These days, everyone is all about pushing content out faster than they can say the phrase “content marketing strategy”. Unfortunately, this often means that content is created and shared without much (or in some cases, any) thought to how it might be best used in the long run. You can’t just create content to create content. For your content to perform well and bring qualified leads to your site, it must be both authentic and relevant.

But before you can even start thinking about what your content will look like, you’ve got to have a well thought out plan. By developing a solid B2B content marketing strategy before you start creating the actual content, you can minimize your risk of falling behind in the race to produce the highest quality, most remarkable and relevant content in the industry.

So, how exactly do you create a content marketing strategy that compliments your overall marketing efforts? Here are some tips we recommend:

Get Organized

Before you do anything else, you’ll need to gather some key information to begin creating your content strategy. Start simple, by identifying your goals and how to achieve them with the content you are going to create.

For example, maybe your goal this quarter is to increase website visitors by X percent, or to switch the focus of your content marketing towards pushing leads through the funnel vs. the initial lead capture. Each goal will require a different strategy for success.

Get Specific

Your next step is to get more specific about the types of content you want to create, and who you’re targeting with each type. Furthermore, you’ll need to determine which types of content make sense for each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Start by developing a list of personas, and creating some general messaging and content outlines that should be used for each. Try to narrow it down to 3-5 personas to start with. Anything more than that will likely be difficult to manage in the long run.

Make Collaboration Easy

Trello is a free and easy-to-use content collaboration tool which allows multiple users to contribute and participate in the creation of content. Asana is another great tool, with both free and premium options, which offers a robust platform for storing and managing content. By keeping topic ideas, due dates and drafts all in one place, managing your content efforts becomes a whole lot easier.

Start Brainstorming

Once you’ve chosen your main personas and content types to focus on, you can start brainstorming specific titles to go with the content formats you’ve chosen. Hubspot has a content strategy tool in the works, which promises to help you come up with topics, as well as provide analytics on which topics work better than others at reaching your customers and driving leads.

Map it Out

Now that you have a solid list of topics and keywords you want to focus on, you’ve identified your target personas, and you’ve set yourself up for team collaboration, you can start mapping out your content strategy, and begin creating a content calendar.

It’s important to be realistic about the amount of time it will take to create each piece of content, and to get it in publish-ready condition. Start with generous deadlines, and include dates specific to each step of the content creation process, such as the research phase, the initial draft, first round edits and changes, and so on.

Final Tip: Don’t forget to vary your topics often, and consider repurposing content from time to time where possible.

Need help driving your content strategy? Contact Elevation Marketing for your next project!