Content strategy, The Marketing GP

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How to create a successful content strategy to grow your business

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Your business’s content strategy should be looked at in a similar vein to building a piece of IKEA furniture for the first time. The likelihood of nailing the final piece of furniture without instructions and the right equipment is pretty slim.

The best thing about developing a content strategy is that it can be pretty straightforward (we can feel the sense of relief coming from you right now). If you’ve got the time, the right expertise and a real understanding of the customers you are targeting, ideas can flow naturally.

Many business owners underestimate the power of a well-structured, recorded content strategy when it comes to lead generation and ROI. Just like a set of instructions, you should map out and write down your approach so you are leveraging your content and delivering on what you say you will.

What is a content strategy?

As we mentioned, a content strategy is basically a set of instructions that guides you in what content you need to produce to connect with your target market. This includes:

Who you're talking to

it’s important to consider who you are targeting with your content so the tone, information and call-to-action align.

The purpose

What is the purpose of your content? How does it fit into your marketing and business goals?

What result do you want

i.e. what action do you want your audience to take? (Or if we continue to analogy, a piece of functioning furniture!)

Where and when will you get the job done

delivered in the right way, a rebrand can increase the perceived value of what you are selling, and as a result you may be able to increase your pricing, which can do wonders for your business.

Who is the furniture project manager

who in the team will develop that piece of content and take responsibility for disseminating it? Like too many project managers during an IKEA build can be disastrous, not identifying responsibilities for your content can mean nothing ends up getting done.

Tell your audience

what methods will you use to promote your content when it is ready to ‘go live’.

Getting started on your content strategy

Like any good marketing strategy, developing a content plan first takes a little preparation.

Conduct buyer persona research first

Before jumping in, have an idea of who you are targeting, what their needs are, and how your business caters for them. Defining your target audience or buyer personas will help you develop content that they are more likely to engage with, because it’s useful to them.

HubSpot offers a handy tool that can help you better define your buyer personas if you are stuck.

Remember that your audience may change over time, or you might want to expand to reach a new target market. Revisiting your content strategy and your buyer personas over time is important to ensuring you are still on the right path with your marketing activities.

Determine your goals

Does your business have goals around your marketing, such as spend, leads generated or even the percentage of people who can recognise your brand based on an annual customer survey?

It’s important that any marketing tactic ties into your larger goals. Make sure you and others involved in growing your business are aware of these, and determine how your content strategy helps to deliver on them.

Consider your SEO

Spend some time researching keywords that are relevant to your target audience. When developing your content strategy, you need to find the balance between distinguishing what your audience wants to read and what performs well SEO wise. It’s a fine line and takes a real craft to develop content that pleases Google’s picky algorithm AND speaks to humans!

There are a range of tools out there to help you determine your keywords. One of the basic ones is Google itself – start typing a sentence relevant to your audience and the suggested phrases can help guide you on what other people (your target audience) are searching for.

Review your current content

Have you been building content since the early days of your business, but lost track of what’s out there and where? Take the time to review your current content and determine what’s working and what isn’t.

For example, if you have a lead magnet (a free, downloadable PDF containing alternative uses for common IKEA furniture pieces, for example) on your services page, are people actually accessing that tool? And what happens next? Do you follow them up, or provide more valuable information that ties into their initial interests?

Create a list of cull and keep content and map out the gaps and opportunities as part of your content strategy.

Our free website grader tool is a handy one to use to assess how your current website is performing, including areas like your blogging and content performance. Click here to use the website grader now.

Consider how a content management system can help your business

Having a system in place that allows you to easily create, share and evaluate content will make delivering your content strategy easier and more trackable. We recommend HubSpot’s CMS, as you can plan, produce, publish and measure results on your content all from the one place. If you have a WordPress website, you can also add HubSpot’s plugin to your site to better capture lead data as a result of your content (e.g. through web forms) and follow those up with an automated lead nurturing experience.

Click here to learn more about our HubSpot services.

Develop engaging and meaningful content

You’ve done your research, so you’re ready to get started.

First, determine what type of content you want to and can produce, and the timing that is reasonable and achievable for your team.

Some of the most popular types of content marketing include:

There are a number of tools available that can make developing content easier for your team, for example:

Once your content is created, use your content strategy to determine when you will share it across your platforms, what channels you will use and determine a timeframe to check in to see how that piece of content is performing.

Analyse your performance and engagement

A little testing goes a long way.

Every piece of content should be regularly reviewed to see how it is performing and to check if updates are needed in line with your business’ growth, your audience needs or in response to trends. Google likes content that is regularly updated, and will actually favour that over static content in its organic search algorithm.

So don’t just set and forget. Make sure you’re checking in on your content and reviewing how it is performing.

That’s another reason why we love HubSpot’s CRM – their reporting dashboards make it easy to see how your content is performing and what leads have been generated from your different content strategy activities.

If you’d like to find out more about HubSpot or would prefer to leave your content marketing to the experts, get in touch with us!

Click here to book a meeting with our Chief Marketer, Holly, today.

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Our team worked together on this blog! Click the logo to check out our team page, and learn more about the faces behind The Marketing GP.

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