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Best Content Creation Strategy

A good content creation strategy is helpful if you want to reach your target audience and make your business profitable. If you want to create effective content, then you need a plan that makes sense.

Content creation is one of the most important parts of getting your business idea off the ground if you want to succeed. However, you must understand the risks and challenges of publishing content before creating a strategy to follow. If you have a great idea and choose to publish content, be sure you are ready to commit and have a plan to follow through based on your research and knowledge.

Content Strategy

DEFINITION

Content strategy is the high-level planning, execution, promotion, and ongoing management of the content lifecycle to support key business initiatives. Essentially, it’s your brand’s game plan for driving traffic, leads, engagement, sales, and other business outcomes through content.

Why Do You Need a Content Creation Strategy?

Did you know that content creation is the task that most B2B content marketers outsource? A whopping 45% of marketing professionals report that they struggle to create content that strikes a chord with their target audience.

A content creation strategy should include not only why you’re creating content, but also how. How will you produce and distribute content?

In the absence of a well-defined strategy, you’ll end up publishing random pieces of content now and then. Worse still, you might post your content at a time when your audience is least likely to be active.

The only way to avoid such a situation is to outline a tenacious content strategy. It offers a plethora of benefits, such as:

  1. Maintaining consistency in content creation and distribution
  2. Ensuring that every content asset garners maximum traction
  3. Streamlining your content marketing effort to ensure that they always focus on your end goals
  4. Identifying topics, themes, and content ideas that’ll resonate with your target audience
  5. Selecting the right distribution channels to reach your target audience
  6. Keeping all your content team members on the same page
  7. Ensuring that you have a repository of high-quality content assets at any given point in time

Targeting the audience’s needs, prioritizing SEO, and bringing content collaboration under one roof should all be a key part of your strategy.

It’s time for us to outline a few useful tactics to help you build a strong content creation strategy that works for your content managers and your writers.

Research Tactics for Content Creation Strategy

From identifying your target audience to selecting relevant high-volume keywords – adequate research is at the heart of every successful content strategy. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

1. Use Online Surveys

If you already have an extensive mailing list, you can conduct an online survey to understand your audience better.

2. Leverage Audience Polls on Social Media

Social media polls are particularly useful for understanding your audience’s pain points and aspirations.

content marketing most important business resource poll
Poll reveals Social Media/Marketing as the most critical resource for business development in 2016 | Image via Colonial Life

3. Monitor Blog Comments

Doing this will give you an idea of your readers’ expectations, problems, and needs. It can be very beneficial when developing or tweaking your content creation strategy.

4. Focus on Social Listening

Monitor branded hashtags, and brand name mentions on various social media platforms. Also, keep an eye on the comments section of your social media posts.

5. Use Analytics Tools

Explore Google Analytics and social media analytics for a more in-depth insight into your existing audience’s demographic parameters.

6. Don’t Ignore Keyword Research

From blog posts and social media captions to YouTube video descriptions and Instagram hashtags – keywords will come in handy at every stage of your content creation strategy. Make sure you identify meaningful and trending keywords in your niche using keyword research tools such as:

  • SEMrush
  • Google Keyword Planner
  • Keywords Explorer by Ahrefs
  • Google Trends
  • Google Search Console
  • Moz’s Keyword Explorer
Moz Keyword Explorer - content creation strategy

7. Define Clear Goals

Use the SMART methodology of goal-setting to define goals that are:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

Step #1: Define Your Goals for Your Content Strategy

Great content is created for a specific purpose, and this purpose needs to be clearly defined. Ask yourself if you are creating content to boost brand awareness, generate leads, convert users, attract past customers, improve search ranking results, or something else altogether.

Once you have clearly defined your goals, you can determine if a content strategy is the best way to achieve them.

Don’t assume that content is the best option in every situation.

For instance, the content might be of little use in converting users at the bottom of the sales funnel; however, it could be invaluable in bringing users onto your site in the first place, by boosting brand awareness and organic lead generation.

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Different segments of the sales funnel warrant different types of content. So, you will need to decide what content is most appropriate for a person to receive at a given time. That way, you will have the right conversation with the right person at the right time.

HubSpot provides some useful information on the types of content that are needed in different parts of the sales funnel. The company divides the sales funnel into three key areas, and then lists the appropriate content asset types for each in the graphic below:

The best types of content for each stage in your content strategy.

Step #2: Research Your Audience for Your Content Strategy

Your content strategy will only be effective once you know who your target audience is.

Valuable information can be gleaned by checking what types of sites your prospects are already visiting, which content they engage with, and which social media platforms they share content on.

This can be done by enabling Google Demographics and Interests for the types of sites prospects engage with and Google Analytics for the content they engage with, as well as by calculating which social media platforms your users will be on from their demographics.  

Understanding what content works best and where can also be useful in the long run. Facebook has made it increasingly difficult for small business owners to increase their reach without paid adverts. However, video content seems to thrive on the platform, with video content “generating 1200% more shares than text and image-based content combined.”

Understanding your audience, and how they act will help you narrow down your content strategy, without feeling like you need to have eggs in hundreds of baskets. Content creation on social media works well for B2C businesses, but not so much for B2B businesses.

Step #3: Focus on Your Niche for Your Content Strategy

It’s a sad fact that the Internet is full of content that shouldn’t even exist. A lot of content is either plagiarized from elsewhere, is simply reposted, or doesn’t provide any real value. Most people don’t see 99 percent of this useless content because it doesn’t appear anywhere near the top of SERPs.

To avoid having your content lost in that pack, create content that: stands out, is unique, has a distinct voice, and, most importantly, offers genuine value to readers.

The more specific you are and the more you focus on your niche, the greater your chances of establishing yourself as an authority in your field, whether your readers are looking for information or entertainment.

Step #4: Measure Your Results for Your Content Strategy

Measuring the results of your content marketing efforts is one of the most important aspects of developing an effective content strategy. Churning out content without analyzing your user feedback is akin to having a phone conversation on mute. You need to know what your audience liked as well as what they didn’t like, and why.

Here are some of the most important metrics to understand:

1. Consumption Metrics

This is the first layer of information you can gather when people view your content. As previously mentioned, and as shown in the screenshot below, you get this data from Google Analytics by clicking on Behavior > Site Content > Content Drilldown. You can sort by different factors such as:

  • average time on page
  • bounce rate
  • pageviews

With this data, you can find answers to questions like these:

Did you craft a blog post that brought on a huge spike in traffic? Did your users spend more time on a particular piece or genre of content? Did a piece of content garner a large number of comments or shares on social media?

google analytics screen shot engagement content strategy guide

2. Social Sharing Metrics

Sharing on platforms like social media can be a great metric for judging how engaged your audience is. Ask yourself what types of content are being shared, who is sharing, which platforms are being used, and, most important, what content is converting. Below are the steps for how to find what content is converting:

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click on Acquisition>Social>Overview.
social shares google analytics screenshot for content strategy guide

Then you will have a report similar to the one below (assuming you have goals set up):

Social Value data from Google Analytics to be used in your content strategy.

Here, you have three important metrics:

Conversions: This shows you the total number and amount of conversions. They are from every traffic source, not only social.

Contributed Social Conversions: For an assisted social conversion to register, a visitor must have visited the social media site once, though they may have used another traffic source before the last part of the conversion.

Last Interaction Social Conversions: Visitors are attributed to this group if they came from social media and completed the assigned goal in the same session.

Once you have this data, it will yield insights into the style of content that needs to be created to get conversions. Also, you will be able to decipher which social media platforms are working best. (Take into account that some niches encourage sharing more than others, so compare your performance with those of competitors with a similar user base.)

3. Lead Metrics

If your content is part of a sales funnel, ask yourself which part of the sales funnel you are creating the content for. Content needs to be tailored to the specific audience at each segment of a sales funnel.

Your content could be either attracting or leaking leads, so monitor its performance and identify areas that could be improved to stop users from dropping out of the sales funnel and areas that could generate new leads. The quickest and easiest way to track leads is to use goals in Google Analytics.

The easiest type of goal to set up is a URL destination goal. Here are the steps:

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click on Conversions>Goals>Goal URLs.
Goal URLS for Google Analytics, to be used to help measure your content strategy.

3. Click the “Set up goals” button.

Set up Goal Page on Google Analytics for your Content Strategy.

4. Click the “+NEW GOAL” button.

Create a new goal button on Google Analytics for your Content Strategy.

5. Select “Template” (shown in step 7 below).

6. Type in a description of your goal (shown in step 7 below).

7. Select “Destination”, and click the “Continue” button.

How to make a Goal Destination for Google Analytics for your content strategy.

8. In goal details, you need to add the URL of the goal you want to track. The whole URL is not needed, just the final path. For example, to track www.example.com/thankyou.html, input only /thankyou.html.Here, you will have two optional details:

Value: It is possible to assign a value to the goal. For example, if you are selling a product for a specific price, you can add it here.

Funnel: It is also possible to track a specific part of the sales funnel by adding it to the goal.

Goal Details for Google Analytics to use in your content strategy.

9. click save and that’s it: you’ve set up a goal.

10. To view goals once they are set up click Conversions>Goals>Goal URLs

You should see something like this:

Goal completions on Google Analytics that are great to track your content strategy.

4. Sales Metrics

For most businesses, content generation ultimately should boost revenue. Therefore, if your content strategy is revenue-based, you will need to find ways to measure the amount of revenue your content marketing has generated.

Below are the steps for how to find the amount of revenue your content has generated:

  1. Log into Google Analytics.
  2. Click on Behavior>Site Content>All Pages.

You should have something similar to this:

content strategy data in GA - page value

This will allow you to assign a value to a piece of content. If the content isn’t performing as needed, then check out this article on how to increase engagement with content.

To summarise, here is a picture that visually represents the four content marketing strategy metrics outlined above:

Step #5: Listen to Your Customers to Improve Your Content Strategy

While data analysis can be an immensely useful tool, it gives you only black and white figures on a spectrum that encompasses a lot of subtleties. Access the rest of that spectrum by really listening to your customers. Your customers need to know they are being heard on social media, so ask them for feedback and suggestions and engage with them regularly.

Also, speak to other members of your staff to get a better understanding of the needs of your customers. Sales teams and help staff who are speaking to your customers regularly are better positioned to have thoughtful insight into how customers perceive your business. Then, reaching out to your customers and responding to their feedback enables you to gather valuable data, whilst also showing them that their opinion matters.

Virgin provided an excellent case study by showing how they utilized big data. They incorporated search terms used on the web, people being followed on social media platforms, and views and interests expressed online.

Using the data below, they dug deep and incorporated it into their communications, successfully giving audiences the right message at the appropriate parts of the customer journey. Find out more here.

Here is a flowchart of the results:

content strategy - virigin example of using big data

Step #6: Amplify Your Content Strategy

A sound content strategy and targeted content creation make up only the first part of the equation. The final part is an amplification of the content.

To amplify your content, determine the places your audience is frequenting online, and then publish on those channels to reach them. 

Ultimately, you’ll need to think strategically to identify all the resources available to you and truly harness the power of employees, customers, and influencers that can help you amplify your content.

Conclusion

 Content creation strategy is an important aspect of your content marketing plan as well as a key part of marketing strategy on any website. It can also be defined as an established practice that ensures the company’s content is sufficient, relevant, and consistent. Today’s blog shows you what is a content creation strategy and how it can help take your business to the next level. All you need to do is follow the tips that we have outlined for you in this article and you will see great results in no time!

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