Nine Questions to Guide You to an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

A Content Marketing Strategy is Key to Business Success

A content marketing strategy is a plan for building an audience by publishing, maintaining, and distributing frequent and consistent content that educates, entertains, and/or inspires.  With a strategy, the content you produce will turn strangers into frequent website visitors.  Ultimately, these visitors will more likely become customers.

We have all heard repeatedly that “content is king”, and those companies that have a content marketing strategy are more likely to be successful.  However, not all companies have a documented strategy.  In fact, just 43 percent of B2B (business to business) companies and only 33 percent of B2C (business to consumer) organizations have a documented content marketing strategy.

Nine Key Questions for Developing Your Content Marketing Strategy

A content marketing strategy should not be a one-off process that is developed whenever.  Instead, it should be produced annually.  Over the past year, content creation has become more strategic.  According to a recent survey by the Content Marketing Institute, ninety-one percent of respondents indicated their organization views content as a business strategy, up from 72% last year.

When developing your content marketing strategy, think about any tangible media that you have created and own.  It should include numerous types of content ranging from an infographic and podcast to a white paper, social media posts and much more.  Before you develop your content marketing strategy consider the following nine questions:

1. Who are your target audiences?

Most likely your business has more than one type of customer; therefore, your content marketing strategy should target more than one type of reader.  A variety of content types and channels will help you engage different audiences.  Certain types of content resonate more effectively with particular generations.

2. Who is your competition?

You may have a wider variety of competitors than you think.  If you are an attorney or a web designer, do not only consider other similar, conventional businesses in your neighborhood.  Also, take into account online competitors such as Legal Zoom or GoDaddy.  You should think about all types of competitors, whether they are online or brick and mortar.  Anyone who may take prospects away from your business is a competitor.

3. How does your business differ from the competition?

Your competitors sell products similar to your offerings; therefore, you need to inform the public how your business is different.  Content is a great vehicle for accomplishing this goal.  If prospects believe your content is valuable, then it will be easier to turn them into customers.

4. What types of content are your competitors publishing?

Not only should you know how your business’ offerings stand out from the competition, but you should also be knowledgeable about the types of content they are publishing.  You want to develop content that is superior to what your competitors are producing.  Your content should address specific customer questions that your competitors have not tackled.  You should not spend your time creating “me too” pieces, which mirror what your competition has published already.  Your content should be fresh and demonstrate your company’s thought leadership.

5. What is the purpose of each piece of content you produce?

This is the most important question because you can spend a lot of time and money on creating content.  Before producing a new piece, you should establish clear goals for it.  One piece of content may serve multiple purposes.  If written with SEO in mind, a blog can improve your website’s organic traffic.  Also, a blog is one of the best ways to build your company’s brand.  A white paper can generate leads as well as demonstrate your company’s expertise.

6. What types of content will you produce?

There are many different forms of content and not all are written.  Podcasts and videos are two examples.  Millennials are the largest consumers of podcasts while Generation Z is all about watching videos, especially on their mobile devices.  A content mix will most likely serve your audiences best.  However, you should determine which types will be the best vehicles for expressing your information and if you have the resources available to achieve your goals.  For example, creating an infographic will take more resources than writing a blog.

7. Where will you publish your content?

There are many different opportunities to publish your content for free.  You can publish it on your owned properties such as your website, your blog, and your company’s social media pages.  Depending upon resources, you can publish content weekly, monthly, or quarterly.  Of course, many pieces of fresh content improve SEO.  Also, it will help to convert prospects into customers, and to keep your business top of mind with existing clients.

There are also sites, such as Mix, that you do not own, but you can publish your content for free.  Also, online and traditional publications are often looking for fresh content, which they will publish for free.  Publishing your content across multiple channels and repeatedly will help to solve resource issues.

8. Who will produce and maintain your content?

You may have the ambitious goal of creating a case study every month.  However, you must first ask yourself these questions:

  • Who is going to engage and interview the friendly customer?
  • Who will write the content?
  • Who will take photos or video?
  • Who will design the case study so there are print ready and online versions?
  • Who will develop a landing page to advertise the case study?

Not only is content creation important, but maintaining existing content is key too.  Your website should be reviewed regularly to determine if blogs should be updated with new links or if they should just be deleted.  Also, literature about an obsolete product should be removed from your website.  A person must be assigned to manage these tasks.  The tasks should be accomplished per a set schedule.

9. How has previous content performed?

By analyzing the performance of your previous pieces of content produced, you can develop a content marketing strategy that is more on target.  Reviewing the following items will help you connect better with target audiences moving forward:

  • User behavior on your website
    • Downloads,
    • Inquiries,
    • Bounce rates,
    • Time spent per page,
    • Number of pages visited
  • Social media engagement
    • Likes,
    • Shares,
    • Comments,
    • Increase in followers
  • SEO results
    • Organic traffic
    • Backlinks from authoritative websites
  • Company revenue
    • Qualified leads
    • Expansion of current client relationships
    • Conversion rate

A Top-Notch Content Marketing Strategy

Just as content creation takes much time and effort, so will a content marketing strategy.  However, the annual development of a well thought out content marketing strategy can pay off big for your business.  It will help ensure you are using resources effectively and producing the types of content that will resonate with your target audiences.

If you need assistance in developing your content marketing strategy, feel free to contact us at 847-269-1422 or

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