Content marketing is one of the most efficient and cost effective form of marketing strategies to introduce people to your service, products and your brand through creating, publishing, and distribution free and valuable content for a specific customers online. It is often used for the following main goals:
- To attract attention and produce leads
- Improve the customer base of users
- To improve the brand awareness and credibility
- To engage and interact with online community and users
- Generate more online sales
- To build trusts and rapport with the customers
According to a recent study posted by Content Marketing Institute, as many as 88% of B2B marketers who were surveyed mention that they are creating more content this year than in the previous years.
So What Does This Mean For You?
This means that you got more competition than over. Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing or you’ve been using the same approach for a while, this can seem overwhelming, but with a solid, smart content marketing plan in place, this approach can be very beneficial to the success of any business in long term. It requires much more than simply optimizing pages and posts—but also providing valuable information.
In this article I will outline the important aspects of coming up with a solid and smart content marketing strategies that helps you to prepare and plan for a reliable and cost-effective sources of site’s traffic and new prospects.
Now, let’s dive in to learn the specifics of how to create a smart content marketing plan.
1. Define Your Content Marketing Goals
Outlining goals is by far one of the most important aspects of any undertaking in life. To be specific, all forms of content marketing often start with a basic goal in mind. Some key aspects to consider include:
- What are your main goals in developing content marketing plan?
- Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan?
- How to track and measure success of the campaign
- Will you rely heavily on social media or organic traffic or PPC?
- How can you ensure that all of your content is easy to share?
- Will you guest post on blogs or post primarily on your blog?
- Will you send out weekly newsletter or periodic email marketing?
- Who will provide your content curation and distribution?
- What methods of content marketing should you test first?
Industry experts in the past have identified the key aspect of goals in content marketing. It provides you with the freedom to make choices, in the beginning when it’s simple. The goals provide the perfect blueprint for your business to follow and it also helps in the decision-making process. Know your goals before you begin planning, and you’ll have an easier time determining what’s best for your strategy.
It might be easy to get caught up in the complexities associated with marketing, but without a consolidated strategy, your business may not be successful. Having a grasp on what you build before you build it will be very important. The main goal of content marketing is to get people to follow your content and to enhance your readership as well. For instance, attracting new readers to your content, and then converting them to subscribers is a useful goal.
2. Research and Understand Your Audience
There is nothing more important for an online setup than when you can understand your audience. This includes understanding what the specific type of content the individual will gain access to on your website. It’s important to note that high-quality content is not produced in a vacuum from a list of topics, but it often developed based on in-depth research. This includes engagement with the audience in relation to expert knowledge and information. For instance, you need to understand key aspects such as the psycho graphics and demographics of your ideal audience. The demographics consist of quantitative traits such as age, occupation, location and more. The psycho graphics are more related to mental aspects such as attitude, values and more.
3. Develop Audience Personas
Coming up with high-quality persona can also be crucial to the overall success of your content marketing strategy. This refers to the fictional and generalized representations of the ideal client. The personas are often developed with the aim of knowing the preferences of your client. More so, it also provides the perfect approach for relating to your clients directly. For every audience persona that is developed, consider noting their characteristics on a specific list. Following this, ensure that you develop the persona to meet the needs of the Character.
4. Don’t Sell, Inform
The golden rule of content marketing: It’s not about you. Unlike traditional marketing strategies that involved in hard selling and place brands at every corner, content marketing positions brands as reliable, trustworthy and worth doing business with. Your content should be educational, answering questions and solving problems. If you’re pre-occupied with selling and talking about your brand, you’ll put off rather than attract prospects.
5. Run Your Content Audit
Effective content marketing is first and foremost engaging and relevant, therefore it’s important to optimize your content and invest time in identifying current keywords and online industry trends. Update your content at least 3-4 times a year.
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6. Manage Your Posts With Editorial Calendar
Your marketing plan should also cover the frequency of content curation, and a posting schedule to helps organize your content. With the help of an editorial/content marketing calendar, you’ll be on the right track for publishing a well-balanced and diverse content library on your website. You also need to create a social media content calendar so you can promote and manage your content on the social media platforms.
Many of the ideas you think of will be evergreen and you shouldn’t ignore timely topics either. While they may not be the bulk of your editorial/content marketing calendar, they can help you generate spikes of traffic.
7. Update Your Current Content
You can never go wrong with the process of re-evaluating your content marketing approach and adjusting when something is not right. If you have been producing other types of content, then it’s important that you introduce your published content to the new and contemporary styling approaches.
To achieve this, you need to be well-informed on the type of content that you want to produce. This not only refers to the format of the content, but the topics that you can produce on a regular basis. For instance, if you are developing a finance blog, the main content pillars include:
- Personal tips and tricks for finance
- Interviews or real-life stories about people who have realized financial freedom
- The basics of finance and its importance for a business
8. Share Your Content Strategically
Promotion and distribution should be a component of your content marketing strategy. Share your content strategically, noting that email and LinkedIn yield the best results.
To reach the widest possible on the internet, develop a content amplification strategy that includes a combination of organic, social and paid channels, if possible.
9. Other important aspects of the Content Marketing Plan
Which organizational and marketing goals can we realize by using content marketing?
There are various aspects of the business that can be enhanced by using the appropriate content marketing approach. This includes conversion optimization, traffic building, lead generation, email marketing and more. All these important aspects can be improved by enhanced usage of content marketing approaches. Therefore, it’s important to consider other aspects such as organizational goals that are offered in the chart.
Which metrics and Key Performance Indexes (KPIs) are required to gauge performance of your strategy?
While there some specific metrics that are used in content marketing, it’s important to use a common language across all business ventures. Content marketing is not an independent process. One of the key success factors in implementing (Return On Investment) ROI on the organization includes finding the appropriate metrics and using a common approach.
This makes it easy to manage the entire content marketing campaign, as when compared to managing various approaches simultaneously.
All things considered, a strategy is an important process of any undertaking, especially for tech users. As such, there is no room for poor decision-making or insufficient improvisation when you want to come up with a content marketing strategy. Making informed choices plays a crucial role in the overall success of your business.
Any savvy website owner who wants to market their content will have to take on a dynamic approach. More so, its also important to note that while the possible traffic one can get is high, the competition for the same traffic is also equally high. By using cutting edge and time tested content marketing strategies, your website can easily achieve a competitive edge over other similar blogs.
Content marketing plan also lay a solid foundation which you can continue to build upon for the successful of your business in long term.
Now your turn, please share with us what is your content marketing plan or strategies that have worked well with you, we loved to hear it from you. Please comment below.