How to create a content strategy

How to Create a Content Strategy for Your Business (+Infographic)

A content strategy is an important part of your marketing efforts. Whether you only run a small blog, an ecommerce shop or something bigger, without a solid content strategy plan in place, you are only shooting in the dark. Don’t expect to hit anything like that. This post, will help you learn how to create a content strategy that will help you succeed on the Internet and beyond. With this knowledge in hand, you’ll be able to create content that is more relevant and useful to your audience.

Why is Content Strategy Important?

Creating content just for the sake of creating it, won’t cut it anymore. More content doesn’t mean this content will actually be useful to your target audience enough for them to become leads, customers and advocates of your business. You need to have a content strategy in place for this to happen.

Content strategy is a part of your overall marketing plan that serves to deal with different types of content media you create and own. This can include written content such as blog posts, landing pages and whitepapers or visual content such as videos, infographics or images, just to name a few.

In fact, if you need further proof of how important developing a content strategy is, consider the research Content Marketing Institute (CMI) is doing among Business-to-Business (B2B) companies every year. 37% of respondents have a documented content marketing strategy.

In other words, those that don’t have a content strategy are stumbling in the dark, while those that do know exactly where they need to go and what they need to do in order to reach their goals.

How to Create a Content Strategy? Step by Step Guide

how to create a content strategy infographic

Now that you hopefully understand the importance of having it, let’s take a look at how to create a content strategy. Of course, depending on your size, industry, audience and some other factors, this may look slightly different for everyone, but here’s at least a basic idea. You can use this to build upon further.

  1. What is your goal?

What are you trying to accomplish with your content? Why do you need a content strategy in the first place? Without having clear goals you strive towards, your plan will likely lead nowhere and producing content will prove to be a waste of time.

  1. Who is your target audience?

Who are you creating content for? This is your target audience. Make sure you clearly define your “buyer persona”.

I’ll go deeper into what a buyer persona is in one of the future posts, but for know, we can use this definition from HubSpot, which says:

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been creating content for awhile, knowing who your target audience is will help you content that is relevant and useful to them.

  1. Determine the type of content you will create

People usually start with blog posts. But perhaps this isn’t the type of content that resonates with your target audience in the best possible way. This is why it’s necessary to know your target audience enough to know the type of content they like the most.

You don’t have to stick with blog posts. Your content can be more visual, like YouTube videos, handy infographics, or you can create a podcast and interview influencers in your industry or write an ebook and be an influencer yourself. The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to the type of content you can create.

  1. Come up with some content ideas

At this stage, you can start brainstorming some ideas for your content. “Surprisingly”, you can find these pretty much anywhere, not just online. Read books and other people’s blogs for instance. Or you can also get ideas from the comments on your own blog or in places like online forums, Quora or Reddit.

One place that I often go to when I’m stuck for ideas is Buzzsumo. It’s great for researching your next content as it provides a list of articles on a given topic that are getting shared on the Internet the most.

  1. What content management system (CMS) to use?

You need a place where you can manage your content. That is a content management system or CMS for short. For instance, this blog is created in WordPress. It’s the most popular, but you can also use Coschedule, ModX, Joomla, Drupal and many others.

  1. Don’t forget to audit your content from time to time

From time to time (at least once per year) you should step back and review your content strategy. Is it providing the results you were hoping for? Can you do something differently to improve the content you are delivering to your audience?

Never be fully happy with your content, always aim to make it better for your audience.

  1. Create, publish and organize your content

We’ve finally come to the fun part. Now that you know what type of content will resonate the best with your target audience, it’s time to create and publish it. But this isn’t where your content efforts end. You also need to organize your content. An editorial calendar is a great tool to keep your content on the right track and you should also have a social media content calendar to help you promote your content on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, Pinterest or any other social your audience might be on.

Conclusion

This all may look like a lot to take in, especially for someone who is just starting to create his content and may not have a target audience figured out yet, but hopefully this post will give you a good idea how to create a content strategy that’s going to be effective and hits the right notes with your audience.

Do you have any comments on how to create a content strategy or some questions? Let me know in the comments below.

Vladimir Covic
covic.v1ad@gmail.com
9 Comments
  • Cyrus Jackson
    Posted at 16:54h, 15 October Reply

    Vladimir,
    This post is awesome and the infographic just broke the steps easily for one to easily implement the strategies you’ve laid out.

    You rock!

    Creating a content strategy is very vital for successful blogging. This gives you a roadmap of the type of content you should write, who are targeting and what you intend to achieve with the content.

    I usually ask my readers what they are currently struggling with when I need content ideas for my blog posts, courses and books: works all the time as I get lots of response and ideas I never thought they had issues with.

    I’ve not yet audited my content: I’ll definitely give it a shot, thanks to your post.

    My first time here, you seem to be doing an awesome job here, more grease to your writing elbow.

    • Vladimir
      Posted at 17:01h, 15 October Reply

      Thank you Cyrus. Glad you liked the post and found it useful. Will strive to make it even better in the future.

  • frank
    Posted at 15:32h, 14 October Reply

    I think we all should think of CONTENT STRATEGY because its important and you have came with a good one, thank you for sharing!

  • Patrick
    Posted at 19:35h, 13 October Reply

    Creating a content strategy may seem to be so easy. The technical part is sticking with the strategy no matter what. That’s where most bloggers find very challenging. Thank you for sharing this article with us.

    • Vladimir
      Posted at 20:10h, 13 October Reply

      Well said, Patrick. Although, I have to add that, you can always adjust or even completely change your strategy if it’s not working for you. The point is having one that works for you.

  • Scott Cole
    Posted at 10:52h, 13 October Reply

    This is a good run-down of how to build out a good content strategy! I think I’ll use this to actually write down a more specific one for myself. Thank you 🙂

    I think auditing content from time to time is one of the steps most often missed. It’s always worth revisiting things to see how they can be improved.

    • Vladimir
      Posted at 10:55h, 13 October Reply

      You’re welcome Scott. I hope this post will help you develop your own content strategy more easily.

  • Nat, Website Superhero
    Posted at 17:43h, 12 October Reply

    Nice overview of what people should keep in mind for their content calendar!

    As for the CMS, WP is wonderful for blogging and SEO, and if you keep the website light, updates aren’t a nightmare 😀

    The auditing bit is great too – I even like to send out a survey to my readers when I’m feeling stuck or stale to see what they’re most interested in. Pretty cool deal.

    • Vladimir
      Posted at 10:54h, 13 October Reply

      Thank you Nat. Yes, a survey is a great idea.

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