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How to Create a Winning Content Strategy

Our content material technique at Ahrefs is easy.

In a nutshell, we:

  • Create weblog posts and movies about related subjects that folks seek for on Google and YouTube.
  • Nurture and educate these folks with helpful content material on Twitter and in our publication.
  • Retain clients and construct model loyalty utilizing product-focused tutorials in our assist heart, academy, and in our instrument itself.

This technique has been massively profitable for us. We get 500K+ month-to-month visits to our weblog from Google, have 100K+ folks on our mailing record, and have 200K+ subscribers on YouTube.

Extra importantly, it’s helped our ARR grow pretty consistently over the years.

However when you may blindly copy our content material technique, that wouldn’t essentially be smart as a result of what works for us won’t work for you.

That’s why we wrote this information—to present you ways to create a content material technique that is sensible for your corporation.

Right here’s all the pieces you’ll study:

What’s a content material technique?

Content technique focuses on the imaginative and prescient and plan in your content material. It’s the place you reply questions like why and the way to create content material, who the content material is for, and finally how you’ll make the most of content material to market your corporation.

What’s the distinction between content material technique and content material advertising and marketing?

Content advertising and marketing is the method of making, modifying, and selling content material for advertising and marketing functions. It is likely to be a weblog put up, video, product documentation—something that helps you to entice, nurture, and retain clients.

In different phrases, content material advertising and marketing is the execution of techniques that additional your content material technique.

To make issues much more complicated, should you create a Venn-diagram of content material technique and content material advertising and marketing, the intersection is your content material advertising and marketing technique.

Content advertising and marketing technique issues itself with the planning and orchestration of your content material advertising and marketing efforts. It includes defining your model voice and elegance, content material ideation, creating a content material calendar, setting and measuring targets, and many others.

Why is it necessary to have a content material technique?

Having a content material technique is necessary to make sure that each bit of content material you create has a goal. It stops you from creating content material for the sake of it and throwing cash down the drain on random content material that does nothing for your corporation.

It additionally helps make sure that you’re creating content material for the correct viewers, in the correct format, for the correct channel.

How to create a content material technique

Creating a content material technique may be fairly a daunting course of, so we’ve created a easy framework to make issues simpler referred to as the content material technique canvas:

The aim of the content material technique canvas is to aid you create a fundamental content material technique by answering 5 easy questions:

  • Who are you creating content material for?
  • Why are you creating content material?
  • What sort of content material will you create?
  • The place will you publish the content material?
  • How will you create the content material?

Let’s stroll via how to reply every of those questions.

Query 1: Who’re you creating content material for?

Placing into phrases who you’re making an attempt to attain together with your content material is the primary and most important step. It’ll function a guiding mild for all of your content material creation efforts and assist maintain you on monitor.

Should you’ve achieved your market analysis and created buyer personas, this ought to be simple. You’ll have already got a stable concept of who you’re making an attempt to attain.

For instance, should you’re a mortgage dealer in Florida, that is likely to be one thing like:

Millennial {couples} (25–30) in Florida with aspirations of proudly owning their first residence. They’re working professionals strapped for time and really feel pissed off by the complexity of the method of getting on the property ladder.

Should you don’t know fairly a lot about who you’re concentrating on, be at liberty to maintain issues broader.

For instance, as suppliers of Website positioning software program, one thing like this may make sense for us:

Individuals who need to drive extra visitors to their web site(s).

It’s considerably oversimplified, nevertheless it’s sufficient to assist us keep away from creating content material about dead-end subjects.

For instance, take a matter like “reverse picture search.” This appears like a matter associated to Website positioning on the face of it, and it will get an estimated 1.6M month-to-month searches within the US…

… however the actuality is that most individuals looking for this probably don’t even have a web site. They’re in all probability simply making an attempt to seek out a catfish.

Right here’s our content material technique canvas so far:

Query 2. Why are you creating content material?

Each bit of content material ought to have a goal.

Broadly talking, there are 4 of these:

  • Improve model consciousness and introduce your model to potential clients.
  • Create curiosity and want by instructing potential clients extra about their issues and the way your services or products can remedy them.
  • Nurture curiosity and entice the acquisition by additional educating potential clients about your services or products and why it’s the perfect resolution for them.
  • Retain clients and construct model loyalty by educating clients on how to get essentially the most out of your services or products and clearly demonstrating its worth.
  • Should you’re acquainted with the advertising and marketing funnel, you’ll discover that these 4 “functions” align broadly with the phases of the shopping for journey.

    Both means, you’ll see that these “whys” are prefilled on the content material technique canvas since you want to create content material for all functions. In spite of everything, there’s no level in having a well-known model if no one ever buys something from you, and there’s no level working to entice clients should you can’t retain them.

    Nonetheless, it’s necessary to perceive one factor earlier than we proceed:

    Each bit of content material can serve a number of functions.

    A lot of our weblog posts supply good examples of this concept in observe. For instance, take a matter like “how to discover low competitors key phrases.” This put up arguably serves all phases of the advertising and marketing funnel to various levels.

    That mentioned, some content material items will probably be extra centered on fixing only one downside.

    For instance, take our “Ahrefs vs.” web page. This web page explains what the trade thinks of Ahrefs in contrast to our rivals and showcases a few of our distinctive options.

    Listed here are the issues it does and doesn’t remedy by my estimations:

    Relying on the place you’re at in your content material advertising and marketing journey, chances are you’ll want to focus extra on one in all these “functions” greater than the opposite. That is the place a content material audit can come in useful, however that’s a matter for an additional day.

    Query 3: The place will you publish content material?

    Understanding why you’re creating content material is a good begin, however you additionally want to know the place to publish it to attain clients and potential clients.

    Given the myriad of publishing choices nowadays, this course of may be overwhelming.

    Listed here are simply a few locations you might publish content material:

    • Weblog/web site
    • YouTube
    • Social networks
    • Electronic mail
    • Slideshare
    • Visitor posts (i.e., on different peoples’ web sites)
    • Podcasts
    • Q&A websites (e.g., Quora)

    So which do you have to select?

    Firstly, don’t get slowed down making an attempt to create content material for each channel conceivable. These are all viable choices in a technique or one other, however you may’t do all the pieces—particularly once you’re simply beginning in your content material journey.

    Secondly, don’t select randomly.

    It is best to select one or two channels that take advantage of sense for your corporation, and you need to base these in your solutions to two questions:

  • Which channels remedy your “whys”?
  • How and the place do your clients devour info on-line?
  • Let’s begin by answering the primary query…

    Each good content material technique includes creating content material for every stage of the journey—from model consciousness to buyer retention—however not all advertising and marketing channels are appropriate for fixing all issues.

    For instance, publishing an e-mail publication is of no use for constructing model consciousness as a result of these unaware of your model don’t subscribe. Equally, doing podcasts is hardly probably to aid you retain clients and construct model loyalty.

    You both want to select one channel that’s appropriate for all phases or a number of complementary channels.

    Right here’s a fast cheat sheet for the most well-liked owned channels to assist:

    How have you learnt which two channels to select?

    That is the place the second query is available in useful:

    How and the place do your clients devour info on-line?

    Your market analysis ought to have uncovered the reply to this query however should you’re unsure, contemplate asking or surveying your clients immediately. Alternatively, should you’re contemplating your weblog/web site or YouTube channel as one in all your advertising and marketing mediums, use a key phrase analysis instrument like Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer to see if persons are looking for subjects associated to your corporation.

    For instance, we see hundreds of individuals looking for Website positioning-related subjects each month on Google and YouTube:

    This tells us that publishing content material on these channels is sensible for us.

    We additionally know that we are able to use social media and e-mail advertising and marketing to nurture and retain clients, so we’ll create content material for these channels too.

    Query 4. What sort of content material will you create?

    Should you’re planning to publish content material on YouTube, it’s fairly apparent that you just’ll be publishing movies as a result of that’s the one sort of content material you may publish. However for a lot of different advertising and marketing channels, issues aren’t all the time so apparent.

    Take your web site, for instance. There are various sorts of content material you might publish, together with:

    • Weblog posts
    • Whitepapers
    • Touchdown pages
    • Wiki articles
    • Interactive instruments
    • Video programs

    No one has limitless assets for creating content material, so it’s price contemplating which content material sorts you need to focus on.

    As an example, on our web site, we primarily give attention to creating three sorts of content material:

    • Weblog posts
    • Wiki articles
    • Interactive instruments

    Proper now, we’ve 906 weblog posts, and our weblog will get an estimated 253K search visits each month—in accordance to the High subfolders report in Ahrefs’ Web site Explorer.

    Sidenote.

    Many of those weblog posts are translations; we solely have ~300 English posts. 

    We now have 10 free instruments, which ship us an estimated 301K month-to-month search visits.

    And we’ve 267 Wiki/assist articles that ship us an estimated 2.3K month-to-month search visits.

    These 2.3K visits to our Wiki articles might sound negligible in contrast to our weblog and free instruments, however the goal of this content material isn’t to drive tons of visitors. Its goal is to educate and retain clients by answering frequent questions on our toolset.

    On Twitter, we primarily give attention to creating and sharing product updates…

    NEW: The “Natural visitors” graph now accounts for seasonal fluctuations of search quantity!

    This knowledge will present in Natural key phrases 2.0, High Pages 2.0, and the Natural search tab and metrics in your Web site Explorer Overview. pic.twitter.com/eLmZrzygZB

    — Ahrefs (@ahrefs) May 6, 2021

    … and informative threads with distilled data from our weblog posts:

    When you’ve got customized illustrations or infographics in your website, it’s extremely probably that others will use them of their content material.

    For instance, right here’s a graph from our put up about long-tail key phrases on one other weblog: pic.twitter.com/6q32eEbB9G

    — Ahrefs (@ahrefs) December 29, 2020

    When it comes to filling out this part of your content material technique canvas, don’t overthink issues. Simply jot down related sorts of content material for every step within the journey.

    It’s additionally high quality to use the identical sort of content material throughout a number of phases the place it is sensible. For instance, we make the most of weblog posts for all the pieces from elevating model consciousness to nurturing clients, so we record that content material sort throughout all phases in our canvas. However we solely record wiki/assist articles within the retention stage.

    Query 5. How will you create the content material?

    Creating a content material technique isn’t nearly planning what to do. You additionally want to contemplate how to execute your plan.

    In different phrases, you want to ask your self: “what assets will I want?”

    You’ll be able to group these assets into two classes:

  • Folks. Who do you want to rent, and what abilities do you want?
  • Services. What instruments or providers will you want?
  • For instance, say we wished to create weblog content material and YouTube movies for a new model, we’re in all probability going to the next folks at a naked minimal:

    • Weblog content material author(s)
    • Scriptwriter(s)
    • Weblog editor
    • Videographer
    • Video editor
    • Designer
    • Digital assistant (VA)

    We’ll additionally want a few services and products, together with:

    Right here’s our accomplished canvas:

    Ultimate ideas

    Having a content material technique is invaluable for conserving your content material creation efforts on monitor and making certain that the content material you create has a goal. In spite of everything, it’s tremendous simple to fall into the lure of making content material only for the sake of it.

    Should you’ve already created your content material technique, the subsequent step is creating a content material advertising and marketing technique and begin creating content material.

    Obtained questions? Ping me on Twitter.

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