How to create an ROI-driven content strategy roadmap?

How to create an ROI-driven content strategy roadmap?

In 2011, a game-changing tech realization happened involuntarily. The Search Engine Giant Google conducted a study on the consumer decision-making process.

Better known as the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT) study [1], its outcome revealed how consumers research a product before they make a final purchase decision.

Thanks to this study, the Discovery and Awareness stage (D and A) in the famous AIDA marketing model came into the limelight.

Since then, businesses started realizing the power of content in impacting the consumer mindset, which led to the birth of modern content marketing.  

Content creation is a dynamic process

Interestingly, businesses had practiced Content Strategy since a decade earlier. The early content strategy was restricted to website content creation that educates users about the products and services. Blogs were still in their infancy.

As digital channels expanded and the consumer shopping trends evolved, content strategy and content marketing started unfolding.

Amidst such transition, one observation was revealed: content strategy and content marketing are never static processes.

Modern digital content is a magnetic tool. It is no more in its early stages as a lead-generation magnet.

In this digital era, content is a holistic approach to attract, maintain, and nurture relationships with customers and leads, help businesses and individuals level up their branding. 

Before discussing in detail how to create a content strategy that caters to business needs, let us take a moment to talk the differences between content marketing and content strategy.

Content Strategy versus Content Marketing

Though content strategy and content marketing sound similar, some nuances differentiate them. 

Content strategy is a top-level marketing approach. It focuses on long-term results such as ROI, Branding, Marketing and imparting value to the customer journey. 

A content strategy governs the end-to-end steps involved in content creation and marketing. It is an outcome of intense brainstorming and collaboration of decision makers, content experts and subject matter experts.  

A well-chalked content strategy leads to content that helps the brand capture the user's attention amidst the content wave. 

On the other hand, content marketing is a subset of content strategy. It focuses on content distribution in the right channel and at the right instant. The content distributed in content marketing is one of the outcomes of content strategy.

How content strategy helps businesses?

Content is an inseparable part of any digital business. Every moment of digital interaction of consumers with a brand and its offerings is through content in some form.

Ranging from the evergreen blogs, articles, ads and emails to the new-gen memes, social media, user-generated content, gifs, videos and webinars, brands and customers interact digitally with content as their medium.

Content creation and handling can be a treasure trove for businesses. Though content strategy is a long-term approach, when done right, it can bring the desired results in a shorter span.

A business can benefit in many ways with a well-crafted content strategy:

  • Reduce content costs by producing targeted content that serves business needs.
  • Establish the brand as a thought leader in the industry and gain the trust of stakeholders.
  • Connect and communicate with the audience and observe the customer's tastes to design effectual offerings.
  • Reach the consumers at every level of the marketing funnel to maximize the success rate of sales.
  • Monitor the metrics and tweak the strategies for better marketing outcomes.

Steps involved in Designing and Implementing Content Strategy for Businesses

When creating content and a strategy for the first time, it is common to be baffled with many doubts. With content types evolving with time, it can be tempting and perplexing to lay hands on all available formats. However, not every content cost the same nor caters to similar needs. 

Here are six simple yet effective steps to create and implement an ROI-driven content strategy for businesses:

Step #1: Define your content goals

Content caters to a plethora of business needs: 

Branding, gaining customer trust, engaging and making new followers, customer service, traffic acquisition, lead generation, upselling, and establishing industry position. 

Before creating a content strategy for business, it is vital to clarify the business goal that the content is expected to accomplish.

The premise that creating a content strategy is a collaborative approach strengthens the necessity of this step.

Defining the content goals also guides to pool the of content strategy resources.

Though every organization works in its way to create a content strategy, here are the essential roles that must be a part of a content strategy:

  • Decision makers: To guide the content strategists about the business needs and goals so they can produce effective content.
  • Subject matter experts: Their insights and inputs in creating technical content are invaluable. Their participation is indispensable if the business offers technical products.
  • Content team: Comprises writers and editors who ensure content quality and adherence to brand guidelines.
  • Marketing and sales teams: Their inputs help create content that serves the customers’ pain points and needs.
  • Digital marketing experts: To carry out content marketing and digital marketing on various channels and outreach approaches.
  • SEO experts: An SEO-driven content strategy speeds up the time taken for ROI.
  • Web developers: Content management on a CMS often demands technical assistance where web developers come into play.

Step #2: Form a buyer persona

Once your content strategy goals are clear, it’s time to research your customer.

Explore various channels - Web traffic, social media and email databases. Take into account geography, business size, revenue, and decision-making power to give a shape to your ideal customer who would jump at the offer you make.

Phew! Your buyer persona is ready!

Step #3: Choose the best-suited content formats

Over dozen content types that exist for creating a content strategy for businesses:

  • Blog Posts
  • Long Form Articles
  • Original Research
  • Video
  • Ebooks
  • Presentations
  • Webinars
  • Quizzes and Polls
  • Podcasts
  • Memes
  • Gifs
  • Contests
  • User-generated content
  • Infographics
  • Virtual events
  • Guest posts
  • Images
  • Case Studies
  • White Papers/Reports
  • Checklists
  • Email Newsletters

In many ways, content formats differ for B2B and B2C businesses. 

Instead of trying to spread too thin, choose the best-fit content types that help provide unique and authentic value to the audience.

Step #4: Settle on your content-sharing platform

At this step, you have the resources, a plan and the best-fit content. Now, select the content-sharing platform that yields the expected ROI.

Content sharing platforms can be social media, email marketing, Web 2.0 and paid strategies.

Choose the best-fit content-sharing platforms for your business. A tip here is to choose and focus on the utmost 3-4 channels where your potential customers exist in large numbers. 

On the other hand, leveraging all available content channels is a great content strategy when you have adequate resources. 

Step #5: Create and share value-adding content consistently

Now that the content strategy blueprint is ready, it’s time to implement the plan. Create unique, value-adding content that solves the customer pain points. 

A worthy tip here is: Every piece of content must be in tune with the brand's needs and end goals. 

Content strategy is a long-run approach and starts paying off around six months to one year based on the business goals and resources invested.

Step #6: Monitor metrics, revise and refine content strategy

Monitoring the performance of the content is an indispensable part of content strategy. 

Published content faces numerous challenges that range from algorithm updates to becoming outdated. Content strategists hence impart equal importance to content audit as much as they care about content creation. 

Content drives businesses digitally!

Content is the voice of a business. When done well, it builds trust in the users, finds, engages, retains customers and promotes a brand. The trick lies in creating the right strategy by involving the best brains and displaying consistency and patience.

“Quality, relevant content can't be spotted by an algorithm. You can't subscribe to it. You need people - actual human beings - to create or curate it.” ? Kristina Halvorson, Content Strategy for the Web



About the author

Swetha Prasanna Gangavarapu is a Content Strategist, Writer, Business and Personal Branding Consultant. Reach her on LinkedIn and get to know more about her at


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