6 Easy Steps to Creating A Content Marketing Plan
Are you making the most of your blog posts, photos, and social posts with a content marketing plan?
They say these days that content is king. Anyone and everyone can create content, but few know what to do with it.That is why many companies today creating their own content marketing plan, so they can take full advantage of content marketing can do for their business.
A good content marketing plan can help you focus your efforts, save your resources, and of course, help you achieve success.
You don’t need an experienced marketing manager or content creator to make your own content marketing plan, however. Making a plan can be easy – especially if you follow these six easy steps.
Step 1: Find out who your audience is and what problems they are trying to solve
The first thing you need to do to start your content marketing plan is to answer the question: “Who am I doing this for?”
Obviously, you’re doing it for your company, but who is your audience? Who are the people that you want to read (and share) your content. Determining your audience is a key step – and will help shape and develop the rest of your content marketing plan AND the content you produce as well.
Be as specific as you can. If you say your target audience is “mothers”, go deeper and further: what type of mothers? Working moms, stay at home moms? New mothers? Mothers of infants, toddlers or teens? Write all these down and try to describe and give life to your target audience.
Next, try to figure out their everyday problems: What things worry them or are they trying to solve?
Hopefully, you have a pool of people you can talk to. In many cases, you probably started your company because of a need in the market. Perhaps you’re also a young mother struggling to balance your life or maybe the mother of teenagers looking to connect with your teen.
If you’re not, then there are other ways to connect with your audience: try the Internet and forums where you can ask people questions. Or do some research about your competitors and what problems they are trying to solve for their customers.
Step 2: Determine the best type of content to produce
Although most people think content is just blog posts and pictures, it can actually refer to a wide range of things. Videos, tweets, Facebook posts, ebooks, white papers, infographics, badges, podcasts – all these and more can be considered content.
Now, the next crucial step in developing your content marketing plan is to find out what type of content you want to produce.
Now, if you have the time and patience, you can take a general approach: try different content and see which one works best. Do some experimentation – go ahead and create different content and see how many social shares or comments you get. In many cases, you can also take a guess at what people might want to see.
For example, if you’re marketing to brides and grooms (or mostly brides), you’ll want to create more visual content – pictures of dresses, table setups, wedding favors, etc. Or if you’re marketing to readers, then you want more written content, like ebooks and articles.
However, there are so many free tools available today that can help you determine what type of content your audience wants. By examining what your competitors are doing or what your audience likes, you can find out what type of contents works best.
Step 3: Create a publishing schedule you can stick to
If you look at great websites with a lot of unique visits, you may be wondering what it is that sets them apart from other sites.
Is it their style? The types of content? Their niche? Or are they purely lucky?
The answer is simpler than you may think: it’s consistency.
The best websites out there publish their content consistently. Of course, quality is key, but even if they don’t publish a lot of content, they do it regularly. Content marketing is not an overnight venture – you need a lot of content over time to make your website a success.
This is sometimes the biggest hurdle when executing any marketing plan. The Internet is filled with blogs and websites that seem half-finished. Maybe the blog post they made or video they produced was from a few years ago. Most likely, the person running them had a great idea, but stopped midway because they didn’t get the success they were hoping for.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get thousands of visitors from your first blog post. Just produce content on a regular basis and you will get there.
Step 4: Develop a system for managing content
This can’t be emphasized enough – fifteen minutes of planning can help your save an hour of work.
That said, part of your content marketing plan should include how you plan to manage your content. You need to think about:
- Who is going to create the content
- When they are doing to do it
- How they will do it
- What will they write about
Consider using a project management software like Basecamp or creating a content calendar on Google Calendar or whatever program you may already be using. It doesn’t matter what you use, as long as you stick with it and you can use it to organize your content process.
Step 5: Decide where to publish
Of course, when you create your content, you also need to decide where you want to publish your content. You need an audience for your content – where are you going to get it?
Remember your audience? The people you defined in step 1? Well, what you need to do is find out where they hang out. Do they surf for blogs the whole day? Or do they mainly go to Facebook for their content?
Determining where to publish can help you make the most of your resources and reach out to as many people as possible.
Step 6: Devise a promotion plan
Finally, you also need a strategy on how to promote your content. How can you make sure you can get people to see your content?
There are many ways you can promote your content. Social media is one of the easiest ways. Hopefully, you’ve already set up your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ accounts (and other sites that are pertinent to you) and you already have followers. You can share your content on these sites.
You can also use email marketing, paid advertising, and even try to post your content on other websites – don’t just stop at one type of promotion. Try as many as you can so you can find a way that works best for you.
Creating Your Content Marketing Plan: The Final Word
A content marketing plan will help you stay in focus. It also makes things simpler for you – if you’re note sure what to do, simply refer back to your plan.
Not sure how you make this all work? I’d be happy to help – just drop me a line or leave a comment.