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Best practices for building a content strategy

Updated: Aug 6, 2021

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Content strategy is a content marketing plan that includes content creation, content distribution and content measurement. A content strategy can be for a blog post, a marketing campaign or it can encompass all the content created by a business. The decisions on what to publish, where to publish it and when are normally based on data insights, user behaviour pattern and business objective. Here are 15 of the best practices for constructing an effective content strategy in all of your content marketing.

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1.Understanding ROI from your content

The success of content marketing campaigns hinges on knowing what content will drive conversions. Track content performance using a variety of digital analytics tools to identify which posts perform well and why they do so, then apply this knowledge during future campaigns.

Start with a goal and continually measure your progress. Track who is consuming your content, what they’re clicking on and what engagement levels there are to give yourself an idea of how you should be developing it in future posts. Also, use social media platforms to develop an idea of what people are talking about and how your content could be relevant to them.

No one is the same as another so take advantage of that by using different formats, voices, topics or angles for each audience segment you’re targeting based on their interests.

Make sure you have a clear understanding with whoever it is that is managing your content strategy because you need to make sure that they’re on the same page as you.

Know which social media platform will best suit your audience and focus on it, but don't neglect other platforms just because one or two aren't performing well for you.

Keep a running list of trending topics so that if one of these is relevant to you, then you can get on it and publish content as quickly as possible to increase ROI on new content not just the existing content that you know is working well.

2. Develop content calendars

Content distribution is critical to content marketing success, and a content calendar will help you plan in advance which pieces of content need to be published when.

Any marketer knows that there is a need to create a content calendar that will help you to plan your content on specific days, weeks, and months over the course of an entire year. It can also be used for other types of media like marketing campaigns or events as opposed to just text-based blog posts.

The best way to work your content calendar is to make sure on the first day of every month, plan out what type of posts you want to write. This could be a blog post series or monthly newsletter. Then assign it on that date each time for an entire year and set up reminders in Google Calendar or another app calendar service so that you'll never miss a deadline.

3. Include elements that are interactive

Interactive marketing is the process of planning and executing advertising strategies, which are interactive in nature. The goal with this type of marketing strategy is to provide a memorable experience for customers through engaging them in the brand's story. It can be digital or non-digital.

More than half of people online are on social media at any given time and social content that includes an interactive elements like polls or quizzes are much more likely to be shared.

Interactive marketing works because the approach connects people on an emotional level and it can also be used for branding purposes. Customers are more likely to buy products from brands they feel connected with, which is why interactive marketing is so effective as a strategy.

It's important that marketers use this strategy appropriately because its success hinges on the type of customer an organisation wants to cultivate relationships with. For example, a company might want to pursue customers who are critical thinkers so they would use interactive content that is more informational.

Interactive marketing can be used for different purposes such as promotion and informing consumers about new developments or products being offered by the brand.

It might not work for every type of customer, so marketers should know who their target audience is before they start designing a strategy.

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4. Monitor content performance

Monitoring content performance is an important part of a content strategy because it helps marketers identify which types of content perform well and why they do so. Additionally, content performance data helps content marketers optimize content for the future.

Performance can be monitored by looking at how people interact with your content by tracking their interactions on your website, social etc. You need to track the number of impressions, engagements, reactions to posts and notifications from other members in groups when you post new content in that space. View this data alongside other statistics like time spent on the content and bounce rate.

5. Use content to generate leads

Content marketing doesn’t always lead directly to conversions, but it can pave the way by generating qualified leads and improving your brand awareness among potential customers. Focus on creating content that converts prospects into buyers as content strategy best practice.

Use content marketing best practices like writing for your audience and leveraging the power of search engine optimization. This should include creating articles, videos, infographics or other media that will inform the reader on a topic they are interested in. This will lead them to your site where they can find out more and eventually get in contact with you or make a purchase.

Don't be afraid of creating content that is promotional, as long as it has value for the audience.

Identify potential free sources of traffic such as social media or a blog post, which will help increase website traffic without costing you any money.

Share the content you publish on your site to increase website traffic and make it more visible for all those who are looking in that niche.

Create a content strategy framework that ensures that when people come onto your site, they find what they're looking for quickly and easily by creating landing pages tailored around topics or products which will lead them to another page.

Use your blog as the home base of all content, and make sure that it is optimized for search engines so people can find you when they look for a certain topic or product on Google.

Create an email list where subscribers automatically receive new articles from your site once published.

6. Craft content that connects with your audience

There are many effective ways to engage an audience, but content strategies should be tailored for the needs and interests of a particular target demographic or group. This is another content strategy best practices as well as generate leads.

One way to create a connection with your audience is to know their needs and desires. This will allow you to tailor content that speaks directly to them, which can result in making an emotional attachment. If possible, offer personal stories from the author or something they have seen on Twitter for example that relates back to their interests.

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7. Measure content performance

There are many ways to measure content performance. One of the most common measurements is in terms of how often a website's pages get viewed by visitors, and whether or not they take action on that page view.

Content might also be measured based off how long someone stays on your site after viewing that particular piece of content and how many new people you are bringing to your website.

A blogger might also measure their success based off of the number of shares they've received on social media platforms, or if other bloggers are quoting them in their posts.

In order to measure success in this area you need metrics that will tell you how many people took various actions as a result of seeing your content. You might measure how many people you've reached, the number or person to action conversions and any increase in traffic or awareness that comes from these efforts.

As an example if you want to measure success in this area and your goal is 25 sales from new visitors, you might use a conversion rate as one metric to assess performance. You might also measure how many new visitors you have received and also the total number of sales as a result. This is often referred to in terms of acquisition versus conversion metrics.

Conversion metrics are important to measure because it's not about how many people you reach, but instead how many take a desired action after viewing your content. This is different than other types of marketing where the goal might be that more and more people see your content so they can increase their brand awareness or create some sort of product interest.

Some companies use an A:B testing strategy, which means that 50% will get advert A, and 50% will get advert B and whichever one performs better is the approach that they move forward with.

The most important thing in any content marketing strategy, whether you're measuring success or not, is to have a goal for what you want your content to accomplish - and then measure your results against this so that you can make tweaks.

8. Use content to nurture relationships

Content marketing isn’t just a short-term campaign, it is an ongoing process that helps brands establish customer loyalty and create meaningful connections with prospects over time. The more content you produce, the more content you have to nurture a relationship with prospects.

This means you need to be proactive about publishing and promoting relevant content in order to create the opportunity for people who are interested in what you have produce contact with your company or services.

Content Marketing involves creating meaningful content that is both useful and shareable. This content should be published in a way that will allow it to spread virally through the Web, social media channels or other tools like blogs/podcasts.

There are many ways you can use your content to nurture relationships with your customer, including:

  • Producing several blog posts on topics that are relevant to their industry

  • Creating infographics or a similar type of visual content that customers can share throughout social channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked. This is a low cost form of marketing because it does not require much time or monies to produce such visuals.

  • Create videos with useful information that they can embed into the website that you have designed for them.

  • Create eBooks that your customers can sell on their own websites or use for marketing purposes to get leads for themselves.

  • Publish articles in industry publications and magazines where they will be viewed by potential customers who are interested in what you have to offer.

  • Connect with your customers in a structured manner through social media channels.

  • Publish regular email newsletters to keep customers updated on your projects you are working on for them and how they can help promote these projects in their own personal or business online space.

9. Then and now content marketing

It’s important to keep up with changes in content marketing distribution platforms, user behaviour patterns and also the business objectives for your company, so that you can develop future strategies accordingly. Content strategists should always be on the lookout for content opportunities and other business development initiatives.

The modern age of content marketing is growth in the digital market with most of the time being spent on website SEO, online content, emails, social and blogs. However, some of the old style ways of advertising, before the digital age, remain go to advertising channels Today for a lot of companies which includes offline advertising including magazine and newspaper advertising and in post marketing.

Content Marketing is more measurable than ever before. In the past, it was difficult to measure if any of your campaigns had worked well because there wasn't many ways to track them. Now, there are countless analytics tools available that you can use to measure the success of your campaigns in every detail and way.

10. Define success metrics

Different companies have different content goals, so it’s important to define your own content marketing metrics before you start creating content. It is also a good idea to include these content performance objectives in an overall company content marketing strategy.

In digital marketing, success metrics are goals that define the desired outcome of a campaign. This includes the number of clicks on advertising, how many signups for newsletters and also the level of new social media followers. The focus should always be on how these actions will lead to more sales or brand awareness.

Success metrics in marketing include engagements (including newsletter sign ups and social likes and follows), leads (sales pipeline enquiries and orders) and ROI (Return on Investment).

Businesses will often choose success metrics that align with their marketing objectives. For example, if a company wants to promote its a e-book online and generate signups for their newsletter in the process.

11. Balance content promotion and content curation

Content marketers should spend a lot of time promoting content on their social marketing channels, but also allocate time to create new content for future publishing calendars. It is important not to over promote content though because this can lead to negative results like high content fatigue with your potential customers.

Promoting content is a great way to get the word out about your latest blog post or video on social platforms. However, you may want to consider saving time and creating more of this type of content in-house before promoting it elsewhere. Curation can be done by simply sharing others’ work with your followers as well as curating content you have created.

This is a good way to share your work with an audience and find new content that they may be interested in. Share what seems relevant or interesting, but avoid posting too much of the same thing all at once so as not to overwhelm followers. You can also curate other people’s posts by reposting them on your social media accounts.

Content curation can be done in a number of ways including sharing others peoples posts on social accounts, blogs or other websites. You can also repost relevant posts of others via email or as a pinned tweet or reposting someone else's post on your blog or page on your website.

12. Know your goals

Content strategists should always be aware of what business objectives their content marketing campaign is supposed to achieve, and they should tailor content based on these objectives. If a particular goal isn’t being met by the content you produce, then it may not be an effective content strategy.

You should think about your strategy and goals for marketing before you start any campaign or plan. That way, you can determine what success looks like to you and make sure that all of the work put in will be worth it. There are many different types of campaigns out there so take some time to brainstorm with yourself and figure out what your goals are. You will need to understand what you want to accomplish and also what is the concluding point of the marketing. Also wether you want customers, sales or are happy with an increase in website traffic.

If so much time goes into the campaign, make sure you know what your ultimate goal is.

The more time and effort put into a marketing strategy or campaign, the better it'll be for achieving success. Think about what type of campaigns will work best for you as well as how to measure their effectiveness so that they're successful in meeting all of your goals and resulting in a successful content marketing plan.

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13. The content marketing funnel

The content marketing funnel is what we is used to measure success levels of your marketing campaign. The funnel measures how many people are coming in and taking an action that will lead them down a path that ends with a conversion.

The first step in this process is getting visitors to your advertising. This can be done through social media or advertising campaigns on various platforms including SEO, blog, email marketing and content marketing.

The second step is to get the attention of visitors and get them to read your blog or watch a video on your website for example. You can achieve this by having an eye catching headline that will catch their attention when they are scrolling through social media. You must make sure that there is a call to action option on this advertising to continue the customer journey through the marketing funnel.

The third step is for visitors to take an action on your website that will lead them further down the marketing funnel, such as signing up for your newsletter or filling in a form. This stage is the part where some trust is built with your customer and you have an opportunity to showcase quality content to them to make them happy.

The fourth step is getting the visitor to become a customer and purchase something from you. This can be a product or a service that they have located on your website and requested information on. For some businesses this stage could be a customer purchasing a monthly membership package.

The fifth and final stage of the marketing funnel is for the customer to become a supporter of your company by liking, sharing, or commenting on posts that are on social media or your website blog. This appraisal process leads to increased sales through quantified reviews and word of mouth advertising meaning that the initial customer should become a repeat customer whilst you will be attracting new customers through such positive leads.

14. Use analytics

Content marketers will need to be able to access statistics easily to check how all of their content has performed and identify which pieces of marketing created the most engagement from customers and were the most popular. Content strategy moving forward can be created from this analytic information.

These days there are many types of analytical tools that can be used to measure the success levels of your digital marketing. Google Analytics is by far the most popular to use.

There are several different information statistics that are useful to review from analytics.

  • Time spent on site is an important measure to ascertain which of your website pages visitors spent the most time looking at before exiting the site. This information gives you an opportunity to amend pages to make them more user friendly and improve content on pages where relevant to increase the time in the future that visitors spend on the site.

  • Tracking conversion rates on specific products is vital and you should create goal conversions tags that are linked to all products so that when a product sells on your website you can tell where this sale has come from and how many of the sales have been created from a certain media.

  • Tracking user activity is important as it shows what pages visitors are clicking on the most and their journey through your website including where they have spent the most time. This can give important information on how effective your marketing campaigns have been.

  • Tracking internal search terms will indicate what people are searching for on your website. You can also see what visitors have typed in before they ended up on your website and landing on a specific landing page.

  • Tracking the conversion paths of visitors will allow you to see what pages visitors were on previous to making an order on the website. This will give you vital insight into what you need to do for other similar products to create more orders.

15. Use a marketing automation platform

Marketing automation is the practice of using software to automate repetitive marketing tasks, freeing up time for more productive work. It simplifies and systematises many aspects of a company's digital marketing efforts, including managing outreach to potential customers through email campaigns or social platforms messages. Automation can also be used in areas such as lead scoring or SEO.

Marketing platforms also allow for cost-effective, personalized and customized marketing. One of the most common uses for marketing automation software is in email campaigns or social media. These platforms allow you to send out emails without needing to manually create them each time and also sends follow ups if a customer does not open your email or click on links inside of it.

Before the internet was around if a company wanted to reach a potential customer with an offer it would generally be through direct mail or other offline advertising. Offline advertising has issues like being more expensive and being difficult to track performance in converting customers. Marketing automation addresses these problems by providing tools for assessing your ROI more accurately and easily, as well as making sure you use are using the cheapest and most effective methods possible for reaching customers.

Marketing automation is not just limited to emails; it can also be used in CRM software such as Salesforce or marketing tools like Hubspot. Automate repetitive tasks by setting up pre-made templates that will make sending out marketing emails, monitoring social media feeds and building landing pages to generate leads easier.

Develop a content strategy for your digital marketing that incorporates relevant content in all of your marketing channels including social, email marketing, seo, blog and website that also enhances the user experience which in turn will increase visitors and sales.

Your business goals should be to increase the number of visitors to your advertising and with successful content marketing efforts and a solid content strategy. Create content for your marketing that is filled with research of the right keywords and deep audience analysis so you can guarantee that you create a successful marketing plan for the correct target audience for your business.

There are many resources available for free online that you can research that have more content strategy examples and these can be a great tool for learning more about content development and content management.

With all of this information you can create a content strategy that will give you the highest level of visitors possible and develop a content strategy that will be a winner for your business.

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