Our content material technique at Ahrefs is straightforward.

In a nutshell, we:

  • Create weblog posts and movies about related subjects that folks seek for on Google and YouTube.
  • Nurture and educate these individuals with helpful content material on Twitter and in our publication.
  • Retain clients and construct model loyalty utilizing product-focused tutorials in our assist middle, academy, and in our software itself.

This technique has been vastly profitable for us. We get 500K+ month-to-month visits to our weblog from Google, have 100K+ individuals on our mailing listing, and have 200K+ subscribers on YouTube.

Extra importantly, it’s helped our ARR develop fairly persistently through the years.

However when you might blindly copy our content material technique, that wouldn’t essentially be sensible as a result of what works for us won’t work for you.

That’s why we wrote this information—to present you the way to create a content material technique that is smart for your corporation.

Right here’s every part you’ll study:

  • What’s a content material technique?
  • Why is having a content material technique vital?
  • How to create a content material technique

Content technique focuses on the imaginative and prescient and plan in your content material. It’s the place you reply questions like why and how to create content material, who the content material is for, and in the end how you’ll make the most of content material to market your corporation.

What’s the distinction between content material technique and content material advertising?

Content advertising is the method of making, enhancing, and selling content material for advertising functions. It may be a weblog submit, video, product documentation—something that helps you to appeal to, nurture, and retain clients.

In different phrases, content material advertising is the execution of techniques that additional your content material technique.

To make issues much more complicated, if you happen to create a Venn-diagram of content material technique and content material advertising, the intersection is your content material advertising technique.

Content advertising technique considerations itself with the planning and orchestration of your content material advertising efforts. It entails defining your model voice and magnificence, content material ideation, creating a content material calendar, setting and measuring objectives, and so forth.

Having a content material technique is vital to be certain that every bit of content material you create has a goal. It stops you from creating content material for the sake of it and throwing cash down the drain on random content material that does nothing for your corporation.

It additionally helps be certain that you’re creating content material for the proper viewers, in the proper format, for the proper channel.

Creating a content material technique could be fairly a daunting course of, so we’ve created a easy framework to make issues simpler referred to as the content material technique canvas:

The aim of the content material technique canvas is to allow you to create a primary content material technique by answering 5 easy questions:

  • Who are you creating content material for?
  • Why are you creating content material?
  • What sort of content material will you create?
  • The place will you publish the content material?
  • How will you create the content material?

Let’s stroll by means of how to reply every of those questions.

Query 1: Who’re you creating content material for?

Placing into phrases who you’re making an attempt to attain along with your content material is the primary and most vital step. It’ll function a guiding gentle for all of your content material creation efforts and assist hold you on observe.

For those who’ve performed your market analysis and created buyer personas, this ought to be simple. You’ll have already got a strong concept of who you’re making an attempt to attain.

For instance, if you happen to’re a mortgage dealer in Florida, that may be one thing like:

Millennial {couples} (25–30) in Florida with aspirations of proudly owning their first residence. They’re working professionals strapped for time and really feel annoyed by the complexity of the method of getting on the property ladder.

For those who don’t know fairly a lot about who you’re focusing on, be at liberty to hold issues broader.

For instance, as suppliers of Search engine optimization software program, one thing like this is able to make sense for us:

Individuals who need to drive extra visitors to their web site(s).

It’s considerably oversimplified, nevertheless it’s sufficient to assist us keep away from creating content material about dead-end subjects.

For instance, take a matter like “reverse image search.” This feels like a matter associated to Search engine optimization on the face of it, and it will get an estimated 1.6M month-to-month searches within the US

… however the actuality is that most individuals looking for this doubtless don’t even have a web site. They’re in all probability simply making an attempt to seek out a catfish.

Right here’s our content material technique canvas so far:

Query 2. Why are you creating content material?

Every bit of content material ought to have a goal.

Broadly talking, there are 4 of these:

  1. Improve model consciousness and introduce your model to potential clients.
  2. Create curiosity and want by educating potential clients extra about their issues and the way your services or products can remedy them.
  3. Nurture curiosity and entice the acquisition by additional educating potential clients about your services or products and why it’s the most effective resolution for them.
  4. Retain clients and construct model loyalty by educating clients on how to get probably the most out of your services or products and clearly demonstrating its worth.

For those who’re accustomed to the advertising funnel, you’ll discover that these 4 “purposes” align broadly with the phases of the shopping for journey.

Both approach, you’ll see that these “whys” are prefilled on the content material technique canvas since you want to create content material for all functions. In any case, there’s no level in having a well-known model if no one ever buys something from you, and there’s no level working to appeal to clients if you happen to can’t retain them.

Nonetheless, it’s vital to perceive one factor earlier than we proceed:

Every bit of content material can serve a number of functions.

Lots of our weblog posts supply good examples of this concept in observe. For instance, take a matter like “how to find low competition keywords.” This submit arguably serves all phases of the advertising funnel to various levels.

That stated, some content material items will likely be extra centered on fixing only one downside.

For instance, take our “Ahrefs vs.” web page. This web page explains what the trade thinks of Ahrefs in contrast to our opponents and showcases a few of our distinctive options.

Listed here are the issues it does and doesn’t remedy by my estimations:

Relying on the place you’re at in your content material advertising journey, you might want to focus extra on one among these “purposes” greater than the opposite. That is the place a content material audit can turn out to be useful, however that’s a matter for one more day.

Query 3: The place will you publish content material?

Understanding why you’re creating content material is a good begin, however you additionally want to know the place to publish it to attain clients and potential clients.

Given the myriad of publishing choices nowadays, this course of could be overwhelming.

Listed here are simply a few locations you possibly can publish content material:

  • Weblog/web site
  • YouTube
  • Social networks
  • E mail
  • Slideshare
  • Visitor posts (i.e., on different peoples’ web sites)
  • Podcasts
  • Q&A websites (e.g., Quora)

So which must you select?

Firstly, don’t get slowed down making an attempt to create content material for each channel conceivable. These are all viable choices in a technique or one other, however you’ll be able to’t do every part—particularly while you’re simply beginning in your content material journey.

Secondly, don’t select randomly.

You must select one or two channels that take advantage of sense for your corporation, and you must base these in your solutions to two questions:

  1. Which channels remedy your “whys”?
  2. How and the place do your clients eat data on-line?

Let’s begin by answering the primary query…

Each good content material technique entails creating content material for every stage of the journey—from model consciousness to buyer retention—however not all advertising channels are appropriate for fixing all issues.

For instance, publishing an e-mail publication is of no use for constructing model consciousness as a result of these unaware of your model don’t subscribe. Equally, doing podcasts is hardly doubtless to allow you to retain clients and construct model loyalty.

You both want to select one channel that’s appropriate for all phases or a number of complementary channels.

Right here’s a fast cheat sheet for the most well-liked owned channels to assist:

How have you learnt which two channels to select?

That is the place the second query is available in useful:

How and the place do your clients eat data on-line?

Your market analysis ought to have uncovered the reply to this query however if you happen to’re undecided, contemplate asking or surveying your clients instantly. Alternatively, if you happen to’re contemplating your weblog/web site or YouTube channel as one among your advertising mediums, use a key phrase analysis software like Ahrefs’ Key phrases Explorer to see if individuals are looking for subjects associated to your corporation.

For instance, we see hundreds of individuals looking for Search engine optimization-related subjects each month on Google and YouTube:

This tells us that publishing content material on these channels is smart for us.

We additionally know that we will use social media and e-mail advertising to nurture and retain clients, so we’ll create content material for these channels too.

Query 4. What sort of content material will you create?

For those who’re planning to publish content material on YouTube, it’s fairly apparent that you just’ll be publishing movies as a result of that’s the one sort of content material you’ll be able to publish. However for a lot of different advertising channels, issues aren’t all the time so apparent.

Take your web site, for instance. There are numerous forms of content material you possibly can publish, together with:

  • Weblog posts
  • Whitepapers
  • Touchdown pages
  • Wiki articles
  • Interactive instruments
  • Video programs

No one has limitless sources for creating content material, so it’s price contemplating which content material varieties you need to focus on.

For example, on our web site, we primarily give attention to creating three forms of content material:

  • Weblog posts
  • Wiki articles
  • Interactive instruments

Proper now, we have now 906 weblog posts, and our weblog will get an estimated 253K search visits each month—in accordance to the High subfolders report in Ahrefs’ Website Explorer.

Sidenote.

Many of those weblog posts are translations; we solely have ~300 English posts. 

We’ve 10 free instruments, which ship us an estimated 301K month-to-month search visits.

And we have now 267 Wiki/assist articles that ship us an estimated 2.3K month-to-month search visits.

These 2.3K visits to our Wiki articles might sound negligible in contrast to our weblog and free instruments, however the goal of this content material isn’t to drive tons of visitors. Its goal is to educate and retain clients by answering widespread questions on our toolset.

On Twitter, we primarily give attention to creating and sharing product updates…

… and informative threads with distilled information from our weblog posts:

When it comes to filling out this part of your content material technique canvas, don’t overthink issues. Simply jot down related forms of content material for every step within the journey.

It’s additionally advantageous to use the identical sort of content material throughout a number of phases the place it is smart. For instance, we make the most of weblog posts for every part from elevating model consciousness to nurturing clients, so we listing that content material sort throughout all phases in our canvas. However we solely listing wiki/assist articles within the retention stage.

Query 5. How will you create the content material?

Creating a content material technique isn’t nearly planning what to do. You additionally want to contemplate how to execute your plan.

In different phrases, you want to ask your self: “what resources will I need?”

You’ll be able to group these sources into two classes:

  1. Individuals. Who do you want to rent, and what expertise do you want?
  2. Services. What instruments or providers will you want?

For instance, say we needed to create weblog content material and YouTube movies for a new model, we’re in all probability going to the next individuals at a naked minimal:

  • Weblog content material author(s)
  • Scriptwriter(s)
  • Weblog editor
  • Videographer
  • Video editor
  • Designer
  • Digital assistant (VA)

We’ll additionally want a few services, together with:

  • Ahrefs for researching subjects
  • Wordable for importing weblog posts
  • Grammarly for enhancing content material
  • Adobe Premiere Professional for enhancing movies
  • Adobe Photoshop for designing weblog submit photographs
  • Digital camera, tripods, lenses, mics, and different recording tools

Right here’s our accomplished canvas:

Closing ideas

Having a content material technique is invaluable for holding your content material creation efforts on observe and making certain that the content material you create has a goal. In any case, it’s tremendous simple to fall into the entice of making content material only for the sake of it.

For those who’ve already created your content material technique, the following step is creating a content material advertising technique and begin creating content material.

Received questions? Ping me on Twitter.