How to create and execute your content strategy (Content Marketing – 3)

This post is the third one in a series of posts on content marketing by a content expert Nischala Agnihotri on what is content marketing and how can startups work on their content strategy. Click here to read the first article on what content marketing is.

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Once you have evaluated your business and now have a specific idea of how content marketing would help your business (What should I know about content marketing and my audience?) , the next step would be to explore how to execute a Content Strategy.

What do you need while executing a Content Strategy?

If your marketing function is dealt in a silo, you may have to re-look at creating an integrated marketing plan to achieve your goals. It is as simple as these four steps – Create, Implement, Measure and Fix. It is no different from any other management sutra that you have heard of for a management process. Let’s look at the how-s of each step.

Creating a Content Strategy:

Stitch your content marketing strategy with your SEO and other digital marketing efforts. SEO helps you with the required research. It helps you understand through the keyword planning effort, what are the keywords you are required to target, through your content marketing strategy.
Create the list of keywords that work for your online properties, which could a website, a blog or an external property.
If you have discovered these keywords from the most converted and engaging keywords out of your Adwords campaign, then use this list to create your strategy.
Look through the search queries list from Google Analytics if you have an year old or older website or use the keyword planner from Google Adwords if you are building a brand new website.
Prepare a content tree that creates a cohesive story around your brand.
Using each keyword come up with a list of topics that can be applied to each content type.

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Implementing a Content Strategy:

Now, since you have a story to tell that is technically bound with your SEO strategy, find people who will be interested to hear your story. It simply means look for your target audience. Here are the next set of steps you need to implement your content strategy.
Create a list of
Bookmarking websites
Forums you want to participate
Social network groups for conversations
Guest bloggers you want to get in touch with
Influencers who would possibly support our brand
Other unique websites like Quora, Pinterest which need a marketing strategy for itself.
Create a sheet assigning short links (bit.ly or goo.gl) to the published content. Each piece of content should have a unique, trackable short link. This helps you understand how your content is performing outside your website and external radar.
Create a schedule to place your content on all these distribution channels mentioned above in point (1). This should be a practical timeline that you can follow.
Start producing and publishing content as per your schedule. I have mentioned publishing and production as two different activities. This means that you need to create two different schedules to help your team transit from production to publishing.

Measure your Content Strategy:

Your job is not done yet. Distribution does not end your job. You should create measuring mechanisms to weigh the performance of each content piece and content distribution channel. Let’s see the skeleton of how to measure?

List out content produced for your website with page URLs and content produced for external sites. That could be a simple 140 character tweet.
Use Google analytics to see how content on your website measures and use bit.ly or goo.gl to measure how content is performing on other properties.
Three critical KPIs that should be used to measure performance are – traffic, bounce rate and goal conversions. Other metrics that matter are engagement, shares, likes but they are relevant at a micro level and should be able to translate into money spent and earned.

Correct your content strategy using this process and run over the process cycle continuously. The other templates that would come in handy during this process are content outlines, distribution sheets, monthly conversion performance report, list of optimal content (top 10), budget sheets and expense sheets.

Nischala works as the Marketing Manager at iKeva and is excited about creating solutions to marketing problems. She loves to learn and share views about content and neuro-marketing with a dash of spirituality in it. Believes in the philosophy of Learn. Live. Realize.

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