Like most business owners, you’re probably already thinking about how you can increase sales, leads, and customer engagement in 2023.
While there are numerous ways to achieve this, content marketing is arguably the most effective. According to a report by Demand Metric, content marketing is 62% cheaper than other outbound marketing strategies and generates over 3x more leads.
So, if you have a business website or blog, it’s time to leverage it to scale your business. To get the best results, you’ll need a content plan for 2023. And it’s never too early to start planning.
Read on to find insightful tips and steps you should use to create a content plan that will help your business succeed in the coming year.
What Is a Content Strategy and Why Is It Important?
A content strategy is the foundation of any successful content marketing plan. It involves researching and developing a comprehensive plan for creating, optimizing, and distributing content that meets your business’ or customers’ needs.
It’s important because it helps you create valuable and relevant content that resonates with your target audience. It also helps you identify the channels to use when distributing this content.
Overall, having a content strategy in place increases engagement with your target audience and drives more conversions.
Steps to Create a Robust Content Strategy for 2023
Creating an effective content plan that will help you reach your business goals doesn’t have to be hard. By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to success in 2023.
1. Determine Your Content Objectives
For your content to reach its full potential and drive success, it must be in sync with your business objectives. Setting SMART goals helps you establish attainable targets within a reasonable timeline. Invite both the sales and marketing teams together so that they can collaborate on establishing the purpose of the content.
Note that just having a content inventory isn’t enough. You must ask yourself: Are you striving to tackle an issue, provide a resolution or satisfy a requirement? Do you need to teach them how your product fares compared with other options on the market? Content should encourage leads down the sales funnel and turn them into customers. It is indispensable that there is content for all three stages of the buyer’s journey.
Don’t be concerned if certain content pieces overlap. For instance, a blog post could be used as part of an onboarding sequence and in a lead-nurturing campaign.
It’s essential to map your content across all buyer’s journey steps. This is because most leads go through a significant portion of the buyer journey before requesting to speak to someone.
2. Conduct Buyer Persona Research
Understanding your buyers’ needs is paramount in creating compelling content. Having buyer personas helps you identify the type of content they need, the best way to reach them, and the channels most likely to work with them.
When researching your target audience, look at demographics (age, gender, income level), interests and hobbies, needs and challenges, values, buying history, and more.
3. Identify the Topics Your Audience Cares About
Once you have established your target audience, it’s time to start researching content topics that will resonate with them. You can use tools such as Google Trends to get insights into what people are talking about. You can also use social media monitoring tools like BuzzSumo to determine what content is most shared.
4. Perform a Content Audit to Identify Gaps in Your Existing Content
A content audit helps you gain insight into your existing content and identify gaps that need to be filled. It also allows you to review existing content and determine if it needs to be updated or removed. When performing a content audit, look at factors like conversion rate, page traffic, and time spent on the page.
5. Create and Optimize Content
Once you have identified the topics your audience cares about, start creating valuable content. This could include blog posts, videos, infographics, webinars, tutorials, and more. Optimize content for search engines to ensure it reaches the right people at the right time.
Depending on your skills, schedule, and goals, consider outsourcing copywriting and SEO to an expert.
6. Choose the Best Distribution Channels
It’s not enough to simply create content. You also need to make sure it reaches your target audience. To do this, you must determine which channels are most appropriate for distributing content. This could include social media, email marketing, networks like Outbrain or Taboola, and more. Consider the goals of your content when selecting the channels for distribution.
7. Promote Your Content
To ensure your content achieves its intended purpose and furthers your marketing objectives, you must promote it proactively. This could include utilizing paid campaigns and partnering with influencers in your industry.
Some of the methods of promoting content include:
- Email broadcasts
- Social media
- Paid ads
- Organic SEO
- Blogger outreach
- Influencer campaigns
When promoting content, it’s essential to use the right keywords so the right people can find you. Additionally, ensure you track how your content is performing and which channels are driving the most traffic.
8. Track and Analyze the Performance of Your Content
The success (or failure) of your content plan is directly proportional to how well you track and analyze the performance of each piece of content. To do this, use analytics tools like Google Analytics to monitor metrics like pageviews, time on site, bounce rate, conversion rates, etc.
You can also use marketing automation software such as HubSpot or Marketo to measure the effectiveness of content campaigns. This will help you identify the most effective channels and inform your content strategy in the future.
Take Control of Your Content for Tangible Results
Creating a content plan for 2023 may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Armed with the right resources and knowledge, you can take control of your content and accelerate your marketing results in no time.
Remember the three key steps outlined above: researching your target audience, creating and optimizing content, and promoting your content. With these, you’ll be well on your way to a successful 2023.