The Best 3-Step Content Strategy To Boost Any Business17 min read
In today’s online world, content can make or break a business.
Top-quality content can drive traffic to your site and let people know your brand exists.
Content marketing isn’t a choice. It’s a must.
If you’re not making content, you’re falling behind. If you’re making it but not promoting it, it’s wasted effort.
To succeed, you need a content strategy. You’ll want to set some killer KPIs and analyze the metrics to see what’s working.
A solid content strategy can be broken down into 3 steps:
- Content promotion
- Content curation
Marketers, here’s why you should be doing each. Plus, how to do them well.
How Content Drives the Customer Journey
The customer journey is not as straightforward as it used to be.
Here’s how it used to go:
With the rise of search engines, do you think it’s stayed the same?
Be honest. Is the above how you make a purchase?
We’ve linked to this Think With Google page a few times, but it’s because it’s so important.
“Today, people are no longer following a linear path from awareness to consideration to purchase. They are narrowing and broadening their consideration set in unique and unpredictable moments. People turn to their devices to get immediate answers. And every time they do, they are expressing intent and reshaping the traditional marketing funnel along the way.”
Source: Think With Google
No two customer journeys are exactly alike. Google even studied them, and it’s true.
Workflows are based on touchpoints, and users are making a LOT of touchpoints.
Some users spend a ton of time researching before making a purchase. Others search after a purchase.
Whether or not they land on your product depends on their user experience. It relies on the visibility of your site – determined by your content.
This is why having a content strategy is so important.
The 3-Step Content Marketing Strategy Template
Of course you’re making content. That’s a given.
Content creation is the unspoken first step.
After that, a winning content strategy can be broken down into 3 main steps:
Each step has its value. You also have to be consistent with them all.
A successful content strategy involves a few different channels:
- Social media platforms
- Email marketing
- Content promotion tools (like Quuu Promote)
- Content curation tools
- Community sites (like Quora)
Brand awareness should be one of your top business goals.
A presence in a lot of different places helps build it.
If you’ve got that, the rest is way easier.
Step 1. Content Promotion – Brand visibility is crucial for SEO
You should be creating different types of content for your target audience.
Great content marketing should keep your followers guessing.
Your editorial calendar should be full of:
- Blog posts
- Case studies
- And more!
Let’s assume your content is high-quality, entertaining, educating, or inspiring.
If it’s not, you gotta fix that first.
Then it’s onto the first step of your content strategy – promotion.
Once you have an awesome piece of content, here’s how you promote it:
- Make your target audience want to share your content
- Email marketing for new content and newsletters
- Use a content promotion tool for social shares
Make your target audience want to share your content
First thing’s first. If you want people to share your content organically, you need to make it easy for them.
That means having:
- Quality content
- Readable font and structure
- A smooth site UX (user experience)
- Social sharing buttons
Only publish your very best content. If this means doing a ‘content audit’ and removing some of your not-so-great stuff, do it.
You want to create the right content. Usable content for your audience.
A modern site with clear navigation makes for a much better sharing experience – especially if everything appeals to your target demographic.
If your content is awesome but your site is outdated, you could be missing out on organic shares.
Social sharing buttons let readers share your content to their networks with a click.
Are they the same company? No. Do they have very similar names? TheyDo.
Pick whichever you like the look of best because both are free!
Do some A/B testing. If they work, great. If not, get rid of them.
A user on Stack Exchange agreed:
“Yes, the sharing buttons add a bit of visual noise. The same is true of every feature on a website. You have to decide if the tradeoff is worth it.
The only way to find out their effect is to test with and without the buttons and see how many FB/Twitter/SU/whatever links you get.”
Digital marketing is all about trying different things to see what works.
Email marketing for new content and newsletters
If you think email marketing is dead, think again.
Email is one of the most popular organic content distribution channels. It’s not going anywhere.
Source: Content Marketing Institute
Whenever you create new content, you should be sending it to your email list.
After a few months, make sure it’s still relevant and share it again.
You can even extend content’s lifecycle by repurposing it. Change up your content formats with more interactive options. ADD IN LINK TO BLOG ^
On top of sending out individual pieces of content, why don’t you try creating a newsletter?
A successful newsletter could be the jewel in your content marketing crown.
It can be a mix of different content from your site, as well as curated content. We’ll explain why that’s so important soon.
Source: Robinhood Snacks
They understand the impact a great newsletter can have within their content strategy.
Use a content promotion tool in your content strategy for social shares
Facebook is still the biggest social media site around, with more than 2 billion monthly users.
Google says there’s no direct link between social shares and SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This step-by-step case study suggests there might be.
After racking up over 130,000 Facebook shares to their web page, this company also shot up the rankings.
Source: Matthew Woodward
They also mentioned:
“One good retweet or share can make a huge impact. Promoting to the right people can make the biggest difference.”
So, what if there was a tool out there that could guarantee social shares for your content strategy?
Good news, there is! It’s called Quuu Promote.
It all revolves around our content curation tool, Quuu. It’s an automated tool, but organic sharing. (We’ll get to that in the next section.)
Simply add your site’s RSS feed, and we’ll do the rest.
Use our homepage calculator to see how many shares you could get.
Source: Quuu Promote
Step 2. Content Curation – Become a source of expert knowledge
Step 2 of your content strategy is curation.
Just like curators in art galleries and museums, you’re collecting and displaying other’s work.
It seems like a weird concept if you’re trying to build your own business.
But you want your site and social media pages to be an expert resource. People know they’ll always find great content from different sources.
It’s kind of like expanding your content team – infinitely.
The benefits of content curation for your content strategy
But there are so many benefits of content curation:
- It fills your content calendar
- You can become an expert resource of valuable content from around the web
- It’s easier to build relationships with other creators
- It stops you from looking self-promotional
- You get to show off your winning personality
- It uncovers trending topics you can write about
- Maintain brand visibility with consistent posting
So, you know why you should curate. But how do you do it effectively?
Curating content effectively for your content strategy
It doesn’t matter if you’re into astrophysics or songwriting – if you want people to connect to what you’re sharing, it needs to appeal to them.
To achieve this, curated content should be:
- Highly selective in what you post
- Entertaining, educational, or inspirational
- In a variety of forms (podcasts, videos, articles, reports)
- Original, so don’t stick to the same templates (it’ll soon get boring!)
- Optimized for all social networks (take into account retweet character limits etc.)
- Posted at a time of optimal engagement for each algorithm
How to make content curation enjoyable
So, once you’ve nailed this, how can you make the experience as enjoyable for yourself as possible?
You should have fun building a content strategy.
Organization is vital here to ensure you give yourself enough time to find curated content and schedule it accordingly.
You don’t want to rush the process and lose that all-important quality.
Here are some tips on how to do it:
- Set aside time every week to find high-quality content to share
- Make a list of your favorite sources and follow relevant hashtags for future searches
- Remember to save/bookmark pieces of content (either manually or using a ‘Read Later’ tool)
- Think carefully about how you’ll present each thing you find
- Ask your network for suggestions
- Ensure you’re posting consistently with a scheduler (e.g. Buffer, socialchief)
One of the best parts about curation is all the learning you’ll do!
Science has shown that learning can rewire the brain.
By reinforcing the myelin sheath, your brain cells can work more efficiently. It’s suggested this is what causes muscle memory!
Source: Science News for Students
(See, wasn’t that fun to learn?)
Step 3. Engagement – Build relationships inside and outside your network
Building relationships should always be one of your main business objectives.
In a content strategy, it’s crucial.
As you’ve just learned, curating is a great way to connect with other creators.
You can’t build a brand alone. You need help along the way.
Genuine communication is super important. You can’t expect people to engage with your content if you aren’t engaging with them.
- Potential customers
- Current followers
- Target audience
- Thought leaders
The two best platforms for this are:
- Social media – for engagement
- Email – for outreach
Of course, you can use them interchangeably. Just take anything we’re saying and apply it to the other.
Let’s start with engagement.
Social media engagement should always feature in your content strategy
Organic reach is massively in decline.
You can’t expect to post something and have thousands of people engage with it.
If you don’t have a huge ad budget, you’re going to need to spend some time instead.
Engaging on social media can even lead to improved SEO. How?
Check it out:
Effective content is shareable. But to boost engagement when you share something, you need to increase your social media presence in general.
This means interacting with other users.
We don’t just mean tweeting “good content” on someone’s post. Actually read it and give genuine feedback.
We covered a specific strategy for this in our social media engagement blog.
If you want some more actionable tips, check it out.
In the meantime, here are some social media engagement dos and don’ts:
|Think before you post||Complain|
|Comment/give feedback often||Sell more than you help|
|Interact in helpful ways||Repeat yourself constantly|
|Take criticism gracefully||Share without researching first|
Email outreach is a content strategy must-have
We’ve mentioned email marketing for promoting your content.
But how else can email be used in your content strategy?
Well, rather than contacting people after you’ve written something, why not try before?
Outreach marketing is all about reaching out (go figure!) to people who could be helpful to your business.
Don’t just aim for those with huge follower numbers. Reaching out to micro-influencers with smaller audiences can actually result in much higher engagement.
Source: Influencer Marketing Hub
An expert roundup blog post can be a brilliant way of driving traffic. It’s also a perfect opportunity to introduce yourself and start building a relationship.
I’m in the middle of putting together my first for Quuu.
Here’s the email I sent out:
It doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. To be honest, the shorter, the better.
Also, make sure you have a catchy subject line. You want to stand out in a full inbox!
So far, so good. 3 of my experts are on board.
If you need to, send a follow-up email.
Here was mine:
I also updated my subject line to show:
- People were on board
- How selective I’d been with numbers
Sure enough, more got back to me confirming.
I’m giving it a few days. Then I’ll send one final reminder.
3 is your max, though. Don’t bother writing any more than that.
Email outreach can be chilled. It can be informal.
Just cut to the chase of what you want from people, and give them a reason to get involved.
Tracking content strategy results
Of course, you need to track your content marketing efforts. Otherwise, how do you know if they’re working or not?
You want to create content goals and see if you reach them.
There are loads of tools that can help. But that’s for a whole other blog.
If you use a CMS (content management system) like WordPress, they have tons of plugins you can browse.
In the meantime, Google Analytics can tell you everything you need to know. Plus, it’s free!
There’s a lot to learn to be able to use it properly, though. Luckily, the Google Analytics Academy can show you how.
Source: Google Analytics Academy
Don’t worry – the courses are free too!
Analyzing should happen in every stage of your content strategy.
You even get certificates at the end to prove you know your stuff. Neat.
Well, you made it.
You’re on your way to becoming an expert content strategist.
Just remember these 3 steps:
- Promote your content for brand visibility
- Curate content to become a source of expert knowledge
- Engage inside and outside your network
Stick to those, track your results, and you’ll do great.
Fancy learning more?
Kristina Halvorson (founder of Brain Traffic) hosts a great show called ‘The Content Strategy Podcast’.
Check it out for more tips and insight from content strategy experts.
Do you use these 3 steps in your content strategy? What do you do differently?