Today, having a website is no longer enough to attract visitors, to convert them into customers, or to keep them loyal. Content must be of high quality and high value.
In order to differentiate yourself from your competitors, to generate qualified traffic, to contribute to the optimization of your natural SEO, and ultimately to reach your sales targets, it’s important to implement a content strategy.
A Blueprint to Identify and Create Your Content Strategy
By simply speaking of content, you might already feel lost: what to write, how, to whom? There are so many questions. We offer you the concrete answers below, laid out in a few simple steps:
- Identify your business objectives
- Adapt your content to the purchase process
- Choose content according to the needs of your prospects
- Audit your current content
- List your keywords
- Define your editorial calendar
- Promote your content
Identify your business objectives
The first phase to define your content strategy is to think about the main guidelines you want to set for yourself over the next six to twelve months and for this, it is essential to set SMART objectives: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Temporally-defined.
Your content strategy and marketing goals must, therefore, be closely linked.
Here is a list of objectives that your content strategy can help you achieve :
- Improve brand awareness
- Inform your targets
- Turn your leads into prospects and then into customers
- Engage with influencers
- Nurture customer loyalty
- Offer complementary or superior products
- Generate new leads
- Demonstrate your expertise
Defining your objectives is necessary to choose the right marketing actions to implement.
Adapt your content to the stage of the purchase process
Once you have identified several ideal customer profiles, you need to understand their purchase cycle.
Depending on the stage (discovery, consideration, decision) in which they find themselves, you have to adapt your digital strategy and the type of content you are going to offer them in order to help them move on to the next one.
Your goal is to promote your personas' path through the sales funnel by feeding them with relevant content. It's called lead nurturing.
At each level of the buying journey, your content marketing must follow the logic of the AIDA model, which is the acronym :
A: attract attention
I: create interest
D: provoke desire
A: incite to action
At the beginning of the buying cycle and more precisely at the stage of becoming aware of their need or problem, your prospects look for informative content.
As they move through the buying process, they will be interested in offers and convincing content (customer testimonials, product demonstrations, free trial offers...).
Choose your content according to the needs of the prospects
Your content must correspond to the phase of the purchase journey and also respond to the problems your prospects are facing.
The content you are going to produce must interest them and provide solutions to their problems.
When you write content, always ask yourself, "Does my content answer the problems of my readers and offer them the solution?" If your answer is “no,” then the content has no use and you are wasting your time.
Auditing your content
To implement your content marketing strategy, its essential to audit the content already existing on your website. The purpose of the audit is to list your possible weaknesses and content marketing mistakes in order to detect solutions to correct them.
To carry out an audit of your content, Moz offers this method for making an inventory of current content.
- Organize your different content according to several criteria: subject, length, tone, relevance, date of publication, and objective.
- Track them with metrics such as click rate, conversion rate, engagement, and number of shares on social media.
- Other KPI you can look at are: positioning your article on search engines and bounce rate.
- Analyze data to determine what works or what needs to be reviewed.
- Select your content according to your areas of expertise.
An important step is to choose your content based on your theme and then to refine it more and more to have a multitude of content topics to write. It's like a funnel; you have to go from general to specific.
The themes of your content can be the name of your fields of activity, or you can combine the different needs and expectations of your personal buyer.
After having listed your themes and having them broken down into different topics, you will have to rank them according to their priority in order to begin writing content with high added value or where you feel most comfortable.
List your keywords
Before starting the production of your content, according to your themes, you must list your key expressions and then expand upon them with synonyms.
The more they are targeted and in line with users' searches, the more search engines will favor your web pages by positioning them well in their results.
Their choice should not be taken lightly as your keywords impact your SEO and traffic.
In addition, your key phrases need to be relevant and optimized for local searches. For example, if you are a baker at Croissy Beaubourg, it is obvious that you must position yourself for this type of local search request.
Use any of these keyword generators to search for those with a high volume of search and a low level of competition in order to improve your SEO :
- Google Keyword Planner (free)
- Google Trends (free)
- Keyword Tool.io
- Moz Keyword Difficulty Tool
Defining your editorial calendar
Another important element of your content marketing strategy is the establishment of an editorial calendar.
At a glance, it allows you to have a global view of the production of your content and to ensure that it is happening at a regular pace. The other advantages of a calendar are to support your teams (marketing and sales) and to have a short, medium, and long-term strategic direction for your content production.
To plan and track your content, you can use CoSchedule or free tools like Trello or Google Sheets.
Promoting your content
After writing your content, you may have thought the work was done, but that's not the case!
Even if you have spent hours writing the perfect article, if you don't make it visible to your target, it doesn't help and you will have wasted your time.
The solution is to promote your content in order to make it known and valued by your target audience, to generate qualified traffic, and to improve your visibility on the web. To help you with your content promotion, use any of a number of widely available publishing tools.
So, are you reassured about your content marketing plan? With this checklist, you have all the keys in hand for it to be a real success and achieve your marketing objectives.
If you have the internal resources, get started. If not, do not hesitate to ask for support on the implementation of a relevant editorial strategy.
Ilija Sekulov is a professional search engine optimizer and Google Ads specialist at Word Maze. He uses his free time for reading, bike riding, and hiking.