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Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy

By July 29, 2013May 13th, 2019

Every inbound marketer has “creating new content” on his or her to-do list every day. Content creation includes blog posts and social media updates, videos, ebooks and webinars. This content serves to improve their search engine rankings, drives traffic to their websites, and helps to nurture existing leads.

Start with buyer personas

To handle the demands of content creation, marketers have been told again and again to “think like a publisher.” Like publishers, inbound marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. We call this detailed picture a Buyer Persona.

Buyer personas are basically very short stories that answers questions like:

  • Who are your ideal customers and prospects?
  • What are their biggest concerns, needs, and interest?
  • Where can you reach them?
  • What kinds of content do they prefer?

For more details on creating buyer personas, read 22 Questions to Ask When Creating Buyer Personas and Creating Buyer Personas for B2B and B2C Companies.

Identify your buying cycle

The content you create helps to generate awareness about your company and converts leads into customers. The type of content you should use to achieve your goals should match each stage of the buying cycle:

Awareness. The prospect gets acquainted with your brand and/or realizes they have a need for your product/service.

Research and Education. The prospect identifies the problem and researches potential solutions, including your product or service.

Comparison and Validation. The prospects examines the options and begins narrowing the list of vendors.

Purchase. The prospect decides to buy from you.

Map your content to the buying cycle

After identifying your buying cycle, you need to map types of content and channels that work best to each stage of the buying cycle. Marketing studies have shown that certain types of content play particularly important roles at specific stages of the decision-making process.

Here’s a suggested mapping of the buying stage to content type:

Manage your content with your editorial calendar

Once you’ve built your buyer persona(s) and mapped your content around that persona’s buying cycle, it’s time to figure out when and where to use the content you will be creating.

The most effective way to do this is with an editorial calendar.

  • Create a Google calendar or spreadsheet to record your editorial plans. Try to plan for three months at a time.
  • Work backwards from your marketing goals to guide your plan.
  • Fill your calendar with specific dates and publishing tasks, such as updating blog or social networks daily, posting new videos each week, publishing an ebook or hosting a webinar each month, etc.
  • Note the SEO keywords, the stage of the buying cycle, the calls-to-action for each piece of content.
  • Make note of important dates or external events that are good hooks for specific topics or types of content.
  • Look for opportunities to re-purpose content. For example an FAQ could turn into 17 different blog posts, one on each frequently asked question.
  • Color code your calendar for each type of content, so you can see at-a-glance when you’re publishing blog posts, webinars, ebooks, videos, etc.

By the end of this process, you’ll find that you’ve filled up most of your calendar with detailed plans for content. This should prevent you from spending hours each day planning your content by providing you with a 3-month content calendar that you simply follow.

2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar

Successful marketing begins with a plan. Keep track of all your marketing efforts in one customizable marketing & editorial calendar.

Get Your FREE Marketing and Editorial Calendar for 2017!

2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar

Successful marketing begins with a plan. Keep track of all your marketing efforts in one customizable marketing & editorial calendar.

Get Your FREE Marketing and Editorial Calendar for 2017!
Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.