Make 2015 Your Best Year in Content Marketing: Content Strategy Template
You don’t have to have a documented content strategy to start content marketing, but our research found that marketers with a documented content strategy report higher ROI for their content marketing efforts. The reason for the difference is having a plan that accounts for every aspect of effective content marketing, and being able to execute on items that will have the most relevance for your audience and can best leverage the resources you have on hand.
As you prepare for the next month, quarter, or year of content marketing, take the opportunity to bring your efforts to the next level. A robust content plan and strategy are more than just an editorial calendar—which should be flexible enough to change anyway—and empower you to spend your time and resources where they’re likely to have the greatest impact.
So, what’s included in a well-rounded content strategy document? Regardless of the level of detail you want to capture, make sure you include the following items in your strategy.
Content Marketing KPIs The first step to gauging success is understanding your success metrics for content. Whether it’s growing website traffic, social media sharing, leads, sign ups, or transactions, you need something to help you measure what’s working and how well it works.
Your Target Audience Your best customers have something in common. Find out what that is and make it your mission to deliver useful information based on that shared need. Use what you know about your customers to create personas and understand your most likely buyer’s journey from prospect to customer.
Most Important Topics Based on your understanding of the buyer and the buying process, identify the main themes and keywords that should become seeds for the content you create. You can always expand your repertoire, but make sure you provide the kind of content your audience will find most useful.
Available Resources Take a very honest content inventory to see what you have to work with. Identify current and potential content contributors. Assess how much time and money you can commit to content creation, and whether you can make any additional investment. This will help plan more realistically what you can commit to creating.
Execution Plan Once you’ve sorted out the what, why, and who, it’s time to focus on the when and how. Your editorial calendar and clear division of responsibilities around content will need to be clearly delineated to ensure things get done. This is where many “strategies” fall apart, allowing stakeholders to walk away from the table feeling great about their new ideas and direction, and having no action items to follow.
In order to make this complex but worthwhile process simpler and more action-oriented, we’ve produced a content strategy template that your marketing team can use. Inspired by the 2014 Content Marketing Benchmark Report and developed in collaboration with the Marketing Advisory Network, this comprehensive template will help you document every aspect of content strategy planning, content development, resource allocation, and success measurement.
Get a jump start on creating a robust content strategy for your new marketing year. Skip the boring framework stuff, and skip to the good parts of planning for content marketing success. Use the link below to download the template, or get it here.
Karo was born in Poland, and learned to speak English by watching "Saved by the Bell" reruns during her first summer in the U.S., which has left her unable to go through life without occasionally breaking the fourth wall. As Percussion's content marketing manager, she oversees and creates content that drives website traffic, engages followers, and helps fill the marketing and sales funnel. She writes about content management, content marketing, SEO, social media and web design, and how to make it all less complicated.