How to Develop a Winning Content Strategy for Your Business
Steering your company’s content strategy is like flying the Millennium Falcon—it’s best to set your course, buckle up and not hit any obstacles.
While Star Wars isn’t the best way to explain how to develop a winning content strategy, you get my point. While it can be challenging to know what direction to take when devising a content marketing strategy, you must do so. Content marketing, also known as inbound marketing, is a valuable tool modern companies can use to reach current and new customers.
Why Content Strategy Matters
Content strategy is a critical aspect of any marketing campaign. And the good news is that you don’t need to be a writer to do it. But you do need to be able to think like a marketer.
Content strategy can be defined as “the process of planning and developing content in a way that helps achieve business goals.” While it’s often associated with websites and blogs, content strategy applies to all types of media — print, video, email, social media, etc.
“Content is the foundation of all digital marketing strategies. If your content crumbles, the walls of the brand you’re trying to build will come crashing down. Is your content strong enough to compete with everything that’s out there vying for people’s attention? Every visitor to your website will consume your content and decide if you’re worth their time. It’s a critical moment for building customer relationships and brand loyalty.” “Campaignium.”“Campaignium.” www.campaignium.com, January 21, 2021. https://www.campaignium.com/blog/why-content-marketing-strategy-matters/.
Here are some reasons why every company should have a content strategy:
- Defines the voice of your brand. Your web copy, videos, and other online assets should all sound like they came from the same company — even if different people write them. You want people to recognize your brand no matter where they see it or what form it takes (text vs. video vs. audio), so make sure every piece has its voice but also sounds like it comes from the same source (in other words, someone who works for your company).
- Makes it easier for decision-makers to approve new projects. If you’ve already established a process for creating content, anyone who needs to approve something new knows exactly what’s expected and what kind of quality.
- Provides a framework for creating and curating content that meets your goals and the needs of your audience.
- Helps you build relationships with customers by providing them with valuable information they can use now and in the future.
- Allows you to maintain control over the quality of your content by prioritizing what gets published and when.
- Helps you identify gaps in your content so you don’t miss out on an opportunity to educate or entertain consumers who may have questions about your product or service offerings.
- Ensures that the right people (those who are most likely to convert) are exposed to the right messages at the right time via multiple channels (social media, email campaigns, etc.).
Semrush Blog. “40+ Content Marketing Statistics to Power Your 2022 Strategy.” www.semrush.com. Accessed May 7, 2022. https://www.semrush.com/blog/content-marketing-statistics/.
Define Your Audience and Goals
To develop a winning content strategy for your business, you must define your audience and goals.
Your audience is the group of people who will be reading your content and, therefore, will be impacted by it. Your audience can be anyone from customers to potential customers, employees, or other stakeholders in your industry. This may seem obvious, but it’s essential to think about the type of person who might be interested in what you have to offer. For example, if you’re selling dog toys online, your target audience might be dog owners who want new toys for their pets. If you’re selling t-shirts online, then perhaps teens would be a better fit for your products than adults or children.
Your goals are what you want to achieve through your content and should reflect what’s important to your business.
Your goal might be to grow revenue or increase the number of leads generated by your website. Or maybe it’s all about creating interest in your brand so that prospects become customers. Whatever it is, make sure you know what you want before you begin developing content for your company’s website.
Once you have defined your audience, next, it is essential to determine the business’s goals. Do you want more revenue? More sales or leads? Once you have identified the goals, it will be easier to define how to measure success. If you want more revenue, increasing revenue by 10% might be a good goal.
Create a Buyer Persona for Each Segment of Your Audience
Before you can create compelling content that will engage your audience, you must first understand who they are and what they want. This is where buyer personas come in. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal prospective clients based on accurate data and informed speculation. They help you focus your marketing efforts by narrowing down the characteristics of your target customers so that you can focus on the people most likely to become a customer. They also help guide you in the tone, language, and topics that resonate with each group to create content that will be most relevant to each of them.
The best way to develop these personas is through research like interviews and surveys with current or previous customers about their behaviors, motivations, needs, and challenges.
Research Your Competitors’ Content Strategies
If you’re a small business looking to get in front of as many people as possible, one of the best ways to do that is through content marketing.
You can use content marketing to put your brand in front of potential customers, educate them about your products and services, and even get them interested in buying.
But how can you create the best possible content for your audience?
One way is by researching what your competitors are doing on social media and online. By following the strategies that other companies are using, you can learn from their successes (and failures).
Many businesses struggle with coming up with a social media strategy. You can gain a good understanding simply by reviewing your competitor’s social content strategy. In this post, we’ll look at how you can apply their best tactics to your social media strategy.
Here are some ways to research your competitors’ content strategies:
Check out their websites. Look at their homepage and see what information they include there — what kind of headlines do they use? Where do they place links? What graphics do they use? Are there any pop-ups or ads on their site? You can use these things as inspiration for your website.
Look at their social media accounts. Are they posting regularly on Facebook or Twitter? What types of posts do they share — links or photos? Do they post videos or just text-based updates? Is there consistency between their different platforms?
Read their blog posts. Are they discussing topics that are relevant to their customers or industry? Are the posts well-written and exciting to read?
Watch their webinars. Do they have any webinars that are relevant to your business? What do they talk about in these webinars?
Look for case studies. Do any of your competitors have successful content marketing campaigns that you can learn from? Can you find any examples of using video, images, or blog posts to drive traffic to their website or social media accounts?
Once you understand your competitors’ content marketing strategies, it’s time to develop your plan.
Craft an Editorial Calendar & Content Types
Importance of planning:
While you may have a good feel for the various types of content you need to develop, it’s important to remember that it’s only the first step. Your team needs to plan and develop an editorial calendar for your content strategy to be successful.
How to plan for your content:
“A content plan, on the other hand, is the blueprint that defines the assets and steps needed to implement your content strategy. Let’s learn more about the difference between a content plan and a content strategy.”ProjectManager. “How to Create a Content Plan and Content Roadmap.” www.projectmanager.com, October 1, 2021. https://www.projectmanager.com/blog/create-content-plan-for-content-strategy.
An editorial calendar is essentially a schedule for developing, organizing, and publishing all relevant content. It typically includes detailed information about what types of content will be published (e.g., blog posts), when they’ll be published, who’s responsible for developing them (e.g., writer or blogger), and how they’ll be promoted (e.g.,,, through a newsletter).
The purpose of an editorial calendar is twofold; one function is to help ensure that each type of content gets posted at the right time so that it resonates with your audience as much as possible. The other purpose is more practical; it helps keep everyone in your organization on the same page regarding what should get developed and when so that no one inadvertently wastes their own time creating unnecessary or low-quality work.
Why is it important to plan ahead?
From both a logical and organizational standpoint, creating an editorial calendar makes sense if you want to get high-quality results from each team member without wasting their time or yours in the process!
Develop an SEO Strategy
How will you make your business’s content stand out with so much content available on the internet? How will customers find you? To answer these questions and others, you’ll want to optimize your website and other digital assets for search engines.
To do this, you should first identify the keywords relevant to your business and the products or services you offer. Keywords are words that define a specific topic or subject. Customers use these keywords when they perform a search on a search engine like Google or Bing. If they find an article with keywords related to their query, they will be more likely to click through.
What are some ways to figure out which keywords are best for your business? Tools like Moz’s Keyword Explorer can help businesses identify which keywords have high volumes of searches but low competition from other sites in search results.
To include these keywords in your content strategy, you should incorporate them into blog posts, e-books, white papers, and other written content on your website. You can also include them in image alt tags, headlines, and meta descriptions so that articles appear higher up in search results when customers perform searches related to those topics.
Create a Style Guide for Your Content
Your style guide is a vital part of your content strategy. It outlines rules for the content created for your website, and it’s crucial for keeping things consistent and building brand recognition.
Content style guides are an essential tool for teams that need to maintain a consistent presence online.
They help ensure content has the right voice and tone and that it matches the rest of your website. They also ensure consistency across different types of content, so your team can focus on other work!
A style guide is a set of rules that helps you create consistent, high-quality content. It includes information about how to title and format your text and guidelines for language and tone.
As with any guidebook or manual, it’s essential to know who the audience will be before you start writing. If you’re creating a style guide for internal use only, perhaps just for one department or project team, then it might be enough to use another internal resource like a glossary or style guide as a starting point.
If you want your style guide to be helpful in multiple areas or projects and across departments — such as when creating marketing campaigns or managing customer support inquiries — then it might be worth investing some time into creating a more detailed resource from scratch.
A content strategy is an essential part of inbound marketing. It ensures your content is valuable, relevant, and consistent.
A content strategy is an essential part of inbound marketing. It ensures your content is valuable, relevant, and consistent.
It’s essential to have a documented content strategy to develop your inbound marketing plan. Without a documented process, all the hard work you put into creating your plan will be less effective than it should be and may not achieve the results you expect.