Content Strategy Creation: A Pregame Checklist

     

Published: February 17, 2020

Before we jump into the checklist, let’s take a minute to go over what the crucial elements of content strategy creation include. For content marketing to be successful, your content needs to make it in front of the right eyes. Then, once your content has sufficiently inspired this group, they need somewhere to take action. Lastly, once a visitor has become a lead, you need to be ready to start nurturing that prospect into a customer.

In other words, you can see how strong content can form the foundation of a larger plan to get better leads and more paying customers, but also that content alone can’t do the job. Before you publish your next content masterpiece, review this checklist so you get the most from your marketing budget.

1. A Good Website
Not just any website will do, and this needs to be the first step of any content strategy creation as your website must be ready to serve as the hub of all your marketing efforts. Not only will you need a well-functioning home for your company blog, but you’ll also need a destination for all the leads you’re hoping to attract with your content.

If you try and do it the other way around—do your content strategy creation and then focus on your website—you’re likely to lose any attention you’ve attracted from your content as there’s no clear path for your audience to take. Remember, people on the web want instant and easy access to solutions. If there’s too much resistance, most people will simply click the “back” button and try somewhere else.

2. An SEO Plan
Along with directly driving leads, one of the other jobs for your content is to improve your ranking among organic searches. Of course, it’s impossible to know which topics and keywords to use to improve your SEO without an SEO plan! When working on content strategy creation, SEO is a great place to start.

Take the time to research how people are using search engines to learn about your industry and the kinds of solutions your company provides. Then, you’ll have a better idea of which topics to cover with your content, and which keywords to target using your website pages, blogs, and content on other digital assets like social media.

3. A Distribution Strategy
Posting content to your company blog is only the beginning, not the end of the process! Plus, not all of the content you create should be destined for your blog.

Instead, your content strategy creation should include paths for reaching both a steady audience and for reaching new people to build up your base. For example, most content distribution strategies include social media as these platforms were made to showcase content and share it with other people. Email is another important distribution channel and it can incorporate all the people who have signed up for your newsletter and promotions as well as directly message active contacts such as previous buyers.

4. A Plan for Contact Management
Most companies juggling many customers and prospects use some form of customer relationship management (CRM) software, but even the smallest outfits will benefit from an organized method for tracking and managing interactions with people. It’s also important to have a process in place before you get your content marketing motor running and have a bunch of leads on the line going stale because you’re not taking action.

CRM software such as HubSpot or Salesforce keeps tabs on everything from phone calls made to a customer to a list of resources he or she has downloaded from your website. It tracks emails and interactions with those messages to improve drip marketing and lead nurturing, and it makes it easy for different people in your organization to get this information because it’s all centralized.

Even if you don’t use a formal CRM program, you must have a plan for what you want to happen when prospects start interacting with your content. For example, a very basic plan could include content distributed among social media accounts, links in the content back to a landing page on your website, a form on that landing page to collect contact information from leads, and a monthly outreach email to send to any leads received from that pipeline.

5. A Point Person
The last piece to have in place is to designate one person to be responsible for keeping all these pieces together. That person doesn’t necessarily have to be the one doing the writing or the keyword research or plotting the specifics of social media distribution. In fact, it’s probably more efficient to have a team of people with specific talents in writing, social media, and SEO or to outsource different aspects of your marketing.

However, every content strategy is going to have a lot of moving pieces that need to remain coordinated if they’re going to be effective. Someone should be designated to spearhead your content strategy creation and to manage the different pieces to ensure they come together cohesively.

Now You Can Create Content
The good news about this checklist is that you probably only need to go through it once. All of these elements are foundational, so once they’re in place, you’ll only need to check in and update periodically—not every single time you create content!

If you’re struggling to get these pieces in place or need an experienced point person to sort it all out, we can help! Start by telling us a little bit about your current process or what your goals are, and we’ll let you know what’s next. Click here to send a message!

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