If you don’t have a clear strategy, your content will lack cohesion and fail to connect effectively, missing out on synergy.

That’s a big handicap, of course.

Given the crowded internet and Google’s preference for sites that display topical authority, hastily chosen or poorly strategized content topics can lead to significant missed opportunities.

To create a successful content marketing strategy, you need clear goals that guide your approach. Achieving these goals can lead to significant gains in organic traffic and improved conversions, engagements, and sales.

The Landscape of Content Strategy Today

The Landscape of Content Strategy Today

The approach to content strategy has evolved in many ways.

Back then, companies used to be content with publishing many articles. The more content, the better. Now, companies realize the importance of using proper content structure and grouping and ensuring that their content marketing campaigns are backed by research before producing a single piece of content.

For example, the Hub and Spoke model is a common framework companies use to improve topical authority through content.

In this framework, the strategist first determines what the pillar content will cover and how the pillar content will be supported by several cluster content.

By using content frameworks, freelance strategists can now create a roadmap or strategy to put order in their content marketing campaigns. Freelance content strategist should pay close attention to the goals below when developing their content marketing campaigns.

Goal 1: Develop a Comprehensive Understanding of the Target Audience

Understanding your client’s target audience helps you pinpoint their preferences, aspirations, and behaviors. These information pieces are crucial to creating content that addresses audience needs and interests.

Techniques for Audience Research

Below are tried and tested audience research techniques that seasoned content strategists use.

  • Interviews. One-on-one interviews help you explore the target audiences’ perspectives more deeply.
  • Web analytics. Tracking website visitors, including their behavior and the content they interact with on your clients’ websites, helps you understand user journeys and optimize content.
  • Keyword research. Learning the keywords your clients’ audiences use allows you to identify the relevant terms indicating audience interests, needs, and intent (among others).

Tailoring Content to Audience Needs

Equipped with the data you obtained from your audience research, you can now create content that highly resonates with your audience and addresses their needs.

Pay attention to your reader’s pain points, the outcome they want to achieve, or other potential reasons for searching for content. Address these as clearly as you can. The more comprehensive and well-formatted your content, the better.

Also, remember to consider their preferred method of consuming content. Some readers prefer reading text-based content; others are into micro-videos, podcasts, etc.

Aligning your content with your client’s business goals ensures each piece directly contributes to meaningful results.

Goal 2: Align Content with Business Objectives

Aligning your content with your client’s business goals ensures each piece directly contributes to meaningful results.

For example, if your client plans to launch a new product, creating content that stirs engagement about the up-and-coming product makes perfect sense.

Creating generic content that addresses a different pain point the new product can’t address wouldn’t lead to results that would bolster the product launch.

Understanding Client Goals

You must collaborate closely with your client’s objectives to clearly grasp them.

You can do client consultations and identify the measurable goals and metrics aligning with your client’s vision. You can also perform an extensive content audit to examine your client’s existing materials. It lets you spot the areas for improvement and align them with their current objectives

Strategies for Goal-Aligned Content Creation

Ensure a goal-aligned content creation process with the following strategies.

  • Client briefing. Develop a detailed client briefing process to understand your client’s goals, target audiences, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).
  • Map out content. Create a content plan outlining how each piece aligns with your client’s goals.
  • Track key metrics. Use reliable analytics tools to monitor and measure content performance against your client’s goals.

Goal 3: Master the Art of Storytelling and Brand Narrative

Integrate storytelling and brand narrative into your content marketing campaigns for better results.

Storytelling makes your content more relatable and easier to digest. Weaving in your brand narrative makes your brand image more apparent and “sticky.”

Consider the points below when using storytelling and building your identity through content.

Crafting Compelling Stories

Engage your clients with these storytelling strategies:

  • Include a strong hook. Write an engaging introduction that hooks audiences from the get-go and entices them to consume the entire content.
  • Implement a clear theme. Identify a central message or theme that guides your story. It can keep your content cohesive while amplifying your content strategy.
  • Include multimedia. Incorporate videos, images, and other visual and multimedia elements into your client’s content to attract the audience’s attention while enhancing the storytelling experience.

Building Brand Identity through Content

Help clients establish their brand identity with these tips.

  • Create a unique value proposition. Articulate what makes your client’s brand stand out and why it should matter to audiences. Reinforce and highlight this across your client’s content to drive the point home.
  • Design a distinct visual identity that your target audiences can easily and instantly recognize. Create a unique logo, imagery, and color palette.
  • Develop a particular brand voice that aligns with your client’s brand personality. It should also resonate with target audiences to foster awareness and connections.

Content optimization helps ensure maximum visibility and engagement for your client’s web pages.

Goal 4: Optimize Content for Search Engines and User Experience

Content optimization helps ensure maximum visibility and engagement for your client’s web pages. It can also improve the user experience since optimization ensures your client’s content is relevant and easy to access and consume.

SEO Best Practices

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a broad and often complex undertaking, but you can start with these best practices.

  • Keyword research. Do comprehensive keyword research to determine the relevant search terms people use and include them in your client’s content.
  • Optimize meta descriptions and title tags. Create compelling meta descriptions and title tags using target keywords to optimize them for search engines and website users.
  • Create top-quality content. Produce engaging and informative content that meets the target audiences’ needs. Search engines consider relevance as a ranking factor. The more relevant your client’s content is, the higher their chances of ranking higher in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), where they are most visible and discoverable.

Balancing SEO with Engaging Content

Effective SEO content writing balances visibility and user or audience satisfaction.

Essentially, you don’t create content for the sake of SEO. Content should engage audiences to attract website visitors and keep them interested enough to convert.

Goal 5: Implement Effective Content Distribution and Promotion Strategies

Content distribution and promotion strategies ensure your client’s content reaches their target audiences at the right time.

Without solid distribution and promotion strategies, your client’s content can go unnoticed and miss opportunities to engage and convert leads and potential customers.

Leveraging Various Channels

Effective content distribution and promotion should span multiple channels, including the following:

  • Email. Email is a cost-effective channel for sending personalized content to nurture relationships with leads and potential, current, and returning customers. It’s a great way to reach audiences since your client’s content gets to target audiences directly through their inbox.
  • Paid advertising. Paid promotions ensure your client’s content reaches specific audiences and groups, increasing the content’s exposure and reach.
  • Social media platforms.  Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube provide ideal spaces for sharing engaging content to connect with audiences.  Plus, amazing social media posts have the potential to go viral, allowing them to reach thousands of people.

Measuring Impact and Engagement

Tracking and measuring impact and engagement helps you determine the effectiveness of your client’s content distribution and promotion strategies.

You can gain valuable insights into what channels, promotions, messaging, and content types resonate with audiences and drive actions such as click-throughs, social shares, and conversions. Measuring impact and engagement also uncovers gaps you must address to improve your client’s content strategy.

The freelancer-client relationship is vital for developing a solid content strategy.

The Freelancer-Client Relationship in Content Strategy

The freelancer-client relationship is vital for developing a solid content strategy.

Collaboration helps you tailor your strategies to your client’s needs and visions, ensuring alignment across their content, brand identities, and objectives.

What Clients Should Look For

Below are the essential things clients should look for in a reliable freelance content strategist to reach the five goals discussed above.

  • The ability to perform thorough audience research, design detailed buyer personas, and create content tailored to specific audience groups
  • A strategic mindset, the ability to identify and prioritize business objectives, and expertise to create content that directly contributes to meeting the identified goals
  • A strong portfolio that showcases a compelling narrative, creative thinking, storytelling, and professional content writing services
  • SEO expertise and an ability to balance technical SEO with creating content that provides a positive user experience
  • Experience and expertise in distributing and promoting content across multiple channels, including skills to measure these strategies’ performance

Best Practices for Freelancers

These best practices help you align your objectives with client expectations.

  • Conduct comprehensive briefings to understand each client’s goals, expectations, and KPIs to ensure alignment
  • Collaborate with clients to identify specific, achievable, measurable goals aligning with their business objectives. Be proactive in initiating a content strategy session to discuss how you can help clients
  • Maintain regular and open communications with clients. Give updates, ask for feedback, and address concerns promptly
  • Provide a detailed project plan outlining your deliverables, timelines, and milestones to ensure transparency and set expectations for you and your clients

Don’t Play Dice With Your Content Strategy

Don’t Play Dice With Your Content Strategy

Not all freelance content strategists are created equal. There are battle-hardened content strategists with years of experience generating organic traffic, leads, and sales. And there are those on the opposite side of the spectrum.

Connect with ClearVoice to speak with expert content strategists and creators who can take your business to the next level.