Many folks consider creating and rolling out content as an effective approach, but that’s not true at all.

Instead, understanding your audience’s goal and generating valuable insights for them should be the ultimate goal of your content planning.

Apart from that, a well-executed content strategy will eventually multiply your marketing efforts.

Below, we have listed some of the steps that’ll help you create an effective content strategy.

Without further ado, let’s start!

Know Your Goals

The first thing you need to do is recognize your goals, i.e., what you want to achieve concerning your content.

It can be either your business goals or marketing objectives, but it should be well-defined so that anyone can understand it easily.

To break it down more in-depth, you can also set short-term and long-term goals depending on your marketing tactics.

To start with, you need to ask yourself, “Why do I want to produce content?”

If you come up with some answers, then they’re the goals for your content strategy.

Otherwise, below are some of the common goal-settings:

  • Create brand awareness.
  • Generate more sales, which ultimately increases your business revenue.
  • Driving more traffic to your website (only if you have a site.)
  • Establish yourself as an authoritative and industry expert.
  • Retention of customer trust and loyalty.

I’d recommend you list down at least 2-3 goals for your content strategy.

And, every goal should be connected to each other either directly or indirectly (it’ll help you achieve better content marketing results).

If you move ahead without any specific goal, then you’ll end up wasting your resources – nothing else!

Once you determine your goals, you need to measure key performance indicators (KPIs) for your content strategy.

Basically, KPIs help you achieve your goals by letting you know the exact numbers for your every objective.

Determining Your Audience

Creating a content strategy concerning your audience will help you reach new heights of content marketing.

Before we move ahead, I’ll give you a disclaimer that there’s no one-size-fits-all, so your audience might differ compared to your competitor.

To know about your target audience, you need to brainstorm with your sales and marketing team and identify the valuable insights as follow:

  • Demographic Information, including age, gender, and location.
  • What’s the pain point of your prospects?
  • On which platform your target audience is spending time?
  • Does your audience follow any influencer or celebrity?

And many more.

If you want to go deeper, you’ll have to conduct market research considering your product and service.

Generally, audiences consume content based on either they’ve got interested in a particular topic or want to complete a transaction.

Once you understand your target audiences’ interests, your content strategy will be more effective and efficient.

You’ve to keep in mind; your content strategy won’t be effective until you understand your target audience.

Examine Your Existing Content

It may be possible that you’re already rolling out content through a blog post, social media, podcast, or other.

(Although if you’re just getting started, you can skip to the next step.)

Do you know, 37% of content marketers never opt or complete a content audit.

Auditing your content is one of the under-estimated processes. However, it lets you resolve various problems as follows:

  • Improve the quality of existing content.
  • Replace the outdated content.
  • Remove low-quality content.
  • Delete the duplicate content.
  • Understanding what your audience feels is valuable content.

You can start comparing your content with the competitors and analyze whether your content is up-to-date and insightful for your audience.

Afterward, you can start conducting auditing with the content audit tool, such as Screaming Frog, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.

From content title to content length to backlinks, you need to check every aspect of your content.

Lastly, you need to identify the content gap.

Content gap mainly occurs when;

  • Your target keywords are different from your niche.
  • You’re unable to solve your audience’s problems with your content.
  • You’re pushing out content other than your niche and confusing your prospects.

Content Distribution Channel

The first thing you need to understand is creating content is way more different from distributing content.

Deciding on the process of organizing, sharing, publishing, and promoting your content is considered content distribution.

Depending on your niche, you can adopt different content distribution strategies and channels.

Sometimes, you’ll have to decide the content distribution channel before creating the content and determining the target audience…

…because the type of content your share on different channels may vary.

The following image will help you understand the various content distribution channels.

Content Distribution Channel
Content Distribution Channel

Source: SEMrush

Decide the Content-Type

After finalizing the content distribution channel, you need to figure out the type of content you want to create and distribute.

You can choose various types of content, including blogs, videos, podcasts, infographics, e-books, and many more.

Content-Type
Content-Type

Source: SEMrush

However, the content type will vary depending on your niche and distribution channel. That’s why you need first to decide the distribution channel.

This article comes under blog (a content type) and is an example of content marketing.

I’d recommend choosing more than two content types (as per your choice) because representing your content on different platforms will help you grow your audience.

The main content marketing benefit is you can reach your audience in every aspect – which means you need not worry about the content type.

For example, there are more than 30 million podcast episodes and billions of views on YouTube.

So, which medium do you choose – audio (podcast) or video (YouTube)?

Although you can create both versions of your content, i.e., audio and video, creating content accordingly will give you a reach in millions, or even billions.

Measure Results of your Content Marketing

To create an effective content strategy, you’ll have to measure the results of your content marketing.

Creating a content strategy without knowing what your audience liked and what they didn’t is like driving a car in the opposite lane.

Below are some of the metrics that’ll help you understand whether your content strategy is effective or not.

  • Revenue: Your content marketing’s success based on how much ROI does your content help you achieve?
  • Engagement and Retention: Customer relationship is the most important thing when it comes to retention. If your content is engaging and insightful, then your audience will retain it.
  • Leads: In today’s world, everyone is trying to generate leads for their brands and businesses. And, with an effective strategy, you can generate a large number of leads.

If you’re having a website or a blog, then you can further measure the results based on:

  • Number of Visitors
  • Page Views
  • Unique Page Views
  • Bounce Rate
  • Avg. Time on Page
How to Measure Results of your Content Marketing
How to Measure Results of your Content Marketing

Source: Neil Patel

You can view the metrics in your Google Analytics account (make sure you’ve integrated the Analytics to your website or web page.)

Conclusion

Creating and delivering content may change continually, but the core objectives for an effective content strategy will remain.

If you achieve your content strategy’s success, you need only to repeat those steps for your future tactics.

So, that’s how you have to start before creating a content strategy.

Have you created a content strategy before? If yes, how did it work? Tell us in the comment section below.