Every great project starts with a strategy, especially when it comes to inbound marketing. Everything in your marketing process should be strategic, and you should refer to your strategy throughout the project.
We create content strategies for all our clients who ask us to manage any content from blogs to paid ads to social media, and everything in between. Here’s a little peek at the five steps we go through to create and present a content strategy our clients love (and can understand!).
1. Strategy Overview
This is technically all one step, but it’s a BIG one! This is where the real meat and potatoes of your strategy lie. Your overview should include:
- Approach – What is your overall concept or direction for the brand’s content? How will you reinforce positioning through content?
- Brand Voice – What does your brand sound like? How will you make sure this resonates in your content?
- Target Audience – Who are you trying to reach with your content?
- Hashtag Use – What hashtags will you use to ensure your target audience finds your content?
- Goals – What are your goals for the content you’re creating? Do you want to increase your number of blog subscribers by a certain percentage? Increase your social media link clicks? Boost site traffic? All of the above? Indicate your goals (and make sure they’re SMART!).
2. Keyword Research
Conduct keyword research using your preferred methods and organize it in a way the client can understand. This might mean including a brief explanation of exactly what keyword research is and what it means.
We prefer to organize our keyword research in a table showing the keyword, its search volume, and its competition (via the Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tools). We also put our keywords in order starting with the best. Then we can explain we will be creating content based around these keywords, writing to be found.
3. Posting Logistics
This is the when and where of your content strategy. Research current high performing social posts for your client and determine when and where they were posted. Some posts might do better being posted at 8 am on Twitter and 5 pm on LinkedIn and some might not be appropriate for LinkedIn at all!
Indicate your research here and explain when you plan to post on which network and why you made this decision. Keep it simple and clear.
4. Post Types & Examples
Now take your keyword research, approach, and target audience and determine what types of posts you will create to achieve your goals. Will you create short product videos? Blogs about customer testimonials and experiences?
Create examples of what these posts will look like. Here’s an example we recently used for a brand offering resources to the Hispanic community in Cleveland.
First, we explained what the post type is, then we showed a visual example featuring a branded graphic. This clearly shows the client what types of content we plan to post on their social accounts.
5. Content Calendar
Finally, take all your post types and compile them into a sample content calendar so the client can see what you plan to post and when. Here’s a sample content calendar we created for the same client.
Then we explained that this Google Calendar can be shared with any other Google Account, so the client can view and adjust it. And we noted that we will add in more specific post times after experimenting with post success on social media.
And voila – you have a beautifully fleshed out content strategy! This document is going to be a lot of work, but it’s basically sacred text in your marketing process. You can and should constantly refer to it when creating and analyzing content.
Did we miss anything? What do you include in your content strategy?
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