How to Create a Content Marketing Plan
With Google algorithm getting smarter and preferring to rank high-quality content on the search engine, businesses are stressing more on producing quality content. This is indeed helpful for the users since they have all the information only a click away, but the story is somewhat different for businesses. With so many articles flooding across the web, it’s difficult to stand out and grab eyeballs.
And this is where a content marketing strategy can come to your assistance. No matter how engaging, informative, and up-to-date content you develop, without an effective content marketing plan, your efforts will get wasted. Employing content management software will surely reduce your hassles, but first, you need to get the basics straight.
In this article, we will offer you a comprehensive outline on how to create an effective content marketing strategy for your business and make the most of your content. So, let’s dive in.
Steps to Develop a Strong Content Marketing Strategy
Define Your Objective
Before you set out to develop a strategy, ask yourself the goal behind it. A mission statement for content marketing will help you to stay focused and not get distracted midway. In this mission statement, briefly outline what to focus and what-not.
Some of the goals are as follow:
- Getting more high-quality leads and enhancing revenue by marketing your content
- Gaining authority and presenting your business as an authority figure in your domain
- Ensuring SEO success and driving organic leads
- Enriching social media engagement
Once you know your goals, prepare your content accordingly. Keep the following pointers in mind:
- Who is your target audience?
- Which content will you use to reach them?
- What benefit will that get?
In the next section, we will discuss more about the target audience since user-friendliness is a must-have element in your content.
Focus on the Buyer Persona
To develop a successful strategy, first, you have to define the target audience or the buyer persona. Remember, your content is meant to help the readers. So, focus on developing user-friendly content.
If you are new to content marketing, never skip this part. By analyzing your target audience, you can develop more valuable and relevant content that will enhance conversions.
If your business is running for a long time, it may expand to cater to more people. That way, your target audience will enlarge. Make sure to develop a new marketing strategy to cater to the new group of people without affecting your loyal audience base. Conduct market research every year to grow your audience.
Here are three aspects you should take into consideration:
1. Gather Demographic Data
The first step is to gather demographics on your social media followers, website visitors, and email subscribers. You can use social media analytics, web analytics, and email subscriber analytics to collect valuable data from your audience, such as:
You can also check out Google Analytics to know about your audience’s interests.
2. Customer Feedback
Customer feedback can help you stay right on track and make necessary modifications to your strategy. Pay attention to the following:
- What do they feel about your published content?
- How can you address their problems?
Checking customer feedback will allow you to understand your users’ priorities and decide the best way to reach your customers.
3. Mind the Competition
As we have already mentioned, the competition is tough. Many businesses are publishing quality content, including blogs, infographics, videos, podcasts, etc. To participate in this race and win a competitive edge, it’s high time to develop useful and a variety of content.
Remember, a wide variety of content offers you the opportunity of using multiple marketing channels. For instance, you can post blogs on various guest post sites. You can market podcasts or vlogs on YouTube.
Later in the article, we will discuss in detail about the types of content you can produce to promote your business. So stick to the end!
Create a Content Calendar
To develop a successful content marketing plan, you need to create a content calendar so as to keep track of your content and publishing dates. Research for content and mention the title in your calendar. This will effectively help you later to develop the content. For instance, you may use Google Calendar to put the due dates for every piece of content.
Now, this is a simple tool if you don’t publish too much content, but if you seek to publish a lot alongside managing the content team and the workflow, you need a feature-rich tool. You can use tools like CoSchedule or Asana to enhance productivity.
Find out what your audience is actively looking for by analyzing customer behavior or checking out Quora questions related to your niche. Add relevant titles to your calendar and develop them later. If you are about to publish different types of content for the next few months, it’s better to add the content type just next to the title. This will help you to remember in due time.
Once you identify your audience and their demands and decide the type of content you need to create, you should focus on the resources. Ask yourself the following questions:
1. Who is in charge of developing and maintaining content?
This is all about allocating roles. You have to decide who is taking the overall charge as well as who is delivering individual content. This depends on your company size and the content team, whether you are doing everything in-house or outsourcing content.
An example will further clarify this.
- The chief marketing officer or the chief executive officer has overall approval over the entire content strategy and individual content.
- A content marketing manager will work closely with the content team and deliver on your content marketing strategy on an everyday basis.
- Individual content writers will develop content.
2. Which tools and resources (both human and digital) you need for developing the content?
Now, it’s time to plan how you are actually creating the content. Your content producers may include any of the following:
- Specialists in graphic design, podcasting, and video creation
- In-house content developers
- Outsource from a reputed SEO management company
3. How will you schedule your content workflow?
The third step is to outline your content production process. Any piece of content is much more than writing long paragraphs. For instance, you have to adopt the below-mentioned workflow to create a blog post:
- Create an outline and get it approved
- Write the post
- Create suitable images for the post
- Send the post along with the images to the editor or chief marketing officer
- Make necessary changes
A similar procedure is involved in every type of content.
As you can see, from generating an idea to marketing it in front of your target audience – you have to take care of everything.
Set KPIs for Your Content
The best way to achieve your business objectives is to make them measurable and specific. That’s why you should set KPIs or Key Performance Indicators for your content marketing plan. These will help you to learn your achievements in terms of SEO traffic, sales, and other aspects of digital marketing like social media and email marketing. These insights will allow you to make necessary modifications to your content marketing strategy.
Types of Content for Marketing
As mentioned earlier, here we are with some of the most popular types of content that you must create to engage your customers.
Write medium to long blog posts to inform more about your services, your business-related info, or anything else you can think of.
This gives you an opportunity to inform how your service has solved the problem of any customer. That way, it acts as a testimonial for your business credibility.
This is a longer version of a blog and an in-depth study on your business-related topics. Here you can share your industry expertise and insights to pose as an authority figure in your domain.
It can organize valuable data and graphics to engage the audience. Remember that the human brain processes a visual faster than a long article. So, an infographic can be a handy tool to actively inform and engage your consumers.
With each passing day, video is becoming a potential tool to promote your business. This has a high engagement rate, so keep an eye on producing quality video content.
If you seek to interview interesting people, consider podcasting as a potential medium to engage your audience even if they don’t have time to read a lengthy article.
Now comes the most significant part – promoting your content. Check out the following social media channels where you can publish your content.
....and many more. Just keep an eye on which media your target audience uses the most and develop a unique content marketing strategy for the channel.
These tips will effectively help you to develop a strong content marketing strategy and take your business to the next level. Implement these and witness a growth in your audience base.
The top content marketing companies can help you build great content
Do you want to add more points to it? Feel free to share your thoughts with us.
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