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Sabrina C

Sabrina Cooper, a Content and Digital PR Specialist with seven years of experience, excels in content strategy, copywriting, editing, and digital PR. With a diverse agency background, she’s worked across industries like health, travel, and artisan whisky. Sabrina loves creativity, data diving, and adventures with her cocker spaniel, Luna!

How to Develop an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

A content marketing strategy is the planning, creation, publication, management, and analysis of great content to drive results and achieve business goals. A content marketing strategy allows you to create content with purpose as opposed to creating content for content sake. Effective content marketing will lead to tangible results. This is why having a robust content marketing strategy in place is so essential. 

Read on to find out how to create an effective content marketing strategy that will deliver results. 

Set Clear Goals and Objectives

The first and most important step to creating any fully-fledged content marketing strategy is setting specific goals and objectives for your content. Having defined goals and objectives will shape everything else. Ask yourself, “what do I want to achieve with my content?”. Whether your aim is to increase organic traffic to your website by 50% over the next six months or achieve 25% year-on-year sales growth, or both, the key is to set super-specific goals.

Having clear goals and objectives in place will help shape your overarching content creation plans and effectively measure success.

Understand Your Audience and Create Buyer Personas

Once you’ve defined your content goal(s), turn your attention towards your audience. Getting to know your audience will help you create engaging content that resonates. To do so, you’ll need to build customer, also known as buyer, personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional depiction of your ideal customer based on data, insights, and market research.

To create accurate customer personas, you need to find out who they are, their interests, beliefs, values as well as their pain points and challenges. You should also find out their browsing habits including where and how they spend their time online and what kind of content they engage with the most. 

Start by gathering real-world data from your website (eg. Google Analytics) and social analytics to provide you with audience insights including their age, gender, location, language, interests, and more. You can also utilise third-party content marketing and SEO tools to help you discover what your audience is searching for and engaging with through keyword and topic research as well as competitor analysis. Conducting market research is also a great way of gathering insightful data to better understand your audience. Market research involves conducting online surveys or interviewing your customers and analysing any commonly asked questions your customers post on social media. 

These insights will help you understand who you’re creating content for, the type of content that resonates with them and which marketing channels to use.

Identify Which Content Types and Formats Drive Engagement

The next step is to identify the content types that have been driving the most audience engagement and deciding which content formats you’ll use going forward. From engaging blog posts to super-snappy videos and inspiring podcasts, there is an array of content types to choose from.

Your audience insights should help determine which content types they’re engaging with the most. Conducting a content audit can also help with this. A content audit involves taking an inventory of existing content on your website to review and analyse the performance of each page. For example, it can give you an in-depth understanding of what content is performing well such as informative blogs that discuss a particular topic or short-form explainer videos. An audit of content can also highlight improvement opportunities and content that’s not working so well. 

Collectively, these findings will help you identify which content types and formats to utilise in your overarching content marketing strategy. 

You should also keep your goals in mind when deciding which content types and formats to use. For example, if you’re hoping to increase organic traffic to your website and you’ve found via the content audit and audience analysis that particular blog posts and short-form videos generate engagement and traffic, you’ll want to include these content types in your strategy. 

Choose your Content Distribution Channels

Before creating any content, it’s important to define your distribution channels to maximise the reach and impact of your content. Choosing your distribution channels should be informed by the findings from your audience analysis such as which channels they engage with the most. You should also take a look at referral sources in your website’s analytics to see which channels your audience are coming from. For example, is your audience reaching your site via social channels like Facebook or are they being driven via search engines or your newsletter? Looking at referral traffic is a great way to identify the most popular channels. 

Content distribution is a critical part of your overarching content marketing strategy so don’t be afraid to experiment with a variety of channels! Trying different channels and measuring their effectiveness can help you elevate your strategy and reach your business goals.

Measuring Success With Metrics

As part of your strategy, it’s essential to carefully monitor performance by tracking meaningful content marketing metrics. From conversion rate (CVR) and relevant organic rankings to the number and quality of backlinks to gauge how exciting, compelling and genuinely useful your content is, there are plenty of metrics to measure the success of your content marketing efforts. 

With an array of metrics to consider, make sure you choose the ones which align with your goals. For example, if you’re looking to drive traffic to your website, a very valuable metric to measure would be views and unique visitors. Metrics like these can be found in your website analytics. To accurately monitor performance, leverage third-party SEO and content marketing tools as well as Google Analytics and native social media analytics tools.

Iterating and Improving Your Content Strategy

Once you’ve set your strategy in motion and gathered enough reliable data to analyse the success of your content marketing efforts, you should adapt, enhance, and evolve it. 
By gathering the insights that best reflect your goals, you should be able to identify what worked well and what didn’t. For example, the data might reveal that short-form videos are garnering more views than your blog posts. Going forward then, you might choose to focus more of your efforts on video content creation and choosing video-friendly channels like YouTube or TikTok to distribute your content. Monitoring performance and analysing metrics regularly can provide you with valuable insights to help enhance and evolve your content marketing strategy. Looking to enhance your content marketing efforts? Get in touch to find out how we can work together.

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