If there's one thing marketers should know, it is that a strong content strategy is an essential part of any successful marketing program. Through your content strategy, you ideate, create, curate and deliver high-quality materials (from blogs to videos and social media posts) that engage, educate, and excite customers. But what are the steps involved in actually creating successful content?

Well, that's what we're here to help answer. We create a lot of content at The Old State and strive to do so with thought, consideration and planning. Keep reading to learn a few things to consider when creating your winning content strategy.

Step 1: Establishing Goals

The first step of any task is establishing goals for yourself, so the same goes for planning a content strategy. Not only can your goals help you better map out what you need to do, but they can also keep you on a timeline and warn you of potential stumbling blocks. 

To establish those goals, you must first define your desired outcomes. Ask yourself, "What does my company want to get from this content?" The answer might be better customer loyalty, increased brand awareness and qualified leads. Once you have established these benchmarks, you'll better understand your content needs.

Step 2: Knowing Your Audience & Planning Content

While you are planning content, it is essential to consider your audience as a core component of your strategy. After all, your audience is the people who will consume the content, react to it, and (hopefully) take action. Therefore, content must be relevant to them. You can gain valuable insights into your audience through customer data, demographics, polls, surveys and key performance indicators (KPIs) that tell you what previous content has been most appealing to them. With this information, you can develop content more likely to evoke the desired response.

Step 3: Fitting Content into the Customer Journey

At one time, it was easy to fit certain content neatly into each phase of the customer journey funnel. However, the evolution of the marketing industry, especially in the area of marketing technology, has made it possible for consumers to view content in a much less linear (and therefore less controllable) fashion than the traditional funnel suggests. As a result, marketers must now consider that customers may access content at any phase of the customer journey and have vastly different outlooks when doing so. 

As a result, content should be more adaptable to fit the unique perspective of each customer, all while guiding the customer to their ultimate goal. To help you visualize this idea, The Old State created its own Marketing Flight Plan, representing the new versatility of the customer journey and showing how content can fit into that experience. Learn more about it in our white paper, From Funnel to Flight Plan: The Future of Marketing is Immersive.

Step 4: Executing & Optimizing 

Don't think your job is done once your content is created. Just as you used previous data to develop the current content, you can now use the data from your new content to further build on your strategy. Not only can the data help you create future content, but it can also help you optimize your current content. One excellent way to optimize content using data is through A/B testing. It involves testing two versions of a piece of content and determining which one performs better. You can then use the information from this testing to better inform your messaging as your brand moves forward.

Step 5: Measuring Success

Because you will need to collect ongoing data about the performance of your content, you will need to find the most efficient way to do so. Establishing a reporting system is a great way to track progress and ensure that goals are achieved. If the results are not what was expected, you should review your strategy and revise it accordingly.

Get Started On Your New Content Strategy

To recap, the key steps to creating a successful content strategy are:

  • Establishing goals.
  • Knowing your audience & planning content.
  • Fitting content into the customer journey.
  • Executing & optimizing.
  • Measuring success.

If done right, these steps will provide the data you need to create content that resonates with your customers and produces successful results. By following these steps, you are sure to create a content strategy that drives revenue and helps build lasting customer relationships. And if you have questions or need assistance, The Old State is ready to help. Our marketing team develops results-driven content every day, and we will work with you to get what your brand needs to make its content thrive.

About The Old State

The Old State is a Dallas-based full-service marketing agency with a focus on web design, inbound marketing and website optimization. We believe in helping clients create digital strategies that lead to real success through listening, research, and adaptability. Our process ensures that we offer solutions that align with clients' visions and business goals. For more information, contact info@theoldstate.com.