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The Content marketing strategy template is useful for every business. It helps in streamlining the content marketing efforts. An excellent content strategy template enables you to stay focused on things that matter the most. Ideas and thoughts have no limits or boundaries. You need to provide a right direction to your mind in order to get meaningful things done. This is what a sound strategy does to your business.

Any standard content marketing strategy has six main elements:

  1. Timeline
  2. Business Analysis
  3. Objective and Goals
  4. Strategy and Planning
  5. Implementation
  6. Result Measurement and Optimization

I have used a simplified version of the strategy template that I developed for SixPL (for this site itself) to explain the fundamental elements of the template. You can customize it as per your specific business requirements.

1. Timeline – Six Months

The timeline is crucial. Content marketing is effective only in the medium to long term. Therefore, you should give at least six months to see if your content marketing strategy delivers the desired results. To generate immediate results, you may use paid advertising such Google Adwords or Social media ads.

2. Business Analysis

Business Model

We are into digital marketing. Most of our revenue comes from providing services like content development, SEO, SMO, Email marketing, Affiliate marketing, and PPC Advertising.

Target Audience

Would-be entrepreneurs, entrepreneurs, CEOs and Directors of MSMEs, and individuals who wish to learn digital marketing or want to make money online legitimately.

It is important to note that our services are not industry or location specific. We have served a diverse range of customers from across the world. Thus, we have not considered the country or industry of our target audience. However, these are two critical parameters that should not be ignored while defining the target audience.

To make your content marketing strategy successful, define a precise target audience.

3. Objectives and Goals

Objective

In this section, you need to answer: “why are you developing a content marketing strategy for your business? What do you aim to achieve by doing the activities?”

At SixPL, the primary objective of content marketing strategy is to drive readership to our content.

Goals

This is the measurable outcome that you intend to accomplish at the end of the timeframe. You need to set realistic goals. Otherwise, the entire exercise will go in vain.

For SixPL, we have set following goals:

S.NoGoalCurrent StatusTarget
1Number of visitors (Sessions)75 visitors per day300 visitors per day
2Number of Email Subscribers100023
3Facebook Page Likes10000400
4Twitter Followers20000208
5LinkedIn Personal Connections50003000
6LinkedIn Company Page Followers2000725

 

It is important to understand how to arrive at a particular number while working on goals. In my view and experience, above numbers are the minimum that we should achieve in order to justify the investment in content marketing. For example, in 2016, we saw an average of 75 visitors per day. In the first half of 2017, we want this figure to reach at an average of 300 visitors per day. Same goes, with other goals.

I will also revise these goals on a monthly basis if required so that we adapt to the prevailing scenario. However, we will notify the same to our readers and mention the reasons for revising the goals to maintain the transparency.

It is noteworthy that, although we provide content marketing services to our clients, we never did that for ourselves. The main reason was work overload and lack of bandwidth. We were so busy providing excellent services to our clients (and to earn money) that we completely ignored self-marketing. However, since we want to move to the next level of business, we can no longer afford to ignore our own branding.

We have not included the number of leads in our objective or goals, as we have undertaken this activity for branding and not for the lead generation. However, we do expect to generate some leads, and we will keep you posted on this. At present, we have a separate lead generation strategy, which I will discuss in another blog.

4. Strategy and Planning

Develop a strategy keeping your target audience in mind. Remember that through content marketing; you should aim to bring a positive change to your customers’ life. Content marketing is worthless if it doesn’t make your readers think or act.

Following is the strategy in brief that I developed for SixPL:

Center of our strategy is to provide useful and unbiased information and insights related to digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and marketing technology. We will only produce evergreen content and use Google keyword planner tool to optimize every article for a minimum of one keyword and a maximum of three keywords.

In addition to this, we will also publish an off-beat article on Saturdays that would revolve around current affairs and positive things around us.

No article will be published without optimizing it for Google. The headline of the article will be written in a way that describes the content more accurately, rather than attention grabbing clicks baits that are used to get more traffic from social media.

A separate guideline will be developed to accommodate guest posts that fit our overall strategy.

Content Calendar

A new blog will be published every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Newsletter to be broadcasted every Tuesday

Social Media Calendar

One Status Update Per day
On Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays – New Blogs

Tuesday – Creative

Thursday – Old Blog

Saturdays – Off-beat Article (From our blog or from across the Internet)

5. Content Promotion Strategy

Gone are the days when great content attracted a huge audience. Today, you need to spend a significant amount of time in promoting the new as well as old blogs. Otherwise, it will hardly be visible and read by anyone.

Here is the promotional calendar that I have developed for SixPL:

On the Blog Publishing Days (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays):

Blog will be published on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays Around 9 pm IST

After publishing a blog post following needs to be done:

  • URL Tagging (UTM Tagging)
  • Post it on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Promote it on LinkedIn Groups
  • Promoting it on Facebook through Paid Campaign
  • Share it on Inbound
  • Share it on GrowthHacker
  • Share it on Alltop
  • Engagement through comments on five websites
  • Publishing a blog on LinkedIn through Personal Account
  • Answering related questions Quora
  • Bookmarking

6. Measurement and Optimization

Initially, use basic methods such as UTM tagging and Google Analytics to measure the traffic conversion. For SixPL, we have decided to review the progress on a monthly basis and make required changes in strategy or implementation that can help us in meeting our goals and objectives.

Conclusion

You need to plan as much in detail as possible to overcome major challenges. For SixPL, I have even decided 90% of the blog topics and titles that would be created over the next six months. This gives me a clear picture of how the entire content will look like at the end of our first ever campaign. We have also planned the detailed list of activities and the number of hours I along my team is going to invest in content marketing. At the end of the campaign, this will give a fair idea of ROI on content marketing and whether we should continue doing it with some improvements or choose something else.

Watch this space for regular updates on the progress we make. Subscribe to our newsletter to get the updates in your email.

If you decide to implement a similar strategy for your business, do let me know, how it is going for you.

What is your opinion on this strategy? Will it work? Would you like to develop a similar strategy for your business? Or you have something better?

Looking forward to your valuable feedback through comments.