Marketers often say that content is king, and we can add that content strategy is queen.
Nowadays, social media is one of the most critical communication channels between companies and brands and almost an online business card.
If there is something that these tools have taught us, it is that before getting new customers, you need to engage and make sure they find a good reason to stay. It could be for fun or need, or any other reason, but you have to keep them stuck to you.
Cold sales are not a thing anymore, and the best way to make your customers engaged and willing to buy your products is an irresistible content strategy.
But what a content strategy is, and how can you be sure to create a successful one?
We are here to explain and give you a couple of interesting tricks.
Keep reading to know!
What is it a content strategy, and why do you need one?
If you believe you can create engaging and coherent content on your channels – which are not only social media platforms – without a strategy, think again. A strategy will indicate the right direction. It will help you understand how your ideas are going, and if there is something to change.
Find out interesting facts and topics to share on your social channels, build a database of excellent sources for your newsletters, create the freebie everyone keeps asking. Please give them a spark of new ideas every time they listen to you.
Is it easy? Not at all, but it is the best way to make them love you.
If you are useful, they will have a reason to follow you.
If your communication is also delightful, they would like to follow you.
Content Strategy VS Content Plan
However, before even starting, there is a crucial distinction to make – the difference between content strategy and content plan.
There are several definitions of content strategy, but we could summarize it as the process that will lead you to create, plan, and execute your pieces of content, to reach your communication and marketing goals.
A strategy is not a plan; there is no action yet. Your big picture, number, and kind of steps will lead you to success.
Here you can choose the channels, analyze your competitors and customers, understand which content your audience should like the best.
Also, don’t forget a difference between social media strategy and content strategy: the latter is more significant and includes other tools and platforms, like blogs and newsletters.
On the other hand, a content plan has all the action you need to create that success, because a strategy without action is useless.
On the plan, you can write all the steps you need, from the definition to the sources for your pictures to the exact content that you will publish on a date. Here is the part of the action when you decide how, when, and where you will post the content you planned.
Long story short: with the strategy, you set the goals. With the plan, you set the steps to reach them all.
Why you need a content strategy
Now that you understand what a content strategy is, you may wonder why you need one. Why can’t you post on your channels whenever you feel like doing it?
You want a reason. We are going to give you three.
It saves you time
The first and most immediate reason is that content strategy will save you tons of time.
Once you have your roadmap, you only need to follow it.
Even if you are going to change something now and then, your big picture and the road to reach your goals will always be here to guide you. It is quite comforting!
It helps to reach goals
Setting your goals and trying to match them thanks to your content pieces gives you a new perspective on your work.
Thanks to the strategy, you can see your goals and change elements to match them. On the other hand, you could also discover that the plan you have created is better for another purpose!
Every marketing strategy is a non-stop work in progress. It may sound a bit scary, but having a strategy will help you maintain the right way.
How do you know that you are doing right?
By tracking your progress, of course!
Use analytics to understand if you are on the right track.
Integrate your website with Google Analytics, check your marketing automation activity by comparing your email open rates, use tools like Ghostwriter AI Target Market Analysis to know more audiences more in-depth.
Moreover, always remember that every progress counts and strategy is fundamental to know how the things are going and if your tactics are giving the results you expected.
It helps you to build customers’ loyalty
A good content strategy has to follow the business’s goals and produce content that converts and that becomes a value for the brand.
For this reason, you have to know very well how to handle it, from the definition of your audience – we will talk about it in a few lines – to the kind of content your public finds the most interesting and useful.
A quality content strategy can attract prospects, engage them, and make them loyal customers. Moreover, it helps to keep in touch with the existing ones, making you more recognizable in their mind. Last but not least, it helps your SEO strategy.
Are you sure you don’t want to give it a try?
Five tips for the perfect content strategy
Now that you know why this part is so crucial for your business, it is time to dig deeper. Which tricks can you apply to build a content strategy that rocks?
Set your content strategy goals
A good strategy always starts with the definition of some goals. If you don’t select them, you will have no guidelines for your tactics, and you will act blindly – a complete waste of time and money.
How can you select and measure them? By studying your KPIs.
You can consider several goals – and no, “having the same number of followers of Amazon” is not one of them.
To be effective, your KPIs have to be smart – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound. SMART!
For instance, one of your goals may be having 100 more subscribers to your newsletter by the end of the trimester, or increasing your leading service’s sales by 20% by the end of the year. To select your goals, you need to know your business, your possibilities, and the amount of time you can dedicate to make your projects come true.
For a content strategy, you want to value social engagement (clicks, shares, comments), reach (impressions, traffic, audience growth), and of course, conversions (sales, leads).
The more specific you take your KPIs, the better. They will keep you on track and help you ask yourself the right questions – for instance, why the opening rate of the last newsletter was so high?
Know your target audience
If you produce content to improve your sales, you need to pay attention to the target audience you choose. Relationships with the customers must be nurtured and encouraged thanks to interactions with the brand.
However, who is your audience, and how is the audience that you want?
Who buys your products, reads your posts, opens your newsletters?
Thanks to buyer personas, you can work on the perfect model of customers.
But, real-time Target market Analysis is even more useful for your needs.
Where buyer personas are “ideal,” real-time target analysis brings you into the real world.
By working on internal and external research and analyzing, you determine where to focus time and effort. You must understand who your potential customers are, why they like you, their spending habits, job, and even passions and hobbies.
The more detailed, the better.
Think about them not as simple models, but as people that could buy your products. You need to know who they are and in which ways they are different from each other.
Ghostwriter AI, Target Market Analysis tool, collects all you need, from demographics to trends and interests, crucial for your success.
Listen to the VoC (Voice of the Customer)
Next to it, listen to what your real customers say. Listening to their conversations, you find and track what they think, about you, about your competitor, or only about their intent and searches.
Sentiment analysis also helps you in this phase to better understand your brand’s reputation on the web. It will be a useful tool to elaborate on your long-term strategy.
The more you know about them, the more you will produce pieces of content that your audience can find useful and entertaining.
Moreover, suppose your target audience is not homogeneous. In that case, data insights will indicate the best way to mix and match pieces of content to create a coherent strategy for all the customers’ models.
And if you have an AI-based tool that can help, all the better to change from personas to actual personalization!
Know your competitors
Have you checked what your competitors are doing?
You should, because it allows you to take advantage of this knowledge. You can analyze their strengths and weaknesses and plan how to do better.
Most important of all, you are up-to-date on what is going on in your business field.
No man is an island, and no business is, either! Having a clear picture of your market is the best way to plan your next move.
To know your competitors at best, you need a competitor analysis.
You can achieve it by searching your competitors’ names on Google to obtain a list to analyze.
You can then set your goals and ask yourself what you want to obtain from your competitor analysis. The next step is analyzing – you guessed it – their data!
Collect everything you have about them, from social media channels to website pages. Ask yourself why customers should replace you with them.
Last but not least, it is time to analyze what you have collected – for example, let some AI-based tools help you and start to sort them by topic, product, or ROI, and try to figure out your competitors’ – and yours – next move.
If you know what they are doing, you will have the opportunity to keep up and even do better. Your customers will thank you!
Never forget the customer journey
Is it time to start selling and becoming rich?
Well, maybe, wait just a minute – there is still something to adjust, like thinking about the whole customer journey.
The customer journey is the path that a customer follows from the brand’s awareness to the final purchase, while building a bond based on trust and loyalty.
Every stage of the journey, as Hubspot says, can have its piece of content because “88% of B2B marketers are using custom content to engage with their customers at various stages in their marketing funnels”.
Some kinds of content work best at a specific moment of the journey.
For instance, for TOFU (top of the funnel) are better emotional posts, tutorials, and freebies, to catch the attention and engage the prospect. For MOFU (middle of the funnel), you may prefer webinars, more specific blog posts, and guides. Finally, for BOFU (bottom of the funnel), it is better to go for case studies, practical examples, and CTAs.
Study your own business and pick the most useful elements to make your content strategy shine!
If you have a business, you can’t avoid a content strategy. It is your business card online and tells everybody who you are.
It engages your prospects and helps create a bond with customers.
If you want to rock your content strategy, remember that this strategy permeates every part of your business’ online life, from website to social media to newsletter.
To create the perfect content strategy, study your audience very carefully. Find out who these people are, what they like, what they do, why they want you. This information is a goldmine to propose the best pieces of content.
Moreover, take care of your customer journey while you plan your strategy, and always try to post interesting and useful information.
And always remember that a little help from tech tools goes a long way!