A content strategy is more than just how often you post a blog or what topics you cover in your content; it lays out the goals you want to achieve with your material, the best type of content to meet those goals, and how you’ll develop, distribute, and track its performance.

Defining your content strategy brings purpose and focus to your content marketing efforts. In addition, a well-defined content strategy will serve as a framework for making key tactical decisions. Here, we will walk you through the steps in creating an effective content strategy for your association.

Steps to Creating a Content Strategy

DEFINE YOUR GOALS

Like most strategies, the first step in developing a content strategy is defining what you want to achieve. Consider your brand’s message, your marketing goals, and your company’s requirements. Because your most significant decisions will flow from your goal, make sure you acquire buy-in from all important stakeholders.

Some examples of goals could be:

  • Growing awareness of your products
  • Supporting customers
  • Changing how people think about something
  • Attracting and retaining employees

As your company grows, it’s natural for goals to evolve. When you’re first starting out, for example, you’ll want to concentrate on increasing brand awareness. Then, as you gain experience, your focus may shift to nurturing leads. Plan to regularly examine your content strategy goals to ensure that they remain relevant to your company’s demands.

DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE

A good content strategy demands a thorough understanding of your target audience. Spend time communicating with your sales team and gathering all of the information you can about your target audience.

Who are you trying to reach? For B2B marketers, this will usually include people such as the buyer, the end-user, experts who consult on the decision, the business owner, etc. For B2C products, you’ll want to figure out who makes the purchase and who can help you amplify your content.

Where does your audience consume content? Asking yourself where your audience spends the most time consuming information and what forms of media they consume it by is critical. For example, does your audience prefer short Tweets, or do they take to newsletters or blog posts more? Once you know the answers to questions like these, you will have a clear idea of what social platforms and media forms to utilize.

FIND YOUR NICHE

With an overwhelming amount of content being published each day, you have to make sure your content doesn’t get lost. Create content that stands out, is original, has a distinct voice, and, most importantly, provides true value to readers to avoid getting lost in the crowd. Whether your readers seek knowledge or enjoyment, the more specialized you are, and the more you focus on your area, the more likely you are to position yourself as an authority in your industry.

MEASURE RESULTS

One of the most critical components of developing and maintaining an effective content strategy is measuring the results of your content marketing efforts. You need to know what your audience did and didn’t like, as well as why. Here are examples of some metrics you should look at depending on your goal.

  • Social media engagement
  • Newsletter sign-ups
  • Conversions
  • Views/shares

Listen to Feedback

After you have done some data analysis, you need to take what you have learned and adjust your content strategy to improve it continuously. Not listening to your consumers’ feedback is essentially the same as having a whole phone conversation on mute.

It’s obvious that having the right content strategy in place can help your company succeed. Investing in designing your content strategy allows you to achieve more with less, and you’ll be able to tell when to embrace new ideas and reject ones that don’t fit. At New Target, we can help you create a great content strategy that will contribute to the success of your overall digital strategy and business as a whole.

With offices in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, Ca., New Target provides digital strategy, digital marketing, web design, web development, branding, website hosting, and creative services for prominent nonprofits, companies, and government.