A content marketing strategy is only one component of a larger marketing strategy. A marketing plan, in addition to the content strategy, should specify which content should be delivered to which target group and via which channels. The message is the content, and the means are online marketing channels such as SEO, SEA, and social media.
For many businesses, the focus is on the channels, while the actual content is overlooked. “More of the same” appears to be the content marketing mantra – but this isn’t a good strategy for search engine optimization.
Content marketing has become an important part of every company’s advertising strategy thanks to its proven ROI, non-intrusive nature, and ability to target the right audience. With a lot of content being created and even more channels to publish it through, this isn’t a surprise. But how do you go about it?
1. What do you want to achieve?
The first step is to figure out what you want to achieve. Are you trying to attract new customers, increase sales from existing customers or build brand awareness? Before you start anything, you should have a clear goal or set of goals in mind.
Your content should be relevant to your audience – and the best way to know what’s relevant is to listen to your audience. Use social media and other channels to get feedback from your customers about the kind of content they’d like to see.
2. Decide what kind of content you’ll make to achieve your goals.
Now that you’ve decided what you want from your content marketing strategy, figure out how best to create that content. Do some brainstorming and think about the type of content that would appeal most to your target audience.
Decide what kind of content you’ll make to achieve your goals. Will you create white papers, videos, blog posts, webinars, or some other kind of content? Determine how much time and money you’re willing to invest and stick with it.
You may also want to consider using keywords in your content titles so that you can organize them by where they fall along the sales funnel and how they support SEO efforts.
3. Audit Your Current Content
Before you can create a new content marketing plan, you need to evaluate what’s working and what’s not with your current strategy. Take time to go through all of your content — blog posts, social media posts, images, videos, etc. and make sure you analyze each piece of content and its performance.
4. Find tools to help you create the content you have in mind.
Most businesses don’t have access to an internal design or marketing team, so they must rely on templates and tools that are either free or low-cost/easy-to-use. You’ll find plenty of options for blog posts, infographics, slide presentations, and videos — all of which can help boost SEO, generate leads, or educate customers.
5. Create a timeline for the content
Now create an editorial calendar. This will help you stay focused and make sure that you are producing content regularly.
There are many tools available for creating editorial calendars, from whiteboards to software programs such as Google Calendar. Choose the right tools and decide a timeline by collaborating with your team and considering what fits best for them as well.
6. Choose the right channels to deliver your content
Most companies use more than one channel to reach their target audience. For example, they may use social media, blogs, and newsletters. List all of the channels that you plan on using and then create a strategy for each one. For example, a Facebook post might be used to drive traffic to your blog while an email newsletter might be used to provide brief information about upcoming events or customer success stories.
7. Do a competitor analysis
Next, analyze at least three websites with similar target audiences as yours to better understand what works and what doesn’t work. Bear in mind that each site will have a different purpose and audience — some will be informational, some entertainment — so take into account those differences when choosing sites to analyze. For example, if you’re selling belts, don’t look
It’s not easy to create a successful content marketing plan, but it is worth the effort. The long-term benefits of a successful strategy will likely outweigh any short-term challenges you might face. With these seven steps, you’ll be on your way to crafting a solid plan for yourself or your company.