A Simple Guide to Developing Your Store’s Content Strategy

April 25, 2022

Does simply owning a website put you right where you want your target audience to see you? The answer is no. Then, what does?

You must have already heard of content marketing. Simply put, it’s a marketing strategy that leverages content, such as blog posts, videos, podcasts, and other forms of media, to get the attention of your target audience, engage them and retain their attention.

“Content marketing is a long-term strategy that focuses on building a strong relationship with your target audience by giving them high-quality content that is very relevant to them on a consistent basis.” – Neil Patel, Digital Marketer

Content marketing doesn’t work by itself. What you need is a content marketing strategy. Just like a car needs an engine to run, your content marketing needs a strategy to propel you towards your goals and targets.

Similarly, just creating a haphazard content strategy won’t get you the desired results. You need one that works for you.

If you’re a beginner in the content marketing field, you might think it’s like rocket science. We’re here to dispel that fear.

Here’s how you can create a comprehensive content strategy that will work for your online store:

Come Up With Your “Why”

Creating a content strategy is not just another task to be completed by any small business. It’s not something you can easily do just because every other online business is doing it.

You need to identify your purpose; and be specific about it.

This should be the first step in creating a content strategy because the earlier you identify your purpose, the easier it’ll be to track your content marketing performance and tweak your strategy to perform even better.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to know your purpose:

  • What goals are we trying to achieve by investing in content marketing?
  • How does the content strategy help us move towards our goals?
  • Who are we targeting through our content?
  • How are we going to track the strategy’s performance?

Document every process of this step so that you can easily understand why it’s important for you to dive into this investment. A documented content strategy will make other key parties in the organization and marketing department understand the company’s purpose.

Anyone from sales, HR, or finance should be able to understand why content is important to your company by looking at this document.

Besides, you’ll notice how this process can easily streamline the rest of your strategy. Take your time to nail the bigger picture before moving to other details.

Know Your Target Audience

You’ve seen them. Content creators who spend hours and thousands of dollars to create content in hopes of it going viral, or driving boatloads of readers to their site, only for it to fall flat. The content fails to attract readers, and even those who do read it are uninterested.

Who wants to end up with an egg on their face? You don’t.

To develop a successful content strategy, you need to know how to connect with your audience. Before creating any piece of content, you need to know who you’re creating it for and why.

How do you understand your audience?

Understanding your target audience starts by carrying out in-depth and thorough market research. Market research helps you get details about the group you’re creating content for.

This step helps you understand the customer demographics for your content. When you know your audience, you’ll know where they spend most of their time online and on which platforms, the kind of content they consume, and how you can solve their problems.

You want to ensure that your content answers your audience’s questions and eventually leads them through the sales funnel.

Map Your Buyer’s Journey

Once you understand your audience, you need to understand the processes they go through from the moment they discover your content until they decide to purchase from you.

Generally known as the sales funnel, mapping this journey helps you understand how you can impact your audience in whatever stage of the journey they’re in.

Here’s a breakdown of the buyer’s journey:

StageDescription
Awareness

This is the first stage of the buyer’s journey, where the buyer gets to know about your brand and what you have to offer.

At first, they may not even know they have a problem you can help solve.

At this stage, your content should focus on identifying a problem and introducing your products or service.

Interest

A potential customer being aware of your brand or products doesn’t automatically mean that they’re interested and going to purchase from you.

Some may be undecided and for others, it may be the wrong timing. At this stage, you may want to provide content that gives an in-depth insight into their problem.

Decision

At this stage, the buyer is already thinking about making a decision. They’ve seen what you offer, are interested, but are still not sure if it’ll solve their problems.

Here, you should provide content that shows them what value they stand to benefit by purchasing from you. Calm their fears and make the decision-making process simple.

Action

Once they’ve made a decision to buy from you, they may need one last validation. View this stage as a race between you and a competitor.

Provide content that shows them the value of your brand.

It’s important to define these stages and establish how you can offer content to provide value and help to buyers at each point.

Establish Your Distribution Channels

Knowing your target audience and mapping the buyer’s journey won’t be helpful until you know how and where to distribute your content so that it reaches your target audience.

Lack of a distribution plan will lead to failure because your great content won’t reach the people it was created for.

For a start, you may want to share your content on platforms your audience loves. Do they love reading content on your blog? Do they love watching your videos on YouTube? Are they mostly present on social media platforms?

Don’t stop there. You need to get creative and implement unique tactics, such as SEO, to ensure your content appears right before your audience’s eyes.

For example, you can create email marketing campaigns to share your content with subscribers. You can also seek guest-posting opportunities on other authority websites in your industry.

Always think of how you can maximize opportunities to reach new and existing audiences. Don’t just limit yourself to sharing content on your own platform.

Create a Content Calendar

The last stage of developing a content strategy involves creating a content calendar to guide your content marketing strategy. Create a monthly and annual publishing schedule that’s in line with your content goals.

Think about how much content and what kind of content you need each month to get closer to your goals. Start by answering these questions?

  • How many monthly articles will you need on your blog?
  • How many monthly guest posts do you need?
  • How often will you incorporate other types of content, such as videos?

Answering these questions will help you and your team know how much content you’ll have to produce and make your scheduling work even easier.

A content calendar will also help you put your distribution strategy into perspective. Once a piece of content is ready for publishing, you’ll know how to distribute it and which platforms it will perform best on.

Develop a Robust Content Strategy

Developing a content strategy is an essential part of any online store’s marketing efforts. It helps you put your brand out there to get noticed by your target audience.

The first step towards creating a successful content strategy is identifying your goals. You also need to carry out market research to understand your target audience and how to find them. Map your buyers’ journey and know which channels you’ll distribute your content on.

Fortunately, content agencies, like CopySmiths, are here to do all the hard work for you, so you don’t lose sleep over the process.

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.


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