Did you know that 63% of companies no have documented content marketing strategy?

On the other hand, 46% say that the lack of a strategy is the biggest hurdle in reaching their inbound marketing goals.

We all get it: content marketing is becoming increasingly popular. There is always more content. But most of it just makes noise. It is often not really of good quality. There may be a lot of contentcreation invested but not enough in the contentstrategy behind it.

Hand on heart, do you have a written strategy? Or do you do everything on the fly?

Maybe you think you don’t need that. But at some point you have to sit down and build a solid foundation if you want to get good results.

The nice thing is, it doesn’t even have to be complicated. I’ve already written something about the inbound marketing strategy. But to be honest, it was far too extensive. I have even after creating our strategy never looked at it again. That’s why I’ve now simplified the framework a lot.

Since the term “strategy” has a different meaning for everyone, we first define it.

What is a strategy?

The term “strategy” comes from the Greek and means army command. A strategy describes one long-term Procedure to a vision to reach.

She gives Guidelines. regulate and therefore one line of approach before to make decisions. So it helps you prioritize your daily to-dos.

The tactics are completely different. Strategy is something long-term, Tactic something short-term, A strategy would determine whether the fight should be fought at all. The tactic against how the individual troops should proceed.

Bruno Klumpp sums it up perfectly:

Strategy is sometimes just the rules by which we make tactical decisions.

In general, strategy and tactics should not be separated too much. It should be one flowing Transition. Just like all of life itself.

And related to content marketing?

What is a content marketing strategy?

First of all, we have to differentiate between content strategy and contentmarketingStrategy differentiate.

The content strategy pretty much covers everythingwhat has to do with content. This includes things like the website, social media, business cards, bills etc. Kristina Halvorson has written a comprehensive book with “Content Strategy for the Web”.

The contentmarketingStrategy, on the other hand, focuses on one subregion the content strategy. A content marketing strategy describes that How, How do you plan to do marketing using content? How do you want to build an audience with useful, entertaining and inspiring content and thereby achieve your business goal?

More specifically, a content marketing strategy essentially answers the following questions:

  • Whom do you want to reach
  • Why do you create content?
  • What makes you unique?

And let’s take a closer look at how everything looks in detail.

Step 1: create a buyer persona

Every good strategy begins with the target group. But since people do business with People a pure target group definition is not enough.

Therefore, you should go one step further and create a “real” buyer persona. A buyer persona is one invented Person but on real Data and market research is based.

Here, however, not only the demographic criteria (such as age, gender and place of residence) are important, but above all the psychographic data. So what your persona feels, What is she worried about? What are her problems, desires, fears and hopes? These insights alone bring a lot of depth into your content.

So visit the websites and blogs she visits. Receive the newsletter she gets. Check out where it depends on social media groups. Read the magazines she reads.

Just get on with it emotions your buyer persona.

At this point, write down where it depends (e.g. websites, blogs, groups, forums, etc.). You can use that later for content marketing.

So sit down and first define your target group (e.g. “small businesses”). Then you segment them (e.g. solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, founders, startups, typical small businesses etc.). Here you can create surveys for your subscribers or customers and also use social media data (such as Facebook Audience Insights). Then you create a buyer persona for each segment. I will show you how this works in detail here. It’s easiest if you just a Have persona. The less the better.

Example:

chimpify buyer personas

Step 2: determine your why

You probably know Simon Sinek’s TED Talk. If not, then be sure to check it out. And even if you do, you can never get enough of it:

That’s exactly why you should start your content marketing strategy with a clear why. Your content hub (blog, podcast, video channel or membership) needs a purpose, a mission. Something you like think,

Why does your content hub exist? Why do you take care of it every day? Why should anyone care?

And I don’t accept “make more sales”! 😛

I e.g. believe in it: “What does not grow, dies”. That’s why we help small businesses to grow more. So we help the “little man” or the “little woman” to get taller. I think that’s classy. If we can do that with our inbound marketing blog, then I’m happy!

To get your why, you can use the following simple formula: “We help [Zielgruppe][Ziel] to reach”. Or you can sit down in peace, go deep inside yourself and see what is important to you.

Example:

What does not grow dies. We believe in it. That is why we help small businesses to grow further, faster and more sustainably.

Step 3: describe your vision

Every good strategy always needs a captivating vision. A clear picture of the future that motivates us to act.

In inbound marketing, you want your customers to come to you. So you always have to go to one resource become. A true source full of useful content. My colleague Norbert Schuster also calls it the “water hole strategy”. A nice metaphor for that!

So paint a picture of your future content hub. What does it look like What can it do? What are the advantages of this? Do you have one of the largest blogs in your industry that is mentioned and linked often? Do you have a successful podcast that is always on iTunes? A huge video channel that gets you into talk shows? Or a free membership area with thousands of members who support each other?

So ask yourself the question: what does success look like and how can I measure it?

I want to use our blog too the Become a resource for inbound marketing. Just like we did with the monkey blog back then the Have become a source for blogging. When you think of inbound marketing, CWT Advertising and Bono (our logo or mascot) should come to your mind immediately.

The specific milestones and goals will come later when doing. Then you sit down e.g. simply the goal of reaching your first 100 email subscribers. Then the first 1,000, then the first 10,000. You will be busy with that for a few years! 🙂

Example:

We are the go-to resource for inbound marketing for the self-employed, startups and small businesses.

Step 4: position your content

You should not only position your products, but also your content or your content hub. Isabell Schäfer wrote an exciting guest post here with us.

When I started in 2012 it was different. Today there is a lot of Content. And it gets more and more. Some even speak of content shock. But there is always a gap. And you have to find and fill this gap.

So look left and right. What are your competitors doing? And what can you do? better respectively. different do? Also note that television programs, print magazines, radio etc. are also content competitors.

Here are a few questions to help you get started:

  • Which content medium do you use?
  • How often do you publish content?
  • What topics do they report on?
  • How correct, profound and useful is your content?

So think about what makes your content different from other content lifts, What makes it unique? What makes him a Purple Cow?

I often observe that in UK-speaking countries that the content simply isn’t good enough is. So you can position yourself in many industries simply by: right create good content. This is easy in theory and difficult in practice. But definitely doable!

I think there is still a lot of space even in the marketing area, where it should be obvious. That is why our short position is:

Just do great content!

Capterra, on the other hand, formulates it here e.g. So: “We want to permanently write current guidelines and particularly insightful articles that let people see things in a different light. It doesn’t always have to be about software or technology, as long as the focus is on the problems that are important to our audience and for which they are looking for solutions. ”

If e.g. there is enough text content, just make a podcast? Or if everyone writes dry and boring about a topic, is it really entertaining? So you can differentiate yourself through the medium. But also e.g. about characteristics your content (as we do it).

If it’s no longer possible: The last resort is always your person. You are unique. Nobody has the same story as you. one read your blog (because he likes you and your writing voice) and not the other.

Example:

  • professional
  • Profound
  • Loose flaky
  • Transparent
  • Many (own) stories

Step 5: set your messages

In this small step, you consider which messages you want to communicate subliminally with your content.

What values ​​should your target group associate with your brand? What should get stuck?

This happens automatically when creating content. But it makes strategic sense that you do that deliberately write down what you want to tell … and pay attention to it again and again.

We want e.g. are perceived as experts in inbound marketing. This gives us the “right” to offer an inbound marketing platform. It is important to me that we know how to make your business grow with inbound marketing and I want us to do it vorleben, Loose, cool and personable … well, that’s how we are! 😬

Example:

  • We are the inbound marketing experts
  • We practice what we preach
  • We are easy going, cool and personable

Step 6: define your category

Unfortunately we humans think in drawers. We don’t like to hear that, but it is true. This is how we make the world easier.

That’s why you should think carefully about which content marketing strategy to use drawer you want to be stuck.

So determine the category, and preferably the whole tree structure there.

Amazon’s navigation paints a nice picture of what the categories look like in people’s minds:

content marketing strategy category

But actually I think you should be so deep in your industry that you could call it off the cuff.

Example:

Business> Marketing> Inbound Marketing

Step 7: set your topics

Slowly but surely we are getting closer to the contentplanning,

In this step, you think about the topics that exist in your category and about which you want to create content.

Do a keyword research to get to the various topics. But as with the category, you should actually be able to brainstorm that from the inside out.

You can see our topics below. These are the pillars around which our individual content will turn and will rotate all the time. We are now addressing these issues more or less one after the other.

(These topics are usually also your pillar pages, which you shouldn’t neglect.)

Example:

  • Inbound marketing
  • Content marketing
  • to blog
  • E-mail marketing
  • Social media
  • SEO
  • Landing pages
  • CRO
  • headlines
  • advertising texts
  • psychology
  • marketing
  • storytelling
  • design
  • Analytics

Step 8: create your editorial plan

When you get to the end, you let everything flow nicely into an editorial plan. Here and here you will find contributions from us.

In general, you can go several ways with an editorial plan. Here are some that should make you think:

  • book structure – You create a complete table of contents for a book and use it to create an editorial plan.

  • SEO focus – You do keyword research, create a list of keywords and prioritize them. That would be your editorial plan.

  • gut feeling – You do not have a common thread, but orient yourself on where the pain is greatest for your target group at the moment.

It is important here if you decide on a path that you take this consequent persecuting. Otherwise, none of this works.

Example:

editorial plan chimpify 2018

Conclusion

I’m a big fan of “on the fly”. But everything in life needs a solid foundation. So that’s one simple Content marketing strategy is also a requirement if you want to achieve good results with inbound marketing.

We are slowly moving away from one in this post rough Strategy to one concrete Action plan approached. You should now write down all of these points (you can find ours here). Feel free to share your document with us in the comments. I would also like to take a look!

One more important thing that my dear colleague Bernd Geropp describes here:

A strategy is based on incomplete information. A strategy is always based on assumptions.

That’s why you should take a lean approach. So start with the best claims and optimize your strategy 1-2 times a year.

You can now start marching with your action plan. Because the best strategy is the one you follow.