By now, many businesses should get that content is king—especially in digital marketing. Creating engaging content is a sure-fire way to drive up engagement, build a brand, reduce marketing costs, and eventually achieve better profit for your business. In fact, in 2017, 64% of marketers want to know how to build a scalable content marketing strategy; so they can piggyback on the success it can bring.
While you can hire a content marketing company in the Philippines to do the work for you, it pays to learn the ropes and learn how to create a marketing strategy on your own. Here’s your in-depth guide on how to create a content marketing strategy for 2020.
- Set your goals
- Know your audience
- Conduct a content audit
- Perform a comprehensive keyword research
- Run a competitor analysis
- Analyze your data thoroughly
- Have a big idea in mind
- Conceptualize campaigns
- Execute properly and consistently
- Run your content by a checklist
1. Set your goals
Sailing off to an unknown destination can be both challenging and exciting. When it comes to your business, it’s always essential to have a clear objective. Not only will it keep everyone on the same page, but knowing the end goal will help you eliminate unnecessary risks and spending.
Here are some steps you can take to clear out your business objectives:
- Be specific. Don't just throw out vague goals or achievements like “We want to have a successful business” or “We need to earn more.” Your goals should be specific, like “We need to grow our audience by x-amount through x-method.”
- Make it measurable. In light of the first point, your goals should be measurable. There are metrics you can count on, such as unique page visits, time on page, cost per click (CPC), and more. Or you can state a number for your goal, like “We need to grow our email list by 50% in two months.”
- Make it actionable. You can have a good content strategy, but if there’s no execution, then what’s the point? That’s why tasks should be tied to your goals if you want your content marketing ideas to be successful.
- Make it realistic. While it would be nice to shoot for the stars, it's best to set realistic, achievable goals. You will be more motivated when you see your goals finished and achieved. Of course, over time, you should push the limits for growth.
2. Know your audience
How do you find out what content or promotions will work for your business? By defining your target audience.This way, it will be easier for you to create content marketing for Gen Z, baby boomers, or any generation. It will also help you understand how to connect with them, which—in turn—can increase your conversion rate and brand authority.The tips below can help you find out who your target audience is to help you create effective marketing strategies for them:
- Do market research. The first step to knowing your audience is to find out who is already using your product or service. After all, it’s all the data you have that’s most likely freely available to you. Look at your data to get a detailed picture of who will most likely purchase your product or avail of your service.
- Build personas. Building personas can help you find out more about your audience. A persona, according to HubSpot, is a semi-fictional character representing your ideal customer. You can create a persona based on market research and real data about existing customers.
- Check out the competition. Take a peek at your competition’s fan base to help you learn a lot of things about your industry and business. While you won’t get detailed data from your competition, it can give you a general idea of who they are trying to reach.
3. Conduct a content audit
A content audit is a process of reviewing all the content you have on your website. This should be done to find ways to optimize your website and content, to meet your business objective. Below are steps on how to conduct a content audit:
- Create a detailed list of all content on your website. Input your list in a spreadsheet, including the URL.
- Retrieve the metrics. Analyze the performance data behind all your content. Find out which content works and what needs to be improved.
- Conduct a gap analysis. You’ll have to create another spreadsheet for this. It will contain all the ideas and topics your audience is interested in, based on the data created from the persona.
- Create a new content strategy. From all the data you’ve gathered, create a brand new content strategy that can fill in the gaps, improve existing content as well as produce better ones.
4. Perform a comprehensive keyword research
Keyword research is the process of discovering new keywords and phrases that people use on search engines. It aims to help improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and your content. If properly conducted, keyword research will significantly increase your website’s visibility and help grow traffic. It will present you with the current trend, in terms of what people are typing in the search field, which you can use in your marketing content. There are many ways you can do keyword research; but, first, you need to identify what topic it is you would like to jump into. It would be best if the topics are related to the business you’re in. The easiest way to generate keywords is to type topics in the search field of a search engine. The suggestions the search engine will present are exactly what you’re looking for when doing keyword research. Another method would be to do a search related to the topics you’ve chosen. The results on Google's first page will most likely be the content you want to produce. Reddit, UberSuggest, Google Keyword Planner, and SEM Rush can also help you produce the keywords you need.
5. Run a competitor analysis
As mentioned, competitor analysis is taking a peek at your rival’s strengths and weaknesses. It’s essential to do this because it will equip you with the ability to adapt quickly to the trends and strategies of your competitors for you to either catch up or stay ahead.Below are strategies that can help you identify what your rivals are doing; so that you can be more successful in content marketing than they are.
- Categorize your competitors. Who are your primary and secondary competition? Who do you need to look out for? These are just a few questions that can be answered by simply categorizing your competitors. You can look at their social media and website statistics to a certain extent to provide valuable data.
- Examine their website and user experience. Each website will be different and will help you become savvier and informed in coming up with a better website.
- Find out how well they are doing in their marketing. Sign up for their newsletter, subscribe to their blog, follow their social media pages, and go as far as purchasing a product from your rivals. This will give you a good look into the content of their marketing strategy.
- Pricing. How much does their product cost compared to yours? Look at how they price their products. It will give you a good idea of how much customers are willing to pay for their products or services.
- Check the customer reviews. Do your competitor’s products and services make their customers happy? Check out the reviews. In case your competitors aren’t on their toes when dealing with unhappy customers, it could be your signal to swoop in and convince them to try your product, instead. Or, you can use the feedback to improve your own further.
6. Analyze your data thoroughly
One of the most critical things in this content marketing strategy checklist is data analysis. After all, you are spending money to produce and promote content to people around the world. Your strategy can’t be based on hear-say or hunches. In addition, it will show you if you’ve hit or missed your goals and KPIs, which are signs of your campaign's failure or success.
7. Have a big idea in mind
There’s a saying that goes, “Go big or go home.” The same goes for your content marketing strategy. You need to be bold enough to present big ideas and execute them. You’ll never know if they will work or not unless you try them. If they do work, then good for your business. If they don't, go back to the drawing board. If you’re running dry on content ideas for your website, take inspiration from other businesses, even your competitors. Alternatively, there are plenty of content ideation tools to help generate ideas for your business.
8. Conceptualize campaigns
Your campaign can be a hit this week and be irrelevant the following week. To prevent that from happening, hold creative content ideation sessions with your team quarterly. Doing so will allow you to fill up the editorial calendar together without having to rush while leaving enough room to adjust things to adapt to the trends quickly.
9. Execute properly and consistently
You can get the results you want if you execute your plan correctly. The following tips can help you put your strategy into motion:
- Identify your resources. You need to do an inventory of the roles and responsibilities of your team. This will allow you to use available resources as efficiently as possible.
- Build your reach. No matter how good your content is, it won't deliver value unless it reaches its intended audience. Know when and when not to use paid ads to promote your content.
- Analyze the results. Go back to your data. Review these to see which part of your campaign has worked and has failed.
10. Run your content by a checklist
There’s quite a lot to remember when it comes to content marketing strategy for SEO. That’s why it’s always nice to have a checklist that you can run by every time you need to produce content. Your content marketing checklist should include the following:
- Target audience profile
- Channels of distribution
- Tasks and task delegation
- Key Performance Indicators or KPIs
- Timeline and deadlines
Your checklist, however, isn’t limited to this. You can add more items to your checklist—the more specific, the better.
Creating a content strategy is tedious work. Trust us, we understand. Here are key points to remember in formulating your marketing strategy in 2020:
- Know why you’re doing it. You have to know the objective of your marketing campaign. It needs to be backed up by data, for it to be effective.
- Content team meetings are important. Holding regular meetings is an excellent way to realign with the team for content ideas and promotions.
- Study the competition. Improve your business by looking into your competitors' known strategies. Find out their strengths and weaknesses, along with who buy their products/ services. Adopt their best practices.
- Keywords can go a long way. Find out what keywords are trending and being searched by consumers on search engines. SEO aside, you can use these keywords to create relevant content and publish.
- Go back to the data. Knowing how to crunch the data you get from your website or social media is a crucial step in creating a stronger content marketing strategy for 2020. The data you get will not lie unless they've been tampered with. Use these to find out additional information that may prove invaluable to your marketing plans.
Hopefully, this content marketing strategy guide helps you with your 2020 content marketing strategy planning. If you need some advice or a soundboard for your ideas, we’re more than willing to listen. Hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.