Ever been stuck when it comes to developing the perfect content marketing strategy? 

Well, rest assured. You're not alone. 

Here at Slice, we've come up with a great way for you to conquer the content marketing mountain. 

Check it out: ​

Step 1: Choose Your Mountain 

This is your opportunity to map out your content strategy. You need to know what you want to achieve and who you want to achieve it with. 

1. Define Your Goal: What is it that you want to get out of your content marketing campaign?

Is it to...

  • Drive traffic?
  • Create goodwill?
  • Attract new prospects?
  • Warm up your list?
  • Increase sales?

2. Identify Your Ideal Client: You might think you have a firm grasp on who your ideal client is. But truth is, most of us have a very vague notion of who are primary audience is.

Try to consider the following areas: 

Why you need to identify your ideal client to be successful at content marketing.

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  • Demographics: What are the "facts" about your ideal client? I.e. what is their age, marital status, education, income level, employment, and geographic location?
  • Psychographics: What do your clients care about? What are their preferences, values, affiliations? Who do they hang out with? What books do they read? You're going to want to know everything about them.
  • Dreams: What do your clients wish for? What are their ambitions for the next 10 years?  
  • Pain points: What do your clients struggle with? What bothers them?  Figure out what it is that keeps them up at night. 

Step 2: Set Up Base Camp

Once you know who you're targeting, you need to make sure you're ready to target them.

  • Build Out Your Blog:  Your blog is at the heart of everything you do. Make sure it is well written, carries authority, and has those crucial lead magnets. 
  • Refine/ Expand On Your Social Presence: Make sure that your social media accounts are in tip-top condition. You're going to need them to distribute your content.
  • Set Up Your CRM/ Email Service: Content marketing is not an overnight process. However, great content will attract great quality traffic and clients.  You will need to nurture those relationships and for that, emails will be key. 
  • Create A Lead Magnet: How do you get prospects' emails? Through a lead magnet. Offer your potential clients small but important nuggets of information, and they'll be sure to provide you with their email address. 

Step 3: Warm Up Time 

Now that you're ready mentally and physically to conquer that content marketing mountain, it's time to warm up a little and make sure that your basics are all ready. 

  • Idea Generation: You're going to need to discuss and find answers to your client's pain points, talk about topics that have already enjoyed high shareability, tap into a wide variety of content types (aka podcasts, videos, lists, how-to articles, webinars, etc...). 

Warning: Understanding the needs of the sale funnel is key. Not all content is created equally. Some content is more appropriate for attracting new leads, while other content is better suited for education or converting purposes.

  •  Content Calendar: This will be your organizational "best friend". You'll be able to map out the frequency and types of content that you want to put out into the world.
  • The Team: It goes without saying that a content marketing program needs creators and writers. You have two options: delegate the task to a third party or train members of your existing team.

Step 4: Climb The Stairway To Heaven

We're ready to get down to business. Let's create some content. And of course, we're going to want a mix of original and curated content. 

Original Content Creation: 

  1. Research: Don't underestimate how important this step is. Aside from Google, there are a bunch of research tools to help you out.  Buzzsumo is one of our faves. It allows you to keep track of the most highly shared pieces of content on the internet. 
  2. Creation: Blogs are great, but don't forget to be a little original. Try creating other content like infographics, videos, quizzes, surveys, and so on... 
  3. Design: How your content look will make or break its success rate. Be sure to include high quality images, lots of white space for easy reading, as well as bullet points and subheads for easy skimming. 

So wha's the difference between original and curated content?

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Content Curation:

You're going to want to collect and comment on other people's content in a meaningful way. To curate successfully you will need to find information of the highest quality possible. But don't forget to add your 2 cents to it so that the content has your own "spin" on the original content. And always, always, give credit and link back to the original article.

Step 5: Enjoy The View From The Top 

Now that you have some beautiful pieces of content, it's time to distribute. There are 3 ways to do so:

  1. Your Website: This will be the "hub" of your marketing efforts. All roads should lead back to your blog in order for people to engage with your company further. 
  2. Your Email: Don't be afraid to share content to your email listserve. This will create goodwill and added value for the people in your community. It will also help you to segment your list by interest. Most CRMs will allow you to track and tag people according to what they click so that you can build sub-segments to your list based on the interest they show on various content topics. Cool, right?
  3. Social Media: Make sure you put your social media platforms to good use and distribute your content on them. Struggling to manage your Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest in one fell swoop? Check out tools like Hootsuite, Buffer, and Coschedule for some help. ​

Step 6: Run For Glory 

Now that you're content is out in the world, it's time to get serious and amplify it. How?

How can you amplify your content marketing campaigns?

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  • Paid Social Media Advertising: This is one of the best ways to light a fire under your content marketing program. The principle behind it is simple: you pay to ensure that your content gets consumed by the exact right audience. The goal is to warm up prospects and create goodwill by sharing excellent content. You can do this through Facebook ( paid ads), Twitter ( sponsored tweets), or LinkedIn (sponsored updated).
  • Retargeting: Once your leads are warmed up, you can implement a retargeting campaign that engages them by either inviting them to opt in to a lead magnet or even purchase a product. This can be managed through Facebook or third party services like Perfect Audience or Adroll
  • Repurposing: Creating content is time consuming. That's why repurposing content will get you a bigger bang for your buck. You can either repurpose your content to transform it from a regular 'ungated' piece to a 'gated' one so that people either have to give their email or pay to see it. You're also able to display older content on multiple platforms. And don't forget, you can always re-use content in different forms. A blog post can be an audio podcast, a how-to video can transform itself into a step-by-step checklist. Just like your water bottles, be sure to recycle content.

Step 7: Looking Back 

Now that you've executed your content marketing campaign, it's time to take a step back and figure out what worked, what didn't, and how can you improve for next time. 

Don't forget to take a look back when executing your content marketing strategy. 

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  1. Set Goals: The metrics you track should be related to the goals you want to achieve. You want to increase traffic? Well, did your last few blog posts achieve that? Determine your KPIs from the outset.
  2. Track: But how do you track all of this? Well, there are many tools out there, but be sure to check out Wicked Reports. ​
  3. Assess What Is Working: Make sure your numbers are statistically significant. And don't rush to judgment too soon. Give your campaigns the time to unroll before declaring them a success or failure. Patience is key here.
  4. Adjust: Now that you've got a firm grasp of what's going on with your campaigns, you're going to want to tweak all the steps in your content marketing accordingly-- from idea generation to distribution and amplification. 

And that's a wrap!

We hope this blueprint was helpful. Let us know your thoughts below!

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About the Author

Nicknamed the 'female David Ogilvy’, Sue Rice is famous for her exquisite writing skills and strategic savvy. A native Californian and Stanford University graduate, she launched her career on Madison Avenue in the 90s and eventually helped run BBDO Europe in Paris as their Communications Director. Now a 7-figure entrepreneur, Sue helps businesses create high-quality content that attracts clients, builds brands and skyrockets sales.