Developing a content strategy has grown in popularity in recent years. It makes sense, especially with customers today becoming more skeptical than ever before. Customers are more happy with companies or brands that educate and add value first before jumping into the sale.
However, you might be wondering, how hard is it to develop a robust and profitable inbound marketing strategy? Well, actually, it's easier than you think.
In theory, developing a content strategy looks complicated because there is so much going on. But once you know which things matter and which things require less attention, a content strategy becomes more simple than it looks.
To help you with this, I'll lay out 10 things that matter when developing a content strategy. So with that in mind, let's jump into the first point:
David Ogilvy, widely known as the father of advertising, once said: "The more you tell, the more you sell." However, many content marketers like to take this quote out of context.
They started focusing more on quantity rather than quality when creating content, which isn't a good content strategy. Being super productive, like creating one piece of content per day, isn't enough anymore. And producing more than one piece of content per day wouldn't make much of a difference.
"What you tell" sometimes is more important than how much you tell. That's why those who can consistently create high-quality content will ultimately win.
You might have heard about high-quality content, but what is the real definition of high-quality? Well, in general, high-quality is content that primarily gives targeted audiences accurate information and solutions.
That's why the first thing we need to know when developing a content strategy is our target audience, or what content marketers like to call a buyer's persona.
A clear understanding of the buyer's persona comes from great research. You want to learn about their demographics, age, and job, and their pain and desire that keeps them awake at night. After you have a clear picture of who your audience is, it'll be easier to create high-quality content with core topics that your audience loves.
Now it's time to shift the focus a little bit into SEO and choosing the keywords your target audience uses when they look for information.
Content that targets keywords with low-search volume would never work even with the best writing quality possible. Imagine the success of a restaurant with the tastiest wagyu beef in a town full of vegetarians!
That's right, the restaurant will have more empty days than busy days. The same thing happens with content that targets keywords with low-search volume. No one will be reading, clicking or even searching the content.
Plus, Google algorithms love helping searchers to find the most accurate information possible. That's why it's crucial to have a list of strategic keywords when developing a content strategy.
Strategic keywords will have high-search volumes and a high CPC rate and low SEO difficulty.
These strategic keywords can also help you find compelling topics your target audience likes, as both keywords and buyer's persona are intertwined with each other.
Trending topics don't necessarily come from the needs of the target audience but have the potential to grab their attention. Topics such as the newest invention, latest update, and trending society news may interest them. Other subjects like a controversy or new problems because of unusual events also create that potential.
Let's pick TikTok as an example. TikTok has been around for years but in recent months, from out of nowhere, has gained massive popularity as a new profitable marketing platform.
Depending on your target audience, you can create content that increases the reach of your brand. Because of the buzz, someone can click your TikTok guide, and potentially pull those audiences to look for other content on your site.
However, creating content around trending topics is more about balancing information and entertainment. Sometimes the topic may not match with audience needs, so adding some entertainment aspect can prevent them from closing the page. And usually, trending topics only last for the short-term.
Pillar content is an in-depth guide of one broad core topic that audiences are looking for a lot. This type of content is usually in long-form and perfect for internal linking. Although it's a guide, pillar content shouldn't be the place where you throw all your information in one place.
It isn't easy to focus on one big idea inside one broad topic when doing an in-depth explanation. It's best to just pick a core topic that is very specific.
The main purpose of pillar content is to get target audiences to look only for your content when looking for answers. That's why creating other specific content with related subtopics is an excellent strategy to do that.
The addition of subtopic content is called cluster content.
Cluster content is content where you do a specific explanation of subtopics that link internally to your core topic. For example, let’s go back to the TikTok example. Let's say you choose "How to create a TikTok selling script” as your core topic on your pillar page. So what is the possibility of related subtopics that you can choose for your cluster content?
It can be topics like “Why TikTok is the next big online selling platform” or “ 5 best tools to help utilize TikTok as a selling platform.” So as long as it’s relevant to the core topic, I can link that cluster content to my pillar page.
As you can see, the purpose of this model is to give better experiences to the audience when they're looking for content. Instead of letting them search the content on their own, we guide them using a pillar and cluster model.
And Google loves pages and content that prioritize user experience. That's why using this model also can help you get a higher ranking on this search engine.
Next is the cornerstone content. This type of content is very similar to pillar content, and some even say both content types are the same.
Both are long-form content, deliver a detailed, comprehensive guide, and have a lot of internal links. However, there is one distinction that makes them different: it's their purpose.
Pillar content is the navigator for the audience when they are on your site. Cornerstone content, however, is described as the most important content in your site that is not doing any selling. So, in other words, pillar content does a little bit of selling and cornerstone content does almost none.
But why is it important when it can't convert the target audience into a customer? Because this is the place where the cold target audience gets their first impression of a brand.
Great cornerstone content should be educative, informative, and very visible on your site. And this is the content that has great potential to rank high on Google, as both the audience and Google love non-selling educational content.
I mentioned trending topics earlier, and now we come to evergreen content, which is the opposite. Evergreen content is content that lasts for a long period of time and is unaffected by changes happening in the marketplace.
If you've seen "How to" or "Beginners guide to" content, both of these are good examples of evergreen content. The audience will still find this content useful even if its already a few years old. And if it's already too outdated, most of the time, you only need to add or update a few points.
Examples for non-evergreen content are press releases, recent statistics, or content around special events like Christmas and Black Friday. Although having this content is great, it shouldn’t be the priority when developing a content strategy.
Knowing the relevant resources you have beforehand can smooth out the process of developing a content strategy. Imagine the chaos that comes from continuously changing tools or platforms in the middle of a campaign. Think of the massive amount of time and effort wasted because these tools or platforms delivered a sub-par quality of services.
So what are the best relevant resources to support the overall content marketing campaign?
Well, it depends on what you need and what your goal is. But in general, you need to know tools or platforms that help your keyword research, content ideas, and analytics.
SEO tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, Buzzsumo, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest are recommended. A platform like Copywriters.com that has professional copywriters can help with your content writing process.
A CTA or call-to-action is a must, as you want your customers to be clear about what they have to do next.
Creating a list of different call-to-actions for different content can leave the audience with good feelings. It's up to you to determine which call-to-action is suitable for your goals. A CTA, such as asking for the audience's email, can help you build an email list for email marketing campaigns.
Or it can be a CTA to download a free template or blueprint to maintain the add-value-first aspect. It’s a perfect match when you create pillar and cluster type content.
Last but not least is deciding what images, voice, and tone should be associated with each piece of content. When developing a content strategy, a brand must already know what voice and tone make them stand out.
Brand voice is basically the way the brand describes its image and personality. On the other hand, the brand tone is more about the emotions and feelings a brand puts in each message.
However, the process of developing a brand voice shouldn’t be quick and must be very strategic. This is how the audience can easily recognize, relate, and love everything the brand does.
Developing a content strategy is critical when it comes to inbound marketing. By knowing what to prioritize beforehand, you can smooth out the process and speed up your results. And all this can be done individually or as a team.
If you’re looking to get the best out of your content strategy, leveraging the service of professional copywriters can help. Book a consultation call today with one of our strategists to get started.
Kendrick is a trained copywriter at Copywriters.com. He dedicates his life to producing high-quality copy for his clients to help them grow and scale their businesses. He also has an education background in International Business Management.Hire Kendrick