content strategy is an organization’s high-level approach to creating and marketing content.
Content creation strategy includes choice of subject matter, content formats, writing style, design, and promotion.
What is a content strategy?
A content strategy (also known as a “content marketing strategy”) is an organization’s high-level approach to creating and marketing content. Content creation strategy includes choice of subject matter, content formats, writing style, design, and promotion.
Why is content strategy important?
Having a content strategy is important because it helps you plan for your site’s content marketing. Without a strategy, many people notice jumping from one tactic to another. One week they write blog posts. The following week they shot some videos on YouTube.
But with a complete strategy in place, you can create a detailed plan of execution on it.
(This does not mean that your strategy should be set in stone. You can, and should, adjust your strategy based on what works for you.)
How to develop a content strategy
Find content topics that focus on the audience
A common mistake in content marketing is to jump into content creation right away.
Professional content marketers understand that finding the right topics is in many ways more important than the content itself.
Specifically, you want to focus on topics that your target audience is most interested in.
Head to a popular blog in your field.
Backlinko’s Blog Feed
And look for posts that tend to get a lot of comments and social shares.
Blog post comments and posts
For example, I looked a while ago at what performs the best content on the Moz blog:
|Moz – Blog|
And I’ve noticed that content related to “site audits” tends to perform well:
|Moz – SEO Audit|
So I created a blog post titled: “15 Step SEO Checklist”.
Backlinko – SEO Website Audit
Since this post was based on a proven topic, it was a huge hit on day one.
And quickly cracked the first page of my target keyword:
|Google SERP – SEO Website Audit|
Pro tip: If one of your competitors has a podcast, check out their list of episodes on iTunes:
|iTunes – Podcasts|
This can reveal some killer topics that you would be hard-pressed to find any other way.
|iTunes – Podcast Episode|
Online communities are great for finding burning questions from your customers.
For example, when I head over to the Paleo subreddit, I notice a lot of questions about dessert:
|Reddit – paleo candy|
Why is this important?
Most people ask questions on Reddit because they couldn’t find their answers on Google.
This means that there is a huge opportunity for you to pounce and answer that question with your content.
You can follow the same process with Quora:
If you want to extend this process, see the audience’s answer.
The Public’s answer – Paleo
It’s a free tool that brings you frequently asked questions people are asking about your topic:
ThePublic’s Answer – Paleo Questions
Pro tip: Check conference agendas in your field. People pay (and travel) to watch these conversations. So you know these topics are in great demand.
Ahrefs Content Explorer
Ahrefs Content Explorer is similar to BuzzSumo.
A hrefs – Content Explorer
Type a keyword…
Ahrefs – Content Explorer – Search
… and get a list of the content people have recently shared and linked to:
Ahrefs – Content Explorer – Results
Your best content
Here’s where you double what works.
First, log in to Google Analytics and go to “Behaviour” → “Site Content” → “Landing Pages”:
This shows you which pages are getting the most traffic on your site.
Analytics – Landing Pages
Next, decide what these pages have in common in terms of:
Finally, select the next piece of content based on what you find.
In the past year, I noticed that the final guides brought in a lot of traffic.
So I decided to post more specific guides:
Backlinko – Aggregate Guides
These new guides helped increase my blog traffic by 87.91% over the previous year:
Backlinko Organic Traffic – 2019. vs. 2020.
This leads us to…
Choose Content Structure and Format
In other words, here’s where you decide whether to create:
Original video (for Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter)
The key here is to choose the type of content that works for you.
Are you a great writer? Go with a blog post.
Do you shine in the video? Make a video.
Or maybe you’re a great designer. Make a part of the visual content.
I think the idea is clear to you 🙂
You can cover the same topic using several different formats.
Which can be up to 5-10 times the amount of usable content you can create around a single topic.
For example, a few years ago I posted this guide to building backlinks:
Backlinko – Link Building Guide
Who did great.
So I made a YouTube video on the same topic:
And it got 278,532 views:
Video Build Link – Views
No topic has a “perfect” content format.
So as long as you choose a format that matches your strengths, you’re good to go.
Focus on creating amazing content
It is more difficult than ever for your content to stand out.
According to WordPress, there are 2.49 million blog posts published daily:
There are 2.49 million blog posts published daily
In addition, although the supply of content has increased, the demand for content is constant.
WordPress reports that page views are dropping again after a short spike due to the pandemic in 2020:
If you want to succeed in content marketing today, your content must be amazing.
Here are some tips to help you create great content.
There is no way around this:
If you want people to read and share your content, it has to look great.
This is why I go the extra mile to use higher resolution screenshots: