Mastering Your Content Marketing Strategy: Your Blueprint for Success
Content marketing strategies help to elevate products and services for any brand. A winning content marketing strategy can be defined as a content marketing strategy that targets a clear group of users with a specific communication that meets their informational needs.
As a marketer, you can choose from several types of marketing strategies to generate targeted traffic to your brand, including advertising, social media marketing, and SEO. However, content marketing remains one of the most effective methods.
In this guide developed by our content team within the content marketing agency POLARIS, we’ll take a deeper look at content marketing, including what it is, how to create your strategy, and useful tools and resources.
What Is Content Marketing Strategy?
Content marketing involves creating and distributing relevant and valuable content online and using it to increase engagement, generate traffic, grow your audience and make more sales.
A content marketing strategy involves planning how you will create and use different types of content to promote your brand effectively.
It involves defining your goals and then creating and publishing content that helps you meet those goals, rather than taking a random approach and hoping for the best.
Content Marketing Strategy Examples
There are countless examples online of effective content marketing strategies. Use these to get inspiration for your own campaigns and to take lessons from them that can help you with every aspect of your content marketing.
Here are a few of the best examples of content marketing you can use:
In 2022, Canva launched its Canva Design Challenge with the hashtag #CanvaDesignChallenge.
This was a weekly contest to create unique images with prizes for the winners. The images were then judged by a panel, and the top five were chosen.
This is a great content marketing strategy example showing how effective user-generated content (UGC) can be, which you can then share on social media to engage your target audience and generate buzz around your brand.
In March 2020, Salesforce showed how reacting quickly to situations by producing valuable content can be highly effective with its Leading Through Change initiative.
It took a multimedia approach and focused on the pandemic and related issues like a safe workplace. It also included expert insights from doctors, and it was built up into a useful resource centre.
This shows the importance of having an agile content marketing strategy and being able to react to news and circumstances with your content.
Blendtec became famous a few years ago for its viral videos, which it used to show how effective its blenders were on expensive tech products like iPads.
This is an excellent example of how even a fairly boring product can be used to create viral content. Its YouTube channel still has 848,000 subscribers to this day.
The clothing brand used video content marketing to great effect in 2023 with its high-quality videos following distance runners as they tried to save a forest.
Not only was it a great example of storytelling, but it showcased the core principles of the brand and how it cares about the environment – a smart move considering customers like to buy from companies that share their values.
Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report is an example of gated content done right. It goes into a huge amount of depth about what it specialises in: conversions.
The information is backed by data and digestible, and it generates leads for the company because people must sign up to see the full report.
Shutterstock’s creative trends report has been published regularly over recent years, and it is packed with useful data. It includes music and videos as well as text, and it has become a useful resource for creatives.
The toothpaste brand has put together a research page that is packed with information on a wide range of topics.
It’s a good example of how you can create a resource section to generate leads and build authority in your niche.
Spotify has been creating Spotify Wrapped playlists for the last few years. These provide users with a roundup at the end of the year, including the music they have listened to divided into genres, artists, etc.
Even better, this playlist can be shared on social media, making it a powerful way to get the brand name trending.
Creating and Developing a Content Strategy
Every content strategy is different, and yours will be defined by your niche, marketing budget, goals, and more. That being said, here is a process you can follow to get started with your own digital content marketing strategy.
Define Your Target Audience
When it comes to how to build a content marketing strategy, start by defining who you are targeting. There is no point in creating content if you don’t know who you are targeting because you will lack direction.
Create audience personas to help you. Determine basic attributes like their age, gender, income, location, etc., then take it further. Consider their likes and dislikes, the problems they face and the answers they are seeking.
When you have this information, you will be ready to create content that your target audience will find valuable.
Set Your Goals
Determine what your goals are for your content marketing activities. Don’t use vague goals like ‘get more traffic’. Instead, set clear and specific goals that you can measure.
For example, you may want to:
- increase organic traffic to your website by 20% over the next six months.
- generate 1,000 social shares across Facebook and Instagram.
- increase your email list to 10,000 subscribers over the next year.
One of your main goals may be to use SEO to drive traffic and leads via content marketing. In this case, creating keyword-optimised content for your website that provides value can attract organic links and generate significant targeted traffic.
Having these goals in place at the very start will help you determine whether your content marketing is successful and whether it is worth the investment in time and money.
Choose the Types of Content You Will Create
What type of content will you focus on? There are many types of content that you might want to explore, including blog posts, social media posts, podcasts, videos, infographics, images, and more.
It’s best to start with a few, or to start with one and repurpose it. For example, a detailed blog post can be repurposed into a social media post, a podcast, an infographic, etc.
This will be partly determined by your goals. If your primary goal is organic visitors from search engines, increasing the quantity and quality of content on your website will be important.
This is the stage where you get together with team members and come up with ideas. You could use keyword research as a starting point. Find out which keywords you want to target for SEO, then base your topic brainstorming around these.
You can also use ChatGPT to help. Feed it a few ideas and it will give you many more to get you started.
Create a Content Plan
Take your ideas and create a content plan or content calendar. This is simply a plan of the content you want to create and when you plan to publish it.
A small team might create a plan with four blog posts and 30 social posts to publish over the following month. But try to create a plan that covers several months or a year.
This will clarify for everyone involved exactly which content you need to create and when so that everyone is on the same page and can track progress.
Start Publishing & Tracking Results
Once you have made your plan, start creating and publishing the content and keep track of the results.
For example, you can track how much organic traffic a blog post receives or how many backlinks, email signups or social shares it generates.
Also, keep track of your general results based on your specific goals outlined earlier. For example, track how many sales calls you have generated since starting your content marketing activities.
The more you track your content’s performance, the more you can improve and optimise it to generate even better results over time.
There are many useful resources to help with your content strategies. Here are a few of the best to get you started:
- Brian Dean from Backlinko publishes a blog and newsletter that are packed with valuable marketing tips.
- Neil Patel is another big name in the content marketing space.
- The SEO Signals group on Facebook is an excellent source of up-to-date information.
- The Google Search Central Blog is the place to find out all the latest from Google, which can affect your content strategy.
- The Search Engine Journal blog is another valuable SEO resource.
Useful Tools for Content Marketing Strategies
There are many tools that you might find valuable to help with your content marketing:
- SEMrush provides an integrated platform that you can use for your entire strategy.
- HubSpot is an excellent tool for all kinds of content creation and for managing your campaigns.
- Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools available. Use it to generate SEO reports, track keyword rankings and analyse competitors.
- Google Docs is useful for creating, sharing, and collaborating on your content.
Develop a Winning Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is an effective strategy for almost any business online. If you want to generate targeted traffic, increase your authority and boost leads and sales, content marketing can help you reach your goals.
Getting started is the hard part, so take some time to develop your own content marketing strategy, and use this guide to help. Then begin to take full advantage of a marketing strategy that will generate traffic and leads for years to come.