Having a solid content plan in place is vital for your marketing success for many reasons. Without a plan, you may lose your focus and stray away from your ultimate goals and objectives.
There may be lots of topics you want to tackle, and plenty of goals you want to reach, having a plan can help guide you towards the success you envision. In fact, with a content plan, you position your business as a leading authority and develop resonance with your target audience.
This will help you establish a strong brand identity, and ultimately generate more leads and conversions, which will lead to a higher ROI.
Making a content plan that outlines what and how much content you create and where your distribute it is key to effectively keeping track of your progress and provides a organized system from which you can plan.
Now that you see the primary reasons why developing a content plan is crucial for your marketing success, let’s explore the most important steps you need to take to create it.
Defining a Content Plan
What does it mean to define your content plan? It means creating a full, comprehensive plan for setting your content marketing strategy in motion. You could have the best possible content marketing strategy, but it may be doomed right from the start without a clear plan for executing it.
Your plan serves as your guiding framework for achieving the results you set out for. A guide through your entire workflow, including what content you’ll create, the schedule for producing and distributing it, and the metrics you’ll track to evaluate your content’s effectiveness.
So, map out your content vision and objectives. Think about everything you want to accomplish with your content marketing and put it on paper. Consider all the challenges that you may encounter along the way, and come up with effective solutions.
Most importantly, think about your target audience. Think about who they are, and what their needs, preferences, and pain points are so that you can know how to properly address them when creating your content and provide your audience with real value.
Now that you have your vision and an outline for executing your strategy, you need to consider your goals. Do you want to drive more traffic to your site? Are you looking to generate more leads you can convert? Do you need more sales? Are you looking to increase your ROI? Or maybe build your email list and later turn subscribers into customers?
There are numerous goals you can strive to achieve with content marketing. Thoroughly think about the ultimate goals you want to reach, the core purpose and objectives of all your content marketing efforts.
Knowing your goals will help you produce the right type of content that your audience will resonate with. You’ll create content that will resonate with your brand message. You will have the necessary clarity for setting your priorities and taking all the right steps towards achieving those goals.
The next step when developing your content plan is deciding what types of content you are going to create. You should strive for variety so that you can broaden your reach and attract a lot of new leads.
The most successful types of content are blog posts. They deliver strong results, but only if they are relevant, unique, shareable, and offer actionable tips and advice.
Other high-performing types of content you can produce include videos, podcasts, eBooks, case studies, white papers, graphs, images, infographics, quizzes, surveys, checklists, and webinars.
You have plenty of options with each of these types. You can focus on tips and tricks, lists, industry news, expert interviews, and pretty much anything you can think of, as long as it’s relevant to your audience and pushes you towards your goals.
The content types you choose will mostly depend on what your audience is looking for, but also on the goals you want to reach. Choose wisely, but be sure to include videos, as they will increase your online visibility and attract a wider audience.
All your effort will be in vain if you don’t properly promote your content, especially if you’re just starting out. If no one knows about your blog or website yet, how are they going to engage in your content? Even if you’ve been in business for a while, you still need to market every new piece of content you publish.
So, how frequently are you going to create and publish new pieces? Where are you going to upload them? What about the links to your content? Which platforms will you use? Will you reshare your content, or just share it once and be done with it?
Definitely reshare. Create a schedule for content creation and promotion, and stick to it. It will help you build consistency and trust. Share your content on social media, but choose the platforms that your audience is already using. You need to be where they are so that you can capture their attention and engage them in your brand.
Promoting content on social media gives you an opportunity to interact with your audience and connect with them on an emotional level, so be sure this is a big part of your plan and strategy.
Analytics and Results
If you don’t analyze your content’s performance, you won’t know if your efforts are paying off. You won’t know how far, or close, you are from achieving your goals.
Establish your KPIs (key performance indicators), and utilize tools that will help you track them. Your KPIs could be the number of new email subscribers, a revenue target for a particular time period, a certain traffic increase, SEO ranking, or anything else related to your goals.
You can use Google Analytics to measure your desired metrics, but there are plenty more tools you can use, such as SEMRush to evaluate the performance and social reach of your content, and Google Keyword Planner for optimizing your keywords.
Results Analysis and Reiteration
Once you generate reports and analytics that give you an insight into the performance of your content, you need to further analyze the results.
What are the results telling you? Are they satisfying? Are they pushing you in the right direction? Do they indicate that you’ve already accomplished a particular objective? Or do they call for reiteration?
Whichever the case, you need to keep repeating every step. Content marketing isn’t a one-time job, so regularly produce fresh and unique content that your audience will love. Your results analysis will show you what pieces of content are performing great, and where you may need to make some adjustments.
There’s always room for improvement, so keep optimizing and creating new content, sharing and resharing, and regularly analyzing every little detail.
As you can see, creating a content plan isn’t at all difficult. It may take a bit of time to get everything right, but that’s where analytics tools come in. Start follow tips from this article today, and you’ll reach great marketing success before you even know it.