Establishing a robust content strategy in a highly saturated digital content marketing arena is indispensable for connecting with your target audience and distinguishing yourself amidst the competition. Your strategy is the linchpin for enhancing your brand’s discoverability on search engines, ensuring that your ideal customers encounter your offerings precisely when needed and delivering an exceptional user experience once they engage with your online presence. This extensive guide will lead you through the vital stages required to craft an exceptional content strategy for your brand, accompanied by tangible success stories from companies that have mastered the art.
- A content strategy is a holistic approach to delivering customer information, unlike content marketing.
- Clearly defined goals and performance metrics are foundational components of your content strategy.
- Buyer personas help define your target audience and inform your strategy.
- Keyword research is essential to successful SEO for your content strategy.
- Amplifying your content and making it shareable increases brand visibility and reach.
What is a Content Strategy and Why is it Important?
A content strategy is a holistic approach to delivering the information your customers need across channels and at every stage of the buyer journey. It makes content a strategic asset for your company, one that you can leverage to drive traffic, leads, engagement, sales, and other business objectives. Unlike content marketing, which is the execution of your strategy, a content strategy defines the overall mindset, culture, and style for communicating with your customers through content.
Companies can choose from a wide range of content to deliver at each phase of the buyer journey, as potential customers at each stage have different needs and require different kinds of information. A defined content strategy is critical to this effort and one of the surest ways to maximize content return on investment (ROI).
Content Strategy Examples to Inspire You!
To help you get inspired and understand how different brands have successfully implemented their content strategies, here are seven real-world examples with high-quality execution:
1. Hubspot’s Inbound Marketing Strategy
Hubspot, a leading marketing software company, launched their blog in the early 2000s, covering topics relevant to their customer base. Over time, they established strong brand authority and online presence for a wide range of marketing topics. Today, marketing professionals turn to Hubspot as a go-to resource for inbound and content marketing information. Their success lies in creating consistent, high-value, relevant content that addresses customer needs and drives their larger business goals.
2. Blendtec’s “Will it Blend?” Videos
Blendtec, a blender manufacturer, launched their “Will it Blend?” video series in 2007. The series featured their founder blending extremely non-blendable items to showcase the power of their product. The videos quickly gained popularity, increasing their sales by 1000% and accumulating hundreds of millions of views. Blendtec’s content strategy stands out because of their clear brand voice and relatable, funny approach, which connected with customers and made their brand recognizable.
3. John Deere’s “The Furrow” Publication
John Deere has been publishing “The Furrow” magazine since 1895, making it one of the oldest content strategies in existence. The magazine aims to help farmers solve common problems they encounter and establish John Deere products as solutions. The content focuses on customer needs first and brand second, building trust and positioning John Deere as a thought leader in the farming industry.
4. American Express’s OPEN Forum
American Express created OPEN Forum as a hub of thought leadership to support small business owners. The content covers topics such as finances, marketing, and management, and comes from other American Express customers. By providing a platform for their customers to share their expertise, American Express builds community and establishes themselves as a trusted resource for small business owners.
5. Moz’s Whiteboard Friday Series
Moz’s Whiteboard Friday series, started by Moz founder Rand Fishkin, addresses common and complex industry topics visually and engagingly. The series gained popularity and became one of the longest-running B2B video series. Moz’s content strategy focuses on delivering value to their audience by covering topics that address their needs and challenges.
6. Patagonia’s Focus on Shareability
Outdoor apparel and gear brand Patagonia creates highly shareable content that focuses on sustainability, helping the environment, and making conscious consumer choices. They use platforms like Tumblr to crowdsource content, allowing their customers to share their stories and experiences. Patagonia’s content strategy emphasizes their brand values and has built a loyal customer base.
7. Red Bull’s Experiential Content
Red Bull’s content strategy revolves around selling an experience rather than just their products. They showcase extreme sports and high-adrenaline activities to create a culture around their brand. Red Bull’s content is highly shareable, resonates with their target audience, and positions them as an authority in their niche.
These examples showcase different approaches to content strategy, but they all have one thing in common: a focus on delivering value to their target audience and aligning their content with their larger business goals.
Ready to Develop Your Killer Content Strategy?
Now that these real-world examples inspire you, it’s time to develop your own killer content strategy. Here are the essential steps to get started:
1. Set Your Goals
Define well-defined goals that guide your strategy and help you measure its success. Use the SMART goal framework for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals.
2. Define Buyer Personas
Create representations of your target customers that help you understand their needs, pain points, motivations, and behavior. Define the content your target customers use, the topics they are interested in, the types or formats of content they prefer, the channels they use, the stage of their buyer journey, the keywords they use to search, and the questions they ask.
3. Determine Content Pillars and Types
Identify the main categories or themes from which all your content ideas originate. These content pillars will guide your content creation and ensure that your content aligns with your larger goals. Keep your content pillars somewhat broad to allow for various topics and ideas to fall under them.
4. Establish Your Brand Voice
Define the overall personality and tone you want to convey when communicating with your customers. Set parameters around language and tone to ensure consistency across your content. Create a documented guide with dos and don’ts to help content creators stay consistent.
5. Conduct Keyword Research and Develop Your SEO Strategy
Effective keyword research is essential for ranking on search engine results pages. Use tools like SEMRush’s Keyword Magic Tool to identify relevant keywords and align them with the buyer funnel and your content pillars. This ensures that your content reaches the right customers at the right time.
6. Brainstorm Content Ideas
Use the insights from your buyer personas, content pillars, brand voice, and keyword research to develop creative and engaging content ideas. Consider different formats, such as videos, blog posts, infographics, or podcasts, to communicate your topics effectively.
7. Create a Content Calendar
Develop a content calendar to plan and schedule your content publication. This keeps you organized, ensures consistency, and helps you stay on track with your content strategy. Use tools or templates to create a comprehensive content calendar including topics, formats, and publishing dates.
8. Outline Key Metrics
Define the key metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your content strategy. Consider metrics such as traffic, conversions, engagement, SEO performance, and authority. Regularly monitor and analyze these metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and make data-driven adjustments.
9. Create Awesome Content
Focus on creating high-quality, valuable, and engaging content. Consider creating content internally or outsourcing it to a content strategy agency. If outsourcing, choose a reliable agency that understands your goals, brand voice, and target audience. Outsourcing can be cost-effective and provides access to experienced content creators.
10. Amplify Your Content
Don’t just publish your content and hope it performs well on its own. Actively amplify your content by making it shareable and promoting it on your own platforms. Share your content on social media, include it in newsletters and emails, and encourage employees to share it as well. The more your content is shared, the higher its visibility and ROI.
Q: How long does it take to develop a content strategy? A: Developing a content strategy can vary depending on the complexity of your business and goals. It typically takes several weeks to conduct thorough research, define goals, and create your content strategy.
Q: What if my content strategy needs adjustments along the way? A: It’s normal for a content strategy to evolve as you gather data and insights. Regularly monitor your key metrics, analyze the performance of your content, and make adjustments as needed to optimize your strategy.
Q: How do I ensure consistency in my content strategy? A: Consistency is key in a content strategy. Establish brand guidelines, develop a clear brand voice, and create a content calendar to ensure consistent messaging and publishing schedule.
Q: Can I outsource my content creation? A: Outsourcing content creation can be a cost-effective option, especially if you don’t have an internal team with the necessary expertise or bandwidth. Choose a reputable content strategy agency that understands your brand and goals.
Q: How do I measure the success of my content strategy? A: Measure the success of your content strategy by tracking key metrics such as traffic, conversions, engagement, SEO performance, and authority. Regularly analyze these metrics to evaluate the effectiveness of your strategy and make data-driven adjustments.
Developing a killer content strategy is essential for standing out in today’s digital landscape. By following the steps outlined in this guide and drawing inspiration from real-world examples, you can create a content strategy that drives traffic, engages your audience, and helps you achieve your business goals. Remember to set clear goals, define your target audience, conduct keyword research, create valuable content, and amplify it through various channels. With a well-executed content strategy, you’ll be on your way to success in the digital world.
Now, it’s time to put your knowledge into action and start developing your own killer content strategy!