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Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Strategy

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You’ve heard it once, twice, thrice, maybe even more than that, but Content is king, right?  Content has a way of feeling intimidating, trust me, I KNOW. As a millennial, the concept of content has been engraved as a 3rd language since college, my early days as a Junior Publicist, and now as the manager of ST8MNT’s social media. But I am here to tell you it is doable, and important for your audience.  Essentially what you want when someone comes to your page is “YUP! This is what I’ve been spending my whole life searching for” – okay maybe that is a little extra, but you get the gist.

Illustration by Ryon Nishimori, Art Director

 

You may bet thinking “WHAT THE HECK EVEN IS A CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY?” Well, this is the part of the blog that I’ll define that for you:

A content marketing strategy is a documented plan of any tangible media you create and own, and how you choose to use your content. This includes everything from visuals, written copy, video, ideas, and many more in order to attract your ideal audience and convert them to customers/clients.  So, I’m here to help you to create your plan:

Define Your Commitment

Very important. Obviously, it’s the first thing I’d like to discuss.  When you think of content marketing strategy, think long-term.  This is going to take time. We live in a world where we want everything now.  Effective content strategy does not work that way.  Sorry guys! Now, with that being said when defining your commitment think discipline and setting yourself up for success.  This step is going to help you stay proactive and on top of your strategy.

Use this time to set and define goals: Do you want to do a newsletter once a month, post a blog biweekly, post on social media every other day, or respond to comments every day. Just to name a few.  Define your goals based on the level of commitment you can give as well as delegating across your team.  With delegation comes another important step: meetings.  Schedule time with your team for everything from brainstorming, executing new ideas, and schedule weekly check in’s so you are meeting those deadlines for your clients.

Know Your Audience

I mean DUH, right? We’ve heard it over and over again. And let me guess, you’re tired of hearing it? Yeah but ya need to hear it ‘cause it’s key. Like I said, engraved in our minds. But this is the basis of it all.  Gotta go back to the basics.  Listen, at the end of the day you can’t sell your products and services if you don’t know WHO you are selling to.  Hard truth right there.  I know, you don’t want to hear it but I’m here to tell you what you don’t want to hear. At least that’s what my friends tell me.  Here are a few ways you are able to research your target audience: find them on competitor’s channels and observe their behavior, Google Insights, Google analytics, social media analytics, Facebook Insights, and engage with your audience on social media.

Analyze Your data

If you are like me, data sounds like a bunch of numbers and spreadsheets and honestly so tedious.  However, it doesn’t have to be, and truly that’s just me being dramatic.  It’s not that bad. Compile your notes in one place so you can see what your audience wants. Connection and engagement are things you should be striving for (if you aren’t already) with your audience, and this is a way to recognize trends and how your audience feels and thinks.

Guess what, everything you used to find your target audience can also be used to collect data! If you want more in-depth research on your data, do a competitor analysis and collect data on their topics, engagement, and communication, and use this data to your advantage.  Review your website, and do a detailed SEO analysis by looking through your website and blogs to see what content is sticking out to your target audience. Stay up to date with trends, and do a keyword analysis on trending keywords, so you can incorporate that to your strategy.

Stand Out

Find out what makes you unique. Use an authentic brand voice that’s all your own. I can bet that your competitors have similar products as you. Content will help you with setting you apart from your competitors.

Illustration by Ryon Nishimori, Art Director

Find the Best Content for Each Channel

Let’s take it back to your audience.  Something I learned early on is that every platform is different.  Each platform will help you deliver different content and information to every kind of audience in order to get diversity.  There are so many different social platforms.  Here is where you go back to how you found your target audience and see what platforms they’ve connected the most with you.  From the analytics that helped you research your target audience, you will be able to choose the best platforms you wish to utilize. This will help you create the best content for that specific channel.

With great content comes engagement, and hopefully when laying out your goals, engagement was part of that. Currently, in 2020 you see a lot of people becoming more engaged and seeking purpose through social media.  Here are some content trends you’ll see grow in 2020: podcasts, online courses, webinars, live streaming, and interactive content.

Define the Content Media You Want

Now, how exactly do you want to showcase your information?  Is that through video, infographics, blog posts, or illustrations? The list can go on and on so that is why you want to pinpoint how you want to share and keep it consistent.  Brand cohesion and consistency is key.

Create a Content Calendar + Publication

This task can be tedious, however, just like all the rest are still important. Here is where you want to place all the information of your content.  Who is creating what, what’s the copy, where it will be published, and when it will be going live.  Whether you are using a platform for this or a shared document, this allows for strategic planning, as well as all content to be in one place and available to all team members.

IMPORTANT STEP: Create, create, oh yea and remember, create

I always thought you needed to be creative in order to create and that is not true.  Here at ST8MNT, I am surrounded by amazing artists and when it came to be creative little ol’ me was intimated by that.  I’ll be honest I don’t think I am creative in the “normal sense” that everyone thinks of, I mean I’m no artist.  However, as I continued to create and collaborate with art directors on social posts it has allowed me to become creative even when the ideas were not so great.  If you keep creating, you will get the content you want, and you will only get better.  Get down, get dirty, and get messy.  I mean, practice makes perfect right?

Illustration by Ryon Nishimori, Art Director

 

 

 

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