Content marketing goes far beyond producing content for blogs, websites, and social media. 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 organically, a content strategy is a complex and deep process , made up of different tasks, edges and tactics.
In addition, it involves various 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 exactly, how is the dynamics of this class of strategies, going through their planning, execution and analysis, take a look at the rest of this material!
In itself, what is a content strategy?
As its name reflects, it is a strategy that brings together everything related to planning, management, development and distribution of content , as well as the analysis of the impacts that these have and the results they provide.
It is important not to confuse this methodology with traditional corporate communications, which allow information on company plans, promotions and initiatives.
In fact, when it comes to content production in a Marketing plan, the focus is not the business, but the people. Yes, this is how you read it!
And the objective of this strategy is, first of all, to educate the market , showing it how they can solve their needs and solve their problems.
To ensure that this process, in addition to being educational, achieves the conversions of Digital Marketing in a sustainable and organic way, it must have the following stages:
- definition of the Buyer Persona;
- content creation and optimization;
- content distribution;
- analysis and results metrics.
But what do these phases consist of and how to develop them correctly? We will answer this fundamental question in a moment!
1. The ABCs of planning a content strategy
As you already 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 the positioning of the brand , building authority in a certain market, educating it and, of course, attracting users and generating business opportunities.
In addition to these clearly Marketing objectives , this strategy is a vehicle towards valuable goals for the business itself. They are between them:
- market expansion,
- expanding the supply of goods and services,
- the increase in sales,
- and even increasing the value of the brand.
Precisely, in the planning stage we have to capture all these objectives that we want to achieve , as well as the practices that will allow us to achieve 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
The keywords are the words and sentences used by users to search engines like Google and Bing.
Logically, each market segment has keywords that represent a very good positioning opportunity in search engines and, consequently, guarantee the exposure and visibility necessary for any content strategy.
For example, if it is about universities, “study a career”, “best careers” and “professional education” could be very good keywords .
So that these words are not established based on intuition, we can use free tools such as Ubersuggest, which will show us data such as the volume of searches and the difficulty of SEO positioning , as reflected in the following image:
Development of key issues for the market
The importance of educating the market lies mainly 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 .
That is, with the correct application of the permission principle of Inbound Marketing , users are made to have constructive reasons to engage with a brand, as it helps them solve real problems and doubts.
The right content for the right people
To ensure a good return on investment (ROI) of Content Marketing , within the planning of the strategy it is necessary to prioritize the qualification .
In other words, it is essential that we can detect which are the key issues in the market segment and, also, what kind of people may be genuinely interested in our products and services.
This immediately brings us to the definition of the Buyer Persona.
2. How to define the Buyer Persona?
The Buyer Persona is a fundamental resource in a content strategy, since the qualification, the effectiveness of the different materials and the impact they will have on 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 BP as an expanded 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 exact as this we must follow certain steps. These are:
Do interviews with clients and prospects
To develop the profile of the BP you have to put aside the assumptions and intuitions. This process, like all research, demands the application of inquiry techniques and effective 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 .
Collect information with the sales 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 , such as the creation of the Buyer Persona profile.
Therefore, it is necessary to collect and rank the information that emerged through the interview process together.
In the end, sellers are in direct and constant contact with prospects and those who have become customers, so they know for sure what characteristics the Buyer Persona should have.
Collect data on the ideal customer behavior
Here it is necessary to integrate and analyze all the data that shows how the user behaves within his market segment and, also, about how he moves on the Internet.
Basically, it is about condensing all the information that allows us to know where to find the potential client and how to approach it.
This can be done from surveys with the company’s contact base or from specific investigations, based on public domain data such as economic reports released by the government.
Organize the information obtained and create the profile
We can value this step as the personification of all the information obtained.
It consists of taking the data and putting it into a spreadsheet or an editing document to begin to structure the Buyer Persona.
To make this process simpler, more organized and agile, we can use a predefined template like the one provided by our tool to generate Buyer Personas , which is free. With it you can download a PDF file to record the information!
In addition to complying with all these steps to define the BP, before producing a content flow it is important to define in which phase of the conversion funnel the ideal client is.
As can be seen in the following image, this funnel is made up of the attraction, consideration and decision stages.
The attraction stage, which can be considered the entry stage, demands the education of the BP. Then, at the consideration phase, 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 success stories, which end up convincing 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:
- Bottom of the funnel ;
- Middle of the funnel ;
- Top of the funnel .
3. Key points of content creation and optimization
We come to content production! Having done a solid planning and defined the Buyer Persona, we might think that at this stage we are already well 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’s 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, logically, it is immediately associated with the brand itself.
Within it we can publish both traditional texts (blog posts, e-books) as well as infographics , videos and even podcasts or audios.
It also allows you to work on resources such as links to Landing pages , quizzes and different interactive content .
Regarding the content formats, newsletter , segmented emails, nutrition flows 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 we already mentioned, this is a key step to guarantee the exposure of a content strategy.
Currently, search engines like Google are the channels that connect users with the products and services they need , so having a privileged position in their results lists is very important.
This research work can be done from platforms such as SEMRush and Answer the Public. These present data on the search behavior of each keyword and report on the variations of each one in the different markets.
The bases for a good Keyword Research are the understanding of the market segment and, also, of the user’s intention, which we will expand on shortly.
User intent analysis
It is nothing more than evaluating in detail the way in which the user interacts on the Internet and the digital world in general.
In the case of search engines, analyzing user intent means, among other things, determining what type of keywords you use frequently and for what purpose you search.
To evaluate this aspect, free tools such as Google Search Console are of great help, since they present data on the queries that users make in Google to reach a website.
For example, on our page on “ types of software ” 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.
Taking into account that Google positions the results most closely related to the user’s intention well, you can analyze them to understand what type of information your content must present to be considered relevant by the search engine.
A more detailed analysis of the SERP also provides interesting data for the definition of content, in resources such as:
Writing and publishing content according to SEO criteria
It consists of the production of content taking into account all those factors that search engines value to position a page.
Its development and launch is much more than clicking on the “post post” button of a certain CMS platform .
If your blog is hosted on WordPress, you have to install the Yoast SEO plugin , which provides you with information about the optimizations you must do to make your content friendly to the search engine.
Follow their instructions (not 100%, because the data you provide is not always within the context of the article) and guarantees that the user will have a good reading experience before publishing it.
You must take into account aspects such as:
- the presence of images in the content;
- the use of bullet lists;
- the organization of the subtitles in H2, H3 and H4;
- the SEO title;
- URL of the post;
- the length of the meta description;
- among others.
Even, within the work of SEO, those technical works that allow improving a site in terms of download speed, intuitiveness and user experience are included .
In addition to using the right keywords and distributing them strategically, practices such as acquiring backlinks are also key to positioning, as well as the originality of the content and the accuracy of your information.
This closing stage is linked to the content distribution work , which at the end of the day is key to connecting with the Buyer Persona.
Read on and understand what we are talking about!
4. Content distribution: what channels to use?
Once a content is produced following the best SEO practices, it is important that it is distributed through the channels in which the potential client is.
In addition, certain aspects related to distribution influence organic positioning, as they allow search engines to notice the relevance of the content.
Without further ado, these are some of the most valuable channels for promoting content:
Nutrition flows and newsletters are channels that allow establishing a direct line of communication with the user and fostering a personalized and close interaction.
It is more than clear that the social networks are a valuable channel for all Content Marketing Strategy and Digital Marketing in general .
Networks such as Facebook and Instagram bring together millions of users from different corners of the world, so making invitations and publications in them, referring to a certain content, can significantly increase its exposure.
Inserting external or internal links within a certain content contributes its authority and adds value to the user.
But even more important is to ensure that the content we publish is cited and linked by other portals , which in turn will become distribution channels.
Do not forget that these are also especially important for SEO, since our articles and materials are taken into account by other portals is a reflection that they are informative, educational and of quality, which is quickly detected by search engines.
Imagine how good it would be if your website received a link from a large newspaper in your country, for example. This is a powerful resource to generate authority in the eyes of Google and have your website positioned at the top.
Other types of external links that bring great benefits to web positioning are those of educational and government institutions, so you should achieve them.
The amount of backlinks your website has can be monitored in tools like SEMRush and Ahrefs, which show which website sends the link to your website and to which specific page it is directed.
5. Analysis, metrics and results: the keys 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.
And it is that scalability depends on these indicators , that is, the capacity that the strategy grows and constantly leads us to new goals and objectives .
Now, finally, it is time to explain what are the metrics that must be taken into account and what they are about.
Logically, this is the fundamental indicator. Knowing how long the money allocated in the strategy will be recovered and how positive the investment will be is the basic step in determining profitability and, if necessary, making adjustments.
Traffic is all those visits to the blog, both organically and through paid ads , as well as the open rate of emails, views of direct messages and even referrals.
This data can be analyzed in depth with Google Analytics, a free tool from the company to monitor websites.
This way you will be able to 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, that 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 is a sign that your content strategy should focus on the generation of materials aimed at increasing your presence on social networks.
The truth is that a well-done content strategy has positive repercussions on all channels, since it produces a chain of impulses to the digital positioning of a brand.
The engagement is a metric that really determines the scope of the strategy , beyond visits or clicks, which can sometimes be “artificial”.
This concept refers to the penetration and connection that content generates in users. To determine it, it is necessary to mainly evaluate the interactions, comments and reactions.
Social networks are an ideal thermometer to measure engagement, because they are the platforms where people are more open to communicate, share opinions and expose their perspectives.
This indicator can be followed in tools such as Buzzumo , which provides data on brand mentions and the types of interaction of social network users with publications.
It is a set of metrics that encompass indexed keywords, top-ranked pages in search engines, and types of queries that drive traffic to the web (CTR).
In the case of CTR or Click Through Rate, it refers to the click-through 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;
- search volume for each keyword.
Perfect! If you got this far, you already know what a content strategy consists of and how it is convenient to develop and carry it out.
Remember that these types of strategies are focused on achieving sustainable results, which is why complying with each of these stages is essential.
On the other hand, by integrating multiple workflows and demanding continuous monitoring, it is convenient to develop the planning, production and dissemination of content through a centralized platform , in which the specialists involved and the team in general can work.
Surely we are not sparing information in this article, but a successful content strategy requires an even broader understanding of its details. For that, I invite you to download our Complete Guide to Content Marketing !