excellent.org explains what a content marketing strategy is and explains how it can be developed. The picture shows a bird's eye view of how a project is planned in front of a screen on pieces of paper

How to develop a content marketing strategy

Acquiring new customers, customer loyalty, increasing brand awareness – all this is promised by content marketing. But what is content marketing? And how can you develop a sound content marketing strategy? We would like to report on this in today’s blog post.

What is Content Marketing?

Excellent.org is answering the question how to develope a marketing strategy: the picture shows a illuminated question mark

Content marketing is a marketing technique from strategic marketing, which is intended to address the target group with informative, advisory and entertaining content in order to convince them of your company and your range of services or your own brand and to win or retain them as customers [1] This is not about advertising or about presenting your company as positively as possible. It is much more about useful information, relevant knowledge and entertainment. The objective of content marketing is to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately generate profitable customer activity. Content marketing content can include text, images, videos, podcasts or (info) graphics.

Get started – develop your own content marketing strategy

Are you wondering whether you really need the right strategy? Whether it is not enough to produce some content and distribute it through your communication channels?

Of course you can do it that way. Unfortunately, you’re missing out on many opportunities to generate targeted website traffic and you’re not making proper use of the instrument of content marketing. If you are already taking the trouble to produce appealing content, then why not take the time to ask yourself a few questions in advance and develop a consistent strategy.

You should ask yourself the following questions in advance:

  • Who do you want to produce the content for? Who is your target group?
  • In which field are you an expert?
  • Which questions would you like to answer? What problems and questions does your target group have?
  • What formats do you want to use to present the content?
  • What channels do you want to use to communicate your content?
  • Who creates the content?
  • When will the content be publish

 

Step-by-step to the content marketing strategy

Excellent.org: a paper on a table with the word marketing strategy on it

If you have asked yourself all these questions and already found answers, then you can get started and wrap them up in a strategy. The following procedure is recommended:

1. define goals
Why do you want to provide content at all? What goals do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Define clear goals that help you stay focused, set your priorities and monitor your success. Objectives can be, for example: increase turnover or profit, increase the conversion rate or the time users spend on your site. But also more general goals, such as increasing your brand awareness and the visibility of your website or brand, can be pursued. Remember that the goals must be specific, measurable, achievable, significant and timed.

2. who is your target audience?
You can only create and optimize content if you know for whom you are doing it. Take your time and define your target group as precisely as possible. From this you can derive many subsequent decisions.

It is best to define a so-called buyer persona, i.e. to immerse yourself in the emotional world of your target group. What wishes, dreams, worries and passions does your target group have? What questions does they ask themselves? What problems and fears does it deal with? To be able to answer these questions, it is advisable to analyse the websites your target group visits. Read the blogs and magazines that interest your target group. Follow the social media channels that your target group subscribes to. From this you can derive exciting insights and you can grasp and understand your buyer persona much better.

It also reveals which devices your target group prefers to use to consume content, which channels are used for communication and which topics and keywords are relevant.

3. take stock
Have you already produced content? Then create a list of what has already been published and see which content has best influenced your goals. Analyze which content has generated the most traffic and which has had the highest bounce rate. Maybe there are posts that you can reuse and/or re-purpose. From successful blog posts you can, for example, create a whitepaper which you can offer for download. Or you can take an already used topic and revise it or build on it and create a topic series.

4. what can your competitors do?
How often do your competitors distribute new content? Through which channels? What topics do they cover and what is the tonality?
What can you possibly take up and adapt to your strategy? What can you do better?

5. decide on a Content Management System (CMS)
A content management system is a software for the collaborative creation, editing and organization of content [2] It helps to plan, create, publish and analyze content. It can also be used as an editorial plan. See which CMS is best suited for your project and then take the time to comprehensively familiarize all employees who are responsible for content marketing in your company.

6. gather content ideas and create an editorial plan
What topics interest your target group? What do your competitors write about? In which field are you an expert? Think again about the blogs, magazines and social media sites of your buyer persona – what topics are discussed here? In an editorial plan you can record and control all topics, as well as important holidays, certain seasonal topics, but also productions to be planned in the long term.

7. which formats do you want to use?
There are countless possibilities for the creation and distribution of content. These include blog posts, e-books, white papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, interviews, tutorials, bulletin boards, online games and many more. To get started, it’s a good idea to choose a few formats and focus on them. That way you can keep track of them and after a while you can see which ones work for your target audience and which ones don’t. Often the same content can be communicated through several channels – it just needs to be adapted to the respective format. Over time, you can always add new formats – adapted to your goals and buyer persona.

8. performance measurement
Take another look at your goals defined at the beginning. Have they been achieved? The success measurement takes place in all channels through which you distribute your content. Google Analytics, for example, but also the analysis tools of the social media channels are suitable for this purpose. What worked well? Where is there a need for optimisation? Success should be measured regularly in order to adjust your content, formats or even the target group if necessary.

Conclusion

Even if it may look complex at first – it is worthwhile to develop a sound content marketing strategy and then to pursue it. A strategy is not set in stone, but should be optimized regularly. It is best to start small – you don’t have to serve all formats and channels. Instead, concentrate on fewer formats and deliver high-quality content.

We hope you enjoy strategy development and implementation!


[1] Wikipedia:  Content Marketing

[2] Wikipedia: Content Management System