A Quick Step by Step Guide to Develop Your Content Strategy

May 6, 2022

Have you been looking to get to the top of search engine rankings?

Here’s one secret to getting you there: a great content strategy.

Your content strategy must focus on engaging with your audience, producing quality content, and measuring your successes and failures.

Today, we cover the process of developing a good content strategy for your business using four simple steps.

Step #1: Define Your Goal

Before you decide to create a content strategy for your business, you must first understand why you need one.

Any content strategy has to start with a goal.

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You’ll then need to establish how you’ll measure your content strategy’s  success. Success can be measured using the following parameters:

  • Sales
  • Podcast downloads
  • Video views
  • Social shares and engagement
  • Conversions
  • App downloads
  • New subscribers
  • Traffic

It’s essential you understand your goal early on. That way, you’ll be free to make choices at the start of your planning—before you make commitments to yourself and other people. In the beginning, the choices are easy, fast, and free.

In addition, you need a strong WHY to succeed in your content marketing campaign.

An early understanding of your goal will inform other critical decisions as you create your content strategy. Such decisions may include the kind of strategy you want and the methods you’ll use to distribute your content.

For example, your ultimate goal with content marketing may be to achieve free trial signups or email signups.

To make achieving this goal easier, you can outsource content by finding a reputable content agency that will help you get the attention of your potential customers.

Illustration of pen drawing a desk

A good content agency can attract a new audience to your blog or website, and convert them into email subscribers. Later, this may lead to paying subscribers to help.

With this larger goal in place, you can quickly determine how many readers you need to attract in order to realise your goal.

Step #2: Research Your Audience

Now you know why you want to make content for your eCommerce store. The next step in developing your content strategy is understanding who will consume the content you’re creating.

You’re unlikely to produce effective content using the topics you want to write about—you need your target audience’s involvement, direction, and feedback.

A good content strategy must answer your target audience’s most pressing questions. It must educate and transform them.

However, to realise your goals, your content needs to connect enough with your audience to make them share it. The only way to achieve this is to speak directly to them. You have to develop understanding and empathy for their situation, and make sure that it comes across in your content.

The first step is to understand your ideal audience’s psychographics and demographics. Psychographics includes attributes we can’t measure, such as:

  • Interests
  • Values
  • Belief systems
  • Attitudes

Demographics, on the other hand, are attributes that you can measure. They may include:

  • Job title
  • Location
  • Gender
  • Age

Next, you’ll need to create audience personas.

How to Create Your Audience Personas

Audience personas are those generalised, fictional representations of your ideal clients. They’re usually constructed to internalise your ideal customers and guide you through how to relate to them as real humans.

For any audience persona that you create, be sure to write out their attributes and visualise exactly who they are. What are their names and their day-to-day activities?

Once you’ve created the personas, it’s time to find out how your audience fits in. How will they find and recognise your content?

Here are four simple ways that your target audience can find and recognise your content.

MeansMedium
SearchingSearch engines such as Google and Bing
Community sitesReddit, Quora
Social mediaFacebook, Snapchat, Twitter
In-person eventsGroup discussions and conferences

As a business, you must present your content where your target audience is already spending their time.e.

Step #3: Do Keyword Research

Now you know why you want to create content and your target audience. The next step involves understanding the actual content you want to create and deciding whether it aligns with your goals.

To succeed with your content marketing goals, you’ll need to be strategic with what you’re creating. Be careful not to fall into the trap of simply reacting to the market.

As a marketer for your business, you need to set your agenda. At all costs, avoid creating a reactionary content calendar. Instead, create a calendar with content that aligns well with your business goals.

Your content types, or pillar posts, will give you an idea about what kind of posts to write and what specific content to include in each one.

Through keyword research, you’ll find out what your target audience is searching for today that they can’t find. With the target audience’s needs in mind, you can develop specific keywords and topics that they’re looking for in five simple steps.

Brainstorm Terms and Topics

Write down as many ideas as possible on topics that may interest your audience. You can involve people working directly with your audience, like sales representatives or customer service personnel.

Use a Keyword Research Tool

Based on the ideas you come up with, you can use a keyword research tool such as Moz or Google Keyword Planner to gather results.

Expand and Refine Your List

Refine the list and group your keywords. Find out what looks good and what doesn’t. Strike out what makes little or no sense for your goals.

Build a Spreadsheet and Prioritise Terms

Get organised.

Use the data you’ve collected from your keyword research tool to build a spreadsheet. You can include items such as:

  • Keywords
  • Difficulty and opportunity
  • Search volume

You can assign a priority to each of the keywords based on their importance to your business.

Outline the Content That Hits Your Three Key Needs

To ensure your content is SEO-friendly, take your key topics and outline all the content you feel will serve your goals, keyword targeting, and user needs.

While you’re at it, you’ll want to avoid just trying to match the content of other top ranking websites. Instead, aim to make your content ten times better.

Step #4: Update Your Current Content

As an online business owner, keep re-evaluating your content and shift gears if something isn’t working.

If you’ve been writing or creating other types of content for some time, it’s time to reorganise your content to resonate with your new content strategy. However, you must know what type of content it is that you need to produce. What topics are you going to cover consistently?

Professional copywriters such as CopySmiths will do everything for you, including:

  • Content ideation
  • Writing
  • Images
  • Quality control
  • Publishing

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The topics you decide on will become the foundation of your blog. If you’re trying to build a finance blog, for instance, your core topics—or content pillars—might be:

  • Finance basics
  • Personal finance tricks and tips
  • Industry news
  • Stories and interviews

Once you’ve identified your content pillar, you’ll want to ensure that you hit the three pillar posts highlighted below:

Pillar PostMeaning
EngagementContent that starts a conversation, such as your personal opinion on a trending topic
EvergreenContent revolving around key terms of your business—you can always refer to it and update
EventsContent based on a particular occurrence or event, like some industry event or a piece of news

If you’ve published your content already, this is the best time to go through it to see if it already fits into your new content strategy.

Does it speak directly to your target audience? Is it working toward your goals?

If it doesn’t, it’s time to update it, change it, or scrap it altogether.

Make Quality Blogging Part of Your Content Strategy

As an eCommerce store owner, you can take your business to the next level by making blogging a part of your content strategy. With good blog content, you can:

  • Boost your SEO
  • Develop and strengthen a special relationship with your customers
  • Make your business a leader in the industry
  • Let more people connect with your brand
  • Create more opportunities to share your content

At CopySmiths, we create quality, well-written content for your blog to boost your online business.

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Get in touch with us today, and let us take your online business a notch higher.

CopySmiths

I'm Katrina McKinnon, founder of CopySmiths and Small Revolution. In my 20 years of experience, I have helped online businesses create high-performing content specifically on an eCommerce store's blog. Find me on LinkedIn and Twitter.