Council Post: How To Develop An Effective Content Strategy

Council Post: How To Develop An Effective Content Strategy

CEO of MindSEO, a Digital Intelligence company. Director of the Portuguese Marketing Association. Google trainer and University Teacher.

The creation of a well-structured and effective content strategy should be part of any digital marketing plan. Attracting new customers and retaining existing customers involves constantly and consistently nurturing them with regular content production and dissemination. Brand communication must go far beyond communicating your products and services. Rather, you must maintain a healthy relationship with consumers and offer valuable, reliable and qualified information that naturally attracts them and leads them to certain actions, namely to the offer and purchase decision. 

This strategy has numerous advantages for brands and is, therefore, worth all the effort, time and resources invested. When well-planned and executed, it attracts customers and increases the traffic of a website. My experience in this area has shown me that it is one of the best strategies for a website to gain visibility and be placed on the first page of SERPs (search engine result pages). As more people recognize the brand, the more its brand awareness grows, which contributes to greater consumer confidence when making purchase decisions.

Quality content also leads to greater engagement and allows you to develop a close and sustainable relationship with a demanding and selective audience. Among other advantages, it builds the perfect environment to generate qualified leads and increased sales, the main objectives of any e-commerce business. 

Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on attracting and retaining customers through the creation of relevant content that adds value to the consumer. Unlike traditional marketing, the focus is not on direct selling, but on making relevant content that solves user problems and frustrations. 

It is a strategy that has never made as much sense as it does now; that is why the phrase “content is king” is current today and something to keep in mind within all organizations. Nowadays, good marketing needs a good content strategy behind it, regardless of industry or business model. Here are six questions to ask when developing a successful content strategy. 

1. What do I want to achieve with my content strategy? 

A content strategy must first be aligned with an organization’s global strategy. The content must be planned and developed with a clear goal so that you understand its impact on the business. Thus, an organization, whether B2B or B2C, should keep in mind its goals and develop a content strategy around them. Based on this solid foundation, which might include increased leads, brand awareness, engagement, sales, etc., it will be easier to plan your strategy and direct information toward those goals. This will also allow you to select the best types and formats of content to develop. 

2. What content formats should I use?

When we talk about content, we are talking about much more than just blog articles. There are several options to explore and everything will depend on your audience, brand and product placement, as well as your budget and resources available for content creation. Some formats are more dynamic and interactive than others; you can explore creating content in videos, infographics, e-books, podcasts, case studies and many other formats. 

3. Who will read the content and what problem will it solve? 

This is one of the first questions to ask when thinking about how to create an effective content strategy. Who is your target audience? I often see brands that recognize the need for a content strategy, but they forget that it has to be relevant; otherwise, it will not help their global brand strategy. Since the key to a successful content strategy is valuable and consumer-relevant content, it is critical to know your target audience, their characteristics, desires and interests and how their needs can evolve. Thus, you will be able to create content that is more user-focused, which beneficially impacts you and is reflected in an opportunity for your business. 

Your content is an excellent vehicle through which to explain to the consumer the unique advantages and characteristics of your product so that they realize its advantages compared to competing products. Taking advantage of these benefits of content creation allows you to educate the user and naturally inform them about your company, products and services to create a strong connection and provide safe, informed and satisfactory choices. Think of content as a key element in the user experience that, if unique, will have a considerable and decisive weight on your brand attraction, retention and loyalty. 

5. On which channels should I publish? 

On the one hand, brands can choose to publish their content on their channels, such as their websites or blogs. On the other hand, different social networks are available, each with their own characteristics, such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, TikTok, etc. If, for example, you are a clothing brand for teenagers and your audience is mainly found on Instagram, then it may be best to develop specific, visual and interactive content for that social platform. 

6. How should I measure the results of my strategy? 

This is a fundamental part of content strategy that is often overlooked. What sense does it make to invest time, knowledge and money into a content strategy if you do not manage the results? How do you know if your strategy is effective? How do you know if you are investing in the right formats? And on the right channels? Once again, I feel that this step following content publication is often overlooked. It is essential to define analysis methods, customize reports according to the goals you want to analyze and adjust your strategy to become increasingly effective. 

Choosing relevant topics and providing clear and unique information in the best formats and channels for your brand is a great way to start a successful content marketing strategy. Always take into account the goals of your organization and maintain a constant performance analysis practice. The results will be clear over time and you will feel all the benefits that a well-planned and managed content strategy can have for a business. 

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