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5 Essential Steps to Building A Profitable Content Strategy

Updated: Aug 7, 2022

There is no one-size-fits-all answer for content marketing success, but there are a few essential steps you can take to laying the groundwork for a successful strategy. By setting clear goals, developing clear brand parameters, understanding the desires and challenges of your audience, deciding what you can commit to, and determining how and when you will track data, you give yourself the best chance of creating profitable content that engages your audience.

Creating a content strategy can feel like a daunting task, but by breaking it down into these five essential steps, you can develop a plan that will set you up for success. So let's get started!

Before we break down these 5 essential steps, let's all get on the same page.

What is content?

For the sake of this article, content is any type of digital media that you create and own. This includes, but is not limited to, blog posts, infographics, videos, eBooks, webinars, etc.

Now that we have a common understanding of what content is, let's move on to understanding what a content strategy is.

What is a content strategy?

A content strategy is a plan that details how you will create, publish, and manage your content. This includes understanding what types of content you will create, who your target audience is, what pain points you are trying to solve for them, and which channels you will use to distribute your content.

Creating a content strategy can feel like a daunting task, but by breaking it down into these five essential steps, you can develop a plan that will set you up for success. So let's get started!

The first step to creating a successful content strategy is to…

Set clear goals.

Before embarking on any journey (especially one as time-consuming as developing a solid content strategy), it's important that you have a clear understanding of your end destination. What are you hoping to achieve with your content?

Are you looking to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales?

Your answer to this question will shape the rest of your strategy, so it's important that you take the time to really think about what you want to accomplish.

Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can move on to developing…

Clear brand parameters.

For your content strategy to be successful, all of your content must align with your overall brand identity. This means creating consistent messaging and visuals that accurately reflect who you are as a company.

If you're not sure where to start, consider creating a style board to share with graphic designers, videographers, copywriters, and anyone else on your team.

These parameters should also include what your brand will NOT participate in. This is often called a brand filter and can help you avoid any content that could damage your reputation.

Now that you have your goals and brand parameters set, it's time to move on to understanding…

The desires and challenges of your audience.

You need to create content that appeals to the needs of your target audience. To do this, you first need to understand what their specific desires and challenges are.

Consider conducting market research or surveys to get feedback from your target audience. You can also use Google Analytics or social media listening tools to get a better understanding of the conversations they're already having online.

Once you have a good grasp on what they desire and challenge your content should agitate the challenges in a way that provokes your audience to take action and motivates them to strive towards their desires.

The biggest question you must ask yourself with every piece of content is: how will this serve my audience?

Now that you understand what your audience wants, it's time to decide…

What you can commit to.

Creating quality content takes time, energy, and resources. Before you get too far into planning and producing content, it's important to make sure you have the bandwidth to actually see your plan through.

Think about how often you want to publish new content and which team members (if applicable) will be responsible for creating it. You should also consider any budget constraints you may have.

It's better to start small and gradually increase your output than try to bite off more than you can chew and end up burning out or putting out subpar content.

Some "Social media gurus" will say you need to post 2-3 times per day. Let's break that down, say you took the latter of the 2. that's still 14 pieces of content in 1 week. That's 56 pieces of content in 1 month. Can you realistically commit to that?

If so, go for it.

But if not, this step will be crucial to avoiding social media burnout and the obligatory post, meaning "I posted this just to say I posted something".

Once you've determined what you can commit to, it's time to start thinking about…

How and when you will track data.

To determine whether or not your content strategy is working, you need to establish some key performance indicators (KPIs) and set up a system for tracking them.

Some common KPIs for content marketing include reach (how many people see your content), engagement (how often people interact with your content), conversion rate (how often people take the desired action after seeing your content), and social sharing.

There are several different tools you can use to track these KPIs, including Google Analytics, BuzzSumo, Hootsuite Insights, and Sprout Social.

Once you've established which KPIs you want to track, make sure to set up a system for regularly monitoring and reporting on your progress. This will help you determine what's working and what isn't so you can make necessary adjustments to your content strategy.

By following these five essential steps, you can set your content strategy up for success and ensure that it is profitable for your business.

Remember, a successful content strategy requires clear goals, well-defined brand parameters, an understanding of your audience's desires and challenges, a realistic commitment from you and your team, and regular data tracking.

If you can focus on these key components, you'll be well on your way to creating content that drives results for your business.

Still have questions? Feel free to leave your comments below so I can respond back to you in real-time.

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