Making a well-thought out content marketing plan and putting it into action can help you grow your business through more traffic, leads, and sales.
Content is a “glue” of marketing. It can connect many different components into one whole and thus, reinforce the power of a brand. By creating and following a sustainable content marketing plan, you can increase brand awareness, build long-term communications, increase your clients’ trust and decouple your sales. The following are the standard steps you should take to create a basic yet working content marketing plan.
Define your goals
Your content marketing plan should be your lodestar. When you or your team ask questions like “What are we doing?” or “Why are we doing this again?”, You should find the answers in your plan. This plan should correspond to the specifics of your company and target audience to be able to answer those questions correctly.
Think of what you want to achieve with your content. It may be sales, brand awareness, spreading information about something, etc. Here are the main goals that you need to define:
- The goals of content (why should you invest time and money in creating it?)
- The goals of your business (how does your company make money?)
- The goals of your audience.
Think of how you want your company to look in three or five years and then, working on your content plan, think of how your content can move you to that goal.
Defining your audience is a crucial step in building a great content marketing plan. The content that you choose to publish should reflect the interests of the audience you publish it for. You need to take their habits, motivation, and behavior into account. Your primary task is to understand what exactly your target audience is looking for and what information they need to make individual decisions. When creating a content marketing plan, you need to answer the following questions:
- What does your audience look like? (age, gender, geography, etc.)
- What kind of publications does your audience prefer?
- What social channels/networks does your audience use for communication?
- What kinds of events interest your audience?
- Who are they listening to? (bloggers, celebrities, writers, etc.)
An important step in working on your plan is a content audit – deep research of already created content. First of all, create a list of content you already have. You can do it manually if you have a small site; if you own a big one, use tools like Screaming Frog. Define the main topic of your content, its average length, and tone. See if your previous content is relevant enough to your business. Does it inform about your product or is just partially connected with it? Do you have enough “green content”?
After you’ve found and categorized everything, see what content had more or less effective. What brought the most traffic to the site? What led to the biggest number of shares or sales? Knowing what content did well, you can keep creating similar pieces and forget about those kinds of content that showed no feedback. Bring everything in order and make sure you are well aware of the whole content situation.
Decide what kind of content you will use
Content does not only include texts and pictures. Different types of content have different purposes and different effects on people. Practically any kind of content can be shared in social networks. The important goal for a successful marketing campaign is to create quality content, no matter what kind of it you are using. The following are the most popular types of content today. You can work with any of these types or even with all of them if you have enough resources to make it excellent.
Types of content
- Slides, etc.
- Press releases
Working on style
Creating a content marketing plan is a perfect place for writing down or refreshing guidelines on your brand, style, and tone of communication.
Depending on the scope of your actions, you can prepare all the information for content creators; for example, guidelines on what part of your brand name is always written with a capital letter, whether the site’s URL has “www” and what tone of all the materials should be used. In other cases, it can be a significant work that states the rules of using several brands, detailed guidelines for copywriting, and extensive recommendations for a style of all kinds of messages starting from blog posts and finishing with a support team.
Hiring a team
If you have a good team, it’s great. If you either don’t have one, or your team has shown no results, you better hire some professionals. All the members of a content marketing team should be flexible and ready to change the course and work on new hot material. A perfect content marketing team should include:
- Managing editor – a person responsible for brand communications and content distribution. This person should also manage the whole team and guide it to achieving the content marketing goals.
- Content marketer – a person responsible for the coordination of the content creation process in the framework of your plan.
- Community manager – this one spreads the content around through social channels, leads, and moderates different Internet groups.
- The designer breathes life into the content, adding illustrations and visual effects.
- SEO/PAID specialist manages the distribution of paid advertising and is responsible for optimizing content for search engines.
- Writers/Editors – these may include bloggers, photographers, copywriters, and any other content creators. You can either hire them for working in-house or work with good freelancers. Pay enough attention to find skillful content creators; they will be responsible for your reputation in the future.
Creating a calendar and working on your content
When you have a detailed list of your goals, target audience, and a very great team, it is time to create a posting calendar and to work on the content. An effective content marketing strategy requires strict planning and following the deadlines. At the same time, content marketing today is an endless experiment, and your team should be ready to multitasking, creating content in real-time and adapting it to the local market. So, create a calendar with publishing dates and at the same time be ready for content surprises (hot news, for example).
As to the content itself, the main rule is quality. People are as demanding as they’ve never been before. They are too busy or bored to read not interesting or irrelevant content. They want to see a nice quality and realize that they get something useful or entertaining from this material.
If your content creators experience writer’s block of some kind and cannot come up with something that would excite people, better postpone the publication date instead of posting whatever.
Creating content is only half of the work; bringing it to the world to see is also crucial. Don’t stop your job on publishing your content; share it and tell people about it. If the content is magnificent, it will go around and bring a benefit of some kind to you. All in all, putting some time and effort into creating a content marketing strategy is a must. Don’t rely on chance and make your content work for you.
Author Bio:- Priya is a Technical SEO at Hopinfirst, a leading mobile app development company that provides the best ios app development and Android app development Services.