Content Marketing Strategy: How to Build a Winning Plan for Your Business

Content marketing isn’t just important for the success of big companies; it’s also incredibly important to the success of small businesses.

In fact, content marketing can be one of the most valuable assets that you have in your business arsenal, so if you’re new to this concept, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered with this guide on how to build a content marketing strategy for your business.

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Why content matters

Model: @Austindistel Photographer: @breeandstephen

Most businesses agree that their brand’s website is their most important tool in generating potential customer leads. It is also one of your biggest marketing investments. But, too often companies invest significant money in creating attractive websites that generate zero traffic and hence zero potential customers.

A well-thought-out content marketing strategy can help you attract and acquire an audience, create valuable content and support your business goals. It’s what enables you to get more bang for your web design buck.

Why does content matter? Because people don’t buy products; they buy solutions to problems. So why not create content that solves problems related to your product or service? If you do, you’ll attract more leads and generate more sales than if you didn’t have a content marketing strategy in place.

This is why having a solid eCommerce SEO guide is crucial. Knowing how to optimize your content optimizes the traffic to your site.

Establish your objectives

Defining your objectives is more than just identifying what you want to accomplish. It’s understanding how you plan on attracting and acquiring an audience, along with creating valuable content that keeps them coming back.

You’ll also want to define what success means for your business as well as establish measurable actions that will let you know when those objectives have been met or surpassed.

Every company has different marketing strategies—and so does every brand within that company—but it all starts with a set of well-defined objectives.

Here are some questions every company should answer before diving into content marketing:

  • What are your goals?
  • What unique value can you offer?

Define your target audience

Clear light bulb

Who are you writing and creating content for? Are you targeting potential customers or building an audience of current customers? First, identify your target audience. Here’s how to define your ideal customer profile. What do they look like? What do they care about? What are their goals and dreams in life?

That might sound like an odd question, but answering it will help you know what kind of content is interesting and valuable to them. You want to create content that builds trust with them and makes them want to engage further with your business.

If you don’t know who they are, it’s difficult (or impossible) to create valuable content that will ultimately attract new leads or convert existing leads into paying customers.

List your content types

You’ll want to put together an appropriate content strategy for your business. To do that, you first need to consider what content you can produce on your own and then take stock of which kinds of content you’ll need to hire someone else for.

Here are some types of content you might consider for your small eCommerce store on Shopify:

  • Original Content (such as blogs and social media updates)
  • Paid Content (such as sponsored posts and ads)
  • User-Generated Content (such as reviews, photos, and videos)

It’s also important that you develop a plan on how often each type of content should be created—and how often it should be shared or updated. Having a sharp Shopify SEO strategy will help with that.

Determine your publishing schedule

iPad Pro 10.5 with Apple Pencil

Publishing on a consistent schedule is key to building an audience. Figure out how frequently you’ll publish posts (both weekly and monthly works well), how many posts you’ll post each week/month, and when these publications will be published (including any holidays or weekend breaks).

To attract potential customer leads, you must work out all of these details before your first publication. There are plenty of calendar templates available for free online if you don’t already have one on hand. Once your schedule is set, check back on it every few months to make sure everything is still working well.

Create a content calendar

Creating a content calendar helps you put some perspective on what you’re creating and posting and how. For example, your social media profiles don’t all need to be filled with posts about your business—in fact, it might be best if they weren’t.

But if you have social media accounts, Facebook, in particular, use them as real-time testimonials from happy customers (the best kind of people to attract potential customer leads). If these sorts of posts garner likes and shares at least they’ll give your business some social proof.

Now that’s something your potential customer leads can respect. On top of that, actual testimonials are always a great way to get an audience interested in what it is you actually do.

Outline the editorial plan

Editorial plan

One of your first steps should be outlining an editorial plan. What are you going to write about? Who will be writing it? When and how often will content be published? What formats will you use (long-form, short-form, etc.)?

The more detailed your editorial plan is at inception, the better equipped you’ll be when it comes time to attract and acquire an audience.

An important part of any editorial strategy is knowing what kinds of content resonate best with your target market. The answer might surprise you; plenty of top brands have switched gears on what type of content they produce based on consumer feedback and analytics data.

Collaborate with your team members

To write an informative and engaging piece, you’ll need input from experts in different fields. Identify people who would be able to provide you with research and insight into your topic, and reach out to them.

You may want their help with some of your initial writing so that you don’t have to repeat yourself later on; or, if they don’t feel comfortable sharing their expertise, ask them just for some general thoughts about your content. Once you’ve settled on writers or advisors who will work with you directly, be sure they know what topics they can write about and how long those articles should be.

Measure success and adjust as needed

There are no guarantees when it comes to content marketing, but smart companies always consider their goals. Think of your content strategy as one that will change and evolve as you learn more about what works and what doesn’t. Try different strategies, measure success and adjust accordingly.

Track metrics like subscribers and conversion rates (based on traffic) regularly so you can tell if a tactic is working—or not working. What have you learned? If a new customer generated by an email promotion costs $100, did they buy anything?

Did they visit your site multiple times? Did they spend more than once per visit? Focus on finding out what customers value most (make sure it’s your product or service) so you can serve them better in future campaigns.

The main thing you need to keep in mind when creating your content marketing strategy is knowing who your target audience is and what they need or want from your company.

Once you know that, you’ll have no problem delivering engaging content that helps bring traffic to your site and encourages them to engage with your brand.

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