10 Secrets When Designing Content as Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy That No One Will Tell You10 min read

Do you know that 63% of businesses do not have a documented plan when designing content as part of a content marketing strategy? This is according to research from Content Marketing Institute(CMI) and MarketingProfs.

Content Marketing Strategy

You don`t want to be a company that does not have a strategy and risks all your marketing efforts going to waste, do you?

This article will walk you through 10 important tips to design and create content that converts with minimum effort.

1. Set Your Mission Statement and Clearly Define Goals

It all starts with setting up a clear-cut and well-defined mission statement. A good statement contains below pointers:

Your Target Audience

The Kind of Content You Will Use To Reach Them

The Value/ Benefit They Will Get out of it

Example:

Cradles to Crayons:

Provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive – at home, at school, and at play.

It defines the audience (children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations) with content (essential items) and what the content covers (at home, at school, and at play).

Below is the formula to create a mission for your own business:

We Provide {target audience} with {type of content} to help them {goals of the business}

  • Below are some of the points to set up goals for the content:
  • Improve conversions and getting more high-quality leads, which will help you meet your revenue goals.
  • Getting more traffic to your site, as traffic is crucial for meeting your other goals.
  • Improving the perception of your business, so you gain influence and authority and are seen as a thought leader.
  • SEO success, which leads to more traffic.
  • Reduced marketing costs, as your content becomes more effective.
  • Social media engagement, which can help with both traffic and authority.

Once you define our mission for content creation and set up goals, time to move to the next step.

2. Define Your Audience Persona

For a successful content marketing strategy, you’ll need to be clear about who your audience is so you can create the right content to reach them. There are three actions you need to take.

Collect Demographic Data

The first step is to collect demographics on your visitors, email subscribers, and social media followers.

Web analytics, social media analytics, and email subscriber analytics will give you the data you need on your audience’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Income

You’ll also get insight into their key interests. To find this information in Google Analytics, go to Audience » Interests » Overview. You’ll see the market segments your web visitors fit into.

when designing content

Social media sites offer similar data. For example, you can get demographic information on your Facebook fans via Facebook Page Insights:

when designing content as part of content marketing strategy

Get Customer Feedback

To learn even more about your audience, try collecting feedback from your current customers. That’ll give you insights into:

  • How they feel about the content you’re currently producing
  • What their most urgent needs are
  • How you can address their problems with your content

Getting the right customer feedback can help you:

  • Understand your readers’ and subscribers’ priorities
  • Decide on the best places to reach your customers (see step 9)
  • Flesh out your buyer personas, which we’ll talk about next

To easily collect customer feedback, you can create a survey with WPForms.

collect customer feedback

Create Buyer Personas

When you have demographic data and customer feedback, you can create or flesh out buyer personas. Buyer personas, also known as customer avatars, describe your ideal readers and customers so that you can target content better.

The best customer avatars include information on your customers’ pain points, challenges, sources of information, and behavioral motivators.

When you know all this, you’ll have a better understanding of:

  • The kind of content your audience will respond to
  • How it will help them
  • What will make them care about it

Below is a template to create a customer avatar:

customer avatar for content marketing

3. Establish Measurable KPIs

The best way to achieve goals is to measure them through SMART KPIs.

SMART means Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound.

These KPIs will help you know when you have achieved your goals by providing milestones you can check off.

These KPIs should have numbers attached to them. Below are some of the examples:

  • Monthly/ Yearly Revenue Target
  • No. of subscribers
  • Traffic and engagement on a website
  • Organic Ranking and Keyword Ranking
  • Social Media Engagement as in likes, comments and shares
  • ROAS, Click through Rate and Conversion for a particular campaign

4. Assess Where You Stand Currently

If you already have content:

The next step is to figure out whether current content is helping you to meet your goals.

To do that, you’ll need to carry out a content audit. It includes tracking important metrics such as:

  • Engagement on the content pieces on all channels
  • Conversions
  • SERP Ranking
  • Pages with Errors

Let’s look at one example of how this would work for your content marketing strategy.

How to Log Your Content

If you want to log all your site or blog content, Screaming Frog is an excellent starting point. It’s a URL crawler that will:

List URLs

Analyze page titles and descriptions

Find duplicate pages

Create sitemaps.

If you are just starting out:

Skip to Point 5 and define your channels for content marketing.

5. List Best Content Channels

The most common strategy followed by marketers is to distribute content through all the possible channels and wonder as to why there are no results.

To stand out from the cluttered market, you need to figure out the best possible marketing channel depending upon where the users hang out.

Audience persona prepared previously helps a lot in finding out the best possible channels for content marketing and distribution.

But to be absolutely sure, you’ll need to take another look at web analytics. When you’re in Google Analytics, go to Acquisition » Social » Overview to see the main social networks where your content is being shared.

For example, in our screenshot, most of the social activity takes place on YouTube.

best channel for content marketing

6. Chart out Content Types You will be using

Next, find out what kind of content is to be created. The most common forms of content are below:

  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • Images
  • Podcast
  • Ebook
  • Whitepaper
  • Survey Report

Most successful content strategies rely on having a central content published on website and then broken and shared in bits and pieces to other channels.

One of the best tools to inspiration for content generation is Buzzsumo. It shows the most trending blogs on particular topic and their engagement.

7. Identify, List and Allocate Resources

Now that you know what type of content you’re planning to create, who it’s for, and where you’re planning to share it, it’s important to check that all the required resources are available to deliver the same. That involves answering questions like:

Who’s in charge of producing and maintaining content?

This is about assigning tasks and responsibilities. It depends on the size of the company and whether content creation is in-house or outsourced.

An example would be a marketing executive to create content and CM to give final approval for a piece of content.

What human, physical, or digital tools and resources do you need to create the content?

Next, figure out how you’re actually going to create the content. Your content producers might include:

  • In-house content creators
  • Specialists in video creation, podcasting, or graphic design
  • Freelancers

You can also find great freelance content producers through networks like Contently, NDash, ClearVoice and similar.

You’ll also need equipment for podcasting and creating professional videos, and you’ll need to arrange for hosting on sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Spreaker, and Blubrry.

What will your publishing workflow look like, including content scheduling?

Content Workflow

Next, work out what your content production process is going to be. For example, for a typical blog post, you might have to:

  • Create an outline and have it approved
  • Write the post
  • Create accompanying images
  • Send the post to the editor
  • Make any changes
  • Upload
  • Publish

Creating content calendar comes in handy when publishing the content. Tools like Later, Buffer, Hootsuite and Sproutsocial help in automating the content publishing process.

8. Prepare and Create Content

As you’ve seen, there’s a lot of prep work in your content marketing strategy before you actually create a piece of content.

Research Your Content

The easiest way to find content ideas is to do a google search on the relevant topic and check out top articles. You can also improvise the current article. It is called the skyscraper technique.

Original research also does well, so consider this as an option if you’re collecting the right kind of data.

Keyword research is also mandatory to find out relevant and top-ranking keywords

Create the Content

Finally, start writing or creating your content. At this point, you’ll have to think about how to reflect your brand’s identity in your content.

You can take the help of AI content generation tools like Peppertype.ai to automate content creation.

Here’s Sprout Social’s advice on creating consistency with your brand voice, and keep in mind important SEO ranking factors to optimize your content.

9. Market and Distribute Content

Here comes the most critical part in this journey, the content marketing and distribution part. That’s because you won’t get the results you want unless these are handled correctly.

Below are the some of the major content distribution channels:

  • Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Linkedin, Twitter)
  • Emailer Marketing (Mailchimp, Active Campaign, Convertkit)
  • Whatsapp Messages (Whatsapp Bulk Sender, HubSpot Marketing Automation)
  • SMS (Klaviyo, Clicksend, TextMagic)

Majority of data collection happens through the above channels. Implementations of these are critical for the success of all marketing campaigns.

10. Measure Results against KPIs

Finally, it’s time to assess the success of your content marketing strategy. To do this, you’ll return to those KPIs you set at the start of the content strategy plan, and see what’s changed and whether you’re hitting your targets.

To do this, you can:

Use Google Analytics to check the data

Measure social engagements and sharing

Use tracking tools like Google Alerts and Mention. Both of these will help in tracking all kinds of noise around your brand on the internet.

Tools like SEMrush and AHrefs will help you in tracking rankings, keywords, backlinks etc.

Email clients will provide data on email subscribers and engagement.

By monitoring your progress, you’ll be able to tweak your content marketing strategy at regular intervals, so it’s always up to date.

That’s it! Now you know how to create a successful content marketing strategy from beginning to end.

Check out our blog on influencer marketing strategy and share your views!

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