There’s no denying that nowadays content marketing is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Some say it’s about feeding the content machine with as much content as you can dish out, others say that it’s about the quality. Of course, the truth is always somewhere in the middle.
On the one hand, you need to post content frequently and regularly to keep your audience engaged and Google interested in your site. Content frequency is also instrumental in social media success and building a thriving digital presence in general.
On the other hand, mediocre content might do you more harm than good in the long run, so it’s imperative to focus on quality as well. The quality of your content comes from both the technical and creative aspects of content creation.
You need to have a fast, performance-driven blog that loads seamlessly and keeps the reader on the page. However, you also need to create inspirational, informative, top-quality content to get ahead of the competition.
With all of that in mind, creating a content strategy for your site can be a difficult task. Let’s make it easier by giving you the top tips and reasons for building a content marketing strategy for your website in 2021. Here’s what you need to do.
Know your audience
First and foremost, you need to give your content strategy a clear direction by knowing exactly whom you’re talking to. Your online audience has its unique likes and dislikes driven by various market, economic, and socio-political factors.
Your job is to compile as much information about your audience as you can. This information will allow you to define and optimize:
- Your blog’s unique tone of voice.
- The visual style and identity of your blog.
- The right storytelling to wow your audience.
- The technical and SEO aspects to boost your ranking.
- Drive shareability and structure the layout of your blogs.
- Create engaging CTAs that will speak directly to the reader.
- Inspire positive action with every piece of content.
These are just some of the things you’ll be able to do with meticulous audience research. To obtain all that information without breaking the bank, though, you should:
- Leverage the built-in analytics tools of your social media networks to get audience insights.
- Use Google Analytics to define your website’s key demographics and find out from their interests and location, to behavior and the devices they use.
- Use your CRM tool to mine invaluable customer data from sales, marketing, and customer support data pools.
- Conduct thorough competitor research. Find the websites and the content that performs best and mirror the approach while giving it your unique twist.
- Conduct a keyword gap analysis and define the primary and secondary keywords that will get your blogs noticed on Google.
Start setting content goals
Now that you know your audience and that you’re able to create detailed personas, you can start setting clear and actionable goals. The best way to approach goal-setting for a content strategy is to create SMART goals. Smart goals are:
- Specific. No general content, no fluff – you should make your content specific and to the point. Make sure it solves specific problems and pain-points that people are facing.
- Measurable. Don’t set a content goal you can’t measure. Every goal should have a set of KPIs (key performance indicators) to track performance.
- Attainable. Can you actually achieve your goals? Don’t shoot for the stars, shoot for attainable goals that will deliver results.
- Relevant. Your content should be relevant for your brand and industry, but also your audience.
- Time-bound. If you don’t put a deadline on every task, content is going to get pushed back and you will lose consistency and momentum. Don’t let this happen if you want to build a thriving online presence.
Setting these SMART goals will give your content strategy structure and direction, and it will allow you to better personalize and humanize your website for your unique audience. With the right goals, you can work your way back through the right strategies and tactics to achieve them.
Content goals can include but are not limited to:
- Brand awareness and visibility.
- Customer education and engagement.
- Lead generation and conversion.
- Building social proof and authority for your site.
- Recruitment and onboarding.
- Boosting your social media presence.
- Building brand loyalty.
- And many more.
Create a strong editorial plan
Creating amazing content is paramount to success, but so is publishing it on a regular basis. Remember, you not only need great content, you also need to keep your audience engaged and interested with regular posts.
You need to preserve the momentum and teach your audience when to expect a new piece of content to pop up on your site and across the digital realm. That’s why you need to create an editorial plan, automate parts of the editorial process, and use the right editorial calendar plugin for your WP site.
To organize your editorial plan, you should set:
- Dates. Organize your editorial calendar by date and schedule posts several weeks in advance.
- Themes. Set themes for content creation to streamline publishing and keep the audience engaged.
- Events. Coordinate content marketing with industry events and news.
- Distribution channels. Define the most relevant distribution channels like your site, social media, forums, and other authority sites.
- Content ownership. Assign proper ownership to the author or your website to minimize liability and streamline distribution.
Act on the latest content marketing trends
One of the key elements of a winning content strategy is, simply, data. You need to know exactly where the market is heading, how the industry is evolving, and what your audience wants and needs to see. You also need to know how your audience is consuming content so that you can diversify your content creation and optimize your strategy for maximum engagement.
If you take a look at this nifty content marketing timeline that goes through the trends over the years, you will see that written content is still king, but that visual content and voice optimization are becoming increasingly relevant.
In the months and years to come, relevant, long-form content will remain king, but people will increasingly use visual search for the sake of efficiency. People are also using voice search more than ever before, which means that you need to optimize your content strategy with the right, question-based keywords.
Make sure to stay on top of the latest content marketing trends to keep your strategy flexible and agile. This will allow you to adjust your approach quickly and retain a high position in the SERPs.
Create diverse and engaging content
Speaking of the new trends, it is important more than ever before to start thinking beyond written content alone. Yes, long-form articles will continue to dominate, but now is also the time to start producing other types of content to expand your reach.
Consider including these in your content strategy:
- Images and infographics.
- Audio content.
- Case studies.
- E-books and e-courses.
- User-generated content to build social proof.
- Webinars and online workshops.
- Interviews with industry experts.
These are some of the most engaging content forms out there right now, and investing in content diversification can take your business forward. The more diverse the content, the higher the chances that you will engage a larger audience across a variety of online platforms.
Distribute content for maximum effect
Of course, it’s not enough to just develop amazing content – you also need to distribute it for maximum visibility and engagement. After all, what good is an amazing blog post if nobody knows it exists? You need to leverage your audience data and the data from your editorial plan to create a strong dissemination strategy.
Be sure to:
- Identify all distribution channels relevant to your brand and industry.
- Identify influencers and industry experts who can republish your content.
- Identify the best distribution methods to make the process seamless and efficient.
- Identify the best times to publish your content on all digital platforms.
- Prep PR plans for all content to be distributed on relevant media outlets.
- Don’t forget to identify niche social media channels and websites that may bring more exposure to your content.
Set KPIs, monitor performance, and adjust
As we mentioned earlier, your content marketing goals need to be measurable so that you can optimize and adjust for maximum results. Keeping track of all your content and the different tactics we mentioned above is instrumental for long-term success.
With that in mind, your content marketing KPIs should include the following:
- Overall organic traffic.
- Unique page visits.
- Time on page.
- CTR of internal links.
- Scroll depth and speed.
- Bounce rate.
- Comments and interactions.
- Social shares.
- New subscribers.
- Customer lifetime value.
- Customer retention.
- Overall content ROI.
These are the essential key performance indicators that will give structure to your content marketing efforts and a clear overview of your strategy. Most importantly, these KPIs will allow you to keep a close eye on all your content and how it is performing so that you can adjust your approach on a moment’s notice.
Without a doubt, having a strong content strategy is paramount for growth and success in 2021 and beyond. With these tips in mind, you can create a comprehensive content plan that will grow your online presence across the digital realm.