How to Develop a Content Strategy in 7 Steps: A Start-to-Finish Guide
Are you struggling to attract and engage your target audience for your e-commerce business? If so, it's time to develop a content strategy that resonates with your customers and drives results. In this guide, we'll walk you through the seven steps to crafting an effective content marketing strategy that helps you stand out in a crowded online marketplace.
What is content strategy?
Content strategy is the process of planning, creating, publishing, and managing content that resonates with your target audience and supports your business objectives. It involves identifying your audience's needs and interests, creating high-quality content to meet those needs, and then distributing that content via various channels to increase visibility and engagement.
1. Who will be reading your content?
The first step in developing a content strategy is to identify your target audience. Who are they? What are their needs and interests? The more you know about your audience, the better you can tailor your content to meet their needs and capture their attention.
2. What problem will you be solving for your audience(s)?
Your content should be focused on solving a problem for your target audience. Whether it's providing them with information, educating them on best practices, or entertaining them with engaging content, your content should always serve a purpose for your audience.
3. What makes you unique?
In a crowded marketplace, it's important to identify what makes your e-commerce business unique. What are your unique selling points? What sets you apart from your competitors? Your content should highlight these unique qualities and help you stand out from the crowd.
4. What content formats will you focus on?
The next step is to determine which types of content you will focus on. This might include blog posts, videos, infographics, social media content, case studies, and more. Consider what formats will best meet the needs and interests of your target audience, as well as what formats align with your business goals.
5. What channels will you publish on?
Once you've determined your content formats, it's time to identify which channels you will use to publish and distribute your content. This might include your company blog, social media channels, email newsletters, or other platforms.
6. How will you manage content creation and publication?
Finally, it's important to have a plan in place for managing content creation and publication. This might include setting up an editorial calendar, identifying roles and responsibilities for team members, and establishing a workflow for content creation, review, and publication.
Why Marketers Need to Create a Content Marketing Strategy
Having a content marketing strategy is essential for e-commerce businesses for several reasons. First, it helps you attract and engage your target audience, which ultimately drives sales and revenue. It also helps you establish your brand as an industry leader and builds long-term trust and loyalty with your customers.
How to Create a Content Strategy Framework
Now that you understand the importance of a content marketing strategy, here are the seven steps you can take to create a framework that works for your e-commerce business:
1. Define your goal.
What do you want to achieve with your content marketing strategy? Is it to increase website traffic, generate leads, build brand awareness, or something else? Your goal should be specific, measurable, and aligned with your overall business objectives.
2. Conduct persona research.
Who is your target audience? What are their needs, interests, and pain points? Conducting persona research can help you better understand your audience and create content that resonates with them.
3. Run a content audit.
Take inventory of your current content to identify what's working and what's not. This can help you identify gaps in your current content strategy and find opportunities to improve.
4. Choose a content management system.
A content management system (CMS) can help you streamline your content creation and publication process. Choose a CMS that aligns with your business needs and goals.
5. Determine which type of content you want to create.
Based on your persona research and content audit, determine which types of content will best resonate with your target audience.
6. Brainstorm content ideas.
Once you've identified your content types, it's time to brainstorm content ideas. This might include outlining blog post topics, developing video concepts, or creating infographics based on your research.
7. Publish and manage your content.
Execute on your content creation plan, publish and distribute your content across channels, and track your results to measure success and identify areas for improvement.
Content Strategy Template
Need help creating your content strategy? Download our free content strategy template to guide you through the process from start to finish.
Content Marketing Strategy Examples
Here are a few examples of e-commerce businesses with successful content marketing strategies:
- Athleta: Uses a blog to share lifestyle articles, stories, and tips that align with their brand values and resonate with their audience.
- ModCloth: Uses user-generated content to showcase customer photos and style inspiration on their website and social media channels.
- Naked: Uses storytelling and content partnerships to create a sense of community around their brand and products.
Types of Content Marketing
Here are some of the most popular types of content marketing:
1. Blog Posts
Informative, educational, or entertaining articles that help establish your brand as an industry leader.
In-depth guides or resources that offer value to your target audience while showcasing your expertise.
3. Case Studies
Detailed examples of how your products or services have helped real customers achieve their goals.
Tools or resources that help your target audience achieve a specific outcome or solve a particular problem.
Visual representations of data or information that help distill complex topics into an easily digestible format.
Moving images that offer value to your target audience while showcasing your brand personality and style.
Audio content that offers value to your target audience while building a sense of community around your brand.
8. Social Media
Short-form content that engages your target audience on social media channels and helps drive traffic back to your website.