Digital Marketing Experts

7 Steps to Building a Content Strategy

If you are creating blogs, newsfeeds, or have a presence on social media, you need a content strategy. While there are certainly various ways to approach a content strategy, below we have offered the seven step process that we use for ourselves and our clients

The key 7 steps that we follow are:

  1. Brand Immersion
  2. Define your Customers
  3. Competitive Landscape
  4. Industry Landscape
  5. Keyword Research
  6. Content Mapping
  7. Content Planning

Brand Immersion

It is crucial to stay true to your brand and business vision when crafting your content. To do this, you need to formulate some sense of brand identity. Note, this branding process is somewhat simplified and would be considered relatively bare bones. But, to be consistent, you will have to define these basics to ensure a consistent and ownable content strategy.

  • Company Values: Define what you stand for and what you aspire to be
  • Personality: Define your tone of voice, attitude, overall style
  • Brand Attributes: Create a core description of your overall business
  • Unique Selling Point: Define what makes you special
  • Design Style: Create a logo, photography, colour, font, iconography

Define your Customers

The most crucial element to creating a content strategy is being able to cater to your audience. You need to make sure you are creating content that caters to their needs, questions, and behaviours. Some good sources for research would be:

  • Website Analytics: You can find out topics that interest you customer base by understanding which pages they are visiting
  • Customer feedback and queries: Review customer feedback, reviews, and questions to help inform what customers are saying
  • Sales data: If available, analyse sales data to define customer demographics and buying behaviours
  • Research: If you have a customer database, you can implement simple Q&A to understand their preference

Competitive Landscape

You also need to take a look at what your competitors are doing. You will need to define your plan, in part, based on where the content opportunity is, meaning what the competition isn’t doing. You will also need to understand what is being done consistently across your competitive set to get a sense of best practices and level of standard your customer might be expecting.

  • Social media: Look at social media to understand the overall conversation, level of engagement, and trending topics
  • Brand review: See how your competitors are positioning themselves and their tone of voice so you can differentiate
  • Blog review: If they have one, review all blog entries to understand their overall content strategy
  • Keyword review: You will need to understand the terms that your competitors are ranking for and what they are not ranking for which will indicate your opportunity

Industry Landscape

You have to remember that the conversation within your industry is ongoing and the idea is to ensure that you join that conversation. To do that, you need to know what the conversation is. You can figure that out by:

  • Read industry publications: Review trades and on and offline publications that speak to you service, product, or industry
  • Audit the larger social media conversations: Look at groups and organisations relevant to your industry to see what the key topics being discussed are
  • Industry Influencers: Get to know your influencers to understand topics being addressed

Keyword Research

Understanding trending keywords will also give another perspective on what users are looking for and key trending topics. Understanding keyword trends will also help you understand the conversation pertaining to your business. The steps for keyword research is as follows:

  • Draft Topics: Write down topics that relate to your business or industry
  • Brainstorm Keywords: Take each topic and designate related keywords and phrases
  • Look at Search volume: Once you have a list of keywords and phrases, check to how big their search volume
  • Implement competitor keyword research: Check to see what terms your competitors are ranking for and what they are not to understand the keyword opportunity

Content Mapping

Once you have gathered all relevant insights, it is time to reconcile what you know against your overall purchase funnel. To do this, you need to start mapping your content strategy. You will need to:

  • Identify buyer personas: Think through your customer needs and touchpoints in their path to purchase. This should be informed by customer research
  • Review communication needs: Consider key messages you need to communicate to your customer
  • Understand your purchase funnel: Consider your sales funnel and create a path from consideration to purchase
  • Create pillars: Create pillars that align to customer behaviours, communication needs, and milestones within the purchase pathway

Content Planning

The final step of your content strategy is to create a content plan. This plan will be your roadmap for all content creation and publication. Generally, you should create quarterly content plans and update and optimise based on engagement rate seen from posted content. Key components of a content plan will include:

  • Content ideation: Based on your designated pillars, start brainstorming relevant content ideas
  • Cadence: You will need to consider frequency of communication across all relevant channels
  • Channel Prioritisation: Need to consider key social and website platforms for content promotion
  • Content Formats: You should consider a mix of content types including video, infographics, blogs and case studies
  • Scheduling: Give yourself writing and posting deadlines to ensure ongoing and consistent outbound communication

Want to a quick recap of the above? Then check it out in our video below:

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