[Beginner - 104] A content strategy template to develop an effective content management strategy

This article serves as a content strategy template for those in the process of developing a content management strategy for their small business or a new client. Follow these steps to generate more traffic to your content, to engage more effectively with customers online and ultimately, and to sell more products or services through your website.

1. Executive overview

To start off, you will want to develop a strategy for the first twelve months of your campaign. In the executive overview, clearly define the strategic message architecture and communication style of your campaign. Also, it is important to make a draft schedule for regular content updates, and stick through it week-by-week and month-by-month. Creating a workflow draft will streamline your campaign and avoid many potential headaches down the road.

This is not necessarily the first step, but it is an important step to have touched on before you start writing content. Furthermore, don't shy away from revising your executive overview as the campaign matures and it becomes more clear what works and what doesn't.

2. Objectives

What is the problem to be solved by your content marketing campaign? This is a fundamental question that must be answered before realizing a content marketing campaign. Take time in this beginning stage to thoroughly consider the your company or client's specific goals for the content you are to produce. Then, after arriving upon a conclusion, write down a statement encompassing the overall objectives. Some possible objectives include increasing traffic to your website, promoting a product or service, or providing information to potential customers that will help them better understand your product or service.

This stage is also an appropriate time to determine your campaign's target consumers. When developing campaign targets, you should be more specific than simply "young people from 20 to 30." A more effective target audience description will outline the exact reasons or traits that would lead people to buying your product. For example, say you were selling website security packages, your specific market would then be "people who have just been attacked" and/or "E-commerce site managers."

3. Create content

Engaging content is useful, easy to understand and fun to consume.

When creating content, make sure it is adequate for your target market. Website savvy users will not engage with basic content. You may need to diversify content as well considering the form in which it will be presented, such as short blog posts, e-books, online videos or easy-to-understand imagery.

To find out what kind of content your target market is reading and engaging with, perform web research. Where are the online hangouts for your target consumers? Find the specific URLs where your target audience spends time. When you found where your audience exists online, study their conversations and actively engage with them on these sites pointing them in the direction of your content. Also, look into who are the online thought leaders in your target market and reach out to them to get on their radar screens.

Another effective strategy is to study the competition. Take time to visit your competitor's websites and examine how they are conducting their content campaigns while evaluating their strengths and weaknesses.

4. Distribution

A successful content management strategy will use all social media channels available to effectively distribute content to its audience. Obviously, make sure your best content is being shared in an engaging manner on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as various other social media channels.

Using Outbrain's services is another effective measure to give your content social power online. Outbrain will help visitors to your site to find other content that likely interest them, as well as create distribution channels for your content on other sites across the web.  

5. Optimize

One of the beautiful aspects of the web is the unprecedented rate of evolution happening all the time. When creating a dynamic content strategy, creating content that evolves to meet user engagement is a must.

When you publish content, it is not the end the story. Take time to manage your published posts, actively editing and optimizing the content to what is working and what is not. Tweak your content constantly, changing headlines, taglines, paragraphs and images, until you create the perfect recipe for successful user engagement.

Don't develop emotional attachment to your content, just do what works.

6. Keep in touch

Use email marketing and RSS feeds to make sure your content stays on your consumers' radar, keeping them coming back for more. Develop a community by responding to your users and delivering them regular and relevant updates. The more frequently you engage with your users, the more frequently you will be able to help guide their decision making processes. You never know when a potential customer may be making an important decision, but the more you engage with them, the more likely you are to intercept them at that crucial moment.

Be friendly. Be helpful. Be social. It will get you farther than you think.

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We hope this content strategy template will help you as you develop a content management strategy for your company or client.

Outbrain is here to help you realize an effective content management strategy that will engage your audience and expand your business's online influence and reach. If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for more customized tips and information.

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