What's in this article?
Without content, there are no answers to our questions. There are no landing pages. No traffic. And definitely no new leads.
In 2020, when everything shut down, content consumption doubled. Doubled! Can you imagine?
Every day, people search for new content to stimulate their imaginations or to answer their problems. Many times they simply stumble upon content by accident, with no prior intent.
But your content marketing strategy shouldn’t be accidental. No, you need a proven framework that produces real results, consistently.
In this guide, I’ll explain the 12 most important steps for you to work through while you’re figuring out how creating content will work best for your industry and your goals.
What is the Importance of Developing a Content Marketing Strategy?
You could blindly start developing and publishing content for your company or your clients and achieve varying levels of success.
Write a couple of blogs here and there when you’re able to. Answer forums on Reddit. Shoot and edit a YouTube video when you get the time.
But these are all just tactics with no real strategy behind them.
What are you actually trying to achieve? What’s the end goal?
The answers to these questions will dictate your marketing approach, your new strategy for achieving marketing goals and objectives.
12 Steps to Turn Your Content Marketing Strategies Into a Plan
Below are strategies ripped straight from Kaleidico’s proven framework, or documented content marketing strategy, to give you insights into how we approach new clients and marketing projects. Follow them to get the most out of your content marketing efforts.
1. Establish Your Marketing Goals and Objectives
Successful content strategy starts with knowing what you want to get out of it. What is the number one priority or goal you’re trying to reach with your new marketing effort? Can you write your goal down succinctly into a mission statement?
For many business owners and marketers, the most common goals include:
- Driving up brand awareness for a particular product or company
- Generating more traffic to their website
- Generate more leads coming from the website
- Closing more sales from online generate leads
- Improving a website’s search engine optimization (SEO)
- Ranking higher on Google’s search engine results pages
- Receiving more phone calls
- Reducing the customer acquisition cost
- Optimizing monthly marketing budget
- Generating more revenue for the company
To keep yourselves accountable, key performance indicators (KPIs) will need to be selected to gauge your progress from where you started, to where you hope to be.
Important content marketing KPIs to track include:
- Monthly website visitors
- Bounce rate
- Average session duration
- Number of pages viewed
- Lead generated per month
- Phone calls generated per month
- Social media followers
- Social shares and engagement
- Content analytics
- Content click-through rates (on the website, emails, and other trackable content)
- Cost per click for PPC ads
- Impressions and clicks for PPC ads
- Amount of newsletter and email marketing subscribers
- Email marketing open rates
- Number of inbound links, or backlinks, directing people to your website
- Conversion rates
- Google SEO website ranking
- Unique visitors to a website vs. repeat visitors
- Landing page conversion rates
- Landing page A/B split testing
- Number of content marketing pieces generated each month
- Organic traffic vs. paid traffic visits
2. Select the Right Tools and Platforms
To measure your KPIs and see where you currently stand, you’ll need to download several marketing platforms.
Each platform has its own applications, which will be crucial for measuring your marketing success:
- Google Analytics, used for monitoring web traffic, average duration, page views, unique visitors, etc.
- Google Ad Manager, used for creating PPC ads, and analyzing PPC ad performance
- Google Business Profile, to create a business profile page for easier search results
- Google Merchant Center, if you plan on selling product in Google’s shopping tab
- Landing page builder with A/B split testing capabilities
- Facebook Business Page
- Facebook Ads Manager, to create Facebook and Instagram ads
- Content Management System (CMS), which we’ll cover later in the list
- Email marketing platform, such as MailChimp or Drip
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
- Instagram, if your target audience is younger
- LinkedIn company page
- Progressive-style questionnaire forms
- SEO tracking tools, such as SEMrush, Surfer SEO, or Yoast
3. Research Your Audience’s Needs, Pain Points, and Preferred Channels
Billions of dollars are wasted every year in ad spend because the content doesn’t reach the intended target audience.
Why? Because not enough time was spent researching and determining the proper target audience, resulting in subpar content that doesn’t reach or move anybody.
The first place to look is your existing clients. Who are they? What products do they like? What are their pain points that you’re trying to solve?
Second, look at where these people spend their time online.
Different demographics gravitate toward different online spaces, such as social media sites, or professional networking sites. Some Google for advice, while others turn to directories or forums to find their solutions.
Once you’ve nailed down these things, you can narrow down your focus to specific content marketing formats, such as blog posts, visual content on YouTube or Facebook videos, Q&A sites, or maybe even TikTok or Snapchat!
It truly depends on understanding who your audience is, what their problems are, and then crafting content they can find on their preferred channels.
4. Find Your “X” Factor or Secret Sauce
Call it a gimmick if you’d like.
Nobody in NYC would pay to see three normal guys hitting garbage cans for an hour. But once you paint them blue, people change their minds. They’re not even aware of the gimmick. To them, it’s just the Blue Man Group.
What makes your company unique?
You don’t need blue paint, but you need some kind of edge or secret sauce that makes your company stick out just a little bit more than your competitors.
Perhaps your company is loved by people on Yelp, or your company is LEED certified and environmentally friendly. Maybe your company believes in a social cause and is outspoken about a certain issue.
Do some competitive research. Find what makes your company and values different, and then exploit those differences to your advantage.
People and reporters love focusing on firsts. If your company is the first to do something, whatever it is, let it be known and use it as a key feature in your marketing pieces.
5. Audit Your Existing Content — If You Have It
If you’ve attempted producing content or blogs in the past and have given up on it, don’t worry, because you should still have access to useful data.
Auditing your existing content will tell you which content marketing pieces have worked, and which haven’t. Then you can start deleting the low-performing content and expanding and rewriting your top-performing content, which I’ll cover later in this list.
While you’re at it, examine the structure and navigation of your website as well. Ask yourself:
- Does my website look professional?
- Is it functional based on my KPIs?
- What is the average duration on my website for your average visitor?
- Am I adding internal links in my blogs to redirect readers to my other blogs?
- Would I be able to navigate this website easily? What about on mobile?
- How long would I spend on this website?
6. Find a Content Management System (CMS) To Make Publishing Easier
At Kaleidico, we use WordPress to build our company’s website and our clients’ websites.
We’re not the only ones. WordPress is the world’s most popular content management system, and as such, has tons of really useful plugins to help produce better quality content.
Semrush and Yoast for WordPress make it easy to evaluate how well a certain blog post might perform based on its SEO score.
WordPress also lets you schedule posts so you can upload all of your blogs at once, and then automatically publish them throughout the week.
7. Keyword Research and Competitive Gap Analysis
Each one of your content pieces needs to have at least one main keyword you’re targeting. This keyword will be the important search term that should be sprinkled throughout your content, including your blog’s title and subheads.
But first, you’ll need to perform keyword research to find those underused or critical keywords to base your content on.
Start by selecting keywords related to your industry and specific practice areas. Then narrow down the search by thinking of phrases or pain points your target audience is looking for.
Confirm the search volume for these terms by using Google’s keyword planning tool.
If you’re competing for the big keywords, such as mortgage lender, or lawyer, you should know you’re up against stiff competition. Instead, focus on underused long-tail keywords related to these fields.
Realistically, it’s much easier to get on the first page of results for a longer search term than a shorter search term.
8. Create an Editorial Calendar
Once you’ve determined the keywords you want to base your new content pieces on, it’s time to start developing an editorial calendar.
From here, keywords are turned into article ideas that get uploaded into a content calendar.
The editorial calendar is a repository for your content team. It’s where writers look to find their next assignment. Each new content piece will have its own writer’s guide that gives background information on each article, as well as list competitor’s articles to use as a reference when writing the new article.
Your editorial calendar will house all of your old content, current content, and upcoming content, all in one spot.
9. Find a Content Creation Team
Writing a blog post takes a while. Let’s figure that the average 1000 word article takes around 2-3 hours to write.
Depending on how ambitious your editorial calendar is, you might consider hiring a content creation team, or content marketing studio.
It’s advised that a company’s website blogs regularly. How regularly? It’s tough to say, but at least a couple of times a month at the minimum.
If you really want to get quick results, you may want to consider publishing a very high quantity of blogs weekly, let’s say about six per week.
At that rate, you’re going to need to hire freelance writers who you can share your editorial calendar with and create an efficient content marketing system.
10. Rework, Expand, and Rewrite Content to Optimize Results
The top-performing blog posts on a website shouldn’t be static.
You should always be optimizing your top-performing content, because it can always perform just a little bit better — it can attract more visitors, get more conversions, or improve its Google positioning.
New information will also make your existing content interesting. Also, Google’s search algorithm favors new content, because it sees newer information as being more factually accurate.
By updating your old post, you’re essentially adding more SEO-rich keywords that can make it easier to find. You’re also appeasing Google by producing newer content, which they will reward you for by improving your Google ranking.
11. Recycle, Reuse, and Upcycle Current Content
A great piece of content should be adaptable from one medium to the next.
It’s also more efficient to copy one form of content and adapt it into another — especially if you know that a certain content piece is performing very well.
- A recent blog post can make for great newsletter content
- A blog post could be adapted into a YouTube video
- A YouTube video could be turned into a blog post
- A webinar could be recorded and uploaded to YouTube
- Questions and feedback from a webinar can be turned into a FAQs page on your website
- An infographic can be turned into a YouTube video
- A YouTube video can be turned into an infographic
- Your best answers on Reddit or Quora can be turned into blog posts
You can cover all your bases to make sure your audience sees your important information, whether they are primarily readers or skimmers, or video watchers.
12. Track and Measure Results, Then Make Necessary Adjustments
Successful digital marketing campaigns are achieved through constant, incremental progress. This is only possible through tracking and monitoring data.
You shouldn’t wait until the end of your campaign to check your results. Regular monitoring and reporting are crucial for spotting errors through your digital marketing channels.
You probably don’t need to check your website’s analytics every day, but it doesn’t hurt. At a minimum, you should check it at least a few times a week. How else would you know what articles are performing well, and which aren’t?
Your most important conversion goals should be checked more frequently. Is a landing page getting a lot of clicks, but no conversions? Check it out, you might have a broken link.
Are you generating a lot of leads that aren’t converting? You may want to adjust your targeting or messaging to find a better audience.
Is your website’s bounce rate still too high? Check your analytics to see where these referrals are coming from, and then readjust.
Kaleidico — Schedule Your Discovery Session Today
You could follow our documented strategy or contact Kaleidico directly to help you.
Kaleidico is a lead generation agency specializing in content marketing for law firms, mortgage lenders, and fintech companies.
We combine SEO, PPC, graphic design, branding, content strategy, content marketing, email marketing, and lead generation to generate more profits for our clients and their customers.
Are you a marketer looking to hire a content marketing studio? Or do your existing clients need more content than you can produce alone? Ask about our white label content marketing services.