If you want to attract more qualified leads to your website and convert them, having a documented content strategy is key.
A content strategy is a documented plan that outlines your process for creating, publishing, and promoting content.
It also highlights your benchmarks and goals for your entire campaign.
Unfortunately, most businesses don’t have a documented content strategy.
After seeing that, I became determined to teach my audience how to create a content strategy.
If you’re interested in learning, let’s get started.
Table of Contents:
- Know Your Audience
- Perform Keyword Research
- Perform Topical Research
- Conduct a Competitor Analysis
- Determine Your Budget
- Finalize and Test
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Know Your Audience
Most companies treat their blog like a dumping ground.
They routinely post company announcement, employee spotlights, and totally irrelevant industry news articles.
Some company blogs just completely miss the mark.
Now, I dont want to be mean…
But, what does that blog have to do with anything?!
Anyway, you can’t just post information on your blog that you want to write about.
It’s all about what your audience wants to read.
Now that you know how important your audience’s taste is, it’s time to get to know them better.
Whether you’re a marketer or business leader, you should ideally know who your audience is.
The next thing you should do is perform keyword research to identify the kinds of topics they’re searching for.
Perform Keyword Research
The first step to identifying the content topics your audience likes to read is conducting keyword research.
Personally, I prefer to use SEMRush.
Okay, so to get started, simply type in a broad topic in the search bar.
For example, if you’re a chef, you can type in “cooking”.
If you’re a contractor, you can type in “HVAC”.
I’m a content marketer, so I’ll type in “content marketing”.
Here’s my results…
Okay, this seems like a lot of data to take in.
I’ll explain everything below.
- Volume: This is the number of average searches for the keyword or topic we just typed in. Content marketing is a very popular topic with nearly 15,000 monthly searches.
- Keyword Difficulty: This is an indicator on the difficulty of ranking for the keyword or topic on a scale of 0 to 100 for new websites. Since this keyword gets a lot of searches, we can expect that it’s going to be fairly difficult to rank for “content marketing” if you’re just starting out.
- CPC: This simply means, cost per click. CPC is the amount I’ll spend if I want to buy a pay-per-click (PPC) ad. Essentially, Google or another advertiser is going to charge me $6.86 every time someone clicks on my ad! That’s a lot of money since I know my ad is going to get clicked on, but who’s to say that everyone that clicks will convert and make me some money?
- Com.: This is the level of competition of ranking for the keyword overall. This metric is one a scale of 0 to 1.00. Overall, it won’t be hard to rank for this keyword over time.
- Global Volume: This is basically the volume of monthly searches for this keyword by region. Unsurprisingly, India is tied with the U.S. That’s no coincidence considering that most content writing services are outsourced there anyway.
- Results on SERP: This is the number of search results for the keyword.
Alright, now that I’ve ironed out all of these terms, let’s move on to the real data.
Alright, let’s break down all that we’re looking at.
- Keyword Variations: These are different variants of the keyword I typed in.
- Questions: These are questions people are asking online relating to the keyword.
- Related Keywords: These are just general related keywords.
From this information alone, you can learn all about the search habits of your target audience.
The main takeaway from me here is to diversify the keywords you want to rank for.
Don’t just target the keywords that generate a lot of traffic.
Obviously, other websites are doing the same and the competition is going to be tough.
Instead, rank for several different variations to snatch low-competition keywords and take advantage of easy traffic opportunities.
For example, I’d like to rank for “content marketing agency.”
The keyword only generates 1,600 monthly searches, but check out how easy it would be to rank for it.
The competition is at 0.35.
I could definitely rank for that keyword with some hard work toward writing some heavily-optimized and super helpful landing pages.
But, I’m not gonna give away my secrets.
I feel like I can write an entire guide on keyword research (I will – stay tuned), but I don’t want to deviate from this topic.
The next part of creating a content strategy is performing topical research.
Let’s move on!
Perform Topical Research
When creating a content strategy, topical research is just as important as keyword research.
Keyword research mostly highlights search data.
Topical research highlights content topics you can replicate to create viral content for your business.
I use BuzzSumo to conduct topical research.
It works similar to any keyword research tool.
I’m going to type in “content marketing” in the search bar and here’s what will pull up.
BuzzSumo shows me the most viral articles on the web pertaining to the keyword I just typed in.
It shows me how these articles performed on social media, and I can even see how many backlinks each article got.
Most importantly, I know that if these topics are popular with my audience, I should model my content after these.
This is the basis of topical research.
Find out what works and follow it.
Then, moving forward in your content strategy’s development will become simpler.
Conduct a Competitor Analysis
Alright, you’re not quite done with research yet.
It’s important to spy on your competitors and see the progress they’re having with their blogs.
Only then can you make an accurate judgement on how you should move forward with your content strategy.
SEMRush and other keyword research tools provide this feature for their users.
Using SEMRush, I can see which blogs my competitors are using to generate traffic to their websites.
And, then, I can create better content, rank higher, and steal their traffic.
Competitor analysis will help me refine my list of topics and keywords so I can really know what’s working and generating results in my industry.
Determine Your Budget
Alright, after conducting all of your research, you should have an answer to these questions.
- Do I need professional content writing services? (Click here to find out for sure)
- How much are these services going to cost?
- How much is it going to cost for me to promote my content?
- How much will it cost for me to hire internally if I don’t want to purchase professional content writing services?
Clearly, someone is going to have to handle your content strategy.
It’s important to determine the costs whether you plan to hire internally or outsource everything to another company.
Click the button below to contact me, and I’ll schedule some time with you to discuss your best options for moving forward here.
Finalize and Test
After your content strategy is completed, document all of your research.
- Create objectives based on the results you want to receive from the money you’re spending.
- Create a content calendar with all of the topics you generated from your research. (Click here to learn how)
- Create outlines for your topics that include the keywords you want to rank for.
Once your content strategy has been documented, you’ll now have something to show your marketing team.
A documented content strategy keeps everyone on the same page, and once you put it into effect, you can make changes based on what’s working and what’s not.
Create a Content Strategy Today!
Are you ready to create a content strategy for your business?
If so, click the button below to contact me so I can schedule a free consultation with you and discuss your next steps.
Please refer to the FAQs below for more insight on creating a content strategy for your business.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
What is content marketing?
- Content marketing is the process of planning, creating, and publishing digital content. Content marketing is an aspect of online marketing. It helps to build awareness and visibility for businesses.
Why is content marketing important?
- Content marketing is important because it helps businesses generate traffic to their website. This traffic can be converted to qualified leads. Content marketing also provides value to potential customers while they’re learning more about your products and services.
How to measure content marketing success?
- It can be a daunting task to measure your content marketing ROI. By integrating your website with Google Analytics, you can monitor the progress of your blog and make adjustments that can influence its success.
Founder of Blog Seminary, a content marketing agency based in Memphis, TN. Also a proud husband and father of two.