece; identify who the subject experts will be and similar authors and third party contributors. As for the performance measures, determine the objective of each piece of content, and how performance will be tracked and measured accordingly. Finally, approach the distribution plan by identifying what online and offline channels will be used to get your content in front of buyers.
These are all the domains that you will likely need to touch upon in the plan; approach these as keywords that must be included; SEO, inbound, search intent, marketing, CRO, industry tools, journalism, social media, UX, analytics and insight.
Profitable brand content strategy cores include practical content creation, editorial calendar and post publishing, knowing your foundations, audience discovery and brand positioning, understanding keywords, and building authority through content cores.
In the content marketing lifecycle, analytics is prioritized, strategy is the secondary concern, content development comes as the third necessary step, followed by promotion. Find the mid ground between what your audience cares about and what your brand cares about and identify your content pillars accordingly.
Many think the way to go is to start creating content straight away; the key thing to always include in the funnel is researching, measuring, promoting, publishing and optimizing. Do not fall into the trap! It is important to notice how important the following elements are!
Content Strategy Directly Relates to Social Media Marketing
Each phase of the content marketing cycle benefits from social media and vice versa. There are 4 domains that play into these relationships: planning, publishing, distribution, and optimization.
In the planning step, you must make sure to inform content strategy through relevant tools and SEO keywords, gain insights from social media data for planning, identify topics that resonate most with your target audience and add that tone of voice to the mix.
In the publishing step, you will need to test audience interest; before investing in long form content projects in a new topic domain, short form social content can help gauge interest. The audience can also be tapped as story sources when relevant.
In the distribution step, you should seek to amplify content distribution; in addition to paid and organic distribution, social calendar compliments content calendar to help amplify content.
Necessary Questions Every Content Marketer & Strategist Should Ask
Ask yourself, who is your target customer and who are you writing the content for? What is the main pain point my audience is experiencing? How does my product solve this pain point? What kind of content do they want to see? What do I want to achieve with this content? What keywords do I need to include? Finally, what will be the title of my post? These questions help you walk through the planning, creation, promotion and conversion funnel
Finally, in the optimization step, you must measure and improve the editorial quality of the content. Performance of published stories is tracked for reporting and to help improve future editorial efforts.
A solid content strategy drives results and better community engagement. Looking for some help creating the strategy document? Check out Decktopus’ Content Strategy Template now!
Subscribe to Our Newsletter to Get Weekly Tips!