How to Create a Winning Content Marketing Strategy in 2021

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Content is an essential part of your company’s online marketing approach. But to truly excel at delivering content that aligns with your business goals, you need to do more to stand out from the crowd. You need a content marketing strategy that gives you a long-term strategic view of what you’re trying to accomplish.

“Content marketing” is a well-established term that describes a strategic approach to the use of content, whether it’s articles and blogs, videos, images or otherwise. A written and clearly defined strategy is essential if you want to succeed in your content marketing efforts.

Likewise, with so much competition online, you often need to develop something new and unique to set yourself apart from your competitors. Many content marketing approaches fail at first, or companies simply give up due to lack of ideas or ambition. This is why careful planning is necessary for long-term success.

Related: 7 Content Marketing Tips for New Entrepreneurs

Take Evernote, the popular note-taking app, for example. This company cleverly uses customer testimonials as a way to engage with potential customers and showcase the benefits of using their product. The content is insightful and clearly demonstrates the business benefits of a modern note-taking app.

Another example is L’Oréal and its Signature Faces Virtual Makeup campaign. The innovative and fun tool allows users to virtually experiment with different makeup looks. Users can share their favorite styles with friends, post impressions on sites like YouTube, and effectively become L’Oréal brand ambassadors.

When creating a content marketing strategy for your own business, start with your goals. What do you want to accomplish? Below, we outline the key steps you can take to develop a bulletproof content strategy for 2021.

1. The mission: what are your objectives?

Clearly establishing your goals from the start will help you judge the effectiveness of your campaign in the future. Your content strategy can have many reasons: to capture new traffic on search engines, to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field, to present your products, etc. By clearly defining what you are aiming for at the start of the process, you will have a solid framework to build on.

2. Identify your target audience

The next step is to determine who the content should be aimed at. Who is your ideal client? Consider demographics, including age groups, education, and interests. Try to dig deeper and really understand your primary customer base. It will also help you gauge which types of content will (hopefully) deliver the best results.

3. Define your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

Without a way to determine the success of your content, you can’t really measure statistical data in a meaningful way. Define your KPIs early in the process. Typical examples of KPIs could be a percentage increase in website traffic, improved search engine rankings, or a steady increase in inquiries.

Related: Serious Content Marketing Mistakes That Are Costing Businesses

4. Select your content approach

Will you deploy one type of content or a mix? And what platforms are you going to use? Much depends on your business goals. The work you do to establish your core target will help you in this decision. Consider articles, blog content, video tutorials, social media content, photography, or a combination of all.

5. Name your person or team

Next, be sure to establish who is responsible for implementing the strategy. You can consider internal or external resources, or both. Appointing a person or team will help keep the strategy on target and ensure workflow consistency. Also consider if you need any software or tools to help facilitate the approach.

6. Establish a content calendar

Creating a content calendar is key to keeping your business messaging consistent. It’s usually best to do this digitally and provide shared access to all relevant stakeholders. Define the content you want to publish on which days. Continually assess and update schedule based on business developments.

7. Develop a content creation and editing process

Next comes the development part of the process. This is the point where content ideas turn into reality. Be sure to look for ways to improve the workflow of your content creation process, either through the use of software or other organizational changes. Separating content writing from editing can help eliminate any accidental mistakes.

Related: Here’s How to Improve Your Business’ Content Marketing

8. Analyze statistics to determine success

The last step is to put in place a procedure to analyze the effectiveness of your KPIs (as mentioned earlier in the process). This will allow you to measure the success of your content strategy. Having statistical data to analyze is vital, but it must be interpreted accurately and in the right context. Regular reports and informal meetings can help all stakeholders to better understand the real situation.

Content can increase the visibility and reach of your business and help you connect with your target audience, but a clear strategy needs to be in place. Without a clearly defined content marketing strategy, your approach will be disjointed and lack vision. So try to align your content to meet your strategic business goals as much as possible. By doing so, you will have a better chance of succeeding in what is often a highly competitive market.