Whether you are just beginning with your content marketing plan or you’ve got the basics of it down, the tips in this article will help you understand not only the “how to” behind your content marketing plan but also the why.
One of the things people often leave out when making these guides is why people want to do things so it leaves us feeling confused and wondering if those actions make sense at all.
What is Content Marketing?
If you are new to online marketing, you have probably heard the term content marketing a lot. While you may have some idea of what it is, the easiest way for me to explain it to you is:
Content marketing is attracting people to you or your website through the use of content.
That being said, good content marketing provides value to the reader and allows them to see your expertise on the matter. It should build trust with them so they feel comfortable spending time money with you or their time on your site reading further.
According to the Content Marketing Institute, content marketing is the “present and future of marketing”.
I have to say that I agree with CMI. When I want to figure out who I would trust to buy a product or service such as website hosting, email marketing software or other internet marketing tools, I go to different companies blogs and see what kind of content they post. I would imagine there are plenty of other people that do the same thing.
9 Steps for Creating Your Content Marketing Plan
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1 – Clearly Define Your Goals
You should know what your goals are before you start putting your content marketing strategies into place. If you don’t know what your goals are, how are you going to know if your plan is effective?
2 – Figure Out Who You Are Talking to
If you start writing your content but you have no idea who you are talking to, you are going to write differently than if you were thinking of a specific person and working to solve their needs and answer their questions.
Customer avatars are extremely helpful when you are writing and type of content. You are basically creating a real person that you can think about writing to when you are producing any sort of content.
3 – Get in Your Target Market’s Head
Very close to point number two, you need to get into your target market’s head. This is not only for the type of content you put out but also for the frequency at which you post your content.
Some target markets are going to need more attention and want you to write more content for them to consume while other audiences will get annoyed if you are sending them daily emails.
4 – Don’t Get Sloppy
When you are putting your content marketing plan together, it is easy to get sloppy. You want to get it finished and you are throwing it together quickly so you can get started. This is going to shoot you in the foot if you do this. While we all make a typo or link to a dead link every once in a while, if you haven’t done proper research or there are a lot of errors frequently, your audience is going to get tired and go elsewhere.
5 – Get Expert Opinion (Your Target Market)
The best person to give you feedback on how you are doing with your content marketing is the person that you are marketing to. You can do surveys with sites like survey monkey or some other type of survey program that you want to use.
People are generally happy to answer and help, but make sure to sweeten the pot by giving them a chance to enter to win or something free for taking the survey for you.
6 – Figure Out What Type of Content You Want to Use to Market
There are plenty of different types of content you can use to market online. If you aren’t sure which one is going to be the best for you, ask yourself a few questions.
Do you feel comfortable on video?
How are you at writing?
Would you rather use your voice?
Getting clear on how you are comfortable expressing yourself will give you a good place to start. Some pieces of content you might consider:
- Blog posts
- Case Studies
- Templates & Checklist Downloads
Out of the above examples you can use one, a mix of or all of these types of content to build your business. As long as you are doing a good job with them, the more the merrier.
7 – Brainstorm Content Ideas
If you are anything like me, sometimes I can get blocked with content.
What do people want to learn?
What is going to catch people’s attention?
My brain is still stuck! UGH!
That’s nothing a good brainstorming session can’t help. Before I start my brainstorm session, I read a bunch of different titles of other blogs in my niche and usually what I get from my brainstorm session is totally epic. Some of the ideas are plain weird and I throw them out. lol
8 – Remove Any Fluff
I can always tell when someone either doesn’t know their topic very well or they don’t care about their topic. There is a lot of fluff and repeating themselves. It gets really annoying and I just say – buh bye to their content.
If you think that fluffing a piece of content up to reach the word count you want to hit is going to do you any good – it’s not. Find some more useful information that is going to help your reader and add that in but never fluff.
9 – Plan to Add Visual Elements to Your Content
Aren’t you glad that the entire article I posted here wasn’t text? It is great that there are some visual elements? Your readers feel the same way.
Figure out how you can incorporate infographics, photos and anything else visual you can think of into your content to keep people’s eyes and minds happy.
Why to Plan Out Your Content
Why can’t you simply fly by the seat of your pants with your content marketing plan? Why not just plan for a week out. While this can work, life happens. What if you are planning on posting a new piece of content and something comes up? That piece usually suffers and gets pushed out further.
If you have a plan for your content, you are much more likely to be able to get your content posted on time and keep your readers engaged.
How Long Should You Plan Out Your Content?
Unless your content depends on time-sensitive content, it doesn’t matter how far out your strategy goes. You can plan your content out a year in advance if you want. Many people are happy with keeping their calendar filled for 30-90 days.
If you are getting overwhelmed thinking about creating all of the content for your project, you shouldn’t be too worried. If you get in over your head, you can hire freelance writers to help you get things done. Always make sure to take any content pieces that are written and add your own voice to them.
It’s Time to Get Started
There is no time better than the present to get started with your content marketing plan. If you haven’t picked up my book Blogger Money, make sure to grab it. I’ve made it available to you for free below.
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