As die-hard marketers, we all know the importance of looking at data to come up with a strategy that will bring results in line with business objectives.

However, looking at historical data might be overwhelming and we can easily miss important information or misinterpret data.

Personally, I like to have a to-do list that helps me go to each stage of developing a content strategy.

Here is my checklist for creating and measuring the success of my content strategy:

1- Content audit

Content identity – basic questions

To begin with, I start looking at the content in its entirety. Digital content should easily answer these questions:

  1. Who was the target audience for this post/page?
  2. What was the post/page about? Was it in line with the target audience?
  3. Does the content match the user’s intent?
  4. Does the page/post answer the user’s question?
  5. Was the post/page shared and amplified?
  6. Does the page satisfies basic SEO scores?
    1. Meta-tags have been added
    2. Images and videos are present for a media-rich experience
    3. URL links point to internal and external resources
    4. The text legth is enough to provide a high-quality answer
    5. The headline is clear, catchy and on-topic

SEO Infographics to download

Content goals – What the business wants to achieve

Then, I consider the goal each piece of content aims to achive.

  • Top of the funnel goal – Brand discovery/awareness.

In this instance the prospective user is unfamiliar with the brand and its product offering. This is the discovery phase, when users familiarise themselves with the brand and start building a connection. During this phase a brand needs to provide enough value to make the customer trust the brand – a legitimate business- and its product offering. Some ways to connect with their potential customers, include producing content that:

    • Entertains and inform – but still in line with the brand identity
    • Shows the brand’s expertise – Leader in their industry
    • Satisfies the social media presence – Creates a social response
Content Strategy - Lead-gen example from Netaporter
An example of content marketing from the luxury online store Netaporter. The article combines street-style photos with an editorial issue and a product list.
  • Middle of the funnel goal – Turn visitors into leads, the nurturing stage.

At this stage the user has interacted with your brand and build a sense of trust. But not enough to turn the user into a customer. Independently from the industry you are operating, you can showcase your expertise by producing content such as:

    • White papers – guides, articles, editorials, product notes
    • Media – webinars, podcasts, courses, videos, tutorials
    • Checklists – Infographics, excel sheets, product lists

These can be uploaded as gated content in exchange for an email address) or shared only with people who subscribed to the newsletter. As this is a nuurtuing phase, this type of content should be shared only with users that bypassed the discovery phase.

Content Strategy - Nurturing
Appboy shows its expertise in mobile marketing by offering a free ebook to get anyone mobile-ready.
  • Bottom of the funnel – Turn marketing leads into customers.

Now, we need to turn these nurtured leads into customers. At this stage, these potential customers might be already engaging with your customer support team, your sales executives or your live-chat. Are all these human and automated teams ready to answer all your potential customers enquiries?

In terms of content, consider generating flyers, brochures, and emails that satisfy the users questions. Any roadblock to purchase should be addressed at this stage.

Want to make the entire process easier? What about a friendly-to-use QandA page?

Content Strategy - Conversion optimisation
Example of McDonalds QandA page that addresses common questions from customers.

2- Engagement metrics

The content strategy also needs Engagement metrics or KPIs identify any roadblocks the customer might find along their journey from discovery to purchase.

  • The discovery phase

Does the content provided during the discovery phase satisfy the user needs? In short, did the user consume the content? In this case KPIs would be:

    1. The number of clicks
    2. The percentage of page scrolled
    3. The time spent watching a video
    4. The bounce rate or number of exits
  • The nurturing phase

Does the content provided during the nurturing phase satisfy the user queries? In short, did the user strengthen their bound with the brand? In this case KPIs would be:

    1. Returning users
    2. Frequency  and Recency of interactions
  • The conversion phase

Does the content provided during the awareness and nurturing phase turn visitors into customers? In short, did the marketing strategy help generating sales? In this case KPIs would be:

    1. Number of marketing qualified sales
    2. Number of sales

3- Business outcomes

Finally, what is the business result? First, consider how many customers consumed the content before making a purchase. And if the content helped to shorten the purchasing journey, increase the average order value and turn occasional customers into brand ambassadors.

Simply compare orders from customers who were exposed to the content versus orders coming from users that were not brought in by the content marketing strategy.


For any questions regarding this blog, my services or freelance work, feel free to contact me.

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