Quality content is a game-changer that 92% of marketers swear by. Yet it’s zeroing in on one pivotal word that ensures your content functions as a key driver of long-term ROI: 


Essentially, your brand can simply churn out words and visuals or it can craft experiences that resonate, engage, and convert. However, even top marketing pros know this is sometimes easier said than done thanks to: 

  • Gaps in your content strategy
  • Scattered, unfocused game plans
  • Stalled or insufficient marketing efforts

If you can relate, you’re not alone—and we’ve got your back. This content marketing strategy checklist has everything you’ll need to stand out and stay ahead. We’ll walk through a powerhouse list of content marketing tips designed to help you create an airtight strategy that delivers measurable results. 

1. Define Your Goals

Approaching content without precise goals is like embarking on a road trip without a map: You risk burning gas and getting nowhere fast. Quality content is created through well-defined goals that keep you on course. 

Before diving into a solid strategy, however, take stock of your current standing. This initial assessment lays the groundwork for future success. Consider these evaluations:

  • Comprehensive content audit
  • Audience analysis
  • SEO and performance metrics
  • Existing content management systems

Don’t green light any content initiatives based on vague aspirations like “better SEO.” When defining your content goals, we recommend the SMART framework:

  • Specific (e.g., “Generate 200 new email subscribers per month”)
  • Measurable (e.g., “Increase webinar registrations by 30%”)
  • Achievable (based on your resources and historical benchmarks)
  • Relevant (aligned to key business objectives and audience needs)
  • Time-bound (e.g., “Over the next six months” or “By end of Q3”)

Lock in your goals first. Then, you can create content with a purpose.

Get rolling with insights into the strategy of content marketing with our introductory guide to quality content, and dive into these 10 easy tips for effective content marketing.

2. Understand Your Funnel

You need a deep understanding of your audience’s path from initial interest to becoming satisfied customers. This is how you deliver the right content at each stage of the Content Marketing Funnel.

The Content Marketing Funnel has three main stages:

  1. Lead Generation (Awareness): Attracting new leads with easily digestible content
  2. Lead Nurturing (Consideration): Nurturing leads with more in-depth content
  3. Lead Conversion (Purchase): Converting leads to customers through offers

This universal, across-the-board funnel remains consistent, but what does your funnel actually look like?

The funnel pathway for a retail customer can look very different for a B2B software company or an enterprise law firm. Here’s how to better understand yours (tip: understanding search intent is a great place to start):

  • Clearly define your target audience to know who you need to reach and how.
  • Map the buyer’s journey, including key questions and info they need at each stage.
  • Analyze customer data to see how they currently interact with existing content. 
  • Define any potential customer roadblocks and pain points that need to be addressed.
  • Research what’s already been published for each funnel stage in your industry.

The key is to view your content funnel as a living, evolving model rather than a fixed process. When done right, content marketing allows you to authentically connect with and nurture your audience from awareness to conversion.

3. Develop Your Strategy

Goals defined and funnel mapped, it’s time to build out a comprehensive strategy that connects all the dots. Your strategy should lay out: 

Content Types and Topics

  • What formats will you use (blog, video, social media posts, etc.)?
  • What are the specific subject areas and themes you’ll promote?

Editorial Calendar

  • How frequently will you publish new content?
  • When will each topic, campaign, or initiative go live?

Content Creators

  • Who will be responsible for creating, editing, and approval?
  • Do you need to outsource writers, designers, editors, web development, etc.?

Promotion Channels

  • Where will you distribute and amplify your content?
  • How can you repurpose content across different platforms or content types?

Success Metrics

  • How will you measure key performance indicators (KPIs) for each goal?
  • What content marketing metrics indicate your content is working or needs optimization?

We know—it’s a lot to consider. The good news? These resources are packed with expert content marketing tips to help you develop a successful content marketing strategy: 

4. Create Your Content

Your strategy is locked in and ready to steer your high-quality content vision in the right direction. Every piece of content should hit a particular mark within each stage: 

  • Top of Funnel (e.g., educational blogs, videos, social media posts to attract new visitors)
  • Middle of Funnel (e.g., in-depth guides, case studies, product comparisons)
  • Bottom of Funnel (e.g., free trials, demos, consultations, pricing pages)

Quality content should be your top priority, but remember: You need a healthy mix of content types that cater to the buyer’s journey in different ways—which is why we advocate for content that goes beyond basic blogs

A well-crafted content library is consistent, authoritative, and valuable to your audience. Take note of these elements as approaches to content creation. 

SEO Optimization

Your content’s visibility hinges on the success of behind-the-scenes SEO techniques like: 

  • Strategic keyword research
  • On-page SEO best practices
  • Optimized meta tags
  • Schema markup
  • Site speed and mobile responsiveness

If you’re not up to speed on Google’s Search Generative Experience (SGE), it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with how it impacts SEO optimization (hint: it’s a really big deal). 

Read: SGE SEO: What Is It and How Can You Optimize Your Site for Best SGE Results?

Audience Value

Your audience is what keeps your business, well, in business. They should be at the core of your strategy. This means crafting content that resonates with your audience’s interests, solves their problems, and adds real value to their lives. 

Focusing on audience value builds trust. We think practices like empathy mapping and crafting content that tells a story can go a long way in creating genuine connections with your target audience.

Read more about how to create content focused on user intent.

User Engagement

Great content grabs attention and sparks a conversation. Online attention spans are growing shorter (only 47 seconds by some measures!), so your content needs to be: 

Use compelling titles, formatting, and visuals to get your audience interested in what you’ve got to say—and do it with the earliest possible touchpoints, like valuable above-the-fold real estate. 

These engagement-focused guides can help you craft content designed to grab interest quickly: 

Purposeful calls to action are also integral to a successful content marketing strategy. While providing upfront value is vital for quality content, compelling content should also encourage audiences to take action. Treat downloads, registrations, and purchases as compelling invites to engage your audience. 

Consistent Branding

Quality content should reinforce your brand’s unique identity and voice. All content should tie together through consistent style, tone, visual elements, and personality that’s distinct and recognizable as yours. 

Always keep a consistent brand identity across all content channels. This builds brand affinity over time and boosts your credibility with your audience.

5. Measure and Analyze Your Performance

You can’t manage what you don’t measure. You’ve got to know what’s working, what’s not, and where you need to improve or pivot with your content marketing strategy. This is the essence of measuring marketing success. 

Look back to the key content marketing metrics you outlined in your goals, which could be: 

  • Website traffic, pageviews, sessions, or dwell time
  • Search engine rankings 
  • Email open, click-through, or subscribe rates
  • Sales and revenue or lead-to-customer conversions

Find more in-depth ideas with 5 Ways to Measure Content Marketing Success.

Don’t rely solely on quantitative data. Look beyond the numbers to examine how audiences are interacting with and experiencing your content. Surveys and reviews are valuable tools that deliver insights by gathering qualitative feedback.

There will be highs and lows—that’s part of the process—but informed decisions are your bread and butter at this stage. We’re here to help. Double down on what’s working and cut out underperforming areas with 4 Ways to Know If Your Content Is Successful and our guide to Reviewing Your Content Marketing Strategy—What Worked and What Didn’t.

6. Optimize and Iterate

The final step on your content marketing strategy checklist isn’t a landing pad or a finish line. Instead, it’s the last stage in a cyclical process, and it’s one of the most valuable content marketing tips we have to offer: Always take the opportunity to enhance the quality and performance of your content. 

Content marketing requires an agile mindset. Your business goals and the landscape of your industry evolve. Your content marketing strategy should, too. A culture of continuous improvement should be ingrained in your content marketing DNA. 

Content can miss the mark or grow stale, but even the most well-crafted strategies require continuous refinement as time goes on (which is why recycling content is an efficient SEO strategy when done right). 

Experiment. Test. Fill content gaps. Look for new opportunities to reallocate resources, evolve your strategy, update stagnant content, or try new tactics to boost your performance. 

Finding Success with Your Content Marketing Strategy Checklist

Developing an integrated content marketing strategy can be complicated. This content marketing checklist offers a solid jumping-off point to help your strategy stay laser-focused on the results you need most to achieve new levels of growth. We hope you’ve found it valuable.

If you don’t want to tackle content marketing all on your own, Big Leap has you covered. From research and strategy to creation and promotion, we have solutions that fit your goals and budget. Let our experts handle it from here—check out how much content marketing packages cost and what they include today.