7 steps to create a solid content marketing strategy
Content Marketing is a form of online marketing focused on creating, publishing, and distributing content to a targeted audience.
This strategy is used to: Attract and engage a community of users, increase brand awareness and credibility, generate leads and sales, and expand the customer base.
Why are you writing this piece of content, to begin with?
The answer to this question will set your tone of voice and keep you on message in case you've got the attention span of a 2-year-old.
There are generally three big-picture business goals for every piece of content published online:
Opinions don't matter. What does is your expertise as a thought leader using:
Be sure to have a good mix of all three kinds of content so that you're neither overbearing nor underselling yourself. Everything in moderation!
Research is everything. It's about quality and not quantity. Be sure to fact-check for accuracy.
Look back at what you've published already and gathered more data by—EGADS—talking to people. How else will you find topics helpful to your audience?
Tools for starting conversations and gathering data:
Tips and free tools to find hot and trendy topics:
Tips and tools for keyword planning:
Free and open sites for fact-checking:
Then plan your Content Calendar out as far as possible.
Embrace the creative and collaborative process. Always remember that emotions (not to be confused with hormones) influence our behaviors as consumers.
It's advisable to step away from your first draft for a couple of days if need be, and take a fresh look afterward.
Don't lose your brand's personality with this opportunity to make learning fun. If you don't have a funny bone in your body, then find someone on your team who does.
Make your titles and meta descriptions enticing enough to trigger people to "click" in the first place. Be real. People will sniff out fakeness.
Use upbeat and energetic language. State clearly—right in the title—what problem you're solving. Now's not the time to be shy.
Create authentic assets (visuals) using design toolkits:
Tools and handy templates:
But if you can't make your own, then try:
Make use of rich media to make your content interactive and engaging!
Is there a clear call to action (CTA) inside your story? If your content isn't actionable then you're losing a major opportunity.
CTA = Soft. Your reader may be considering whether or not to take the next step with you based solely on your expertise. You may ask them for some basic information for future communication.
CTA = None. You're basically courting your readers and building authentic relationships. A link back to your site's homepage will suffice.
CTA = Compelling. This is the decision-making point in the whole process. You can link your readers straight to your pricing page or provide them an option to start a free trial.
Make SEO and readability your priorities.
You can publish all the content you want, but if nobody finds it then you're a failure! Just kidding, but not really.
Make sure you show up in organic search results and make sure your on-page SEO and readability are on-point. Find opportunities to backlink to your content (i.e. blog exchanges, online forums) where you think you can add real value and relevancy.
StoryChief's SEO Tool is here for you, providing tips as you write, including but not limited to:
Free Tools to help you nail the perfect title:
Places where you can build relationships while generating backlinks:
And don't forget to proofread so you don't end up spelling it "profread!"
Content is king, but distribution is queen and she wears the pants.
Use trial and error for a period of at least six months (less time than it takes to grow a baby) to figure out which distribution channels work best for you.
You can publish to each channel manually, or use StoryChief to schedule when you go multichannel in one click.
Our friends at Sprout Social have come up with the best times to post (specifically) on social media, keeping in the mind that the best days overall to publish your content are: Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays in the morning!
This is where quantity matters because the quality's been met.
Content creation doesn't end when the piece is published. Pat yourself on the back and then get back to work!
You need to follow up to see if your content is working or not before you take steps towards your next piece of content. You need to consider the return on investment (ROI) your content provides.
There are vanity stats and then there are tools that help you go deeper:
If you want to know all about your content's views and clicks, and impressions, and reads and leads too, then StoryChief is here for you.
No worries, we've got you covered!
A new and better way to acquire, engage and retain customers.
For keeping everyone on the team in the loop in real-time, especially for priorities like lunch orders and knock-knock jokes.
For project management and bird's eye view on where you started and where you're headed as a team, with fun labels you can customize!
For video calls and online demos. You can choose from so many different features depending on who's on the other side of the conversation.
For all your CRM needs so you can spend less time managing customer data and more time cultivating relationships with them.
Whether you need to sell your products, share some big news, or tell a story, Mailchimp makes it easy to create an email marketing campaign that best suits your message.
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Disclaimer: We don't have any affiliate connections with these tools. We just find them very useful and think you might think so too.