Content marketing goes far beyond producing content for blogs, websites and social networks. You need to think about the best way to distribute this content in order to increase your audience and be able to measure the results.
By focusing on achieving sustainable results and attracting business opportunities in an organic way, a content strategy is a complex and deep process , made up of different tasks, edges and tactics.
In addition, it involves several fundamental practices and actions of Content Marketing, such as SEO (search engine optimization) and the constant measurement of results through metrics.
If you want to know, more precisely, how the dynamics of this kind of strategy are, going through its planning, execution and analysis, take a look at the rest of this material!
In itself, what is a content strategy?
As its name reflects, is a strategy that brings together everything related to the planning, management, development and distribution of content , as well as the analysis of the impacts these have and the results they provide.
It is important not to confuse this methodology with traditional corporate communications, which allow for information about companies$0027 plans, promotions and initiatives.
In fact, when it comes to content production in a marketing plan the focus is not on business, but on people. Yeah, just like you read it!
The objective of this strategy is, first of all, to educate the market , showing it how it can solve its needs and solve its problems.
In order for this process, besides being educational, to achieve the conversions typical of Digital Marketing in a sustainable and organic way, it must have the following stages:
- definition of Buyer Person;
- content creation and optimization;
- content distribution;
- analysis and result metrics.
But what do these phases consist of and how do we develop them correctly? We will soon answer this fundamental question!
1. The ABCs of planning a content strategy
As you know, a content strategy is much more than a process that seeks to inform what a company does or will do.
It is a comprehensive process, focused on improving brand positioning, building authority in a given market, educating the market and, of course, attracting users and generating business opportunities.
In addition to these purely marketing objectives, this strategy is a vehicle to achieve valuable goals for the business itself. Among them are:
- market expansion,
- expansion of the supply of goods and services,
- increased sales,
- and even increase the value of the brand.
Precisely, in the planning stage we have to express all these objectives that we want to achieve , as well as the practices that will allow us to reach them and the metrics and indicators that will help us to know how close or far we are from them.
Among the actions and tactics that we must specify and develop during planning are
Positioning in keywords of a certain market
Keywords are the terms and sentences that users use to search engines such as Google and Bing.
Logically, each market segment has keywords that represent a very good opportunity for positioning in search engines and, consequently, guarantee the necessary exposure and visibility for any content strategy.
For example, if it is a question of universities, “study a career”, “best careers” and “professional education” could be very good keywords.
To avoid establishing these words based on intuition, we can use free tools such as Ubersuggest, which will show us data such as search volume and difficulty of SEO positioning, as reflected in the image below:
Development of key themes for the market
The importance of educating the market lies primarily in the fact that brands gain authority and reputation by doing so.
Explaining how certain products are used, how certain areas and processes are optimized and producing educational content is ideal for generating leads, since users prefer to approach brands and organizations that project professionalism, knowledge and experience .
In other words, with the correct application of the principle of permission of Inbound Marketing, users have constructive reasons to get hooked on a brand, since it helps them solve real problems and doubts.
The right contents for the right people
To guarantee a good return on investment (ROI) of Content Marketing, within the strategy planning it is necessary to prioritize the qualification .
In other words, it is essential that we are able to detect what the key issues are in the market segment and also what kind of people may really be interested in our products and services.
This brings us immediately to the definition of the Buyer Person.
2. How to define a Buyer Person?
The Buyer Persona is a fundamental resource in a strategy of contents, because the qualification, the effectiveness of the different materials and the impact they will have on the users depend on it.
This term refers to the semi-fictitious representation of the ideal client , which goes far beyond the traditional concept of the target audience.
In fact, we could value GS as a broad concept of the target audience, which in addition to taking into account factors such as age, location, purchasing power and level of education, focuses on much more personal aspects, such as
- worries and pains;
- short, medium and long term objectives;
- how it operates on the Internet and social platforms;
- perspectives, ideas, reasoning and thoughts regarding the environment and different topics.
Logically, to define a profile as accurate as this we must follow certain steps. These are:
Conducting interviews with clients and prospects
In developing a GS profile, assumptions and intuitions must be set aside. This process, like all research, requires the application of effective investigative techniques and methodologies, such as the interview.
Among other things, it is necessary to ask about work routines, positions or segments, objectives, challenges, difficulties and purchasing or consumption habits.
Of course, when interviewing clients and prospects it is important not to forget to ask questions about background and personal data .
Collecting information with the commercial team
A good content strategy is one that involves different departments and areas related to the commercial field, such as sales and marketing, mainly.
This teamwork must be present from the initial stages , as is the case with the creation of the Buyer Person profile.
Therefore, it is necessary to collect and prioritize together the information that has emerged through the interview process.
In the end, the salespeople are in direct and constant contact with the prospects and those who became customers, so they know for sure what characteristics the Buyer Person should have.
Collect data on ideal customer behavior
Here, all data showing how the user behaves within his market segment and also how he moves on the Internet should be integrated and analysed.
Basically, it is a matter of condensing all the information that allows us to know where to find the potential client and how to approach him.
This can be done from surveys with the company contact base or from specific research, based on public domain data such as economic reports launched by the government.
Organizing the information obtained and creating the profile
We can value this step as the embodiment of all the information obtained.
It consists of taking the data and putting it into a spreadsheet or an edition document to start structuring the Buyer Persona.
To make this process easier, more organized and agile, we can use a predefined template as the one provided by our tool to generate Buyer People, which is free of charge. With it you can download a PDF file to register the information!
In addition to completing all these steps to define the BP, before producing a content flow it is important to define at what stage of the conversion funnel the ideal customer is.
As can be seen in the following image, this funnel is made up of the stages of attraction, consideration and decision.
The attraction stage, which can be considered the entry stage, demands GS education. Then, at the consideration stage, it is time to explain in detail the usefulness of a commercial alternative and how it helps or meets needs.
Meanwhile, in the decision phase we can use content such as the success stories , which convince the user to make the purchase or subscription.
In these contents you will see the best practices of content production for each stage of the conversion funnel:
- Funnel bottom;
- Middle of the funnel;
- Funnel stop.
3. Key points of content creation and optimization
We$0027ve reached content production! Having made a solid planning and defined the Buyer Persona, we could think that at this stage we are already very advanced, but there is still a lot of work to be done!
The first point, when it comes to content planning, is to determine which formats will be used, and that is when the relevance of the corporate blog comes into play.
The blog is the backbone of a content strategy , due to its flexibility, interactivity and because, logically, it is immediately associated with the brand itself.
Within it we can publish both traditional texts (blog posts, e-books) and computer graphics, videos and even podcasts or audios.
Also, it allows to work resources like links to Landing Pages, quizzes and different interactive contents.
Content formats, newsletters, targeted mailings, nutrition streams and other email marketing materials should always be present.
Now that you know the main content formats, we will explain the key aspects to create and optimize them:
As mentioned, this is a key step in ensuring that a content strategy is set out.
Nowadays, search engines like Google are the channels that connect users with the products and services they need , so having a privileged position in their result lists is very important.
This research work can be done from platforms such as SEMRush and Answer the Public. These raise data on the search behaviour of each keyword and inform about the variations of each one in the different markets.
The basis for good Keyword Research is an understanding of the market segment and also of the user intention, which we will expand on in a moment.
User Intention Analysis
It is simply a detailed assessment of the way in which the user interacts on the Internet and in the digital world in general.
In the case of search engines, analysing the user intention means, among other things, determining what kind of keywords he or she uses frequently and for what purpose.
To evaluate this aspect, free tools such as Google Search Console are very helpful, as they present data on the queries that users make on Google to reach a website.
For example, on our page about “software types” the main terms searched by users to access it are shown in the Google Search Console report below:
And the same results page offers valuable insights to define the structure of the content.
Bearing in mind that Google positions well the results that are most in line with the user intention, you can analyse them to understand what type of information your content should present in order to be considered relevant by the search engine.
A more detailed analysis of the SERP also provides interesting data for the definition of the contents, in resources such as
Writing and publishing content according to SEO criteria
It consists in the production of the content taking into account all those factors that search engines value to position a page.
Its development and launch is much more than just clicking the “publish entry” button of a given CMS platform.
If your blog is hosted on WordPress, you have to install the Yoast SEO plugin, which gives you information about the optimizations you have to do to make your content search engine friendly.
It follows your instructions (not 100%, because the data you provide is not always within the context of the article) and ensures that the user will have a good reading experience before publishing it.
You have to consider things like:
- the presence of images in the content;
- the use of bullet lists;
- the organization of the subtitles in H2, H3 and H4;
- the title SEO;
- URL of the post;
- the extent of the meta description;
- among others.
Even within the work of SEO are included those technical works that allow to improve a site in terms of download speed, intuitivity and user experience.
In addition to using the right keywords and distributing them strategically, practices such as the acquisition of backlinks are also key to positioning, as well as the originality of the content and the accuracy of its information.
This closing stage is linked to the content distribution tasks , which at the end of the day are key to connect with the Buyer Person.
Keep reading and understand what we$0027re talking about!
4. Content distribution: which channels to use?
Once a content is produced following SEO best practices, it is important that it is distributed through the channels where the potential client is located.
In addition, certain aspects related to distribution influence organic positioning, since they allow search engines to notice the relevance of the contents.
Without further ado, these are some of the most valuable channels for promoting content:
Nutrition flows and newsletters are channels that allow a direct line of communication to be established with the user and encourage close, personalised interaction.
It is more than clear that social networks are a valuable channel for any Content Marketing and Digital Marketing strategy in general .
Networks like Facebook and Instagram bring together millions of users from different corners of the world, so making invitations and publications on them, referring to a certain content, can significantly increase the exposure of this.
Inserting external or internal links within a certain content contributes with its authority and adds value to the user.
But it is even more important to ensure that the contents we publish are quoted and linked by other portals , which will also become distribution channels.
Don$0027t forget that these are also especially important for SEO, as the fact that our articles and materials are taken into account by other portals is a reflection of the fact that they are informative, educational and of quality, which is quickly detected by the search engines.
Imagine how good it would be if your website received a link from a big newspaper in your country, for example. This is a powerful resource to generate authority in the eyes of Google and have your website ranked at the top.
Other types of external links that bring great benefits to web positioning are those from educational and government institutions, so you should get them.
The amount of backlinks your website has can be monitored in tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs, which show which website is sending the link to your website and which specific page it is going to.
5. Analysis, metrics and results: the key to a scalable content strategy
From the beginning of the planning of a content strategy, those metrics that will be useful to evaluate the results must be established.
The fact is that scalability depends on these indicators , that is, the capacity of the strategy to grow and constantly lead to new goals and objectives.
Now, finally, it is time to explain what the metrics are that should be taken into account and what they are about.
Logically, this is the fundamental indicator. Knowing how long it will take to recover the money allocated to the strategy and how positive the investment will be is the basic step in determining the return and, if necessary, making adjustments.
Traffic is all those visits to the blog, both organically and through paid ads, as well as the opening rate of emails, direct message views and even referrals.
This data can be analyzed in depth with Google Analytics, a free tool of the company to monitor websites.
This way you can know which are the best sources of traffic for your blog, which raises valuable data to guide your actions in the content strategy.
If your direct traffic is very high, this indicates that you already have a consolidated audience, due to the fact that the user searches for your domain immediately.
On the other hand, if your social traffic is low, it a sign that your content strategy should focus on generating materials to increase your presence in social networks.
The truth is that a well-done content strategy has positive repercussions in all channels, since it produces a chain of impulses to the digital positioning of a brand.
Engagement is a metric that actually determines the scope of the strategy , beyond the visits or clicks, which can sometimes be “artificial”.
This concept refers to the penetration and connection generated by the contents in the users. To determine this, it is necessary to evaluate mainly the interactions, comments and reactions.
Social networks are an ideal thermometer for measuring engagement, because they are the platforms where people are most open to communicate, share opinions and present their perspectives.
This indicator can be accompanied by tools such as Buzzsumo, which provides data on brand mentions and the types of interaction of social network users with publications.
This is a set of metrics that covers the keywords that are indexed, the pages that are best positioned in search engines and the types of queries that drive traffic to the web (CTR).
In the case of CTR or Click Through Rate, it refers to the click rate generated by both a paid ad and an organically positioned page.
Because Google is the most popular and used search engine, to evaluate everything related to SEO positioning it is convenient to use its tools, such as Google Search Console and Google Analytics.
The main factors to analyze are:
- number of keywords positioned in Google;
- Organic CTR of the pages;
- terms used by users to find a page;
- volume of searches for each keyword.
Perfect! If you$0027ve come this far, you know what a content strategy is and how to develop and implement it.
Remember that these types of strategies are focused on achieving sustainable results, so fulfilling each of these stages to the letter is fundamental.
On the other hand, as it integrates multiple task flows and demands continuous monitoring, it is convenient to develop the planning, production and diffusion of contents through a centralized platform , in which the specialists involved and the team in general can work.