As we enter 2023, content marketing and content strategy are more important than ever for businesses. Your content is important for attracting and retaining customers and creating a successful brand experience, whether you are a small local business or a large global corporation.
In today’s digital world, content is everywhere. From the website you’re reading this on to the social media posts, you see in your feed, to the emails you receive from companies. Content is the way that businesses communicate with their customers and prospects.
If the content is King, then Strategy is its guiding light. Research, validation, and execution are needed to strengthen any content strategy. Too many companies neglect content marketing, opting instead for other marketing tactics, such as paid, email, and social media.
A well-rounded content plan while maintaining all your other marketing efforts is possible. At Strong, we work smarter not harder. This rings true when it comes to content strategy and we’re here to show you how. We’ve developed a 3 step strategy to get you creating and distributing content faster than ever.
What is a Content Strategy?
A content strategy is a plan for creating, distributing, and managing your content, with the goal of achieving your business objectives and engaging your audience. “A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the funnel and keep them engaged even after a purchase” (Hubspot).
A content strategy can serve your business in several ways. It can help you attract new customers by building brand awareness. It can help you nurture existing ones by building credibility and loyalty.
What results should I see with a well-executed strategy?
A well-executed strategy can bring a range of positive results. Depending on the specific goals and objectives of the strategy, some common outcomes may include:
Improved customer experiences
When a tech company offers a specific product that meets the unique needs and preferences of its customers, those customers are likely to feel nurtured and valued. This shows that the company has taken the time to understand the customer’s needs and has designed a solution that addresses their specific challenges and goals. As a result, customers are likely to feel more satisfied and loyal to the company. They also may be more likely to recommend the product to others.
Lower churn and increased loyalty
As a business owner, your job doesn’t end once a customer makes a purchase. In order to turn a one-time buyer into a loyal, repeat customer, you need to provide ongoing support and engagement.
This is where content marketing can play a crucial role. By creating and sharing valuable and relevant content that addresses the needs and interests of your customers, you can nurture and build relationships with them. This can help to lower churn and increase loyalty by providing a sense of community and connection with your brand.
For example, you can use content marketing to share educational articles, videos, and resources. This helps your customers to get more value from your product or service. You can also use it to provide customer support, answer frequently asked questions, and showcase customer testimonials and success stories.
Better organic growth
Content marketing and SEO are closely related and can support each other in driving organic growth. By creating and sharing valuable and relevant content, a business can improve its visibility and discoverability in search engines. This is because search engines use algorithms to crawl and index web pages, and they use various signals to determine the relevance and quality of a page.
By providing valuable and informative content that matches the search intent of its target audience, a business can improve its chances of ranking higher and attracting organic traffic.
This is what your content marketing process should look like in 2023.
Phase 1: Research + Validation
This is where what you think your audience wants and what your audience actually wants come together. Content creation usually involves doing this, but when amplified across many channels, it can be time exhausting. Instead of performing this step multiple times for content creation across numerous channels – you get to do it once! Then adapt these findings for multiple channels. Phase 3 will show you how.
This phase can be broken down into two steps:
The research phase of content marketing involves gathering and analysing information about the target audience, the market, and the competition. This phase is important because it helps to inform the strategy and direction of the content marketing efforts.
You should plan to spend the most amount of time here since this is all about your customer and listening to their wants and needs.
When guiding your research, ask yourself the following questions:
- What do I do?
- Who do I do it for? This involves understanding their demographics, interests, needs, preferences and behaviours.
- What makes my business unique? The next step is to conduct market research to understand the competitive landscape and the opportunities and challenges in the market. This can involve analysing the trends, drivers, and barriers in the market, as well as identifying key competitors and their strategies.
- What are some of my customer’s pain points? Discover what your audience wants answers to in relation to your product or service and the space it operates within.
It is in this step that we validate whether or not our audience will see value in the content we produce. Keyword research can be a useful tool for validating whether content will be valuable to the target audience. This is because keywords are the terms and phrases that people use when searching for information on the web.
Once the keywords have been identified, the next step is to analyse them to gain insights into the needs and interests of the audience. This can involve looking at the search volume and competition of the keywords, as well as the context and intent behind the searches. For example, if a keyword has a high search volume and low competition, it may indicate that there is a high demand for information on that topic.
Alternatively, you can research what topics are getting high engagement on social media. For example, you can use social media listening tools to track the keywords and hashtags that are being used by your audience and to see how they are interacting with different types of content. This can provide valuable insights into the interests and preferences of your audience and can help you to create content that resonates with them.
Phase 2: Production
Once you’ve conducted your research, and validated the topics of interest, it’s time to start producing content!
Organise this into a content editorial calendar. A content editorial calendar is a tool that helps businesses to plan, organise, and execute their content marketing efforts. It is a schedule that outlines the topics, themes and deadlines for the content and can be used to ensure that the content is aligned with the business goals and the audience’s needs.
An editorial calendar typically includes the following information:
- The topic or theme of the content: This is the main idea or focus of the content. It should be relevant and valuable to the target audience.
- The format of the content: Pick 1 method to produce ALL content in. We recommend a long-term format such as a blog article.
- The target audience: This is the group of people who the content is intended for. It should be aligned with the business goals and the target audience of the content marketing efforts.
Phase 3: Distribution
Now that you’ve created these long-form pieces of content, it’s time to select the most valuable and relevant parts and distribute them across your chosen channels. Consider what channels your audience uses and where they engage the most. Perhaps you upload a portion of the blog post as a LinkedIn article, create a series of social media posts highlighting key points from the post, and create a video discussing the main takeaways from the article. The goal is to choose the parts of the blog post that are most valuable and relevant to your audience and distribute them on the channels where they are most likely to engage and find value in the content.
Here are examples of how you can repurpose a single post of content into multiple formats:
- Create carousel graphics for Instagram
- Record a video summarising the article and upload it to YouTube
- Share key sights as a story series to post on Instagram
- Publish it as an article on LinkedIn
- Start a poll on Twitter
- Use it as part of your guest post outreach
- Direct traffic to the article with PPC
- Record a podcast on the top
- Host a webinar on the topic
- Interview an expert using the blog piece as a guide
2023 is a key year for content strategy, with new trends and opportunities emerging. To create the ultimate content strategy for 2023, businesses need to focus on quality, relevance, and engagement, and they need to align their content with their goals and objectives.
If you’re looking to create a winning content strategy for your business in 2023, Strong Digital can help! Our team of experts can help you align your content with your goals, optimize for SEO, and leverage emerging technologies to drive results and build customer loyalty. Contact us today to learn more and take the first step towards a successful content strategy in the coming year!