Are you struggling to get your content seen by your target audience (WHO)? Do you feel like your content marketing efforts are not delivering the desired results for your business? Do you have a content marketing plan or are you just winging it? This guide will give you the resources you need to make and execute a plan. As always, if you would like assistance with this, our team at Connection Publishing is happy to help. From identifying your target audience to measuring success, we’ve got you covered.
Why you need a content marketing plan?
In today's digital age, content marketing has become a crucial component of any successful marketing strategy. It involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive prospects into customers. Search Engines place a lot of importance on good content creation too. They track three things for local businesses. Relevance, are you the right fit for what people are looking for? Prominence, does the content on your website establish you as an up-to-date, professional service or product that delivers what people are looking for? Does your content match the needs of those who search for you? Proximity, does your business clearly do business in the location or near the location of those searching for you?
What does a content marketing plan do for you?
A content marketing plan will help you to define your objectives, identify your target audience, and outline the specific tactics you will use to achieve your goals. Here are the steps we recommend for creating this plan.
Defining your target audience (We call this your WHO, Visit the Marketing Mastery tab above to get the WHO worksheet)
Before you can create effective content, you must know who you are speaking to. This means understanding their demographics, interests, pain points, and buying behavior. By defining your WHO, you can create content that resonates with them and addresses their specific needs.
Defining your WHY is the next step. Some call this a USP or Unique selling Proposition.
Most marketers start with Where instead of clearly defining their WHO and WHY. We highly recommend you get to know your best customer and define not only who they are but why they do business with you. You can use the WHY worksheet to help hone in on your WHY or your USP. Don't skip this step, the best brands in the world know their WHY and integrate it in all of their communication. Get the WHY Worksheet here.
Setting your content marketing goals
What do you want more of as a result of your content marketing efforts? Engagement? Followers? Leads? Phone Calls? Visits? Define it and then use the WHERE Worksheet to decide where you can best get in front of your target.
Decide what is worth your time and what isn’t
Look at your existing content to determine what is working and what is not. What channels are you seeing results with and what channels seem not to work for you. Once you know this you can either abandon a channel or you can change your approach on that channel. By reviewing your website, blog, social media channels, and other marketing materials, you can identify gaps in your content strategy and areas for improvement.
Choosing the right content types and formats
Different content types and formats appeal to different audiences. It is important to understand that each medium needs a different type of messaging. Depending on your target audience and goals, you may choose to create blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts, or social media posts. Think of and research your WHO as you determine what efforts will be best.
Creating a content calendar
Plan ahead, decide how often you will publish content, what type of content you will publish and what mediums or platforms you will publish it on. A content calendar helps you to plan and organize your content in advance. It doesn’t need to be complex, in fact sometimes the best options are just a document with each month or week listed with your theme and what content you plan to create for it.
This will enable you to ensure a consistent flow of content that aligns with your marketing goals and meets the needs of your target audience. Your content calendar should include the type of content, format, topic, publication date, and channels.
If you need help getting your plan together, please download a free copy of the Marketing Playbook here.
Making it happen
Now that you have a plan, make it happen. This effort will bring the right people to you so you can do business with them. Create and publish high-quality content that is specifically interesting to your WHO.
Set a schedule and deliver on that schedule. Imagine if you were really into a TV show and then suddenly they didn’t put out a show one week. Maybe they were busy or didn’t like the result of their work. This would cause a lack of trust with their audience. Make sure you stick to your content creation plans.
Check your Work
What does your audience like? What content seems to fall flat? This involves tracking metrics such as website traffic, social media engagement, lead generation, and sales conversion rates will give you the data you need to focus your messages on what will work best. When something works, do more of that. It is also important to understand the difference between “engagement” and “results.” People liking your post is great as long as some of those people decide to do business with you. It is better to have low engagement with your ideal customer (WHO) that turns into business.
1. What is content marketing? Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience and ultimately drive sales.
2. How do I identify my target audience? Fill out the WHO Worksheet here.
3. How long does it take to see results from a content marketing plan? Businesses can typically start to see results within 3-6 months. It varies but you should think of this as a long term solution to capturing the attention of your ideal customers.
4. How do I measure the success of my content marketing plan? Look at actual results. Not likes or traffic alone, but closed business. Define what success looks like to you. Then decide if your efforts have paid off.