Beginner’s Guide to Content: One Hour to a Better Content Strategy [TEMPLATE]

November 06, 2019
By iQ Staff
Vintage typewriter with a paper that reads "CONTENT IS KING" and a crown.

Content marketing can be a powerful way to build brand awareness and engagement with your target audience. You don’t have to have a big marketing budget, but you do have to have a plan.

Before diving headfirst into content marketing, make sure you have a content strategy tailored to your business objectives and audience. Otherwise, you might find yourself aimlessly pushing content into the void with little return on your investment.

You can get started building your own content marketing plan using the simple content strategy guide below.

Downloadable Content Strategy Template

 

OBJECTIVE

First, identify your objectives and goals. Knowing these upfront will keep you focused and ensure all the effort you put into creating content supports your end game.

  • What am I trying to achieve through content marketing?
  • Where is my brand now and where do I want to be in three years?
  • How will content help me get to where I want to be?

My goal for the year is ___________________________________________.

(Make your goal challenging but achievable, specific and measurable).

 

TARGET AUDIENCE

Next, figure out who you want to reach and get to know your target audience. Once you’ve taken a deep dive into understanding their background, needs and how your business and content can help them, create personas to help you speak to each segment. Hubspot’s Make My Persona is a fun way to put a name and face to each persona.

  • Who are my ideal targets?
  • What are their demographics? (age, gender, location, profession, education, income level, marital status, etc.)
  • Where do they spend their time online?
  • Where do they get their news?
  • What social media sites do they frequent?
  • How do they communicate?
  • What are their content preferences?
  • What are their wants and needs?
  • How do my products/services solve their problems?

My audience personas are ___________________________________________.

 

Think about what stories you want to tell and create a plan for how you will tell them.

 

COMPETITORS

Once you’ve identified your audience, get to know your competitors. See what they’re doing — and more importantly, what they’re not doing. See where you fit into the market. 

  • Who are my biggest competitors? When I Google what it is I offer, who’s at the top of the results page?
  • What types of content are they creating?
  • Where is their content found?
  • What does their content focus on?
  • What platforms are they using to engage with customers?
  • What are they not doing that presents an opportunity for me to fill in?
  • How can I differentiate myself from them?

My content has an opportunity to say/offer __________________________________.

 

CONTENT AUDIT

After conducting your market research, it’s time to look inward. Conduct a content audit to see what’s worked for your brand in the past and make improvements for the future.

  • What content have I created in the past?
  • How has my content performed?
  • What platforms do I use to engage with my audiences? Which ones are most successful?
  • Can I repurpose or repackage old content?

The biggest lessons I learned from my content audit are ____________________________.

 

CONTENT PLAN

Now comes the fun part. Think about what you want your content to be, how you want it to look and sound, and where you want your audience to find it. Think about what stories you want to tell and create a plan for how you will tell them. Remember to always tie it back to your objective.

  • What kinds of content do I want to create?
  • What is my brand’s voice?
  • What tone do I want my content to take?
  • How often will I create/publish/distribute new content?
  • Where will I publish my content?
  • Can my content be generated in house or do I need outside help?
  • How will I make sure my content is SEO friendly?
  • How will I promote and manage my content?
  • How can I repurpose, integrate or leverage my content across different platforms?

I want my content to be ___________________________________________.

 

METRICS

If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Similarly, if you don’t keep tabs on your marketing results, you won’t be able to measure your success or make adjustments as needed.

  • What metrics will I use to evaluate the success of my content marketing efforts?
  • How will I track, measure and manage my data?
  • What are my benchmarks?
  • How will I report my content performance to leadership?

My priority metrics are ___________________________________________.