Why You Need an Effective Content Marketing Strategy


You know that old saying, “Throw everything at the wall to see what sticks”? Unfortunately, that’s what too many businesses are doing regarding their content marketing, which isn’t working. Let us be clear: You need to have an effective content marketing strategy in place if you want to succeed in today’s marketing landscape. And just as importantly, the content marketing strategy must be documented properly to ensure success.

In fact, The State of Content Marketing Report 2022 by Semrush showed that 81% of companies whose content marketing efforts were unsuccessful didn’t have a documented strategy.

According to data collected by Semrush, the advantage of content marketing speaks for itself. 

Here are just some of the benefits:

So, if you aren’t doing it—or more likely, not doing it right—you’re missing out on all that while wasting precious time and money.

What Does the Content Marketing Landscape Look Like?

In the report mentioned above, Semrush surveyed 1,500 marketers in 40 countries to understand how businesses use content marketing. By looking at that data, we can get insight into what comprises an effective content marketing strategy.

Who’s Using a Content Marketing Strategy & Is It Effective?

While 97% of businesses are now using content marketing strategy as part of their marketing efforts, just 57% have that strategy documented. 

Clearly, there is a long way to go. Only 19% of companies rated their content marketing strategy as advanced. The same percentage also happened to rate their strategy as very successful. Another 33% rated their content marketing success as moderately successful. 

What Tactics Are Used in an Effective Content Strategy?

An effective content marketing strategy must include a plan to produce content and the right tactics to ensure the best results. Focusing on quality, SEO, and visual content made the greatest impact in achieving content marketing success. 

Here are the tactics that marketers rated as most helpful in 2021, according to Semrush’s report:

How Much of the Total Marketing Budget Is Being Spent on Content Marketing?

Approximately 64% of companies spend 10% or more of their marketing budget on content marketing, while 26% spend less than 10%. Only 15% of companies plan to make a significant increase in that marketing spend (more than 25%).

What Does the Average Content Marketing Team Look Like?

Of the companies surveyed by Semrush… 

The 3 most likely content marketing specialists to be part of a content marketing team are as follows:

Interestingly, graphics is the specialty most likely to be farmed out to other companies. And just under half of the companies expected their teams to grow larger in 2022.

What Are the Top Performing Types of Content?

Viral Solutions marketing team records an episode for The Obsessed Marketer podcast with video equipment.

Reflecting other research on the subject, Semrush’s survey found that video is the top-performing content type, just eclipsing blog posts.

The full list is as follows:

What Are the Key Content Marketing Goals?

Here are the top three marketing goals companies want to achieve in 2022:

What Are the Top Content Challenges for Businesses?

The 5 biggest content marketing challenges reported in the Semrush survey were the ability to create content that…

Why Your Business Needs an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

Less understood is the need to have a strategy in place for content marketing to be worthwhile. 

Having an effective content marketing strategy can help marketers do all of the following:

How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Strategy

To combat these issues, an effective content marketing strategy is in order. But what does that mean? What does one look like?

Essentially, it comes down to making sure 3 key elements are included:

  1. Brand voice
  2. Editorial calendar
  3. Analytics

Now, let’s look at each of these in more detail…

Establish Your Brand Voice

As with all types of marketing, you must let your brand personality shine through in every piece of content you put out. No one wants to read or engage with the same old boring content that anyone could have created. 

Create a brand voice and an avatar that clearly represents your company’s personality. That way, your whole marketing team can create content aligned with what you want to portray. 

You need to project authority about your area of expertise in all your communications. In order to do that effectively, your voice should be clear and consistent across all channels. Take the time to correct any grammar and spelling errors to ensure your communications are clear and authoritative.  

Plan Out Your Content Calendar

A graphic designer writes on her calendar to plan content for The Obsessed Marketer podcast.

You can’t have an effective content marketing strategy without planning out what content you’re going to publish and when. If you’re winging it, your results will always be hit or miss. 

Within your content calendar, you’ll need to do the following:

1) Map Out Your Topics

You should be methodical in choosing your topics. 

For example, you could use Google Search Console to see what you’re already ranking for and then do keyword research to find related topics to build a strategy around. 

Or, you could start with your products and services and do keyword research around those. Whatever you do, make sure it’s based on real data so that you know the content that people want.

2) Map Out Your Customer Journey & the Content for Each Stage

Not every person in your sales funnel will need the same piece of content, so you’ll need to plan your content around the stages of the customer journey

For example, you’ll need content for each of the following stages:

3) Plan Out the Types of Content You Will Use

Some people like reading articles. Others like listening to podcasts or watching videos. That’s why you should put out a variety of content to appeal to more people. 

Remember, though, recent trends indicate that videos and visual content are proving to be the most successful media for increasing reach and engaging the audience. 

Don’t leave user-generated content out of the mix, either. Reviews, ratings, comments, video testimonials, and customer photos are some of the best media you can have for your business. 

PRO TIP: Use Semrush’s Brand Monitoring tool to view your brand’s and competitors’ mentions.

4) Identify the Channels Where You’ll Publish Your Content

Now, you’ll need to decide where you’ll publish your content. Start with the ones you are most familiar with and where your audience tends to hang out. 

For example, if you put out a lot of visual content, Pinterest or Instagram would be a good choice. Facebook is a good option if your audience consists largely of baby boomers, whereas TikTok is ideal for Gen Z.

While it’s important to aim to use multiple social media channels, don’t overcomplicate things by trying to be everywhere at once—especially in the beginning. While you do need to reach people in various places, you’ll just spin your wheels if you try to be all over the place.

5) Place Your Topics on a Content Calendar

Now that you know what content you’ll be creating, it’s time to schedule it on a calendar. This can be as simple as printing out a blank calendar and writing in the content you’ll be publishing on the corresponding date. 

You might also want to use a tool like Semrush’s Social Media Tool with a scheduler or Hootsuite.

No matter how you do it, having a written content calendar is essential.

Use Analytics to Monitor How Your Content Is Performing

Analytics are essential to an effective content marketing strategy because it’s data that allows you to determine how well your content is performing. Without it, it’s a shot in the dark.

By analyzing the results of your data, you can understand what content your audience wants and doesn’t want.

Look at the following data points:

When you know what content your audience is eating up, what is getting you the results you want, and what isn’t cutting it, you can create more content to put you on top.

What Makes a Content Marketing Strategy Succeed?

Now that you know how to create an effective content marketing strategy, here are some other things you can’t ignore if you want it to succeed. The Semrush survey identified at least 4 strong indicators that help determine if a content marketing strategy will succeed or fail. 

Final Thoughts

While developing an effective content marketing strategy does take time, it streamlines the whole process and makes it much more worthwhile for your company. 

When we look at the Semrush survey results cited above, it’s evident that by putting more effort and resources into developing an effective content marketing strategy, you’ll be setting your business worlds apart from the masses. If you need help creating or transforming an existing content marketing strategy, Viral Solutions is here for you. Start by requesting a free consultation.


At Viral Solutions we are committed to seeing YOU succeed. It is our goal to grow your business with proven digital marketing strategies that will help your business for the long haul.

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Filed Under: Content Creation

About Shannon Kegerries

Shannon’s deep desire to help others is a trait that was developed early on, as she has always enjoyed seeing people, groups, organizations, companies, and families thrive and make positive changes that encourage growth in all areas. That combined with her love of learning is what drove her to earn her master’s degree in psychology and counseling from Pittsburg State University in Kansas. For more than 15 years, Shannon worked in a variety of settings as a behavioral, family, young adult, and group therapist. As a behavioral therapist and case manager who has worked with people from nearly all walks of life, Shannon has a knack for helping others reach their desired outcomes, which she applies to her work at Viral Solutions as a content marketer. In addition to possessing keen insight into what drives human behavior, Shannon strives to find various ways in which she can relay each client’s message and vision to their prospect so that it hits every angle and sinks into the prospect’s mind. Likening her role to that of a detective, Shannon enjoys gathering information about each client’s prospect and competitor, then fitting it all together with the client’s product/service as the answer to the problem. She is a StoryBrand Certified Guide.

When she’s not working, Shannon enjoys reading, skiing, painting, and spending time with her family.