In today’s digital world, you would agree with me that content is the lifeblood of any successful marketing strategy. It’s the fuel that drives engagement, builds brand awareness, and helps businesses connect with their target audience. However, despite its importance, creating compelling content can be a daunting task for many marketers.
The truth is, creating content is a multi-faceted process that requires careful planning, research, and execution. It’s not just about writing blog posts or creating social media updates. A good content marketing strategy requires a deep understanding of your target audience, their needs, and their pain points. It involves developing a comprehensive plan that outlines your goals, content themes, publishing schedule, and promotion tactics.
That said, developing a winning content marketing strategy doesn’t have to be complicated.
In fact, I have a simple approach that can help you create and publish compelling content consistently. I call it the “Ultimate Content Marketing Strategy.”
How to Create Good Content
Know Your Audience
In the world of content creation, there’s one golden rule that every creator should follow: know your audience. It’s the key to creating content that resonates with your target market and drives engagement. But, despite its importance, many marketers struggle with creating content that truly speaks to their audience.
If you’re one of those creators who feel lost when it comes to content creation, don’t worry, you’re not alone. The truth is, understanding your audience can be a challenge. It’s not enough to simply know who your target market is, you need to truly understand their needs, desires, and pain points.
To create great content, you need to know your ideal customer avatar (insert blog link) inside out. What do they care about? What keeps them up at night? What motivates them to take action? To do this, you need to get specific. Write down every single detail about your ideal customer, from their demographics to their interests and hobbies. Give them a name and a personality. This will help you create content that speaks directly to them.
But, knowing your ideal customer avatar is just the first step. You need to keep them in mind every time you create content. Whether you’re writing a blog post, creating a social media update, or producing a video, ask yourself, “How will this content help my ideal customer?” By focusing on their needs and interests, you’ll create content that is both valuable and engaging.
Have a Clear Goal
Secondly, have a clear goal in mind for all the content you’re putting out there. As a coach or course creator, it’s likely that you’re creating content with the ultimate goal of translating it into sales. And that’s perfectly fine! But in order to achieve that goal, you need to make sure that your product or service is well set up.
Think about it this way- when a potential customer comes across your content, whether it’s a video, a social media post, or a blog post like this one, you want to make sure that everything is in place to guide them toward a sale. That means having a well-designed website with all the necessary information about your services, and a seamless payment process so that customers can easily make a purchase.
Now, I know that it can be tempting to cut corners and rely on quick DM conversations to close sales. But the truth is, that approach is not sustainable in the long run. If you want to grow your business and build something that lasts, you need to have a proper setup in place.
Have a Clear Content Theme
Have clear content themes or “buckets” that align with your business goals and objectives. Think of your content themes as high-level buckets that categorize the topics you cover in your content. For example, if you’re a business coach, your content themes might be business, marketing, and personal development. These themes should tie back to your overall business goals and objectives so that your content is always aligned with your mission.
Even when you’re sharing something that’s a bit off-topic or just for fun, it’s important to tie it back to your content themes in a way that uplifts and inspires your audience. This helps create a cohesive and engaging content strategy that keeps your audience coming back for more.
When thinking about your content themes, try to stick to no more than three. This helps you stay focused and ensures that your content is aligned with your business goals. Of course, you could choose to have just one content bucket if that’s what works best for your business
Decide What Content Channels to Use
The next thing is your content channels. Now that you have an idea of the broad theme of what your post center around, what channels do you want to post?
Again, this still ties into understanding your ideal customer avatar. Once you know where your ideal customer is hanging out on the internet, it becomes very easy to know where to post.
And here’s one thing, lots of us assume that where our competitors are, is where we need to be. It’s not necessarily the case. For example, if you’re a portrait photographer, don’t assume that you should only post on Instagram because that’s where your competitors are. Instead, figure out where your ideal clients are hanging out and jump on those platforms.
It’s also important for me to mention here that you need to have short-form content and long-form content. So if you post on Instagram or Pinterest or wherever you still want to have some other form of content that has more long-term benefits for you. Typically, this would be either a blog or a vlog.
Your blog could be on your WordPress website, Medium, or wherever. And your vlog could be on YouTube or another video platform. I highly recommend not putting all your eggs in one platform’s basket, and that goes for Instagram specifically.
Think about it, if you get locked out of Instagram today, you want to have your content somewhere that people will always find you when they search for the problems that you solve. And a very good way to do that is by having a blog. This way, when people search on Google, your SEO-optimized blog will show up and drive traffic to your content.
How to Build a Content Marketing Strategy
Your content strategy, which I refer to as a content funnel is an important aspect of your business. This strategy has four stages: awareness, interest, decision, and action. These stages align with the steps that potential customers typically go through before converting to paying customers.
Awareness refers to content that brings attention to a problem or issue that the audience may not have been aware of previously. This type of content is designed to get your audience to self-identify as your ideal client.
For example, if you are targeting coaches, you could create content that asks, “Are you a coach experiencing X, Y, Z in your business?” This type of content will capture the attention of coaches and make them realize that they have a specific problem that needs to be solved.
At this point, your target audience is aware of your brand and may have already followed your social media page or subscribed to your email list. The goal of the interest stage is to establish your authority in your industry. It is important because when someone needs a service or product that you offer, you want to be the first person that comes to their mind.
Your interest content should provide educational information that is relevant to your target audience. This helps to build trust and credibility with them. You want to make sure that when they think about the problem that you can solve, your brand is the first that comes to their mind.
At this point, your target audience is already engaged with your content, and you’ve established your brand as an authority.
Now, you’ve successfully reeled in your audience with your awareness and interest content. But let’s not forget that at the end of the day, you’re not just creating content for the fun of it. You’re running a business and you want to sell your services. This is where decision-type content comes into play.
At this stage, your audience is considering your competition and weighing their options. For example, if I need a website, I’ll likely be comparing between 2, 3, or even 5 different web designers before making my decision. So, how can you set yourself apart and ensure that I choose you?
One effective way is through social proof. Share case studies and reviews from satisfied customers to showcase your expertise and credibility. Screenshots of positive comments and feedback from clients can also work wonders in elevating that emotional connection and building trust. This type of content helps you stand out as a superior option in a sea of competitors.
Call to Action
The final step in your content strategy is to encourage action. At the decision stage, you need to make sure that you stand out from your competitors by giving a call to action. This is where promotional posts come into play. You can showcase your services, offer discounts, or give coupons to the first few people who sign up.
However, it’s important to strike a balance between promoting and providing value. You don’t want to be one of those businesses that just post pictures of their products without offering any value. You need to ensure that you provide enough value through your awareness, interest, and decision posts before asking for the sale.
Ideally, you should have at least two decision posts per week that explicitly ask for the sale. But sometimes, your content funnel may not be linear. You could include a call to action in your awareness post or any other post as long as it leads to a sale.
Planning Your Content Calendar
The subsequent step is to plan your content calendar. But before doing so, you must determine the frequency of your posts. For instance, if you’re using Instagram, how often do you intend to post? Once a day, twice a day, or once a week? If it’s YouTube, like myself, it’s usually once a week. Once you’ve decided on your frequency, you can start creating your content buckets or pillars. These are slightly more detailed than the broader categories mentioned earlier, but they still fall under them.
Your content pillars may include promotional, inspirational, meme, educational, and agitating posts. Agitating posts are educational posts that challenge the norm and make your audience see things from a different perspective. These types of content help position you as a thought leader.
Moreover, it’s crucial to batch your posts and schedule them in advance. Instead of waking up every morning to figure out what to post, have a content calendar.
Measure Your Strategy
Lastly, it’s important to note that without measurement, you can never truly determine the effectiveness of your strategy. So, make sure to monitor the metrics that matter. The metrics you should track will depend on the stage of your funnel.
For the awareness stage, you can measure reach, impressions, page visits, and video views. When it comes to engagement, keep track of likes, comments, saves, shares, and email subscribers. For conversions, monitor the number of leads that enter your funnel and how many of them are qualified, as well as how many converts into paying clients. Retention can be measured by tracking the number of repeat clients and how many of them refer new clients to you.
It’s important to know what you’re measuring based on your content goals at any given time. It may be overwhelming to track all of these metrics on your own, especially if you’re a one-person team. However, if you’re outsourcing, make sure your marketing partner is keeping an eye on these metrics. If you have a team, ensure they are monitoring all the important metrics as well.