Developing a content marketing strategy – we’ll show you how it’s done!

Developing a content marketing strategy - we'll show you how it's done!

Businesses are increasingly acting as problem solvers and are intensively involved in the planning, creation and distribution of targeted content. This is precisely tailored to target groups, for one simple purpose: With the targeted content, companies adapt to new, changing customer needs. Potential customers expect to find expertise on their problems online. That’s why helpful content is at the forefront of any online marketing. The arbitrary creation of content is not very promising. However, if there is a well-developed strategy behind their creation, the situation is different. In this article you can read how a content marketing strategy can be efficiently developed.

That means content marketing for companies

Content marketing is part of inbound marketing and fulfills a variety of functions for companies; including self-advertising, search engine optimization or lead generation. However, the aspect of customer acquisition is central. 

Anyone who describes solutions well on their website instead of promoting and selling them has understood the most important difference between classic marketing & sales and inbound marketing & sales.
These companies are able to turn traffic into customers. 

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Targeted content marketing enables you to build reliable sources for your website traffic, thereby supporting your organic growth. On the one hand, it is important to always prepare new content in order to keep up with the development of your prospects. On the other hand, content that really hits a nerve with website visitors can bring long-term benefits. The use of evergreen content (and CTAs placed in it) achieve long-term and continuous traffic and lead generation without any further action. 

This creates the opportunity to become more and more efficient and to invest time in the digitization of marketing and sales processes. Marketing remains manageable from a time management perspective and is also future-proof. Not least because digital marketing also thrives on automation.

Work on the quality of your web presence. Integrate the directions of your marketing under one strategy. High-quality content promotes your expertise and also your level of awareness. Quality content attracts new prospects and always represents added value for your true readers. 

Step 1: Draft an overall plan first!

You have to set goals in order to achieve the right thing with the right measures. This simple truth also applies to inbound methodology and content marketing. If you want to do it right, you can only get from the final idea to the best starting detail. 

So start big and ask yourself the following questions. 

  • What are your overall long-term business goals? 
  • Where is your marketing headed? – And in this context: 
  • What specific goals do you want to achieve with content marketing? 

The answers to these questions form the basis on which you build your content marketing strategy. 

An overall plan helps you to keep track of goals, measures and ultimately successes. Without an overall plan (and the associated strategy) behind your content creation, you always have to reckon with wastage. In the beginning, therefore, first design the big picture before you devote yourself to the details.

Step 2: Determine YOUR content marketing strategy.

Concretize your base

The first step is to specify your basis (already created in the overall plan).

Your business goals are now clear, but…

  • How exactly is your company positioned?
  • Is there a real connection to your goals?
  • Do you have a vision, a mission statement?
  • What makes you special?
  • What makes you special?
  • Why can’t you achieve your goals?
  • What competencies do you have?

Only those who ask themselves the right questions can also formulate the answers as a benefit for new customers. And as soon as you have these formulated answers, only at this point, as the last thing, ask yourself this question:

How does your content marketing fit in?

Develop your persona(s)

Content marketing is all about your desired customers. With the content you create, you want to address their problems and thus win them over. In order to achieve this, you have to know the people behind them and their problems and focus on them when addressing them. Only then can you optimally adapt your content to their needs. 

In this phase of finding a strategy, it is therefore important to develop a definition of your persona that is as precise as possible: who am I addressing and in what language am I communicating? On which channels can I reach my persona? What topics does my persona rate as relevant and valuable?

A communication guide results from these questions . He answers the questions

  • formal or informal language,
  • concrete topics,
  • their implementation in different content forms and
  • the related design.

In addition, the guide gives recommendations for distribution, since you cannot reach every persona equally well with every channel, for example.

Take an inventory

Already have extensive content resources? Or is your content marketing still in its infancy? – In a content audit, analyze what content you have already created and find out which subject areas or phases of the conversion path and the customer journey have not yet been adequately covered. 

Once you have taken up all the topics in your persona, you can develop the depth and format of your content. 

Summarize blog posts that build on each other – for example in an e-book. This is how you create new formats for your prospects and customers in a short amount of time.
Or shoot a short film with colleagues on important aspects.
Or make a slideshow for social media channels.
Or start a podcast… 

Plan for the future

When creating other formats, consider which form of content is well received by your target group and could continue to be so. 

Set yourself new content goals and communicate them across the entire company, with all departments. How so?

In the future you will need uniform target tracking for marketing, sales and service.

As an outlook, every company should be aware that augmented reality AR and virtual reality VR are about to be ready for series production and will play a role in the near future. The digital community rumors that they offer the opportunity to be part of a transformation from smartphone to smart view , meaning glasses instead of screens . And with it completely new, digital tasks and possibilities. For this possible future – as well as any alternative development – the entire company is in demand. 

Draw up a time and budget plan

In any case, a one-year plan makes sense, because content marketing takes time. However, if you prefer short-term planning, choose at least a 6-month period. 

For this time you determine the frequency and the specific days and times of your article publication. Since this can also depend significantly on resources and budget, you should include this in your planning.

Plan the technical implementation

The truth about digital marketing is technology is a must . 

You can probably guess why: An article not only has to be written, but also illustrated and placed online and managed. Once you receive comments about it, you should be able to respond to them. The basic requirement for this is a company blog. Would a total solution be even better? So you deal with how to create and manage content. And how they could integrate it into existing marketing? And whether you should plan a budget for new IT experts if necessary…

Content marketing does not only consist of blog articles, but much more, as has certainly been felt so far. A content management system is therefore recommended for the holistic implementation of a digital strategy. Wordpress is enough for many. As a digital agency, we clearly recommend an integrated, modular solution like HubSpot.

Assign competencies

The decision for content marketing must be made by your entire company, especially by the management. Represent an open strategy, with a lot of feedback culture.
You should also assign specific competencies to employees. Ask colleagues about topics and contributions and plead for a holistic pursuit of the marketing strategy. 

The inbound concept integrates all contacts with the customer, from lead generation to service. The marketing department and sales are particularly responsible for this. When creating content, you should rely on trained employees who can optimally transport the requirements of your strategy into useful content.

Plan content creation

After the previous steps, you now know for which persona you are creating your content, which resources are available and who will specifically take care of implementing the strategy. 

Now it’s time to create your content. From this point on, it is advisable to subordinate a content strategy to the content marketing strategy . That means you rank your emerging content in terms of SEO and design. A topic plan, sources, and the type of content are central elements of the planning.

Conclusion

Indisputable: Every company should develop a strategy to optimally use  the potential of content marketing .

Going beyond strategy, however, execution means paying attention to your persona’s opinions and needs about content. The purpose is to generate qualified leads with qualified content. But more is needed for this. 

In order to be successful, you need – in addition to content – the right strategic tools: 

  • a good site, 
  • the company blog, 
  • an SEO optimization, 
  • social media presence, 
  • the conversion path,
  • the sustainable customer journey 
  • … 

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