Would you go on a road trip without gas and a map? Obviously not. You’d never make it to your destination. Similarly, learning how to build a content marketing plan is crucial if you want to obtain notoriety, traffic, and leads from your content marketing efforts.
The Content Marketing Institute conducts a poll of content marketers every year to learn more about their work. “A defined strategy is frequently a critical indicator of content marketing success,” according to the report.
Why? Because a well-documented content marketing strategy provides you with the data you need to succeed. By learning content marketing you will be able to create content that converts and helps in lead generation.
What is a Content Marketing Strategy?
A content marketing strategy is a document (or group of documents) that explains how you intend to use content to attract and engage your target customers. It usually entails a thorough examination of your consumers and the types of information they’ll require as they seek solutions to challenges you may assist them with.
It will also go through your business objectives and how your content will help you achieve them. Finally, it will detail your intentions for creating and disseminating content based on your resources.
Any company that produces content should develop a content marketing plan because, quite honestly, content is an investment. You’re putting time and money on assets that will have a big impact on how people perceive your company.
In ten easy steps, you can create a content marketing strategy:
Step 1: Define your objectives and goals.
The first step in developing a content marketing strategy is to determine why you want to create content in the first place. Increased website traffic, higher brand awareness, lead creation, and the possibility to establish important members in your business as “think leaders” are among the potential benefits of content marketing. However, now is the moment to think big.
What are your business’s objectives, and how do you want your content to help you reach them?
For one simple reason, this is crucial. Certain tactics (such as search engine optimization (SEO)) require time to work and will have ups and downs. To design a plan that will bring you where you need to go, you must first understand the facts of your business and when you need things to happen.
Step 2: Research Your Target Market
Before you can create content that will entice and motivate your target customers to act, you must first get to know them… thoroughly. Building buyer personas and a buyer’s journey is a wonderful method to do this.
A buyer persona is a written profile based on research that portrays a hypothetical target consumer. Reviewing client data or interviewing coworkers who engage with customers can provide you with the information you require.
You can also listen in on sales calls and interview (or poll) current or former clients. You should use multiple methods because you will learn something new each time.
Step 3: Perform a Competitive Analysis
Competition, oh my. When you’re looking for inspiration, nothing beats it. Spying on the competitors can help you figure out their strategic plans, the types of material that work best for them, and (most crucially) how you can differentiate yourself.
Competition in content marketing, on the other hand, might come from unexpected quarters. Of course, you have market competitors. People or businesses who sell similar products or services to yours and compete for the same clientele as you. However, there will be competition from companies that provide something completely different but are competing for your market’s attention in search and social media.
Set aside a few hours to look at a few of your market competitors. You can always return later to look at other rivals. Examine their websites, messages, and reviews to get a clear image of who they are.
Step 4: Inventory and Audit Your Existing Content
Content audits, in my view, are one of the most misunderstood aspects of developing a content marketing strategy. Perhaps it’s because the phrase “audit” conjures up images of a tedious chore that will eat up hours of our time. That is correct. It’s possible. Only if you have no idea what you’re looking for.
When working with customers to establish a content marketing plan, start by conducting a fast technical assessment to familiarise yourself with their website.
This entails taking a good look around the site (to get a sense of how it’s organized) and using a tool like Screaming Frog to obtain a better understanding of the site’s most severe foundational issues. If we believe that these challenges will prevent us from achieving our objectives, we must address them as part of our strategy.
Step 5: Develop and Market Your Content
You may be required to create and market a variety of material, including blog entries, service, and product sites, case studies, and eBooks, depending on your plan. It might also entail writing social media postings and launching an email marketing campaign. Each form of material will necessitate a distinct strategy. However, regardless of the type of material in your plan, keep the following in mind:
Keep your eyes on the prize.
Each piece of content should have a purpose that is related to your overall goals, in addition to material that educates, informs, or even entertains your clients. Whether you’re trying to attract someone to sign up for a webinar, a free consultation, or a reader to subscribe, make sure you understand the goal and provide a clear call to action.
Quality should take precedence over quantity.
If your content is difficult to understand and full of errors, you won’t be able to persuade your target customers to do anything. Allow enough time for editing so that you can guarantee that each piece of information you publish is clear, succinct, and compelling. If this implies you’ll be publishing fewer articles, that’s fine.
Also Read: Top SEO Trends
Step 6: Monitor Your Results and Make Changes
A user examines Google Analytics statistics.
The specific metrics you track will be determined by your initial content creation objectives. If you decide to write SEO-optimized blog posts, for example, you’ll keep track of things like
- How much traffic each blog post generates for your website and where it comes from (organic search, social media, links, etc.)
- The search performance of each blog post. For example, the keywords that each post ranks for, your search position, and the number of clicks vs. impressions.
- What happens once your content is consumed? Do they leave, continue reading, or subscribe to your newsletter?
Someone will occasionally ask me for an example of a content marketing plan, and as you know, this is a difficult question to answer. A content marketing plan is more than a single piece of paper. It’s a collection of documents that represent hours of research, analysis, and decision-making, including the following:
- Personas of Customers
- A Comprehensive Content Marketing Plan (outlining your goals, objectives, strategies, and tactics, aka GOST)
- A Content Audit and Inventory
- Content Calendar
You can learn all about content marketing along with other aspects of digital marketing by taking up an online digital marketing course.