How to Craft a Content Marketing Strategy

Picture of Julia McCoy

Julia McCoy

Creator and Co-founder

Data Driven Marketing


Ever felt like you’re cooking without a recipe?

You’ve got all these delicious ingredients: blog posts, videos, newsletters, social media updates. But when you mix them together… well, it’s not exactly tasty.

Creating great content is only the beginning. There’s a LOT of content out there.

You need to stand out to get noticed.  

To truly connect with your audience in today’s content-saturated digital world, you need to know how to craft a content marketing strategy.

In my experience, producing content is half the job. You HAVE to drive traffic, strategically so, and build your brand awareness.

That’s where crafting an effective content marketing strategy comes into play.

In this guide on how to craft a content marketing strategy, I’ll show you how to turn those ingredients into a Michelin-star-worthy dish that keeps your audience coming back for seconds!

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Table Of Contents:

What is Content Strategy?

A content strategy is the backbone of effective marketing. It involves planning, creating, publishing, managing, and governing content with a purpose.

This process goes beyond just producing large quantities of content.

It’s about delivering real value to your audience and achieving your business goals at the same time.

For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, an SEO-focused content strategy can boost your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs).

This leads to more traffic to your products or services.

Understanding the Importance of Content Marketing Strategy

Learning how to craft a content marketing strategy is important. Think of it as a map.

It shows your business how to connect with and attract your target audience. When done right, it not only boosts brand awareness but also helps in driving organic traffic.

New business owners often think they don’t need a content strategy early on. This is a common misconception.

Consistent, quality content plays a pivotal role in establishing trust with new audiences — an important goal for your business’s growth and success.

In essence, an effective content strategy lays the foundation for attracting prospects and keeping existing ones satisfied – key components within any inbound marketing framework.

Staying Ahead With Your Content Strategy

With 88% of B2B and B2C marketers investing in content marketing, a well-planned strategy is crucial to stay competitive in your industry.

No matter where are in your content marketing journey—whether starting new or updating existing strategies—you need to keep your content fresh and relevant.

Make this a priority.

Your content needs to be innovative and engaging to both your potential and current customers—regardless of when or how they intend to make a purchase.

Linking Business Goals and Audience Needs

To create content that resonates with your audience and aligns with your business goals, you need to understand two things:

  • What adds value to your business…
  • What appeals to your audience

This might sound daunting, but true success is about engaging meaningfully, not just sending out messages and hoping they’ll stick somewhere.

That is why making solid plans, like content calendars, is essential for effective strategies.

Smart Insights points out that an effective content marketing strategy not only amplifies your brand’s voice but also fosters trust and credibility among consumers.

It’s a driving force behind creating valuable, shareable content that enhances your SEO efforts.

The Ingredients of Your Content Marketing Strategy Recipe

Just like you can’t make lasagna without pasta sheets or béchamel sauce, there are some key ingredients required for an effective content marketing plan:

  • Your Business Goals: It’s important to know what you want to achieve. This could be more website visitors or higher brand recognition.
  • Defined Target Audience: Knowing who will read your content helps you tailor your messages. Not everyone enjoys the same flavors, like extra cheese on pizza.

Creating Your Strategy: Mixing All Ingredients Together

To cook up a successful recipe (or strategy), focus on three key things:

  1. Know what your audience wants and likes.
  2. Produce high-quality content that meets those needs.
  3. Share it in places where they will easily find it.

Say you run a pizza place and want to increase sales.

You could write engaging blog posts about pizza history or homemade dough recipes. Then, share these on social platforms where your potential customers spend time, such as Instagram or Facebook.

Analyzing Your Target Audience for Effective Content Marketing

Understanding your target audience is like using a compass in content marketing. It helps guide you to create content that resonates with them.

The good news?

There are practical steps to analyze and understand your target market better, making sure your blog posts or other forms of written content hit the mark every time.

Psychographics: Going Beyond Demographics

Demographic data is a start, but it’s not enough. Psychographic segmentation dives deeper.

It’s about understanding their values, interests, and lifestyle choices.

If demographics give us the “who,” psychographics show us “why.” For example, why they prefer one brand over another.

Using Social Media Insights

Social media is a treasure trove of information.

For example, Facebook’s Audience Insights tool allows marketers to know not just who their followers are but also their online behaviors and interests.

This way, businesses don’t just know who they’re speaking to—they have an idea of what these people might want or need from them too.

Digging through social media insights helps build robust buyer personas—fictional, yet realistic profiles of your ideal customers.

Knowing your audience this well means you can create content that speaks directly to them.

Direct Feedback From Your Audience

Audience feedback is very useful when analyzing your target audience. Questioning your target audience directly through surveys or even one-on-one interviews can reveal their challenges, desires, and preferences.

Use this information to tailor content that hits home for them every time.

A crucial part of understanding your audience is knowing where they are in the “buyer’s journey.”

This journey includes:

  • Awareness: Potential customers realize they have a problem.
  • Consideration: They explore different solutions.
  • Decision: They’re preparing to buy.

Setting Clear Goals for Your Content Marketing Plan

Think of a successful content marketing plan as a ship navigating a well-charted course. Clear goals and objectives are your compass, guiding you through the turbulent sea of competition.

Use SMART Goals

I have found the SMART framework great for setting goals. It stands for:

  • Specific: Clearly define your goal.
  • Measurable: Decide how to measure progress and success.
  • Achievable: Ensure the goal is realistic, considering your resources and market conditions
  • Relevant: Aligns directly with overall business objectives.
  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for achieving the goal.

SMART goals from Think Teaching

For instance, my first goal for Content Hacker was to attract 5,000 unique monthly visitors to our blog in one year.

This goal was specific (5,000 unique visits), measurable (tracked via Google Analytics), achievable (with our budget and resources), relevant (to increase brand awareness), and time-bound (within one year).

Aligning Business Goals with Content Strategy

Your main business goal could be anything–increasing brand awareness, driving more website traffic, or improving sales conversions. The key is turning these goals into specific actions.

For example, suppose you want to boost brand awareness by 20% in six months. In that case, your content strategy might include publishing blog posts twice a week highlighting your products’ unique features.

You could also collaborate with influencers to extend your reach.

By linking each content piece to these broader goals, you ensure that your day-to-day efforts align with your overall business objectives.

This creates a cohesive strategy where ground-level activities support your company’s larger aspirations.

Conducting a Content Audit for Your Marketing Strategy

I LOVE content audits!

It involves more than reviewing past blog posts or social media likes.

When you perform an audit, you take a deep dive into your marketing efforts. You get to see what’s working, pinpoint improvement areas, and identify gaps that need attention

How an Audit Can Improve Your Marketing Efforts

You may wonder, why do an audit when everything seems fine?


When done well, an audit makes you privy to the strengths and weaknesses of content strategy.

This means you can make targeted and EFFECTIVE improvements.

It’s very like regular maintenance for a car. Without checking under the hood or getting tune-ups, small issues can turn into big problems.

Similarly, content audits keep your “content vehicle” running smoothly. You are able to fine-tune your content marketing strategies using the data from your audit.

The audit reviews all content types, including articles, newsletters, social media posts, and YouTube videos. You’ll compare their performance using metrics like organic traffic and engagement levels.

Action Purpose
Evaluate Performance Metrics Understand how each piece performs against KPIs like website traffic
Analyze Audience Engagement Levels Measure reactions across platforms to identify trends and preferences.

Another key part of the audit process involves reviewing SEO keywords used across all platforms.

Is your keyword strategy boosting search engine visibility effectively?

An audit answers this for you.

Fixing these issues is crucial. It not only improves the user experience but also boosts your search engine rankings by removing outdated information and fixing broken links.

Developing a Content Creation Plan

Creating a content marketing strategy starts with a strong content creation plan.

It’s much like laying a solid foundation for a house, really.

The content plan guides all your marketing efforts, ensuring they’re not just random shots in the dark.

Part of learning how to craft a content marketing strategy involves more than just brainstorming ideas. You need to understand what type of content will resonate with your audience and drive traffic to your website.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Content Formats

Your choice of content formats can make or break your strategy. Different formats appeal to different audiences, so you want to make the right choice here.

For example, if Gen Z is your target audience, consider video-based content. According to a January 2023 study, iOS users in the United States aged 16 to 25, typically a part of Gen Z, spend around 6.6 hours per week on YouTube.

This averages to about 56 minutes per day, making video content a highly effective format for engaging this demographic.

Average watch time of digital video platforms from Statista

Choosing the Right Format: Key to Engaging Content

The first step in creating engaging content is understanding what your audience prefers. This could be written pieces, infographics, slideshares, or other formats.

Gather insights using tools like newsletters, social media posts, surveys, or customer feedback forums.

This information will come in handy when creating your buyer personas. These personas guide everything from blog post topics to the tone and voice used across various platforms.

You also need to consider user intent when selecting a format.

Whether answering questions with an FAQ page or explaining product features in how-to guides, every piece of content should have a clear purpose. It should align with your business goals and contribute to your overall brand awareness strategy.

Planning Your Content Workflow

A content workflow makes it easier to handle creating and sharing content. It’s about deciding who does what.

This includes coming up with ideas, creating editorial calendar templates, writing blog posts, and making other forms of content types like YouTube videos or newsletters,

I have found tools like Trello and Asana really helpful for this. They keep track of what you need to do and when it needs to be done.

Planning Time For Creation And Editing Process

Content creation is a big part of your marketing plan. It’s like making a catchy song – your content should grab attention and be valuable.

Start by making time for writing. This is important whether you’re writing blog posts, updating social media, or making infographics. Put enough time in your schedule for these tasks.

Precise Yet Engaging Writing

Write in a way that’s both clear and captivating. Your content should answer readers’ questions and keep them hooked.

Use attention-grabbing headlines, weave in keywords smoothly, and tell stories that connect with your audience.

Edit Ruthlessly After Writing

After writing, don’t hurry to publish. Take time to edit thoroughly.

As Ernest Hemingway said, “The first draft of anything is shit.” Review each sentence critically.

Every word must add value and support your main message.

FAQs: How to Craft a Content Marketing Strategy

How do I create a content marketing strategy?

Start by understanding your audience.

Then, set clear goals, audit your existing content, and establish a strong content creation process.

What are the 7 steps in creating a content strategy?

The seven steps are: 1) Know your audience, 2) Set your goals, 3) Audit your content, 4) Choose the right formats, 5) Create engaging content, 6) Use your content wisely, and 7) Measure your success.

How do you craft a marketing strategy?

First, analyze your market. Then, set measurable goals and develop tactics based on what the data tells you.

What are the 5 essential elements of a content marketing strategy?

The key elements are: 1) Understanding your audience, 2) Setting clear goals, 3) Auditing your content, 4) Choosing the best formats for your message, and 5) Regularly checking how well your content is doing.


Cracking the code on how to craft a content marketing strategy is like mastering an art form. We’ve given you the brush and palette, now it’s your turn to create.

You’ve learned about its importance – why good content alone doesn’t cut it but combined with strategy can drive traffic and boost brand awareness.

We stressed knowing your audience, their needs and desires. Using social media insights is key to knowing your audience better.

Setting clear, business-aligned goals aligned is crucial. Because without them, we’re just shooting in the dark.

Audit? Yes! It helps identify gaps and opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed in our content workflow.

The right formats make all the difference when developing a content creation plan because different strokes work for different folks!

To wrap up: Be strategic, understand your audience, be precise with your content, and remember – the format is important!

It’s time to build your blog empire.

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