6 Things To Know Before Starting Content Strategy Development

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Here are 6 vital things you should know before starting content strategy development for your business.

More than 90% of businesses are developing digital content for their brands. This makes having a strategic content plan important to stand out amongst the competition. By developing powerful and valuable content, your brand can increase exposure and build relationships that drive sales.

Optimize your content marketing plan with these six tips:

1. Identify Goals and Build Roadmaps for Success

Start mapping out your content marketing plan by establishing your goals. Identify goals by exposure, engagement, and virality and then shape your tactics to support your goals.

To ensure your goals can be achieved and monitored, make every milestone a SMART goal — specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. An example is below.

Related Article: 5 Critical Content Marketing Tips for Small Businesses

Increase Facebook followers:

  • Specific: Increase Facebook page likes by 25% leveraging promoted posts
  • Measurable: Today we have 10,000 fans and our target is 12,500
  • Attainable: With budgets of $200 a week this should be completed in six weeks
  • Relevant: Helps increase brand exposure and engagement
  • Time-Based: Grow 25% by end of February

2. Define the Needs of Your Target Audience

Before you can properly begin creating content, you first have to identify your customer segments and understand the needs of your target audience. Understand that there will be a difference between your brand audience and brand buyers.

From search and social data, create personas to help segment your audience based on their needs, behaviors, demographics, etc. Once you understand the pain points of your audience you can create the interesting and unique content they want to see and include calls to actions to help drive sales.

3. Analyze the Competitive Landscape

Taking a look at your existing data and the content produced by competitor brands can be insightful to understanding what content is most engaging to your target audience. By examining how competitors are delivering content you can uncover the obstacles and opportunities your brand may face.

Use tools to gain additional insights into how your competitors are behaving online such as HubSpot’s Marketing Grader, Open Site Explorer, Majestic SEO and ahref.

4. Determine the Most Effective Content Medium

Typically content is misrepresented as something that is written, but in reality, content includes any way your brand delivers information. Approach your content plan with this in mind and consider all the ways your brand can share its message through articles, website, podcasts, images, infographics, videos, webinars, etc. Leverage different mediums in different channels to increase engagement and create a sense of identity.

Related Article: 10 Content Marketing Problems to Avoid

5. Decide Where to Engage

Your audience segments will prefer to engage in different places around the web. Understand where you audience likes to get their content and form your delivery to their expectations. Experiment to see which content performs best in different channels. Keep your goals in mind when deciding what channels to pursue and stay true to what is right for your brand.

6. Test for the Optimal Time to Deliver

Develop a plan to regulate how you deliver content. The frequency of your distribution should depend on the channel, but consistency is the key to engagement. Teach your users to expect content to be delivered on a regular schedule, such as a monthly newsletter, and they will stay more engaged. Leveraging a content calendar can help your team stay focused and holds accountability.

Conclusion

Developing a strong content marketing strategy can help increase exposure and build relationships with your followers. By taking the time to develop strategies formed around the needs of your audience and industry conditions, your brand can gain an advantage over the competition. Take a close look at your content today and craft a plan to spread its reach and connect your brand.

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