Creating an effective content development strategy can be daunting, but more companies are jumping on the content marketing bandwagon. Why?
Content marketing strategies generate three times as many leads as traditional marketing.
It’s time to roll up your sleeves and start bringing in paying customers with high-quality content.
In this article, we’ll explore what an effective content development strategy is, share our step-by-step process for content development, and show you how you can implement it for your business without any hassle.
What is an Effective Content Development Strategy?
To achieve business goals, effective content development strategies involve conceiving, planning, producing, and disseminating content. In content marketing, the term refers to the entire lifecycle of content, from conceptualization to impact on readers (a.k.a. potential customers).
Investing in an effective content development strategy has the following benefits:
A well-planned and executed content strategy increases your chances of success. Having a plan will also keep you consistent, which helps you maintain traction and build trust with your audience. You will be able to target your ideal audience and create content that meets their needs and solves their needs.
You can monitor the key performance metrics and track how well your content is performing, which will help you meet and exceed your goals with a content development plan.
With a content development process, everyone on the team will be on the same page. Your team will know what to do with each piece of content and what to expect for performance.
Effective content development works; you know it works…but how do you do it correctly?
5 Steps to an Effective Content Development Strategy
If you’re starting from scratch or auditing your current content development process, our 5-step content development strategy will help you succeed.
1. The first step is to set content goals
Consider what you want your content to accomplish before you think about topics or audiences. At which stage in the content marketing funnel should your content reach your audience?
You can create content that raises product awareness for your audience by creating blog posts, infographics, ebooks, and whitepapers.
In order to drive sales right away, you might need to invest in testimonials, customer success stories, and live demos. Other content like email newsletters, case studies, and podcasts can also be useful at many funnel points.
When you set content goals, you’ll also need to decide how to measure success.
- Traffic to blogs
- Rankings on search engines
- Shares on social media
- Generating leads
- Sales conversions
- Retention of clients
Your content development process should include SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-Anchored) goals. Additionally, you may need to set specific goals for each piece of content.
2. Research the audience
Once you have your content goals, it’s time to look more closely at your audience and their needs and how they intersect with your content objectives.
In addition to being highly effective, buyer personas are recommended by many experts. Marketing personas have been shown to make websites two to five times more effective for targeted users. You can use buyer personas to create a specific profile of your target audience.
Answer the following questions about your buyer persona:
- What is the purpose of my content?
- What is the main pain point of my audience?
- What is the location of my ideal audience?
- How do they prefer to use social media?
- What social media accounts does my target audience follow?
- What sites does my audience typically visit?
- In what way would my ideal audience prefer to have their pain point resolved?
Send surveys to existing and potential customers to identify their preferences in order to build a persuasive buyer persona. Use audience research tools like SparkToro to study audience behavior online.
Finally, analyze customer interviews and interactions from Customer Service and Sales to determine how well your product already solves pain points.
3. Develop a content strategy that works
Now that we know our goals and audience, it’s time to create a strategy.
A content strategy involves researching, planning, and executing content ideas.
Make a decision about the types of content you will use:
- Are you going to focus on social media posts or long-form content?
- Do you plan to publish more how-to posts or thought-leadership content if you’re doing long-form content?
- How important is search engine optimization (SEO) to your content marketing strategy?
In-depth keyword research using tools such as Ahrefs and Semrush will strengthen your pieces. You could also draft a content calendar at this time, start creating content briefs, and decide on your brand voice.
Lastly, you’ll need to decide whether to hire freelance writers or content marketing agencies to write all this content.
4. Put your thoughts into words
You’re now ready to begin writing.
Search engine results pages (SERPs) are ranked based on basic SEO best practices, such as incorporating your keyword into your title, URL, and meta description.
Make your content actionable by using examples, illustrations, charts, and other elements. Use storytelling, and share helpful information. Make sure you don’t simply regurgitate competitor content but that your audience learns from each piece.
In order to maximize the effectiveness of your written content, you’ll need to work with multiple team members. For instance, while the content strategist creates the brief, an in-house or freelance writer will likely write it. In addition, your pieces will hopefully be reviewed and fact-checked by an editor.
By leveraging a content hub that supports seamless collaboration, everyone will know when it’s their turn to contribute. With Google Docs, you can automate the content creation process by using templates, building an editorial calendar, and assigning collaborator roles all in one place!
5. Publish and distribute
Promote the content using your predetermined distribution channels (see content strategy). You may need to do this more than once.
Consider repurposing your content. You can convert podcasts into blog posts, blog posts into LinkedIn posts, and YouTube videos using content from past articles.
You’ll also need to do some outreach to get quality backlinks from other sites in your industry. Content marketing is trial and error, and you’ll need to tweak your strategy from time to time.
Content Development: Who Uses It?
Knowledge of content development is required for the following roles:
The content strategist is responsible for brainstorming ideal content formats, planning briefs, and analyzing content success.
Content heads often have a broader role than strategists, but they are also involved in planning and executing content strategies.
Managing the content workflow and ensuring that all parties are working efficiently is the responsibility of project managers.
In the content development process, anyone with a background in content creation must understand their audience and develop a strategy that matches their needs.
Social media marketers are also involved in content marketing. They must also understand the process.
Finally, bloggers regularly interact with their audience via comments and feedback-priceless audience research that can help them create great content.
Content Development Strategy and the Future
It doesn’t matter what role you play – whether you’re a writer, marketer, blogger, or content creator – you’ll benefit from improving your content workflow by using a strategy or even investing in an agency like Boulevard Digital Marketing to help boost your content creation.