A business that doesn’t implement a content marketing plan is walking on thin ice. Whether they succeed or fail, it’s all just a matter of luck. The worst thing is, you risk all your efforts going to waste.
According to a 2018 B2B content marketing research conducted by the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 63 percent of businesses don’t have a documented content marketing plan. This doesn’t come as a surprise—after all, companies that DO have a strategy in place are more likely to feel that their content marketing efforts are paying off.
A similar percentage of 64 percent believe that creating a content marketing plan is one of their most essential educational needs. If you think you belong to this group and want to know how to implement an effective marketing strategy for your business, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’re going to walk you through 5 simple and practical steps to creating and executing a content marketing plan that’s sure to help you grow your business without wasting time, money, and effort.
Step 1: Define your goals
What’s your purpose of developing a content marketing strategy? Why do you need to create content? Setting out a content marketing mission statement is the perfect starting point for your content marketing plan. By defining your goals, it’s easier to determine what’s best for your marketing strategy.
If your company has a mission statement, you and your team can focus on important things in terms of creating relevant content, so your content marketing plan stays on track.
With a content marketing mission statement, you can easily identify:
- Your target audience
- The type of content you need to create
- The benefit(s) your customers will get
Step 2: Identify your audience
When it comes to content creation, relevance creates time and grabs attention. But to stay relevant, you need to understand who you’re reaching out to. They could come in several versions, such as the following:
- Audience. A collection of individuals who share similar motivation towards a common interest / agenda. Example: Repeat customers or product buyers.
- Buyer Persona. Highly detailed, data-driven yet fictitious characterization of the behavior, motivations, and goals of a specific group of consumers. Example: Working Mom Mandy or Technical Decision Maker Tobi.
- Consumer Segment. Samples or cross-sections of a particular audience in which companies or individuals share a number of common traits, or one that can be distinguished by a common trait. Example: Bargain-Hunting Moms, University-Level Techies.
Whatever audience definition you use for your content marketing plan, you must focus on your top 5 audiences only. Not only will you have to look at their demographics, you need to take their psychographics into consideration, as well.
One thing to keep in mind here is that, youare NOT your audience. Focus on the needs and motivations of your target clients/audience, not your own.
Step 3: Outline your content
In order to provide maximum impact for both readers and Search Engine Optimization (SEO), an outline is needed so you can organize your ideas and properly structure your content. An outline also helps you decide sub-topics for your article. Additionally, it helps you avoid forgetting ideas before you even start creating new content.
Tip: Work on your outline using a spreadsheet. Make sure to label each sub-topic with appropriate heading tags and other relevant information. For example, you can include statistics or links along with each sub-topic.
Don’t know how to get started with your content? Consider getting the help of a professional writer or consultant from online writing service platforms. Get started by reading the best writing service reviews to find reliable writers who are experts in content marketing.
Step 4: Audit your content and analyze results
Your marketing campaign don’t just end with publishing high-impact content. Whether it’s done weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually, always keep track of the results. You can do this by monitoring click and view rates, reading comments from customers, and even tracking e-Commerce statistics brought about by content releases.
By tracking data, you can easily analyze the results of your content marketing strategy. With it, you can learn what’s effective (and what’s not).
Tip: You need to stay consistent in order to know whether your content marketing efforts are effective. Case in point: If you only make one or two posts per month on your Facebook page, then you can’t expect it to grow fast. It’s important to set a content schedule – and stick to it.
Step 5: Don’t be afraid to try new things!
Research is an important part of your content marketing plan, but it won’t hurt to try new methods. This is especially true for businesses with a marketing timeline and budget that allow a bit of room for experimentation.
You can do this by jumping on the latest social media trends, trying out new technology, or connecting to your customers and asking them what type of content they’d like to see more from you. Just make sure to keep track of results so you can easily analyze, revisit, and add something fresh as part of your successful content marketing strategy.
Now that you’ve created and implemented your content marketing plan, it’s back to square one! That’s right. Creating a content marketing plan doesn’t just end with one successful campaign. It’s a never-ending process that needs to be constantly followed, evaluated, and improvised if you want it to be effective at capturing business leads.
By polishing up and reworking your strategy on a regular basis, rest assured that your efforts will show better results consistently.