7 steps for creating a strong content marketing strategy.

See how a thoughtfully crafted content strategy can make it easier to build and publish more effective content.

Business owner sitting at a desk using their laptop to create a content marketing strategy

Achieve your content marketing goals.


Successful content starts with a strategy that guides and directs all your marketing materials. That content marketing plan serves as a north star, helping you navigate priorities and pitfalls for every piece of content. While creating a strategy isn’t always glamourous, it’s what makes the difference between ineffectual and brilliant content.


Before jumping into blog writing or creating your next social media post, follow these key steps for creating a powerful content marketing strategy.


1. Define your content’s mission.

It’s important to consider your business’s mission, your audience and the purpose of your work when creating content. Will it help your customers learn a new skill? Will it start a conversation among your target audience? Will it help with SEO or Google ranking? Lead generation? What buyer personas are you trying to reach? Honing in on the purpose of your content marketing efforts will help you to see a clear path with clear goals. Your mission statement will be the foundation of your content and should follow a structure that outlines who your content is helping, how it does so and the benefit to that audience.

3 photos side by side of individual people

2. Set goals for your digital marketing.


When creating content, you need to be able to measure and track its success with KPIs or key performance indicators. Decide what goals you want to pursue and what metrics will best represent those goals. If you’re looking to create an infographic that connects with customers, focus on metrics like reach and engagement. If you’re crafting a case study that could result in an online sale, focus on conversion rate.


Take industry trends, your business objectives and your buyer’s journey into account when crafting your goals. These goals will help to inform how you decide what types of content to make and what kind of analysis tools to use. Make sure to regularly reevaluate your goals as your business grows and your resources change.


3. Brainstorm content themes.


Define your subject matter and brainstorm topics that you want to explore in your new content. These topics should be broad enough that you won’t run out of content, insights or interested readers. But they should be specific enough that they resonate with your target audience and relate to your brand. This is where understanding your brand’s mission and visual aesthetic is essential.


With your subject matter in mind, decide on the tone or point of view you’ll take. Will your content be educational, persuasive or inspirational? Think about your customer’s pain points and consider content that could improve their experience. Understanding your mission, goals and brand identity will help you to find a compelling brand voice for your content.

Collage of marketing materials and sticky notes taped to a wall for brainstorming

4. Decide where to host and distribute content.


Whether you make an SEO-optimised landing page, a regularly updated blog or a creative social media profile, you need a place to collect and share your content. Keep your audience top-of-mind when making decisions about content platforms. Conduct a content audit of your competitors to see how they are hosting and distributing their marketing campaigns. Don’t try to do everything at once. Quality always prevails over quantity in content marketing — deliberate efforts will be better for achieving your business goals than rushing to produce mediocre content.


5. Define your content formats.


Consider videos, articles, podcasts, social media marketing campaigns and infographics when determining what forms of content you want to craft. Make sure the type of content you create is informed by your audience and distribution platforms. For instance, videos perform very well on Facebook, so if that’s where your customers are, it makes sense for you to invest in that medium. If your users frequent Twitter or LinkedIn, consider starting a newsletter to create long-form content and thought leadership pieces.


6. Build a content calendar.


Creating a content marketing calendar ensures you’re delivering new content to your audience on a consistent basis. While this is a crucial part of your strategy, all the others precede it for a reason. Until you can understand the why, where, how and who of your content production and marketing strategy, any content you create could miss the mark. What you’ve done is create constraints to help guide and focus your marketing materials and from there you can craft an editorial calendar that ensures your content achieves your objectives.

Editorial calendar example with some days filled in with images or example text

7. Test, learn, adjust and repeat.


Your content strategy is a living document. It should change and grow as you create and gather insights from your users. Ask for feedback with surveys and polls, respond to comments on your posts and monitor your website traffic and engagement. Then you can experiment with different content formats, topics, tone and distribution. The more you understand your audience, the more effectively you can refine your strategy and boost brand awareness.


Once your plan is in place, it’s time for the creativity to begin. One versatile resource for making high-quality content is Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. It includes over 20 apps for design, web, video and photography. Plus, Creative Cloud Libraries, where teams can easily share graphics and Adobe Express, which lets creators quickly and easily craft social graphics.

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