How to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

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1. What is Content Marketing

Content Marketing is the process of publishing written, visual and audible material online with the purpose of attracting leads to your business or improving brand awareness. These materials can be blog posts, photos, infographics, videos and more.

This definition is more practical than the general consensus definition which defines content marketing as the follow:

%QUOTE:A marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.%

1.1. Why is Content Marketing important

Why is Content Marketing so important and so present in today’s Internet? There are many reasons why, but the most important is that since the Internet is a huge sea of information, companies and services, it becomes difficult to be found if one does not stand out from the crowd.

To be noticed you need to be in the top 0.1% of the crowd and become an authority in your area of expertise. The way to accomplish that is by defining a very well planned Content Marketing strategy and becoming the best in executing it.

Also, Content Marketing is still considered the best way to get leads and brand awareness on the Internet. The reason why it is used by all the leading brands is that it works.

However, it is not easy to set up a content marketing strategy, it requires lots of planning, experimenting, which in turn needs resources and time.

1.2. Advantages

Content Marketing can give your brand or company many advantages:

Brand Awareness
Qualified Leads
Customer Loyalty
Better Cost Savings
Increased Sales
Expansion to new Markets

Content Marketing is today the most important aspect of Digital Marketing, and there is no Marketing in the vast sea of the Internet without great content.

2. Content Marketing

As we saw above, Content Marketing is the process of publishing written, visual and audible material online with the purpose of attracting leads to your business or improving brand awareness. These materials can be blog posts, photos, infographics, videos and more.

2.1. Types of Content Marketing

There are several types of content marketing, here are the most common:

Blog Content Marketing
Social Media Content Marketing
Video Content Marketing
Podcast Content marketing

In this module we’ll focus on the first part: Blog Content Marketing. As this module is important to understand in the Content Market general view, we advise you to complete it first.

3. Blog Content Marketing

Blog content marketing is fundamental for bands that need to develop a strong organic channel since it relies on writing content that is optimized to rank well on search engines.

To create written blog content requires the use of an optimized Content Management System (CMS), aka Blog, which needs to be optimized to support all of your contents and also to be SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendly.

Normally this is solved with standard web solutions like Wordpress and, which enables you to configure each content with the right information such as category or genre, tags, social media information, share action buttons, and so on.

This kind of optimization needs to be done for each content, but in the long run will enable your blog to have contents that rank better than the vast majority.

3.1. Before you start

To establish a Content Marketing strategy you need first to focus on several areas that need you to develop.
Focus on what you want to achieve
Create Quality Content
Get a industry standard CMS / Blog system
Optimize your articles / blog posts inside the CMS
Monitor and optimize your content

3.1.1. Focus on what you want to achieve

Identify and set your goals, The first step to build a content marketing strategy is to set your content goals. Having the goals in mind will help you start planning out the type of content to create and what formats.

It is always a good idea to select a niche theme first so that you reduce complexity, execution time and risk. Finally you can choose from the various content types, such as articles, videos, podcasts or graphics. You will need to do research to help you focus on a theme and select a clear target audience.

3.1.2. Create Quality Content

Good content will get more engagement, people will spend more time reading or browsing it and that will help with the search rank and getting more views. A poor article just will just eclipse itself and will get you nothing.

One key thing you need to keep in mind is that when people browse your content they expect to get something in return. When writing an article or producing a video about education you will need to keep in mind that the viewer is looking for you to solve his problem.

3.1.3. Get a industry standard CMS / Blog system

Here are many popular bog systems out there, from software that can be installed on your hosting server (like wordpress) or online services suha as Weebly or Wix. Start familiarizing with one and write your first articles to explore the interface and options.

Here are some of the most popular site creators you can use:

Best for blogs and content-heavy sites. Drag-and-drop editor. Thousands of add-ons. Free plan.
Easily create a website in minutes. Powerfull WYSIWY editor with +500 templates. Free plan includes Wix domain and 1GB bandwidth.
Drag-and-drop editor. E-commerce in entry-level plan. Starts at 6/mo. Has free plan.
Best template designs
Good website builder for designers, allows to build and launch powerful websites visually, without coding
Build appealing websites very quiclkly.

3.1.4. Optimize your articles / blog posts inside the CMS

You can start by setting up your blog categories and general blog such as the template covers. Each content you add will have to be configured with the right information. Here are some of the fields that need tweek:

Optimized Page Title
Optimized First paragraph
Category and Tags (no more than 3 or 4)
Article photo
Social media share parameters (headline, short description, photo)

There is much to be done in this area that is called Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Please read in more detail in our SEO Guide.

3.1.6. Monitor and optimize your content

There are many tools out there that can help you check and optimize your existing content. These tools can help you check what information is missing on the page or article, as well as give you quantity information on the efficiency of the content. Be sure to spend time optimizing as it can easily reward you with multiple times your current views.

Make sure that you analize your content page with a SEO analizer to be sure that all SEO important prameters are taken care of. There are many tools out ther that can give you SEO information and tell you how well your page ranks. Here are some of them:

Ahrefs' is only second to Google when it comes to being the largest website crawlers. Ahrefs’ Site Audit feature as it’s the best SEO analysis tool around.
Easily assess your rankings as well as identify changes and new ranking opportunities.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console lets you monitor and report on your website’s presence in Google SERP. It is free to use
Yoast SEO
This WordPress plugin is essential if you are considering starting a blog. The tool analyzes and ranks your content according to

Besides making sure the optimization points referred in the previous chapter are ok, you can use these tools to help you with other content related optimizations such as:

Make sure you have an engaging title
Use semantically related keywods
Manage keyword density
Follow a well organized content structure
Add engaging visuals and graphs inside content
Create internal links to existent content
Monitor backlinks pointing to your content

These features will be explained later on one of our modules.

3.2. Creating a Blog Content Strategy

Typically to define your Content Strategy you'll need to supports the following things: answer these questions:

What you're trying to accomplish
Who you’re trying to reach
Choose good visuals to complement blog posts
What channels to promote your content
How your content will support the brand
The ways in which your content will be differentiated
How you will promote and amplify your content
The metrics that define success

The answer for these questions will guide you into following the best steps to build a strong base of quality and engaging content that can promote your brand, build an audience and get leads to your sales if that's the case.

3.2.1. What you're trying to accomplish

The content you will create will depend on the type of action you want to achieve from your users. There are several actions you can expect from this client and the type of content you write, its size and its tone should reflect your goal. For example, you can write several types of actions:

Brand awareness
Lead Generation
Service subscription
Sale of a product
Free subscription (testing, other)
Download or preview of a content
Customer Loyalty

3.2.2. Who you’re trying to reach

Choosing your target audience is probably the most difficult thing to do. To sell some products and even more a service you will first need to establish one Buying Persona (or more). This "Personna '' is a description of a person that will most likely buy from you. When you set the characteristics of that person, such as age, occupation and behavior you will need to find out what kind of activities he/she does so that you can start choosing what content she will likely search for.

To establish your buying Personna you will need basic information such as:

Age and Gender
Level of income
Family status
Level of education
Job title
Professional and personal goals
Beliefs and values
Biggest struggles and pain points
Obstacles and challenges they are facing
Irrational/rational fears
Preferred blogs, social networks and websites
Influencers they trust
Favorite events and conferences

Once you define your Buying personna you will be able to choose what type of content you need to create so that it can match with his/her expectations/struggles and tastes.

3.2.3. Choose good visuals to complement blog posts

Having engaging images and videos make your blog posts more visually appealing and memorable. People remember visual content much more than written content, so adding good photos and graphics to your posts makes them more appealing and more effective.

Another way to capture people’s attention is to develop your own original images or standard design in the website, which will help in defining a unique communication for your website. Make sure you use photos and graphics also on the body part of the article so that it becomes easier to read.

Add and engaging image or video to your content or blog post
Develop a unique graphic style across your site
Add images, charts and videos in the body of your articles
Choose an easy to read and simple layout for your content

3.2.4. Establish Authority in your Niche

Making yourself, or your brand, requires lots of work and patience. An important goal with content marketing is to develop Authority on the niche you are in. Developing an Authority takes a long time and requires a strong and uninterrupted commitment
Creating authority requires you to develop and publish both quality and unique content so that your users seek your content regularly and have trust in your content.
Also, quality content will get more engagement, with people spending more time reading or browsing which will help rank your content higher, thus getting more views.

You also need to keep in mind what kind of information or actions people search when reading your article. Always remember that the reader is looking for you to solve his problem.

Create and share always quality content
Try to be unique in your field of expertise
Make content that helps users solve their problem

3.2.5. What channels to promote the content

Choosing the Right Social Media Platform for Your Business is not difficult. There are hundreds of platforms but only a few of them are mainstream. Unless your business has a certain specificity that relates to a niche platform, the list is below 10.

The right social platform for you is the one that includes the people which you’re targeting.

Look for your Audience
Check the Competition
Alignment with your business goals
Keep in mind your available resources

Look for your Audience- REVIEW
For example, if you have a B2B business (consumer base) you will end up using Facebook or Instagram. If you’re looking for more professional profiles you will need to be on LinkedIn. Finally, if you’re looking for a younger audience you will opt for Snapchat or TikTok or even YouTube. Of course this is an oversimplification, but the idea is valid.
Choosing one, two or three social platforms is ok however its is better to concentrate your efforts in one, maximum two, and don’t lose much effort with the other ones.

Check the Competition
One way to rightfully choose your social media platforms is to look for what the competition is doing. This is a very easy study to do. However, watch what region you're targeting because certain platforms might not don’t work so well in different countries.

Alignment with your business goals
It is also important that your social goals can be aligned with the social platform features and performance. For example if you have your audience there but the organic results or paying campaigns are too expensive for your price point you might end up investing on a network that does not give you the desired result.

Keep in mind your available resources
Social media work is both a commitment and an investment. You need to tend it, nurture it, and only after a while you’ll know if it can give you back the return. The more social media platforms you manage the more continued effort you will need to put in.
There are two simple ways to see this investment: Whether you will be the one who commits your time to it or, alternatively, you will have to spend money to hire a third party freelancer or company to do it.
One way or the other it's advisable that you commit to a low investment (time or money) initially until you can validate the results.

3.2.6. Make your content search engine friendly

Besides creating quality and interesting content make sure you optimize your site and each content you write for search. There are two kind of Search Engine Optimizations:

On Site SEO
On Page SEO

In another module we will discuss in detail these two types of optimization, but for this guide we will explain mainly the SEO Page Optimization type.
On-page SEO is important because it helps Google and other search engines understand what the written content is about. When writing or promoting content it is important to think about these steps:

Keyword Research
Before writing and publishing blog posts make sure to do keyword research to identify high-ranking terms that are compatible and can be used with your content. There are many tools out there that can help you in those tasks. You should try some of them and familiarize yourself with their features.

Link Building
Google likes link building, whether they are Internal or external links to specific types of information. Link building contextualizes a piece of information on your page with a broader subject and also complements it. There are two kinds of links:

Internal Links
An internal link is a reference to another page on the same website. They provide readers with further content on specific topics right where they need it. With internal links you are in control of all the navigation path of the user, and can redirect him to pages that is interested in, maintaining him more time on your site. Also It enables you to tell google what your website is structured.

External Links
An external link is a reference to another page that is located outside of your own domain. External links can be used to refer to sources or further information on a specific topic and can be considered as a recommendation by the owner of a website.

External links to thematically relevant pages create an added value for the visitors of your website. Search engines consider this as a sign for good content. On the other hand, an external link drives the user to exit your website, so it can be used carefully and in the context of what you want the user to do.

Generally it is a good policy to have a few links to relevant and authority websites. Since it

4. Next Steps

Blog Content Marketing is an important part of Content Marketing since it deals with written content which is considered by many the best way businesses can increase their brand visibility and reputation.

In this guide we started to focus on written contents, how to create them, optimize them. In the next module we will focus our attention on how to build a Social Content Marketing strategy.

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Don’t forget that the Internet is full of high quality content that competes in ranking places in Google and other social media sites, so you will have to work hard to be in the 1% of the best.

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