A Step-By-Step Guide To Developing A Content Marketing Strategy

April 3, 2023
Up Inc.

How To Build A Content Marketing Strategy

Content is King. But what's a king without a strategy behind the crown?

At A Glance

  • 44% of marketers currently use buyer personas to better under their buyer's journey
  • 29% of marketers are projected to start using personas in the next 12 months
  • Storytelling can boost conversion rates by 30%
  • 64% of marketers whose organization has seen success with their content marketing have a documented content strategy
  • 80% of marketers said that content marketing helped them successfully create brand awareness, 75% said they were able to build credibility and trust, and 70% said their content marketing efforts effectively helped their brand educate their audiences
  • 24% of marketers were able to acquire more leads, 56% were able to improve the quality of their leads, and 36% managed to reduce their sale cycles with the use of personas
  • 73% of marketers say videos have become more important to their business's content strategy in the last year
  • The average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords
  • 90.63% of all pages get zero traffic from Google
  • How-to articles are the most popular formats (77%), followed by news and trends (49%), and guides and ebooks (47%)
  • On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads every month

Google analytics content marketing institute

See Related: 8 Key Benefits Of Customer Journey Mapping

What Is A Content Marketing Strategy?

A content marketing strategy refers to creating content and distributing it to grow your audience. There are many different content formats to choose from including blog posts, email marketing, videos, newsletters, social media posts, podcasts, ebooks, and more.

But what does every SEO-tested content marketing strategy have in common? These 5 powerful elements:

Buyer Personas

As with any marketing strategy, you want to know who your target audience is. After all, your content strategy will depend greatly on who you actually want to reach.

Buyer personas can not only help you communicate your audience to stakeholders. But they can deeply impact the way you approach the buyer's journey, starting with content marketing and ending with a purchase.

44% of marketers currently use personas to better under their buyer's journey while an additional 29% of marketers are projected to start using them in the next 12 months.

Content marketing institute google analytics

You can craft these personas out of your existing customers, by researching industry trends, and keeping tabs on who your competitors are targeting.

Brand Positions And Storytelling

Throughout your content marketing strategy, you'll have the opportunity to push your brand story and positioning. This includes your company's history, mission, purpose, and values.

As you might imagine, defining these before content creation will not only help you reach your target audience more effectively. But it will also help you create content that your target audience wants to see.

According to Search Engine Watch, storytelling can boost conversion rates by 30%.

Plus, you get to showcase your brand's personality through your content marketing efforts while empowering website visitors to become the hero of your story.

Content Marketing Mission

Content marketing success comes from knowing your brand's content marketing mission. That is, asking yourself questions like:

  • Who are you creating your content for?
  • What information or answers will you provide through your content?
  • How will your content ultimately help your target audience to achieve their own goals?

Establishing this mission outright will help to give your content marketing strategy a sense of direction. And you'll have also established some measurable KPIs too!

Mission statement

Documented Strategy

Creating an in-depth content marketing strategy is no joke. But what's even less of a laughing matter is making sure you develop a documented strategy.

There's nothing worse than putting a content marketing plan into effect, only to realize that you haven't tracked any of your strides or gains. A documented strategy allows you to identify gaps in your sales funnel and keep your content interesting.

64% of marketers whose organization has seen success with their content marketing have a documented content marketing strategy for them to pull from.

Whether it's tracking what visual content does best, which target keywords are seeing the most gains, or more, documenting these strategies is essential for creating a sustainable model that can adapt to change.

percentage with and without strategy

Action Plan

Lastly, you'll want to develop a content marketing schedule. Using a formal content plan can help you visualize the content marketing strategy as a whole.

And it will also help you determine which content format you want to pursue. Plus, with everything in one place, you can make in-depth documentation to see how different content formats are performing.

10 Steps To Create Content Marketing Strategies That Work

Priority goals content

#1. Establish Your Business Goals

Before you begin your content marketing strategy, you need to have some measurable goals. This means you have to ask yourself questions like this:

What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? How will you measure the success of your content marketing strategy?

A recent survey of B2B marketers revealed just how much their content marketing strategy benefitted from establishing their business goals beforehand:

80% said that content marketing helped them successfully create brand awareness while 75% said they were able to build credibility and trust. Furthermore, 70% said their content marketing efforts effectively helped their brand educate their audiences.

A content marketing plan is only as good as the business goals behind it. Once you figure out how you want to measure your content format and how it performs, then you can develop a content marketing strategy with ease.

#2. Define Your Target Audience

Establishing your target market will only take you so far. You also have to establish your target audience!

Doing so will help you develop a content marketing strategy that speaks to each type of buyer you're catering to. In fact, companies that were able to benefit from developing their target audience personas saw these stats:

24% were able to acquire more leads, 56% were able to improve the quality of their leads, and 36% managed to reduce their sale cycles.

Benefits from personas

By matching content marketing strategy with target audience interests, your business can reap similar benefits too.

#3. Perform Competitive Research

After defining your target audience, you'll want to research the competition. This means looking at traditional competitors like brands that offer similar products as well as other sources that may be targeting similar blog topics as you.

As you go through these competitors, make sure to look at their content strategy too. What blog post of theirs is performing best and why?

What social media platforms do they use? Which content strategy of theirs seems to produce the highest ROI? All of these questions and more will give you a better pulse on how to craft your own content marketing strategy in turn.

For example, 73% of marketers say videos have become more important to their business's content strategy in the last year.

So if your business is only interested in producing one blog post a month, you might want to rethink your content strategy in relation to the competition. Keeping a tab on industry trends too will help to inform your content strategy overall.

Marketing trend with highest roi

#4. Refresh Topic And Keyword Research

While researching the competition, you'll also want to refresh your own topic and keyword research. Performing keyword research will give you a better idea of how best to target your content strategy and which types of topics to cover.

Besides, when you focus your content strategy around keyword research, you manage to reap a multitude of benefits.

According to AHREFs, the average top-ranking page also ranks in the top 10 search results for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords.

Through keyword research, you'll also be able to find keywords related to your products that may not have thought of before. While the process requires that you go deep, it will make your content marketing strategy all the more solid and secure.

#5. Review Your Existing Content

Odds are, you already have content on your website that can easily be optimized to match your current content marketing strategy. At the same time, you might have some content you'll want to prune so it doesn't hold your current content strategy back.

Learning what type of content resonates with existing clients is also a surefire to make sure your strategies are headed in the right direction. Plus, this kind of research may give you new ideas for future content!

Besides, 90.63% of all pages get zero traffic from Google.

So if you want to be in that coveted 9.37%, you'll want to make sure your content has plenty of value to offer.

No organic traffic from google

Bonus: The Importance Of Consumer Profiling When Growing Your Business

#6. Decide Which Channel Is Best For Distributing Content

As we said before, you have to determine who your target audience is and where they are hanging out. For example, you might find that your customer base is extremely responsive to email marketing.

Or maybe, you're looking to target Gen Z types who are all hanging out on TikTok. Either way, find where your ideal clientele is spending their time and post your content there.

Furthermore, look at which types of content people respond to most in those respective digital spheres.

For example, how-to articles are the most popular content formats (77%), followed by news and trends (49%), and guides and ebooks (47%).

Not only will this information help you when it comes to organic search traffic. But it will also help you cultivate a deeper relationship with your customer base.

Gen z channel preference

#7. Create A Content Calendar

You want to develop a content marketing plan that works like a well-oiled machine. And a great way to do exactly that is to create a schedule and calendar for all content that gets published.

Tracking your content this way will similarly help you track which content is doing well and which isn't. You might find that there are certain times of the day or certain days of the week that always see little engagement.

Or, you may find any number of informational nuggets that will help you adjust your schedule going forward. Either way, making sure that your content stays on track is key to perfecting a solid content marketing schedule.

#8. Create And Publish Your Content

Publishing your content isn't the ultimate finish line. In fact, it's right in the middle of the race!

Once you publish anything, you'll want to promote it through other media channels. This way, you can drive more organic search traffic towards your content while taking note of which channels help to promote your content overall.

But that's not to say you don't have some immediate results to look forward to.

On average, companies with blogs produce 67% more leads every month.

This is just one of the many benefits you'll reap from regularly posting content that speaks to your clientele. And the more you post, the better you'll be able to distinguish which pieces of content perform the best.

#9. Monitor And Refine Your Content Marketing Strategy

Everything in marketing needs to be adaptable. And your content marketing campaign is no different.

As you monitor and refine your strategies, make sure to take note of which content performs best and why. These trends may change over time, and that's why it's important to have a documented strategy.

As industry standards and consumer habits evolve, so too will your content marketing campaign.

Results after updating content

#10. Hire An SEO Company To Execute Your Content Marketing Strategy

As a business owner, it's likely that you agree that the benefits of content marketing are plenty. But what business owner has the time to do all of this while running their business too?

That's where we come in.

What You Get With Up Inc.

At Up Inc., we're dedicated to growing your brand's visibility through tested digital strategies. Our effective, four-step process ensures that you can effectively grow without relying on ad spend.

up inc logo

Our Unique Content Marketing Strategy

We begin with our Search & Discover Roadmap. By identifying your customer avatar, we'll be able to help you target the most profitable search terms that speak to your customer base.

Next, we focus on on-page optimization to make your product visibility explode. With a scientific approach to our on-page tuning, we make sure that your product pages capture Google's attention in all the best ways.

But perhaps what you'll be most interested in is our Blog Content Strategy. Our tried and true practices ensure that through regular content posting, we can increase your brand and product visibility, position you as an authority in your market, and place your brand in front of your ideal customers.

Sounds like everything you've ever wanted, right? Then, to add the cherry on top, we'll acquire links and product placements on reputable, niche-relevant websites, boosting your visibility even further while increasing your organic customer traffic.

Why Invest In Content Marketing Efforts?

The benefits of content marketing are many. But let's take a moment to distill them down to their core points.

Why you need documented strategies

Greater Visibility

Creating and posting content consistently attracts more customers. When you provide educational and useful content that addresses each user's pain points, you're more likely to convert them into a customer while expanding your reach.

Increased Lead Generation

When you drive traffic, you end up driving leads as well. Having original content that you promote will drastically increase traffic, giving you greater potential for lead generation as a whole.

Greater Authority

As you develop more and more valuable content over time, more people in your niche will see you as an authority figure on the subject. And Google will too!

More Customer Engagement

Repeat customers obviously love to showcase their loyalty. And if you want to make sure they stick around, make sure to engage with them in the comments or thank them for responding to what content you share.

Final Thoughts

Content marketing will continue to evolve over time. But with the right strategies and techniques, you can make sure your Content remains King. 

Keep Reading: 13 Ways To Increase Organic Traffic To Your Website

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Up Inc. eCommerce Agency is a digital marketing agency based in Los Angeles, CA. Founded in 2021, Up Inc. specializes in eCommerce, generating growth for brands by focusing on visibility, customer loyalty, and digital revenue. For more SEO tips and industry insights, follow us on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

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