How to create the perfect content marketing plan
Content marketing is a hugely important aspect for any online website and for it to be successful you must have a plan in place that ensures your content marketing strategy can support your particular goals. Content marketing isn’t just important; it’s central to your online success and for a number of reasons too. Firstly, shareable content will help create more awareness of your brand. It does this by allowing readers to engage and share your content via their social media accounts for example.
They can also choose to share it via email or even word-of-mouth. It’s important to remember that absolutely everyone is an influencer in this day and age. Your content will also help toward your SEO goals too. Google made content the king when it came to websites and it still is, very much so. Ultimately, being found relies on your website content. You may not be aware that content also helps drive purchases too.
As a visitor to your website, we base our decisions on online content for any online and offline purchases. User generated content will also help drive purchases too. Marketing and buyer behaviour has changed hugely and we now reference a much wider opinion about products and services whether that’s on our own websites, blogs or social networks and buyers will dig out this content when making their purchase decisions. Content, on whatever platform, can help to drive a number of purchases which is why it’s such an integral part of any website. Here we offer our very own expert tips on creating the ideal content marketing plan.
Tips to create the ideal content marketing plan
- Conduct audits – you should conduct an audit of your messages and compare them with your competition. This will help map out your messages and positioning. How much of this is topical and how much exactly can you use to drive the market and media with new ideas and different angles?
- Get input from the top – by speaking to the guys at the top of your company, you can see which are the very relevant topics that you might already be on the way to owning. Are there any big statements or calls to action? There’ll no doubt be plenty if you look for them and plant some ideas yourself. When doing this, make sure you go equipped with the relevant questions too.
- What about your customer’s viewpoint? – any content marketing strategy should be for the customers so ask yourself this, are you thinking from outside of the company’s view point? It doesn’t matter what channel you’re using, you should consider new pieces of content and look at just how segmented your plan needs to be. Look at what groups are living in your database, such as age differences, gender etc and ask yourself if they want different pieces of content?
- Content first and channel second – now that you’ve got your content (good quality content at that), you can now start looking at your distribution methods. All of your campaigns must be optimised for outbound marketing automation programmes as well as inbound PR and social media activities. You’ll also need to consider your social media channels and decide what types of content will work on which social media channel. Look at the channels your competitors are using to deliver their content and take a leaf out of their book. It may sound a little lazy but it’s a great way of augmenting your list and ensuring you aren’t missing anything.
- Regional differences – you must ask yourself what regions you need to consider as well as asking yourself whether specific regions need specific content created for them.
- Campaign timing - when it comes to campaign timing you need to think about the outside world a little. Are there events on the calendar or in the industry that will act as milestones or relevant points that’ll take your content even further? This works both ways too, are there any events that are worth avoiding incase they drown out your content and sink it completely? Your campaigns will be PR led however the more that everything can happen harmoniously together, the stronger your momentum will be.
- Map campaigns – along with using pen, paper and spreadsheets, you’re eventually going to want a visual representation of just how your campaigns will flow. This is where mapping and flowcharts will come in. Content wheels have been created in the past that determine the content by channel, event, product launch, customer segment and month. You can do just the same in a much easier format by using a matrix via Excel. The spreadsheet will have rows specifying content type and delivery along with channels and these will provide essential information.
- Share the plan…sort of – of course you need to share the content marketing plan once you’ve written it but don’t allow it to become fodder for everyone to have a say. Someone must be in charge and have the last word simply because everyone will want to have an input creating what’s known as ‘Frankencontent’ (far too much input and watering down of the originally strong message). You’ll also want to keep it open for comments for a limited amount of time in order to prevent delays. Far too often a piece of content gets delayed and by the time it’s actually approved it’s no longer topical.
- Set KPIs and benchmarks – you should at first begin with existing metrics from previous campaigns. This will allow you to measure healthy progress. If you aren’t able to do this then you should take some industry standard benchmarks and simply measure against them.
For more information or for help creating your perfect content marketing plan, then simply contact us today.