Here you will find what I go through every single time I set up a website so I know it will be profitable in the long run. Whether you are already using your own approach or just starting out, it never hurts to revisit your content marketing plan.
First you need to get ahead of your competition and by having a solid, smart content marketing plan in place, you will.
Continue reading below to find out why your business needs a content marketing plan and the exact steps you will need to use to create one.
First let’s figure out what content strategy is all about. This is the part of your marketing plan and development that refers to the management of pretty much any tangible media that you create and own.
If you have ready any of my other blog posts you know I stress how important content creation really is and that it needs to have a well-planned purpose. So, when you are starting to develop your content strategy, there are some key things to consider:
Who is this content you are creating for?
What problems will your content solve for your audience?
How will your content be unique?
What formats will you be focusing on?
Where will your content be published?
Will you follow a schedule for managing your creation and publication of content?
I’m Already a Marketer, Why Do I need a Content Marketing Strategy?
Every business needs to prepare and plan for reliable and cost-effective sources of website traffic and new leads. What if you could create just one awesome, kick-ass blog post that gets a steady amount of organic traffic, embed a link to an ebook or free tool in it and it will continue generating leads for you as time goes on!
Plus, if you are able to gain a reliable source of traffic and leads from your content, you will be able to experiment with other marketing tactics to generate revenue, such as sponsored content, social media advertising and distributed content. This way your content will not just help attract leads but it will also educate your target prospects and generate awareness of your brand.
I think it’s time to dive into the specifics of how to create a content marketing plan now.
The 7 Steps I Use for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy
Defining My Goal
I usually ask my self some questions about what I am doing. Why do I want to produce this type of content. Do I have enough knowledge about this niche or will I be spending hours researching? I need to find out what my goals are before planning, this way I have a much easier time determining my strategy.
Conduct Research on Your Audience
In order to have a successful plan I need to define my content’s target audience.
If you are just starting out or are new to marketing, this is especially important. If you know your target audience, you can produce much more relevant and valuable kick-ass content they will want to read – then they will convert on!
Even if you’re an experienced marketer, maybe your target changed? Do you want to target a new group of people or expand your current target market? You should conduct some market research every year around your audience to keep growing your audience.
Content Is King
Normally I just start out with blog posts and then once I gain a good audience I begin producing other content pieces. For example, if you have been doing weekly blog posts for the past year, creating an ebook that distills all your blog posts into one ultimate guide would be one way to offer information in a different format.
Which CMS (Content Management System)?
How are you going to manage your content? You need to find a CMS that will work for you so you can handle content creation, content publication and content analytics.
Personally, I love to be in control my my content. I use WordPress as my main platform for content management & publication. Then I use Monster Insights plugin to measure analytics.
Yay! We finally get to the part of the content marketing plan to start coming up with ideas for your content. Here are some tools to help you get ideas.
What To Write: These guys have a pretty cool unique content idea generator. The tool asks you some questions that will help jump-start your brainstorming. It also generates a bunch of blog post ideas after you have completed the questions.
Content Forest: These guys offer some free tools, which include KeywordKiwi and ContentIdeator. They will help you find popular content from your competitors, effective keywords to use in your content, and some great content ideas all in one spot.
HubSpot’s Blog Topic Generator: You can get blog post ideas for a whole year with their Blog Topic Generator. You just enter general topics or terms you’d like to write about, and this idea generator does all the work for you!
What Type of Content to Create
You have some options here. See below:
I am currently pursuing a blog post so that is where most of my knowledge is. Blog posts live on a website and we need to publish them on a regular basis to attract new visitors. My posts need to have valuable content for my audience that will make them inclined to share my posts on social media and across other websites. Just to be safe, each post you create needs to have at the very least 1,000 words in length. In some cases you are able to determine if your audience prefers longer or shorter reads.
Ebooks are generally for lead generation. Potential customers can download them after submitting a lead form with their contact information.
you could provide your audience with template tools to save them time and money to help them succeed, they’re more likely to keep engaging with your content in the future if you can offer them a higher value!
I am not real big on infographics but it is true that they can organize and visualize data in a more compelling way than words can.
These are highly engaging content items that are shareable across social media platforms and websites alike. However, videos require more investment of time and resources than written content. BUT, as visual marketing increases you might just be ahead of the game!
Eventually when I have been regularly publishing content on my site for awhile – maybe 6 months. I will start distributing my content on other sites. I would start with publishing my content on a social media sites such as Facebook. I might also have to re-purpose content into new formats and publish them on my blog or social media.
Publish & Manage My Content
Once you have all of those steps planned out in your content marketing plan, I think you are ready to take a stab at it. Just remember, many of your blog post ideas will be relevant months from now as they are today. So don’t ignore timely topics. If I wanted to write about how to make money selling toys over Christman with Amazon – I have a feeling that article will bring in some extra traffic around that time and hopefully generate me some extra money!
Ready To Dive In?
Sure, this is a crap ton of information, but it works. It takes time, organization and creativity to grow a successful content creating machine. In order to create that machine you need to have a content marketing strategy in place. Start by building the foundation of your plan to adding tools so you can better manage your content and then setting up your strategy for the new year will be pretty easy.
I hope you found my strategy as useful as I do! If you found this useful you might want to see how you can make money from your blog!