If the content is king, then content strategy is its queen (Yes, the king is nothing without his queen). Doing digital marketing without a robust and crisp content strategy is like hitting fish in the river with a stone. Digital marketers often ignore the importance of making a content strategy, and it leads to poor results. Creating a plan for content saves you from unnecessary efforts & costs and helps you achieve your digital marketing goals.

How to make an effective content strategy?

Define Your Goals for Content

“Great content is created for a specific purpose, and this purpose needs to be defined”. – Neil Patel

A business may have different digital marketing goals, such as brand awareness, lead generation, search engine ranking, to name a few. As a digital marketer, don’t assume that the same content is the best option for every goal. The best way to make an effective content strategy is to ask yourself what’s the purpose of creating content.

Let’s assume that the brand you are doing digital marketing wants to increase monthly traffic on its website. This is only possible when your website’s pages rank on the first page of Google. In this case, creating a blog post will be the best way to accomplish your goal.

Similarly, if your goal is brand awareness, developing visual content for social media will be the best fit.

Different goals of the business require different types of content. So, you will need to decide what content is most appropriate for your purpose.

Analyze Content Preference Of  Your Audience

The performance of your content significantly depends on the content preference of your target audience. It’s beneficial when you know who your audience are and what their content preferences are. You can research it by checking what types of channels your audience use to consume information, which content they engage with, and which social media platform they share content on.

Suppose your target audience are graphic designers who mainly spend time on internet searching videos on YouTube to learn new tools and sharing their designs on social media. So, your content strategy must include educational videos for them.

Your business might have more than one type of audience. For that, you need to develop an effective content strategy that caters to every kind of audience.

Related: The Ultimate Guide To Content Promotion

Analyze your competitor’s content strategy?

What works for your competitors can definitely work for your business. Looking at the competitor’s content strategy is an important step to create unique and differentiated content. You need to know what types of content they are publishing to ensure engagement.

To do so, make a list of your competitors and try to find answers for the followings:

  1. Do they have blog posts? If yes, how many?
  2. Are there any white papers or e-books?
  3. What types of visual content are they posting?
  4. What is the tone of their content? (Is it engaging? Is their content informational and educational? Do they post promotional content?)
  5. What’s the frequency of content publishing?
  6. What’s the quality of their content?
  7. Engaging content pieces
  8. What are the topics they discuss most?
  9. Do they include trends? What type of trends?
  10. What channels do they use to publish content?

Once you are done with analysis, filter it with your content strategy. It would be best if you do this regularly to stay one step ahead in your content strategy and use your competitors’ efforts as your advantage. However, do not try to copy their content as it will impact your credibility in the market.

Related: Must Apply These Strategies For Competition Analysis

Look at the Trends

If the latest trends are not on your radar, you will slip back. Your content strategy becomes useful if you understand the content trends in your niche and act faster than your competitors. To shape your content strategy, you should ask questions such as

  1. What are the trending topics or content?
  2. What types of content formats are getting more engagement?
  3. What type of posts are gaining the most traction and on which social networks?
  4. Are average shares declining or increasing for specific topics and formats?

There are many tools you can use for trend analysis, such as Google Trends, BuzzSummo, etc. Ideally, you need to include trends in your content strategy that are peaking up.

Look at the trend curve of the Coronavirus. It was at the peak during May 2020. It will be beneficial to create content when it was peaking up. There is no benefit in putting much effort into a topic that’s engagement has started to decrease.

Create content as per the platform

Create platform-specific content. You cannot publish the content on LinkedIn that you have developed for Facebook or Instagram. If you do that it will not work. You need to know the purpose of different channels before you develop a content strategy.

Finalize The Content Format

While developing your content strategy, consider the human resource and budget required for execution. What types of content are you capable of developing regularly? Infographics? Videos? Blog posts? What’s the budget associated with it? Do you need to hire any human resource for a specific format?

Once you are done with the strategy part, share it with your team member so that they keep it for reference while they develop content, and execute it. Remember that this strategy will not work forever, and you need to update it on a regular basis as per the need and trends.