10 Steps to Build a Flawless Digital Content Strategy
Content marketing is a proven strategy that will help drive traffic and reach your buyer audience. So, is your content reaching your target audiences? Your business needs a roadmap for publishing content. Having a digital content strategy benefits both new and existing content.
It’s a chance to review your business goals and plan and produce content that your potential customers see. You might be asking yourself a few questions right now.
What goes into a digital content strategy? How do you create a strong digital content strategy?
This article will take you through the 10 steps to build a flawless digital content strategy. You’ll want to keep reading to find out how having a strategy will benefit your business.
Table of contents
- Defining Digital Content Strategy
- Step One: Why?
- Step Two: What Are Your Goals?
- Step Three: Craft Your Brand’s Story
- Step Four: Create Target Audience Personas
- Step Five: Design Your Journey Map
- Step Six: Social and Digital Marketing Channels
- Step Seven: Develop Your Content Strategy
- Step Eight: Make A Content Calendar
- Step Nine: Promote Your Content
- Step Ten: Measure and Analyze Results
- Congratulations, You Now Have A Digital Content Strategy!
Defining Digital Content Strategy
A digital content strategy is your business’s plan to create content and distribute it.
This plan will work to reach your target audience, generate leads, and maximize your marketing budget. It’s a guide that will dictate what and when you’ll publish content. Your digital content can be blog posts, webinars, videos, podcasts, and other relevant content.
Let’s review a few other terms often used interchangeably with digital contentstrategy but are different.
Content Marketing Strategy And Content Plan
While your content strategy governs the creation and publication of your content, a content marketing strategy focuses on the ‘why’ and the ‘who.’ Your organization would use a marketing strategy to build an audience with goals like increase revenue or lower costs.
A content plan is a tactical step taken after a content marketing strategy is created. Content planning includes key details like topics you’ll cover, what type of content is created, calls to action, and how you share your content.
Why Is It Worth It?
Your content marketing starts with your business objectives and goals in mind. It goes through the entire marketing cycle, researching, understanding your message, defining your target audience, and creating buyer personas.
Your strategies will need to evolve as your goals and objectives do over time. As your buyers or industry changes, you’ll need to go back and review your content to make sure your message is still the same. Your digital content strategy is your plan for this. Your content will always be ready to attract new customers and keep your existing ones.
Now that we know what a digital content strategy is, let’s answer this question: What does a content strategy include?
Step One: Why?
Take a moment here and define why your business exists. What does your brand look like from a 100,000 foot view?
Once you know the core ‘why,’ your messages will be more authentic. Your brand story will resonate with your audience and your employees.
40% of millennials say they remain with their current employee because the business has a strong sense of purpose. That’s because their employer and their content live for their ‘why.’
Step Two: What Are Your Goals?
Goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound.
Start by defining your top three goals. You can’t write content without knowing what your goal is for creating it. A sound content strategy is built upon defining your goals. They need to be achievable and measurable, both short and long term.
Step Three: Craft Your Brand’s Story
A brand story is the narrative flow of your business that embodies the spirit of the facts and feelings your brand creates. Your story should inspire an emotional reaction among your audiences. Let’s look at a few examples of brands that tell a story.
Dove promotes natural beauty while celebrating inner beauty and inspiring confidence in women. Their campaign #ShowUs showed up on social media posts all over, inviting women to show their beauty and be proud of it.
Warby Parker resonates with their audience by sharing their foundation story with them. The founder lost their glasses on a backpacking trip and was unable to afford new ones. The idea of affordable glasses for all became the heart of why Warby Parker came into existence.
Step Four: Create Target Audience Personas
Getting your brand story to resonate with your audience requires you to understand who they are. Create three or four personas based upon the types of buyers you want to target and attract. You can’t make personas without first conducting audience research.
Personas include backgrounds, careers, goals, values, and decision-making tendencies. Once you have your personas, you can brainstorm content ideas that will reach your intended customers.
Step Five: Design Your Journey Map
Your journey map is the next step in your flawless digital content strategy creation. Having one will allow you to understand how people are already interacting with you online. Analyzing this will also allow you to see your areas of potential for other kinds of interaction. This step is important in creating a documented content strategy that works.
Start by asking yourself the following questions:
- Where does your audience first engage your organization, offline and online?
- What touch-points are the most vital in user decision-making?
- What factors make them leave? What draws them back?
Step Six: Social and Digital Marketing Channels
Identify your key channels in this step. There are dozens of social media platforms and digital channels as well as content formats out there.
Your audience only uses a few of them. A social media content strategy for Tik-Tok won’t help much if your audience mostly uses Instagram.
Your content team needs to know where your audience is and pay less attention to where they are not. Using content analytics can help you find where your ideal customer is.
Step Seven: Develop Your Content Strategy
According to the Content Marketing Institute research, only 65% percent of content marketers reported they had a documented strategy.
We’re currently in the age of content marketing right now. Users consume digital content at alarming rates. Your content strategy is the primary means of achieving your business goals. Let’s develop one that gives your company a competitive advantage.
Content creation is simple, create what your audiences want, tell them what they need, and do it creatively. No one likes a commercial interrupting their favorite show when it isn’t relevant to their needs.
Sketch out valuable content types that work for your audience and categorize them. Depending on your campaign size and resources, build this out for a specific season, month, or even a whole quarter.
Step Eight: Make A Content Calendar
Creating content is just one-half of this strategy. Plotting the best times to post them is the other half. Keeping an editorial calendar will help you keep track of your content and goals.
Content calendars will keep your website content, blog posts, landing pages, video content, and other content strategies organized. Don’t be afraid of a color-coded Google spreadsheet calendar.
Step Nine: Promote Your Content
You’ve produced your content and planned your strategy for posting it. Let’s talk about promoting it now.
Content with relevant keywords from SEO strategy will rank higher in search engines. If search engine optimization isn’t part of your strategy, you may want to rework it to be included.
Written content with SEO will drive organic traffic due to Google’s ranking for web page search volume and competition. Make sure to assign marketing efforts to keyword research.
Email marketing is not dead and is another way to promote your content. If you don’t currently have an email list, your digital strategy should help with creating one. Social media marketing on digital platforms like LinkedIn is a great way to promote your content and reach new audiences.
Finally, consider a blog post on guest blogs. Your own content posted to an outside publication can often link back to your own website and is a valuable lead source.
Step Ten: Measure and Analyze Results
Data is at the very core of digital marketing. Your marketing and sales team can conduct a content audit to see how well it performs on various platforms.
Producing high-quality content goes beyond initial creation. It’s about the longer-term viability of the content to reach future audiences as well.
Measuring the success of key performance indicators like traffic, conversations, and lead generation can show you how effective your strategy is. It allows you the chance to review your content marketing and adjust it to increase your brand awareness.
Congratulations, You Now Have A Digital Content Strategy!
Your online marketing needs to work for your business. If you follow these 10 steps, you’ll have put in all the work to create a flawless strategy that will work. Don’t skip ahead to the end with this strategy.
How can you define your audience for your business offering if you don’t determine what you offer? This is a step-by-step process. You can’t do one step without finishing the previous one. If you haven’t created your strategy yet, there’s no better time to start than now.