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How To Create A Content Strategy

Digital content strategies have become highly popular in recent years, with 82% of marketers using them to get their results.

The three main tactics that make content marketing strategies more successful are

1) improving the quality of content,

2) search engine optimisation (SEO), and

3) creating more visual and video content.

These three factors will form the basis of your content strategy, when it comes to creating it. Put simply, you’ll be creating content and ensuring it’s of a high quality whilst carrying out other on-page SEO improvements.

If your company has existed for a few years, it’s likely that it already has an arsenal of content to work from. Even if this content wasn’t produced under a “content strategy,” marketing largely involves content of some form. For instance, content is essential to attract traffic and leads; any social media account needs content to draw in followers, PR requires written content to even exist, and pay-per-click advertising (PPC) needs compelling content if it’s to attract clicks.

Turning your pre-existing marketing efforts into a focused strategy will reap huge rewards. Many businesses will carry out a content audit in order to inform their plan – which involves identifying valuable content, imagining how it can be repurposed, and analysing how well it has performed.

A content marketing strategy is ultimately there to improve your site pages’ ranking positions in search engine results pages (SERPs), which, in turn, can have the following benefits:

  • Generates more brand awareness
  • Greater consumer-brand affinity
  • Improved brand reputation
  • Defined brand personality
  • More conversions and sales
  • More effective sales funnels
  • Improved organic search
  • Better quality leads
  • Reach a broader audience

Though the rewards are bountiful, all these benefits come at a cost. Content marketing strategies can be expensive, time-consuming, and require the help of experts.

To create and sustain a content strategy, you’re going to need to know a few things. To explain how to create a content strategy, we’ve answered some FAQs about the subject:

What is included in a content strategy?

A lot of online material is produced by businesses in their content strategy efforts. This type of content isn’t intended to explicitly promote a company but rather generate interest and leads. Digital content, in this way, is also used by brands to develop reputations as experts within their niches.

The content might take any of the following forms:

  • Articles and blog posts
  • Email marketing
  • “How to” guides
  • “Top 10” guides
  • Social media content
  • Video content such as “how to” demos or interviews
  • Infographics
  • Templates and tools

Part of producing strategic content is adapting it to your business goals. Identifying these will be your first job when laying out a plan. Common goals for content strategies include the same benefits as listed above. We’ve reiterated them here:

  • Greater brand awareness
  • Greater consumer-brand affinity
  • Improved brand reputation
  • Defined brand personality
  • More conversions and sales
  • More effective sales funnels
  • Improved organic search
  • Better quality leads
  • Reach a broader audience

Once defined, your content should be created in alliance with these aims. For instance, if you want to attract better quality leads, you’d hone in your keyword research so that it is most relevant to your target demographic. Or, if Instagram is very popular with your target audience, you’d publish content on that platform.

The content you publish will need to have relevant keywords – discovered by conducting keyword research. This is the process of finding the words and phrases your target demographic is searching for on Google. Once identified, these words and phrases will be strategically placed in your content by your writer. Remember: you won’t need to target every keyword.

Each page on your site should focus on one primary keyword at a time, supported by secondary keywords.

Top tip: By using a tool such as Ahrefs, you’ll be able to see two important keyword metrics: Difficulty and Volume. When you’re just starting out, it’s best to target low-difficulty keywords with as high search volume as possible.

Staying on top of search query trends will allow your content to remain relevant. You can identify these trends with a tool such as Google Trends. This would form part of your keyword research.

Once your content has been created, you’ll need to have processes in place that ensure the content is free of errors and optimised with keywords. Using tools such as Grammarly and Wordmetrics can be used to double-check these issues.

You’ll then publish this content according to a plan or schedule – most likely laid out by your content marketing manager. Your schedule will be dictated by your budget, so you’ll need to work out how often you can afford to create and publish content. Experts say that two to four blog posts per week will give the best results.

Once your strategy is up and running, you’ll need to monitor its performance using a variety of analytics tools. These could be:

Another post-launch task will be the issue of updating your content as time goes on or after an algorithm change. We recommend updating your content every three to six months. This is an important process as Google can change the goalposts at any time, so even if a page is ranking well one day, it might not be the next. Running your content through your optimisation tools again will be necessary to complete this step.

How do I create a content strategy for my website?

Content strategies for websites will follow the steps laid out above. However, they’ll focus more on blogs and less on social media or video content.

You can make your blogs SEO-optimised in a variety of ways. You might opt for an internal linking structure called a SILO or endeavour to produce as many “top 10 guides” in your niche as is physically possible.

E-commerce website content strategies might strive to explain their products or services to readers – particularly if it’s a new or rare phenomenon. Blogs will have a call to action (CTA) at the bottom, which makes up a step in a marketing or sales funnel. In this way, blogs are used to attract and nurture new leads.

In website content strategies, content acts as a “hook,” CTAs and mailing list sign-ups form a “line,” and email marketing content acts as the “sinker.” This pattern is essential if e-commerce sites are to attract leads and boost sales with their content strategies.

Who do I need to hire for my content strategy?

Hiring the dream team is essential if your content strategy is to be successful. If you already have other business and marketing-related tasks, you won’t be able to pull off an entire content strategy without help.

You’ll definitely need the following roles on board:

  • Writers and content creators
  • Content marketing manager or social media marketing manager

Writers and content creators know their craft. If they’ve worked for other clients on their content strategies, then they’ll be familiar with what’s expected, and they’ll understand that blog writing is made successful through prudent SEO decisions – not pure creativity. The mass of content you’ll need to craft a successful content strategy will be difficult to create by yourself, so this one’s non-negotiable.

A content marketing manager will be able to oversee your entire content strategy. They’ll keep an eye on the analytics and data and make suggestions for improvements. They’ll also run the day-to-day editing, publishing, and managing of your content creators.

You may also want to hire:

  • An SEO strategist
  • An editor

Although you’ll have done your research into content marketing, having an SEO strategist on board – even if it’s just for an hour a week – can be extremely valuable. They’ll be able to tell you the latest industry tips and trends, plus they’ll have access to helpful online tools.

An SEO strategist is likely to double up – offering help with both on and off-page SEO. Make sure you’re asking the right questions when hiring an SEO consultant.

Though you can hire an editor to proofread the writers’ work, a content marketing manager will usually do this before any work goes live, so it’s not essential that you have an editor on board.

People are not the only investment you’ll make in the creation of a content strategy. You might also pay for some helpful tools such as:

Even if you’re on a budget, there are still tools that can help you manage your content strategy. Here’s a list of tools you can access for free:

(Some will have free and paid versions)

How do I start content creation?

Before you begin creating content, you’ll need to draw up a plan. Conducting keyword research will ensure your content is optimised and can give you insights into the difficulty of these keywords.

For beginner strategies, we’d recommend identifying keywords with high search volume but low difficulty. High-difficulty keywords will just be too challenging – especially if the rest of your site isn’t yet SEO-optimised.

To begin creating content, you’ll need to hire some creators. You’ll need content writers to create blogs and people with social media experience to create social media content.

Writers are generally hired for this type of work on a freelance basis, and you can find them via sites such as Upwork or directly on LinkedIn.

You’ll also need an editor to proofread this work, although if you’ve hired a marketing manager, they can perform this task instead.

To keep your content optimised, writers can use tools such as Wordmetrics to ensure keywords are included in their work.

It’s difficult to say how many blog posts your website should publish each week, as sites will vary, and it largely depends on your budget. If you’re already attracting prospects to your site via other means, posting one article each week will likely suffice. Alternatively, if you aim to attract all your prospects via your blog, you’ll want this number to be nearer four per week.

Many businesses will launch their blogs with several readymade blog posts so that they don’t seem sparse. This will mean creating content for a few weeks before launching your site. If you’re thinking about budget, a 2000-word blog can take writers between 6 and 10 hours to

complete, depending on how much research is needed. You can expect to pay between $20 and $50 per hour for writers or between $0.05 and $0.10 per word.

How do you create a great content strategy?

Following the steps above will absolutely give you a well-performing content strategy. But how can you elevate it to the next level and ensure your business reaches its goals?

There are several differences between a good content strategy and a great one. Here’s what you need to know:

The best SEO-optimised blogs will be of really high quality, bringing true expertise and advice to readers. Regurgitating pre-existing content will only get you so far; if your company is a genuine expert on its niche, then your content will embody Google’s E.A.T pillars. Expertise, Authority, and Trust will elevate your blogs to the next level as these qualities help and bring value to the lives of readers.

Content of this kind is called “Thought Leadership” and is the highest form of quality online content. You can improve your content even further by following trends and putting out relevant content at relevant times.

Using Google Trends to identify valuable keywords and topics can “superpower” your content strategy by providing more accurate insights into Google Search user behaviour. Responding to these insights by producing relevant content as trends appear can reap even larger rewards than publishing quality content at random times.

Seasonal trends can reveal even more about your audience, and you could prepare content for these times so that you are as relevant as possible.

Hiring an expert to write freely about your niche is likely to result in high-quality content. However, it’s much shrewder to actively improve on current page 1 results. When you want to rank for a specific keyword, you must look at what’s currently on page 1 for that search query.

Check how long their article is and what kind of questions it answers. The only way to get onto page 1 of Google is to do everything these results are doing and more.

Having clearly defined targets and goals will be the biggest determining factor in your content’s style and format. So, these must be thought of carefully. Work out who you’re targeting and focus on these individuals rather than going broad.

If your goals are clearly defined, you’ll have precise KPIs to measure when it comes to monitoring the performance of your strategy. The better defined these targets and goals, the more relevant your content will be.

Our next expert tip is to task different kinds of writers with different tasks:

  • Thought Leadership content should be written by those who are experts in a particular field.
  • Awareness Generating content should be written by those who specialise in content that persuades readers to learn more and engage with brands.
  • Sales content should be written by those with experience in sales.

This sounds obvious, but tasking one writer with all these different tasks isn’t the best way to approach content creation. Though many writers are extremely versatile, a surprising number of websites do it this way and struggle to improve their brand’s reputation. To have content that succeeds in its aims, it must be written by professionals with relevant experience.

If your content strategy is to be successful, you’ll need to have some other things in place. For instance, slow site loading speed can massively hinder SEO success, as can faulty web design and unoptimised URLs. If SEO factors are lacking, your content strategy won’t reach its full potential – so make sure these issues are resolved before expecting big results.

How do you create a social media content strategy?

Social media content strategies will have several differences that set them apart from regular content strategies, with a few similarities.

Similarly to regular content plans, social media content strategies will be dictated by the business’s goals. For instance, if you want your social media platforms to help generate sales, your posts will need to direct leads along a sales funnel, such as to a landing page.

Other similarities include the need for a content calendar and data analysis tools to monitor performance.

The most obvious difference between these two strategies is the type of content produced. Due to this, you’ll be better off with a specialist writer with experience in social media content, as well as a social media marketing manager.

Social media content strategies differ from regular ones in that social media is extremely time sensitive. The time of day that you post could mean the difference between thousands of people seeing your posts. Work out when’s best to post so that you can reach maximum engagement.

If you’ve already got accounts on social media platforms, you could analyse the data you have on previous posts. Check if some have performed particularly well. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, look at your data to see which posts resulted in the highest number of new followers.

Use the following features to access data on your social media performance: LinkedIn Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Twitter Analytics.

Though Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok also have audience insight features, the three mentioned above are the most insightful.

Above all, you’ve got to choose the right social media platform/s for your business. Here’s how we view them:

  • Twitter is perfect for companies dealing with lots of service and support queries
  • Facebook is an all-rounder for both B2C and B2B companies
  • LinkedIn is predominantly for B2B as well as publishing Thought Leadership content
  • YouTube is another all-rounder, although the demands of the platform (posting regular and consistent video content) can be too much for some businesses
  • TikTok is best for B2C brands with an emphasis on lifestyle themes
  • Instagram will be perfect for companies that can take engaging photos and reels and is predominantly used as a B2C channel

The social media content you publish will vary in format – you can choose from:

  • images
  • infographics
  • influencer collaborations
  • user-generated
  • live streams
  • reels
  • videos
  • contests
  • giveaways

Evidence shows that social media campaigns are more successful when the content they produce is varied. If you can, use all the above formats in your content plan for the best results.

Whether you vary your content or not, having a consistent brand voice is vital to retaining social media followers.

Get started today!

Content marketing has both benefits and drawbacks, but the rewards are undeniable.

In 2021, 78% of those who believed their content marketing efforts were successful had a documented strategy. Plus, of the businesses that dedicated 10 to 70% of their marketing budget towards a content strategy, 73% had “very successful” results.

Evidently, narrowing down your content output into a clear-cut strategy can bring bigger and better results. SEO and content marketing might take a while to start working, but the rewards are ultimately highly valuable and well sought-after.

Before you can reap the fruits of your labour, you must learn how to create, action, and maintain a successful content strategy. If you need some help, our services, purpleseo and purplewave, have been specially designed to help your business with its particular goals – whether you want your content to improve your online presence or reach a larger audience.

Follow the link below to learn more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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