61% of consumers say they’re more likely to buy from a business that customizes its marketing. Additionally, content marketing increases conversion rates 6X more than other marketing methods.
Developing a strategic content approach can help you generate more sales and build a long-term relationship with your audience.
However, an effective content strategy means more than simply creating content. And content marketing means more than sharing your posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Medium.
Content strategy and content marketing may sound like the same thing, but they’re not.
Content Strategy vs. Content Marketing: Here’s the Difference
Effective content marketing takes the content strategy you’ve just laid out and turns it into a story. That story helps develop and nurture a long-lasting relationship between your audience and your brand.
Without a clear strategy, you’ll have nothing to market. Yet, without effective marketing, your content won’t matter, because no one will see it.
Here’s an easy way to understand content strategy vs. content marketing:
- Your content strategy places your brand in front of the right people — it’s your content plan
- Content marketing is what turns them into loyal, raving fans that stick around forever — it’s how you achieve your marketing goals through a plan
Steps for Creating a Content Strategy that Encourages Audience Engagement
An engaged audience equals a happy business. Although developing a content strategy isn’t easy, the following framework will get you started in the right direction.
1. Audit Existing Content
Look at the content you’ve already created.
Evaluate how your audience interacts with what you’ve already produced, using website analytics. What’s working well and what has room for improvement?
2. Set Measurable Goals
Make sure your goals align with the mission of your business. Every piece of content you create needs to move you one step closer to hitting your goals.
3. Get to Know Your Audience
Attracting the right people is what your content strategy is all about. It’s difficult to do that if you don’t know who they are.
4. Create an Editorial Calendar
Before you start developing an editorial calendar, you need to know what will appeal to your target audience. Determine what topics you need to include in your editorial calendar by doing topic research
Once you know what you’re going to cover, you need to organize your workflow. A marketing calendar will help you streamline communications and monitor tasks efficiently.
5. Plan out Content Production
Make sure you’ve planned content covering all aspects of the buyer’s journey. Then, you can start diversifying and repurposing your content.
Pro-tip: Make sure your your content makes search engines and the platform you are posting on happy before publication using smart tools like the SEO Writing Assistant.
6. Plan out Content Distribution
Identify the distribution channels most relevant to your audience. Once you know where they hang out online, you need to meet them there.
7. Analyze Your Results
Analyze how your content performs. This data can be influential in helping you determine how your audience interacts with your brand.
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Joshua B Lee
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