Your Content Marketing Strategy Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated

By now, most brands know they need to do at least some form of content marketing. But most of them are doing it without a clear strategy. According to Content Marketing Institute in B2B, only 43% have a documented content strategy. 

We understand the temptation to just dive in and start creating. Action is exciting, and devising a strategy can seem overwhelming. Especially when the c-suite is looking over your shoulder, pointing at their Apple Watch. But the internet is a crowded place. And if you’re just putting random stuff out there without a clear plan, you might as well be throwing money out the car window at 60 miles an hour.

The good news is, creating a content strategy doesn’t have to be complicated. We’re giving you a simple approach to help you move from overwhelm to action.

Content marketing strategy is crucial to business growth. It emphasizes understanding your audience and defining your objectives as foundational steps, followed by crafting a tailored plan that answers key questions about your content's who, what, where, when, why, and how. With a focus on simplicity, the guide offers actionable steps to move from overwhelming to effective content creation, ensuring your strategy aligns with business goals and resonates with your target audience, ultimately driving traffic, leads, and brand awareness.

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Why You Need a Content Strategy

Worst case scenario, a lousy or nonexistent strategy costs your company precious time and money. But when done right, content marketing has the power to: 

  • Increase brand awareness and visibility
  • Build trust with prospects and customers
  • Position your brand as an authority, and by extension, your domain authority 
  • Drive traffic to your website
  • Generate more leads
  • Enhance domain authority
  • Score keyword rankings and featured snippets
  • Entertain and delight customers  

In other words, grow. your. business. 

For marketing teams, there’s also a secondary benefit: more budget. 

A content strategy can help marketing teams secure a larger budget by demonstrating the value and impact of their content efforts. By measuring the performance of content using sales-driven metrics such as audience engagement and leads generated, aligning metrics with business KPIs, and justifying the value of content through data, marketing teams can make a compelling case for increased budget allocation.

What Does a Content Strategy Cover? 

There are a lot of moving parts to a content strategy. But at the end of the day, a strategic plan for content marketing boils down to six basic questions: 

1️⃣ 𝗪𝗵𝗼 are you creating content for? 

2️⃣ 𝗪𝗵𝗮𝘁 will your content cover? 

3️⃣ 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 will you reach your audience?

4️⃣ 𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 will you deliver content to them? 

5️⃣ 𝗪𝗵𝘆 are you creating this content?

6️⃣ 𝗛𝗼𝘄 will you execute?

It doesn't need to be more complicated than that. To make it even simpler, you can build the base of your content strategy by zooming in on two key pieces of this WWWWWH framework: WHO and WHY. 

Step 1: Get Clear on Who Your Content Marketing is For 

Your audience is the guiding light of your strategy. The whole point of content marketing is to create stuff that your audience cares about, and will find helpful, useful, entertaining, or some combination thereof.  

So, before anything else, get really specific about exactly who you’re creating content for. Learn as much as you can about who your buyer (or potential buyer) is. A few things you'll want to know are:

  • What do they care about?
  • What problems are they struggling with?
  • What jobs are they trying to get done?
  • What questions do they need answers to?
  • Where do they go to find those answers and solutions?
  • What causes them to purchase (or not purchase) products or services like yours?
  • What results do they expect to achieve from products or services like yours?
  • What do they love/not like about your products or services?
  • What objections do they need to overcome before buying?

To do this, look at—and talk to—your current and past customers. Conduct surveys and interviews. Listen to sales calls and customer support calls. “Listen” to conversations on social media and Reddit. If you’re in SaaS, look at reviews on sites like Product Hunt, Capterra, G2, Gartner and TrustRadius. Finally, stalk your competitors, including their customer case studies and reviews. 

You can totally start small at first, and gather more information as you go. But start somewhere. Buyer personas and ideal customer profiles is a good first step.

Step 2: Find Your Why

Once you’ve gotten to know your audience really, really well, it’s time to ask yourself, “why.” What’s the point of doing content marketing? What do you want your plan to accomplish? 

For this, think about your overall business goals. For example, you might want to:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Gain more traffic to your site
  • Generate sales leads
  • Increase free trials or demos 
  • Grow your email list

From there, ask yourself what types of content will help you deliver the most value to your readers, while helping you achieve your goals? For example, what do readers need from you in order to sign up for a free trial of your product? 

For one thing, they need to know, like, and trust you. Showcase successful trial experiences through customer testimonials, case studies, client or partner logos, certifications, and other trust badges. 

They also need to understand the impact of NOT using your solution and how it’s holding them back from accomplishing their “jobs to be done”. This is likely done through high-quality content including top of the funnel blog posts or explainer videos. 

Next, they need to understand how your product can solve their problem. This can include middle of the funnel blog posts, video walkthroughs, webinars, and more. You could also highlight specific use cases on your website related to your customer’s top needs. 

Finally, you’ll want to promote the free trial via various marketing channels such as email marketing, landing pages, social media, and paid retargeting ads. Highlight the benefits of the free trial and how it can help solve the pain points of your target audience.

Now that you know who you’re creating for and why you’re creating it, you have a solid foundation from which to build your content strategy. Think of it as reverse-engineering your success based on the two most important pieces: “who” and “why”.  

Step 3: Putting It All Together

Now it’s time to start putting the rest of the pieces together. How can you create content that your audience will care about? And what types of content will help you achieve your objectives? 

What will your content cover? Pull out key messages, topic pillars, and angles based on your customer and market research. You can also look at Google Trends, Google’s “People Also Ask” feature, or PPC data to see what topics folks are most interested in. 

Where will you publish content? Base your distribution channels on where your audience goes to get their information about purchasing decisions for your type of service—not just where they go to get makeup tutorials—unless you’re selling makeup, of course! This could include your website, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter (or X, or whatever they’re calling it these days), a podcast, email, YouTube, etc.  

Tip to cut the overwhelm: Instead of trying to be everywhere, concentrate on doing one thing really well. Then add additional platforms as your bandwidth allows. 

When will you deliver content to your audience? How often will your audience need or want to hear from you? Are there relevant industry, societal or seasonal moments that you want to be a part of? 

Finally, how will you execute your strategy? This consists of tactics like SEO, content promotion and repurposing, or embedding an email opt in form on your site. It may also include other big ideas or campaigns. 

Once you‘ve answered all the key questions, write it all down. A written content strategy document keeps people and teams across your business aligned on who your brand is talking to, how you’ll speak to them, and how you’ll make it happen. It serves as your single source of truth for everyone to reference back to, so there’s no confusion. 

Ideally, you want two versions of your content strategy document: A polished PDF (or Canva Template or PowerPoint doc) that you can share across teams, departments, and roles. And an editable document that you can iterate on as you go, such as a Google Doc or a page in Notion. With the hard part done, it will be much easier to add and change things as needed.

Create a section for each major element of the strategy: 

  • Who - Audience personas 
  • Why - Goals and measurable outcomes 
  • What - Content formats and the topics you’ll cover 
  • Where - Platforms and distribution channels
  • When -  How often you’ll create and publish for each platform and content type
  • How - What tools and workflows will you use and who is responsible for what

Bonus points: You can also include extra information like your brand’s overall mission, USP, and notes on voice, personality, and tone. Link to your editorial calendar (which you’ll build out based on this strategy), other tools that will be used during the process, and anything else that helps your team execute the strategy.

That’s it! If you’ve made it this far, congratulations—you’ve already accomplished a lot. Just remember, your content marketing strategy doesn't have to be complicated to be effective. When all is said and done, it’s about creating content that serves your customers and that’s right for your brand.

FAQs about Simplifying Content Strategy

Q: What is a content marketing strategy?

A content marketing strategy is a plan for building a target audience by creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and engage them, ultimately driving profitable customer action.

Q: Why is a content strategy important for my business?

A content strategy is crucial because it aligns your content creation with your business goals, helps you target your audience more effectively, and improves your ROI by ensuring your content efforts are not wasted but contribute to your business growth.

Q: How can I create a simple content marketing strategy?

Start by defining your target audience and your business goals. Answer the six key questions: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. Focus on understanding your audience's needs and how your content can meet those needs, then plan your content types, channels, and schedule accordingly.

Q: How do I know who my target audience is for my content?

Identify your target audience by researching current and potential customers. Understand their demographics, interests, challenges, and where they spend their time online. Use surveys, interviews, and analysis of customer data and social media engagement to gather insights.

Q: What types of content should I include in my strategy?

Your content types should vary based on your audience's preferences and your business goals. Common formats include blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, case studies, and social media posts. Choose formats that best convey your message and engage your audience.

Q: How often should I publish new content?

The frequency of content publication depends on your resources, goals, and audience engagement levels. Consistency is key. Start with a manageable schedule and adjust based on audience feedback and content performance.

Q: How do I measure the success of my content strategy?

Measure success by setting clear KPIs linked to your business goals, such as website traffic, lead generation, engagement rates, and conversion rates. Use analytics tools to track these metrics and adjust your strategy based on data insights.

Q: Can my content strategy evolve over time?

Absolutely. Your content strategy should be flexible and adapt to changes in your business goals, audience needs, and market trends. Regularly review and adjust your strategy to ensure it remains effective and aligned with your objectives.

Q: What are the best channels to distribute my content?

Choose distribution channels where your target audience is most active. Common channels include your website, social media platforms, email newsletters, and content syndication sites. Tailor your content format and messaging to fit each channel's audience.

Q: How can I simplify the process of content creation?

To simplify content creation, plan your content calendar in advance, repurpose high-performing content across different formats, and use content creation tools to streamline the process. Focus on quality over quantity to ensure your content has the desired impact.


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