Developing a Content Strategy for Your Business: Step-by-Step Guide and Templates

Developing a Content Strategy for Your Business: Step-by-Step Guide and Templates

Are you new to the marketing world? Have you been applying the same strategy for some time now? Well, it is never too late for you to reconsider your content strategy. Here are step-by-step content strategy templates to guide you.

1. Why Having a Content Strategy is Essential for Your Business

Delivering the right message to the right consumer at the right time is important. This is why a business needs a brand-specific content plan and execution. 

  1. The Essence Of Content Strategy For Content Marketing

Most people need a push to get started. A well-framed content strategy acts as a call to action. It guides the marketing team in the right direction. 

  1. Content Strategy Definition

A content strategy links the business and content goals directly. It is a marketing tool that focuses on business content planning and templates.

A good content strategy will attract your potential customers. It will retain their interest long after they have made a purchase. 

Check out this one of the best real-world content strategy examples. 

-OPEN Forum By American Express: 

American Express wants to help small businesses. The OPEN forum helps them achieve this goal.

The OPEN forum aims to serve as a center of new thinking. Owners of small enterprises can use this platform to help their brands grow. 

The OPEN Forum helps small business owners to discuss their problems. These insights can help scale businesses.

What’s the best feature? All content is provided by other American Express clients. It is not provided by the brand. 

In this strategy, they provide support by hosting the forum. However, their clients do the main job of supplying content.

Most small business users aspire for a place to express their thoughts and gain insight. Today, the OPEN forum makes a useful component for all small businesses. 

  1. Benefits Of Content Strategy

How is digital content strategy development beneficial? Here are three compelling benefits to inspire you:

  • A smart content plan provides clarity. It allows you to think creatively. 
  • The right content strategy helps you in placing assets well. 
  • A content strategy helps analyze if your efforts are paying off.
  1. Content Strategy Planning

Now, let’s learn how to develop a strategy for content marketing.

  • Define Your Goal: What is your goal in creating a content strategy for your business? Why do you want to create content? Why should you develop a plan for content marketing? Knowing your aspirations beforehand will help you make the best plan.
  • Conduct Target Audience Research: To create a successful strategy, you must first trace your target audience. You also need to find out your customer base. This step is important if you’re just getting started in marketing.
  • Run A Content Audit: A content audit will help you analyze what grasps the interest of your audience. It will also help identify gaps in keyword research. 
  • Determine Your Type Of Content Creation Desire: There are several kinds of content that you can create. You must analyze whether you need an eBook or a YouTube advertisement to promote content.
  • Brainstorm Your Ideas: This is the exciting part! Once you have defined your buyer personas, and brand voice, and done keyword research, you’re ready to start brainstorming content ideas. This includes looking for topics, titles, and content types. To gain target audience interest.
  • Publish & Manage Your Content: Your marketing strategy should include more than just the kinds of material you’ll create. It should include how you’ll organize that content. 

2. Understanding Your Target Audience to Develop an Effective Content Strategy

The customer has an upper edge in the buying process. Understanding the target audience will help you with this process.

  1. Target Audience Analysis

Examine your target audience to find out if there are gaps in service. See which gaps your commodity can fill. 

Look for similar products and analyze their features. It will help you discover where they have been concentrating their energies. Get your innovation from here. 

  1. Customer Segmentation

This method is used to divide customers into groups. It helps brands make personalized plans for business success. It helps brands understand customer purchase patterns.

  1. Buyer personas

A buyer persona is a what helps brand make out its target consumer. It is based on studies and statistics. It tells about current and prospective clients. 

It is an excellent way to understand customers. It is very useful if your product is meant for a broad range of consumers.

  1. Audience research

The purpose of audience research is to determine the size and attributes of a group. It will help you understand what your customers read, believe, and value.

  1. Content Personalization

In this step, the content is customized. This is done based on customer behaviors. The benefits of this step are customer retention and customer engagement.

3. Conducting a Content Audit: Assessing Your Current Content and Identifying Gaps

A content audit can give you important insights. These tips help in enhancing the effectiveness of your content. Let’s learn how:

  1. Content inventory

A content inventory is a collection of all content that is there on your website. Make a list of all content assets you plan to audit. You must gather the URLs of the websites. 

You will also need statistics linked to them to accomplish this. You can manually develop and keep up a worksheet.

  1. Content audit checklist

A content audit list will help you analyze the best documents which are functioning well. It will tell where your visitors have been arriving from. 

A content audit checklist will talk about which pages no longer operate. It will tell what is impacting your site’s pace, etc.

  1. Content gap analysis

A content gap test is a method for identifying gaps in content. Content gaps will help you make out different stages of your customer’s buying cycle.

The main purpose to do this analysis is to help the audience understand which content gaps are there.

  1. Content assessment

You can make a useful content marketing strategy after content assessment or analysis.

You can provide this strategy to your customers. You can do so, by questioning them about their content strategies.

  1. Content quality assessment

This assessment test will help you make out good content. It shows how well the content can achieve its goal or goals. 

Testing your content for quality will make sure your content score is enough. It will help your brand stand out from its competitors.

Good quality content will help you make a strong content strategy. It attracts the right target audience to your brand’s website.

4. Setting Goals and Objectives for Your Content Strategy

There is nothing as important as making goals for a strategy. Making a strong content strategy cannot be achieved if goals are not set.

  1. Content marketing goals

You can use these goals for the creation of valuable content. So, you need to focus on providing useful content.

There are many times of content marketing goals. These marketing goals help you gain a target audience. 

For example, one can easily believe that the main goal of a business is making sales. This can be a major content marketing goal.  However, achieving small content marketing goals like driving demo requests is equally important. 

  1. SMART goals

A SMART goal refers to an achievable and realistic goal. By setting up this goal, a business is making a roadmap for achieving success.

A SMART goal needs to be linked to one idea. It should enable an organization to track as well as measure progress.

  1. Content strategy objectives

These strategic goals help a business plan a content strategy. It is one of the integral steps to achieving the content marketing goals of a business. 

Content strategy objectives help businesses in defining their content marketing goals. 

These objectives will allow a business to plan its work. They will make sure ensure all the marketing efforts are highly goal-driven.

  1. Content marketing KPIs

These refer to performance measures that are useful for content creators. It helps them measure the success of marketing efforts.

This step provides many benefits to businesses. It helps them understand how to get desired results.

  1. Content performance metrics

These are measurable data points that are used by brands to make out the campaign progress. Such as how well a piece of content engages the target audience.

These are crucial for the success of an organization. So, businesses should focus on them.

The acknowledgment and tracking of these key performance measures will make sure a business is doing well.

5. Creating a Content Calendar: Organizing Your Content Plan for Maximum Impact

Achieving maximum impact is made easy when you have a content calendar. But how do you develop a content calendar to drive the best engagement? Keep reading to find out.

  1. Content calendar template

A content calendar template is a schedule. This schedule allows a business to plan as well as organize content in advance. 

Using a content calendar template, a business can make out the progress of its content. A business can also use the same calendar to look for gaps. And, measure performance metrics.

You can create a content calendar template by using the web. There is an abundance of tools that you can use to select a content calendar template. 

You can even use basic spreadsheet software as your content calendar. The Google Sheets free tool allows you to prepare a content calendar template. 

  1. Editorial calendar

An editorial calendar acts like a visual workflow. It allows a team of content creators to plan work with ease.

The content creator team can schedule the work on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. 

This calendar will help content creators head in the right direction. Preparing a piece of content in advance with this calendar will make sure businesses can publish content on time.

  1. Content scheduling

Content scheduling helps creators get more time to know their target audience. It helps creators understand the audience. It also helps them understand the type of content most of the audiences prefer. 

  1. Content planning

Content planning defines how, when, and where one plans to publish content. This plan is crucial while the development of a content strategy.

It aids in organizing the process of creation. It also keeps track of the ongoing progress. To achieve content goals and objectives of a business.

  1. Content promotion calendar

This calendar allows a business to organize marketing efforts for the year. It helps businesses in planning all marketing efforts with ease.

The essence of this calendar is not just about future marketing strategies. It offers many benefits to a business as it allows them to track everything.

6. Identifying the Right Content Channels: How to Choose the Best Platforms for Your Business

Here’s how you can identify and pick the best platforms for your business. 

  1. Content distribution channels

Content distribution channels are commonly used by businesses. They are important to boost brand awareness. They motivate the target audience to buy the product. 

  1. Social media platforms

The right social media platform makes your campaign a success. Your target audience can have accounts on all these platforms. 

Finding the one platform the target audience actively uses is important.

Build a good social media presence for the brand. See what all competitors are doing. Then, align all social media goals by taking inspiration from them.

  1. Content marketing channels

A content marketing channel is where a business will have to post the content it creates. 

There are four most popular types of content marketing channels. These are emails, websites, events, and targeted digital advertising.

Using the right channel helps businesses to build trust. They build strong connections. They also help to get leads and improve conversions.

  1. Content marketing channels and tools

Businesses can use the best content marketing channels and tools. To boost their marketing campaign. 

Content marketing tools save the time and money of a business. They improve the content production process.

From offering new topics to write about to reaching buyer personas, there is a lot one can do with the right channels and tools. Some modern-day tools popular amongst businesses are HubSpot, WordPress, and Trello. 

  1. Best content channels

Content marketing strategy can be improved with the best content channels. Owned content channels, earned media channels, and paid distribution channels are the best content channels.

Some of the best-earned media channels are press releases, QA platforms, guest blogging, podcasts, and online platforms. 

Some of the best-paid distribution channels are pay-per-click advertising, sponsored content, paid influencer marketing, and paid social ads. 

7. Developing a Content Creation Process: From Idea Generation to Publication

Developing good content can be a struggle. Follow the content creation process below to make your business plan a success.

  1. Content creation workflow

Content creation workflow consists of a set of tasks that need to be completed. This set of tasks makes content ready for publishing. 

A well-made content creation workflow will make content management seamless. It also finds gaps in content creation. This leads to better quality control.

  1. Content creation process steps

Developing content is an art. Content creation is much more than beginning a topic. It is more than jotting down some lines and hitting publish. 

Some common content creation process steps are: 

  • Start With An Idea
  • Do Research
  • Determine the Direction Of Your Content
  • Create A Headline
  • Write Content
  • Proofread Content
  • Publish It
  1. Content ideation

It is the process of finding and choosing the best topics. The topic should grab the interest of the target audience.

Some of the best tactics marketers use are searching for tips and tricks, taking look at competitors’ content, and making the most of FAQs.

  1. Content development

Content development means finding, collect, write, organize, and edit content.

This process is useful for marketers and creators. To understand why they are developing a piece of content. 

An engaging headline should be used by the content creator. The introduction of the article should hook readers from start.

The content should be focused on the title and convey a unique brand voice. 

  1. Content production

This step concerns the creation of assets. Visual and written assets such as eBooks, videos, whitepapers, and blog posts are made in this step.

It attracts potential customers to a brand website. It maintains previous customers with great content.

8. Measuring Your Content Strategy Success: Key Metrics to Track and Analyze

Content strategists all across the globe take a lot of time to monitor campaigns. Let’s check out some key metrics they use to track and analyze success. 

  1. Content marketing ROI

This is the percentage of revenue gained with content marketing. Some measures used for finding it include social media shares and onsite engagement.

  1. Content performance metrics

This is measurable information. Brands use them to determine the success of content marketing campaigns.

Tracking them is important. They are useful because they offer crucial business information. This can be used to grow business and profits.

  1. Content engagement metrics

Content engagement metrics are tools for content marketing. These tools can be used to measure the quality of content.

These tools will vary based on the brand and the type of website. There is a wide range of content engagement metrics.

Some examples are organic website traffic, unique page views, and scroll depth. They help a business understand how customers learn about them.

Businesses can use this information to make content adjustments. To keep them engaged for a long and generate better leads.

  1. Content effectiveness metrics

These metrics play a huge role in content effectiveness measurement systems. They can be used by businesses to get useful feedback. These measures help businesses to gain insights. 

Content effectiveness measures can be used to gain useful insights. It can further be used by brands to measure changes.

  1. Content conversion metrics

These measures examine the impact of a piece of content. It tells how well the content strategy can convert its target audience online. Businesses can use them to improve brand performance.

9. Optimizing Your Content Strategy for SEO: Tips and Best Practices

The aim of amending your content strategy is to improve search engine performance. Here are some best practices and tips to enhance your digital presence. 

  1. Content optimization

This is the practice of forming content to reach a huge target audience.  It helps search engines get strong signals of usefulness from your content.

The pros of content development are search engine friendly and fine content. Some of the best tips for content optimization are adding keywords.

  1. SEO content writing

SEO content writing is a process of content creation that involves writing. With the main objective to rank on the first page of search engines. 

This goal can be achieved by using relevant keywords for creating content. The content should answer the intent of the user very clearly.

If the content is not optimized for SEO, then it will come up several pages back in the SERP. Some of the best tips to enhance SEO content writing skills is to write for the audience first. 

  1. Keyword research for content

This process needs to be followed to get popular search engine terms.

The best keyword research terms should be strategically used in your content. To appear high in SERP. 

To do successful keyword research for your content, you can find search volume trends. You can research keywords, and related blog topics, search intent, and analyze keyword strength.

  1. Content optimization tools

Content optimization tools help in SEO. These tools make sure the content is not only well-written but also findable.

From helping content creators incorporate the right keywords to meta and title tags, content optimization tools do it all. 

Some of the best free content optimization tools that help to rank higher on SERP are Small SEO Tools for checking plagiarism and Market Muse for keyword planning.

  1. Content SEO best practices

Some of the best content SEO practices for content optimization are optimizing the title tag for SEO, using internal linking, optimizing images for SEO, optimizing site loading speed, writing unique descriptions, writing unique titles, and adding main keywords in the beginning.

10. Using Content Strategy Templates to Streamline Your Planning and Execution Process

Using templates creates a step-by-step plan. This plan can be used for seamless management of the whole content marketing process.

  1. Content strategy framework

This step guides all brand activities and campaigns. It provides details on how to create, manage, publish, maintain, and promote content. To meet content marketing goals.

Having a content strategy framework is useful for running successful brand campaigns. It helps brands make personalized campaigns.

  1. Content marketing templates

Content marketing templates are effective content strategy templates. They provide useful data to a brand’s customers.

They help in making content consistent. They also make sure content looks appealing and provides data to customers.

You can create a successful content marketing template by setting business goals and KPIs. You can also research audience personas and conduct a content audit.

  1. Content planning templates

This template is a standard format document. It defines the scope as well as the objectives of content strategy.

These templates tell how a business will publish its content, when it will publish the content, and where it will publish the content. 

A content marketing plan template tells which content planning tasks should be optimized. It also tells how to organize the planning process.

  1. Content creation templates

Content creation for business success template offers a content creation outline for writers. It includes all information and visuals to be added to the content. They help a brand align the business content roadmap development process. 


As you can see above, making a content marketing strategy for businesses from the step-by-step guide and templates is a cycle. It is not just a one-off thing. 

From teaching you all about the target audience to what works, this article will help you prepare a refined content strategy for your brand. 

The article will also help you create a successful content plan from scratch.


1. What is a content marketing strategy for businesses?

Content marketing strategies are used to attract customers with engaging content. These strategies are used to retain the customer. 

They help grow their interest in the brand. They help customers to build their brand name. 

They also help customers get the product in the back of their heads. Thus, promoting brand awareness.

2. What is an example of a content marketing strategy?

All the media like videos, podcasts, newsletters, and social media posts. All the forms of content are meant to entertain and attract customers. 

These strategies provide customers with needed information. They help make way for potential future customers.

3. What are the three most important elements of a successful content marketing strategy?

The three most important elements of a successful content marketing strategy are building brand identity goals, optimized content production process, and target audience profiles.