The Keys To Crafting A Practical Content Strategy

Blog Post By:Julie Barakat

As a marketer in the manufacturing world, you probably can’t count the number of times you’ve heard someone say you should have a content strategy. Everyone’s talking about it, and you understand its importance, so why haven’t you created one yet?

Without a content strategy, you’ll begin to find your content veering off path and your SEO mysteriously failing. A strong content strategy will make sure your website engages and converts, and is optimized to its full potential. Understanding the importance of having a content strategy can be a main differentiator between you and your competitors.

What Exactly is a Content Strategy?

Before jumping into things, let’s make sure we’re on the same page when it comes to content strategies.

According to Moz,

Content strategy concerns itself with the vision—the ins and outs of how and why your content will be created, managed, and eventually archived or updated.

Having a strategy is what will take you from simply guessing about what content to create next, to producing successful and consistent content that is guaranteed to help your site rank higher than other manufacturers, while converting visitors into loyal customers.

The Elements of a Successful Content Strategy

Having a content strategy in place is important to make sure your content creation is aligned with your brand and targeted to your audience. As a manufacturer, it’s your job to post useful and relevant content that will engage and educate your customers. Before you begin creating content, be sure to develop these critical parts of your strategy:

  • Define your goals – Create specific goals for your content. Ex. Grow organic website visitors by 25% YoY.
  • Develop marketing personas – Identify specific members of your audience and define their characterstics. Ex. VP of Sales
  • Research – Review your analytics and research online to discover any topics that might be useful to produce content on. Also use this information to identify any gaps within your content.
  • Consider the Buyer’s Journey – Understand the processes your buyers will go through as they decide what to purchase. The content you create should help move them through this journey.
  • Create an intensive topic list – Create a list and continuously add to it as new ideas develop and review these ideas in monthly meetings with your team.
  • Plan a content calendar – Plan out a content calendar that will keep your content flowing consistently and will hold you accountable.

Just how important is your strategy? According to Kapost,

Annual growth in unique site traffic is 7.8x higher for content marketing leaders (those who have a defined content marketing strategy in place) compared to followers.

What Types of Content Should I Produce?

You’ve done your research, collected the data, and created marketing personas, topic lists and other important components for targeting your customers. What’s next? You should now begin reviewing the different types of content your organization wants to create. Below you will find some of the many different content types to choose from:

  • Blog posts
  • Videos (with transcripts)
  • Webinars (with transcripts)
  • Case studies
  • White papers
  • E-books

As you develop and execute your content strategy, be careful not to get carried away. Trying to do too much, too fast can quickly burn out your marketing team and your SME’s. Create manageable goals and work towards them until you feel confident enough to add more.

What Are Signs of a Weak Content Strategy?

If you fail to put time and effort into the actual strategy, your content creation can quickly fall apart. If this happens, you’ll begin to notice a few things:

  • Your brand can become misaligned and confusing to your audience.
  • You can attract the wrong audience with the wrong topics.
  • Employees can run out of ideas and begin to feel frustrated.
  • The amount of new, fresh content can become inconsistent or come to a hiatus.
  • Your website ranking and SEO will begin to suffer.

Questions to Ask Yourself

Continuously ask yourself questions as you develop your content and content strategy to ensure you stay on track and meet your goals.

  • What do you want your brand to say to your customers?
  • What do your customers want or need to know?
  • What type of content does your audience prefer?
  • How are your customers finding you?
  • Is your content highly-organized and easy to understand?
  • Are your customers engaging with your content?

When it comes to content creation, especially as a manufacturer, having a strategy is key to being successful.

Once you start producing strategic, consistent content, you will find you have a better performing website and more measurable content that will set your brand apart from your competitors.

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