6 Steps to Create a Content Strategy
STOP. Ask yourself this simple question: does my brand need a strategic approach to building and promoting content? While you’re thinking about that, consider this: 36% of B2B (business-to-business) companies with a documented marketing strategy considered themselves “very effective”. That is three times more than those without a documented strategy. In comparison, 43% of B2C (business-to-consumer) marketers with a documented strategy considered themselves “effective” vs. 33% of those without (according to the B2B Technology Marketing Community on LinkedIn).
It’s that simple. Having a documented marketing strategy is the key. Whether you create it yourself or get a firm (ie. RafikiMedia) to make it for you, it’s definitely in your best interest to have one. A standard marketing strategy involves a few steps that start with phases to do with preparation and content creation to phases that focus on measuring results and testing. We’ve simplified it down to six steps and know that this will help you create a strategic outline that works for you. Let’s take a look:
- Do your research. Explore the concerns and interests of your target audience and your customers. If you’re a business that only has 50–60 customers, those customers NEED to be your new best friends. Spend time mapping consumer activity and finding out more about your consumers (demographics, interests, average age, etc). Not only that, look at your own brand with an honest eye and figure out what your brand stands for, what it’s trying to achieve (objectives, strengths, content) and compare that to what your competitors are doing. It’s easy to turn a blind eye to your competition, but chances are they’re focusing on your every move and are ready to counteract it with a better response.
- Set some starting goals. Figure out your business objective and figure out what metrics you’ll use to measure your content’s success (what needs to happen for me to believe that my company is doing well). Success is objective so don’t necessarily think about success in the way your friends or colleagues are. It has to do with what you care more about whether that be community growth, engagement, conversion, retention, etc).
- Create a content inventory document. Make a spreadsheet of your existing content (blog posts, social media updates, video). Be sure to include fields that relate to your goals, like content type (video, infographic, image, blog post), topic, tone of voice, etc.
- Look for gaps in your content. Using your content inventory, check for strengths and weaknesses. Ask yourself questions like, does my content help me achieve my business goals? Which posts do my audience like more? What isn’t working? Can I find any trends in my content?
- Create your content. Pick themes, set a tone of voice, choose the format(s), and then publish your content. Look for what your audience wants and needs, as well as for special occasions (like holidays) you can create unique content around. Remember though, content is great but context is king. Know exactly why you’re posting something, and push that message to the forefront of your content. I’ll give you an example, we are writing this article because RafikiMedia is all about helping and working with people to become better marketers. We are clear about that and are pushing that goal through content like this.
- Test and measure your content. Now is the time to use your starting goals and metrics. Make sure you content is actually helping you reach your goals. If not, re-evaluate and try again. We live in an age where web analytics and analytics on social media sites like Facebook are specific and accurate. Using your market research, target individuals that you believe are or can be your customers, and make sure they feel connected to your brand at all times. Doing that will help your brand build consumer loyalty and hype around your products, services, or events.
We are looking for #sharemonsters — so please share this if you found it helpful! If you’re interested in learning more about creating effective marketing strategies, contact RafikiMedia at email@example.com or http://rafikimedia.net/