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Seven steps to a steadfast content marketing strategy

Written by Gemma Hawdon

Content has become the backbone of any successful brand. But it’s an oversaturated market out there. To stand out and drive results, every piece of content you create must have direction and purpose.

Invest time and planning into a high-level content marketing strategy, and your content will play a big part in achieving the overarching goals for your business.

Here are seven steps to ensure your content cuts through to increase your brand presence and drive conversions.

Step 1: Create audience personas

An audience persona (also known as a buyer or customer persona) is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer. It provides a snapshot of important demographic, psychological, and behavioural information, such as where they live, what they do, the problems they face, and the solutions they need. It helps you to understand and empathise with your audience, so you can tailor your messaging to connect and have impact.

Most businesses have products and services that appeal to more than one audience and need multiple personas that showcase their distinct characteristics. Focus on the audiences that are most important to you – two to three at most – otherwise, you may try to be too many things to too many people, and your efforts become counterproductive.

Step 2: Write your content marketing mission statement

Once you know your audience personas, you can define the purpose of your content and the value you aim to provide. Each piece of content may have its individual agenda, but it still needs to align with your overarching mission statement to be consistent and impactful.

What solution will your content provide? How is this better than what’s provided by your competition? What will your target audience achieve or come away with from consuming your content? If you want your content to help you achieve your broader marketing goals, it must be useful to your target audience.

Step 3: Develop content marketing goals

Set realistic, measurable goals to give your content direction. Rather than wasting time, effort, and resources creating content randomly, you’ll know exactly what you want to achieve from each piece, how to prioritise your content, and where to allocate your budget.

Step 4: Drive traffic to your website

To generate traffic, you need to create content that search engines will rank. Do this by:

  • Understanding your audience, their expectations and what they want from your content.
  • Researching the types of keywords your audience will use to find such content and identify the ones that have the highest search volumes and lowest competition. Some great tools for keyword research are Uber Suggest, Ahrefs, Google Planner, Semrush, and Answer The Public.
  • Create unique and relevant content that satisfies your audience’s expectations, answers their querie, and provides solutions.

Step 5: Design your content funnel

Each content piece should lure users further down your funnel (i.e. towards buying or signing up). Typically, there are four phases to a content funnel:

  • awareness;
  • consideration;
  • decision; and
  • retention.

With your content funnel in mind, you can categorise each piece of content by its purpose and which phase of your user journey it targets.

Step 6: Converting leads to sign-ups or sales

The overall goal of your content is to drive sales – and it’s possible to do this directly through just one piece of content. For example, carefully pick a keyword you can tie to a pain point that your products and services are solving.

Create valuable content that shows how to solve the problem and, even better, include CTAs allowing you to solve it for them. There are also less direct ways to generate sales through your content. By providing valuable content that puts your brand front of mind or showcases your knowledge and expertise, you can gradually convince people to buy from you.

Increasing sales and sign-ups through content marketing doesn’t happen without some nurturing. You must add value, educate, and offer solutions that push people further down the sales funnel until they buy.

Step 7: Execute

With your content marketing strategy mapped out, you can begin executing. Make sure every piece of content you create is unique, engaging, and goal-oriented.

Include SEO formatting with your identified keywords and strong CTAs.

When you schedule your content for publication, consider the best days and times to publish. When will your audience be most receptive and engaged?

Consider using a social media publishing tool like Hootsuite, and don’t forget to exploit each piece of content by repurposing it across different channels and formats. For example, turn a blog into an infographic, slideshow, podcast, or video.

Remember that content marketing is an evolving process, so prepare to be flexible and adaptive. Continually measure results against your key metrics and adjust your strategy, making sure you channel your efforts into the areas that are working best. Good luck!

“The opinions expressed by BizWitty Contributors are their own, not those of BizCover and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Please read our full disclaimer."

About the author

Gemma Hawdon

Gemma Hawdon is a copywriter and digital marketing specialist based in Melbourne. She’s worked within marketing for companies like GE Capital, Yahoo! and Publicis Group and she’s written for publications such as Inside Small Business, Flying Solo, Mamamia, Melbourne Child and many others.
Gemma works with small businesses, agencies and larger brands to develop powerful, engaging web content and marketing copy that builds brand and drives response.