How to Plan a Blog Content Strategy for Business Growth

 In Writing

Content is king. But it won’t be able to rule in blogosphere unless you place content strategically. It is important to create content that matters to your customer and fits your business voice. Here the role of blog content strategy comes into play.

A content strategy works like a business plan. A solid plan helps a blog run seamlessly to meet its object. In this article, you’ll learn how to plan a content strategy in the right way for a business blog. Also, you’ll find a few article links after every stage of this step-by-step guide. The links will give you a better understanding of the each stage. Here you go.

 

1. Define purpose and KPI

First, you need to clarify the purpose of the blog. Identify whether you want to build a brand or to generate leads. Set two to three objectives. More than three goals will result in an unfocused blog.

Next, set a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) to translate your goal into metric. The indicator will tell you if your content creation and marketing effort is going to the right direction.

Set KPI according to purpose. If your blogging purpose is to generate leads, then you can track landing page conversation rate as KPI.

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2. Create buyer persona

Single out an ideal customer from your target audience to create a buyer persona. Collect customer information in details– name, age, profession and job role. In addition, investigate a problem that selected customer faces in the job or in life, which is related your business. By analyzing buyer persona, you will be able to create audience-focused content for the blog.

 

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3. Competitors Analysis

Another step of research phase is competitor research. Find out industry leader of the niche and make a list of 5 – 10 closest competitors. Scrutinize their content marketing effort and conduct a content audit of their blogs. The analysis will help you create better content than that of your competitors.

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4. Analyze keyword

Do a little research about market trend and understand whether a keyword is worth targeting or not. Take help of Google Trends that will show ‘interest over time’ for a keyword and ‘related queries’ around the keyword. Find out some influential persons in the industry, so that you can get an idea about a trending topic. Use an influencer research tool (like BuzzSumo) to find out such persons.

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5. Plan keyword and categories

Begin your research from a seed keyword that you already know. Also, consider related topics those found on Google Trend. As your searches continue, you will get an increased length of keywords list in Google as a suggestion. Longer keyword means a better possibility of reaching to the target customer. Make a list of 50+ long tail keywords.

Validate your findings by using a keyword research tool. ‘Adwords Keyword Planner‘ is a handy tool to check search volume and completion of a keyword. Now divide keywords into several groups and name the groups as categories, so that you can assign an article in the related category when you publish content on the blog.

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6. Define content type

There is a wide variety of content types for marketing purpose. You have to select the right type of content that your target audience would love. It depends on your product or service and your personas interest.

A whitepaper is more likable to a decision maker of a company than a general consumer. Visual appealing posts induces fitness and fashion enthusiasts. Thus, Pinterest is the right platform for fashion bloggers to attract visitors.

Also, it is important to find out where your customers hang out mostly – forum, facebook, twitter, or Pinterest. Once you figure it out, you can create and publish content accordingly, and reach them.

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7. Content ideation

Develop topics focusing the keywords you’ve listed before (in step 5). To deliver useful content to your readers, you can consider how to, listicle, pros-cons, and problem-solving articles. However, make sure you’ve crafted attention-grabbing and unique titles for the articles to draw readers attention to content. A simple trick is to add emotional and power words in a blog title. Use co-schedule headline analyzer tool to check the effectiveness of your title.

Aside from blog post, there should be Ebooks and lead magnets in your content strategy. Since it is a part of a sales funnel, you have to think about this. A lead magnet helps a blogger collect the email addresses of visitors to the blog. It could be an ebook, a cheat-sheet, or similar type of short content.

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8. Editorial calendar

It’s time to document your findings and organize ideas in an editorial calendar. Plan how often you’ll publish articles. As you’ve categorized article topics, decide which category to focus when. To balance between articles and categories, you can set a standard– each Monday you will publish an article in marketing category and each Thursday on sales.

By having an editorial calendar, you can maintain the flow of content. Consistency in publishing posts will keep the audience engaged in your blog.

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9. Editorial guideline

There should be a standard format in each post you are going to publish on the blog. That is why it is better to set up a guideline in the beginning. Set a standard guide– what would be the length of articles, what style guide it will follow (MLA, APA or Chicago), image size for the blog title. Don’t forget to include SEO matters– title tag, meta description, Alt text and other on-page SEO elements. Create a checklist for SEO and publishing procedure.

You can make it public or keep it private. The guide will help you to get a guest blogger or multiple writers written posts for the blog in the same format.

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Strategic content is an essential part of inbound marketing. After you publish content on the blog, your next job is to promote it in predefined marketing channels. You can either delegate the task to content marketing team or automate its promotion using co-schedule or buffer.

 

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