Whether you’re a marketer, a budding entrepreneur, or a small business owner, understanding the intricacies of content marketing and building a winning strategy is the key to unlocking success in the digital realm.
This is especially true if you want to gain more leads and boost the growth of your business. According to studies, 67% of marketers report that content marketing generates leads while 63% say that it builds loyalty between their existing customers. As you can see, content marketing is indeed a very powerful strategy.
In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to build your content strategy from scratch, and discuss how you can create more compelling content for your audience.
Let’s get started.
Steps to Build A Winning Content Marketing Strategy
Building a content marketing strategy from scratch involves careful and strategic planning, plus consideration of various factors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started:
Set your goals
The first and most important step before creating any marketing strategy is defining your goals. By doing so, you have a clear direction that you are moving toward, and you are not just coming up with random content just because.
Goals will vary depending on your business, but some examples of common goals are:
- Increasing website traffic
- Building brand awareness
- Generating sales and revenue
- Building audience and followers
- Establishing yourself as a thought leader
- Getting more qualified leads
- Improving SEO
Once you have your goal, you should also set a metric or KPI (key performance indicator). This is done so that you can measure the performance of your content marketing strategy.
Just like with goals, metrics will vary depending on your business. However, based on surveys, 66% of marketers mainly tracked page views, while 55% mainly monitored email open rates.
Some example metrics are hitting a certain number of Facebook followers in a month, getting more post comments and shares, an increased number of email subscribers, getting to a certain spot on search rankings, or seeing an increase in site traffic.
Having a solid goal and KPI in place will serve as your foundation for all your content marketing strategies.
Identify your audience
A critical part of your content marketing strategy is your audience. After all, they are the ones that are going to be reading your content. You’ll need to understand them first in order to create the right content to reach them.
Figure out the basic demographics of your audience, such as their:
- Educational Level
And since most content marketing is now digital, we also recommend digging deep into your audience’s internet habits. To do this, know the following:
- What social media platforms they use
- How frequently they use it
- The time of day they are usually online
- Sites they visit
- Apps they use
- What kind of content they prefer
- Which influencer / content creator / industry leader they trust
By knowing your audience’s habits and preferences, you can create content that they will find relevant and appealing. This will lead to increased engagement, and down the line, hopefully convert them into a paying customer.
Construct a brand style guide
To ensure the consistency of the content that you’ll create, you should construct a brand style guide.
A brand style guide is a manual or reference guide that contains all the information about your branding – your logo, color palette, font style, brand voice, tone, grammar, point of view, and other details.
By having a brand style guide, every person on your content marketing team has a reference to follow when creating your content. This means that there is less error when creating your content, such as a misplaced logo, wrong color usage, or writing a caption that isn’t in line with your brand voice.
Of course, before you even have a brand style guide, you’ll need to have a solid branding in place first. So make sure you have a finalized color palette (down to the hex codes or Pantone numbers), create your logo through logo maker tools, and decide on the fonts you’ll use for headers, small headers, and body text.
Choose the right type of content
The right type of content is something that your target audience will find engaging and relevant. For example, do they find short-form videos more engaging? How about infographics? Depending on your audience research, you’ll need to prioritize content that you know your audience will enjoy.
Still, you should be varying your content from time to time so that your audience won’t get bored. Even if they enjoy your images or articles, they’ll get tired if they only get that kind of content from you.
Try to create a mix of images, videos, infographics, blog posts, GIFs, and memes (if applicable to your branding). Or you can vary your content format. For example, if you are focusing on video content, you can try posting in various formats such as YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, Facebook Live, etc.
Choose your platform
While it’s a good idea to be present on multitudes of platforms to increase your reach and visibility, it’s more advisable to focus on platforms that you know your audience is predominantly at. This way, you lessen the amount of content that you have to create. This saves you time, money, and resources, which is helpful especially if you are just starting out. This also means that you can focus on creating better content, therefore ensuring quality and consistency in your content.
Know the right posting time and frequency
Even if you create the best possible content, it’s meaningless if no one sees it. Find out the best posting time for your target audience and make sure to post your content at the right time.
While the “right time” will vary depending on your business and target audience, as a general rule of thumb, the best posting times are:
- Facebook – 10am PST, Mondayw
- Twitter – 9am PST, Friday
- Instagram – 9am PST, Monday
- TikTok – 1pm PST, Sunday
- YouTube – 11am PST, Monday
- Pinterest – 1pm PST, Tuesday
- LinkedIn – 1pm PST, Sunday
The amount of time you’ll post can also affect your success. You’ll need to balance being regularly active on posting, while being careful not to come off as too spammy for your audience.
As with the posting time, the frequency of posting is also dependent on your target audience. But as a guide to get you started, try posting as much as:
- Facebook – 1x or 2x a day
- Twitter – 1x a day
- Instagram – 3x a week
- TikTok – 1x or 3x a day
- YouTube – 1 video a week
- Pinterest – 1x or 3x a day
- LinkedIn – 1x a day
Create a content calendar
Now that you have your content ideas, posting time, and frequency in place, you’ll need to create a content calendar.
A content calendar will serve as your guide for your content schedule. It should detail the content that you are planning to post, when and where you are planning to post it, as well as the person that is working on it. It should also contain important dates and events for your business.
A content calendar will help you get organized and ensure that you won’t lose track of deadlines. It’s also important to keep you consistent and help you spot gaps in your content.
Get your tools in order
The final step is to get your content marketing tools ready. This could be a scheduling tool, a content management system, keyword research tool, social media post templates, hashtag generator, SEO analytics tool, and many more.
Content marketing tools can help improve the quality of your content. They can also help you save a lot of time and money since you can automate some of the more time-consuming tasks. This is helpful if you have a small team or if you are just starting out in your marketing journey.
In today’s digital landscape, content marketing has risen as a powerful tool for businesses. In fact, 82% of marketers are actively investing in content marketing. If you want to keep up with all your competitors, you’ll need to have a solid strategy in place.
While it may be tedious to do, it’s essential that you build a well-crafted strategy. This is because not only will you attract potential customers, you also build a long and trusting relationship with them, and potentially convert them into loyal brand advocates in the future.