Having a content marketing strategy is crucial to the success of a website. Whether you run an eCommerce shop or a personal blog, you need to have a strategy behind the type of content you’ll publish on your site.

But your content marketing strategy goes deeper than just creating content to add to your website. Instead, it helps you decide how you’ll use the content you’ve created so that you can get more sales, subscribers and loyal readers.

In other words, your content marketing strategy is how you plan to build a bigger audience using your content. And we’re going to show you how to do just that.

How to Develop a Content Marketing Strategy

Step 1: Use the right tools

If you want your content marketing strategy to work for you, you’ll need to use the right tools to stay on track. For most people, this means having an editorial calendar to manage content creation.

For instance, my team collaborates using Asana. Designed to track your projects from start to finish, Asana is a great tool for organizing content at all stages. You can visualize the status of any project using the Asana dashboard, leave feedback on individual tasks, assign content to specific authors, and even set deadlines that people can see in list or calendar views.

In addition to Asana, other popular project management tools you might want to use include:

Step 2: Brainstorm ideas

Next you’ll need to come up with the kind of content your target audience is looking for.

The first place you should look to come up with ideas for your content is Quora. This question and answer forum is perfect for finding out what your target audience is talking about so you can use those same ideas in your site’s content.

After you have a list of content ideas, you should use a tool like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer to see how strong your titles are. This tool will analyze your headline’s length, word balance, and even readability to make sure you’re using engaging titles that will show up in search results.

Step 3: Research keywords

While you’re deciding on a final title for your content, you should make sure you’re also thinking about the keywords you’ll want to include in your content.

Keyword research doesn’t have to be hard when you take advantage of tools such as:

  • SEMRush. Enter search words you think will rank well and see their volume, paid search cost, page rankings, and related keywords. You can also enter the domain name of your biggest competition and see what they rank well for so you can get more post ideas.
  • Answer the Public. This free online tool is perfect for finding out actual questions your audience might be asking. Use results to make your content ideas stronger by using the questions as LSI keywords, or keywords related to your main keyword.
  • Google AdWords Keyword Planner. Even though this tool is meant for people that want to run pay per click campaigns, it’s also helpful for finding out whether a keyword will rank high or not. Find out how competitive they are in organic search results.

Keyword research is really important if you want your content to get found by people that are interested in what you have to offer. After all, even if you drive a bunch of traffic to your site, if no one converts, it won’t matter how good your content is because your business will fail.

Step 4: Write your content

Now that you’ve gotten all your initial research done for your content, it’s time to either write the content yourself or hire freelancers to help.

If you plan to write the content yourself, follow Neil Patel’s anatomy of a great blog post so you can rank well every time:

  1. Craft a headline that leaves a good first impression
  2. Add a featured image that’s appealing and shareable
  3. Hook your readers with a catchy introduction that makes them want to keep reading
  4. Include a lead in that guides the reader into the main part of your post
  5. Deliver your main points in easily scannable sections like small paragraphs, lists, and bullet points
  6. Conclude your post in a way that doesn’t leave readers hanging
  7. Invite readers to add their comments and get a dialogue going
  8. Include a section that points readers to related posts and gives them a way to share on social media

If you do all of this, you are going to rank well, provide readers with valuable content, and expose your content to a wider audience.

For those looking to hire freelance writers to help write content, check reliable sites such as Linkedin ProFinder, Media Bistro, and Contently.

Step 5: Optimize for SEO

Optimizing your content for high search engine rankings is a large part of developing a strong content marketing strategy.

One of the easiest and most actionable ways to make sure your content is SEO optimized is to use the Yoast SEO plugin. Yoast SEO makes sure you use your designated keyword enough throughout your content and gives you the green light when your content is optimized.

It also gives you a way to add a search result snippet for people to see, lets you create an XML sitemap with the click of a button and lets you know whether your headline is the right length for search results.

You also get a live view of what your post will look like in search results to make sure it is eye-catching enough to get people to click on it.

Step 6: Share your content

After every piece of content you write, it’s important you share it across all channels that your target audience spends time on, such as popular social media networks. To make this easier, take advantage of an editorial calendar solution that lets you automate this process, such as CoSchedule or Hootsuite.

You can also use Quuu Promote to expand your content’s reach further, drive more traffic to your site and convert more visitors into subscribers or customers.

Developing a content marketing strategy is an all-inclusive process. There are many steps needed to make your content stand out and encourage people to click on your site.

But, if you follow the above steps, you’ll see that writing content for your website, and deciding how to let the world know you’ve written it, isn’t as challenging as you may have initially thought. You’ll also understand its importance when your traffic booms and conversions rates skyrocket.