January 23, 2019
Today, it's important for B2B businesses to produce content. Content marketers use content as a way to reach new audiences and show consumers why they should choose their company's products over the competition.
Content development is a multi-step process that business owners may find overwhelming. We've put together a brief guide to content strategy and laid out a simple step-by-step outline so you can get started today.
Content strategy is a focused portion of your content marketing plan that zeroes in on all of the media you create—from blog posts and social media strategy to white papers and instructional videos. The underlying goal of a content strategy is to drive sales, increase your audience, or boost your authority and sometimes it's a combination of all three.
Content creation is essential to building your brand and introducing potential customers to your products and services. However, you can't just create effective content on a whim. Your content will be significantly more successful if you have a targeted plan that aims to meet your business goals and marketing goals. That's where a successful content strategy comes in.
When it comes to blogging and writing, it's important for the author to know who their audience is. The same idea applies to creating a piece of content for your business. You need to understand who your target customers are so you can create content that helps them solve problems and engages their interest. Identifying pain points for consumers in different demographics can help shape your content plan. Depending on your offerings, it's possible that you'll have multiple target audiences and you'll need to create a content strategy that addresses each buyer persona or stakeholder.
Creating successful content is exponentially easier when you know what sets your company apart from the competition. Having an established brand also makes it easier to develop your brand voice and how you interact with customers. Incorporating your company's personality into your content strategy is key to finding success in a world where everyone is producing content.
There are hundreds of content types ranging from landing pages to viral videos and technical papers. The right pieces of content for your business will rest largely on what types of products you offer and who your target audience is. Infographics are a great choice for startups and small businesses that may need to explain the uses or benefits of their offerings. Videos and gifs can add a personal dimension to your content plan while long-form informational blog posts help establish your company as an expert in the industry and increase your ranking in search engines. A podcast can help expand brand awareness and can play a huge role in digital marketing plans for businesses that need to create a familiar connection with their audience. If you're looking toget influencers to share your content, making lively articles or viral videos can be a good place to start. Once you decide what types of content you'll create, you should figure out where you will share that content. You can share directly on your website or on social media channels or in forums and at conferences depending on the type of usable content.
Most content plans involve work from numerous team members. To keep the content creation process organized, it's important to have a system in place. At The Writer Finder, we use tools such as Asana to manage content from the keyword research stage up to publication. Asana is essentially an online content calendar that allows you to assign tasks to writers, editors, and other members of your marketing team. You can easily track due dates and stay on top of any changes that may arise.
As with most things in life, establishing a successful. Good content strategy starts with outlining your goals. Your content should always have a purpose. Define that purpose from the beginning. Ask yourself what you want your content to accomplish. Do you want a larger audience? Do you want to inform? Do you want to increase your ranking through SEO (search engine optimization)? Taking a hard look at your reasons for producing content will help you develop the best strategy to meet your goals.
Earlier, we touched briefly on knowing your buyer persona—who exactly you are targeting. The buyer persona is key when creating content. If you create content that your buyer persona doesn't find engaging, you'll just end up spinning your wheels. Take time to do research on your niche. Find out who may benefit from using your products and what their personality is like. Is your audience looking for technical information? Do they appreciate humor or are they more focused on getting answers fast?
For most businesses, content creation starts with evergreen blog posts. If you've been producing content for a while, it's a good idea to run an audit when updating or creating a new content strategy. Identify which types of content performed well and any that may have fallen short. Brainstorm and see which types of new content may be a good fit for your business objectives. Make sure any new content options suit user needs and offer value to your business.
Content strategists use market research to establish which types of content will help the business the most. Case studies are a great way to build trust and establish your brand as reputable and an expert in your niche. Informational how-to guides and instructional videos can help improve the user experience and set your products ahead of the competition.
In order to stay on track publishing content, it's important to have a framework in place to manage each team member throughout the process. Use an editorial calendar like Asana to manage every content project from start to finish. This will help establish an information architecture where everyone knows what type of content is being produced and what stage of the process it's at.
Once you publish your content, you'll want to use analytics tools such as Ahrefs and Google Analytics to see how content performs. Keep an eye on conversion rates and adjust your content strategy throughout the year as needed to meet your goals.
Content strategy is a marketing tactic designed to improve the reach of your business and build your brand's expertise in your industry. Content strategy and social media strategy begin with identifying who you are and who your target audience is. Then you need to produce relevant content that readers will find informative and engaging. Your content needs to be tailored to your audience to be successful.
Publish your content on relevant sites—using Wordpress for your internal business owned blogs or on social media—and perform web analytics to track how well it performs. Use a content calendar to help manage your content teams and keep track of all of your great content in one place. Implement a high-quality content strategy into your content marketing efforts and you're sure to see a return on your investment.