Armies don’t go into combat without a strategy. Sports teams don’t take the field without a playbook. And content marketers shouldn’t be publishing or executing marketing campaigns without a plan. So how do you develop a content marketing plan? Here are some simple steps:
Find the goalpost. Make sure you understand your customers, their goals and objectives, and their pain points. You can’t reach new business unless you thoroughly understand what your customers need and how your product benefits your target market.
What’s your content marketing game plan? To reach that target market, you need to establish your content themes and topics, and establish your publishing frequency. In short, you need an editorial calendar, with titles, topics, and publishing dates. Plan ahead — a quarterly calendar gives you time to jot down topics as they occur to you, research those ideas, and create outlines and drafts. Remember, content can be repurposed across a variety of channels. Press releases can become blog articles, then whitepapers, case studies, and more. Remember, though, rewriting the content for different formats is essential. Google doesn’t look kindly on copy and paste.
Scout the other team. Let your competitors motivate you. Look at what your competitors are doing on social media, in their search engine results, and in traditional media. You can see what content does well on their websites, how they’re ranking on search engines, and where they’re thriving. Then use that information to adjust your content marketing strategies.
Bring in some MVPs. Contact external experts and ask them if they’ll produce content for your site. These industry influencers give you greater visibility and often will share the content with their own audiences, boosting your reach. Yes, there may be a cost involved, but it can be well worth it. MVPs are valuable — it’s right there in the name.
Connect with the fans. It’s called “social” media for a reason. You can connect with your customers on a personal level. Nurture their needs and interests, answer their questions, and engage with them. In turn, they’ll talk about you and recommend you to others.
Rewrite the playbook. No team sticks with strategies that don’t work, and neither should you. Review your content marketing strategy regularly and figure out what’s working and what isn’t. Don’t be afraid to abandon strategies that aren’t getting results and try something new. Just keep monitoring the new strategy, too.
The pros always make things look easy, but there’s a lot going on beneath the surface of good content marketing. It takes careful strategy, time, effort, and, yes, money. Many small business owners don’t have the time to generate content and engage customers and potential customers on social media, and that’s where my company On Target can help. We’ll customize a content marketing plan for your business that reaches your target market and meets your needs.
Thanks for reading and sharing! @TomJelneck