You have a great idea for the content, you are pretty clear about the channels you want to promote on, you are pretty confident with your marketing skills, but WAIT! You haven’t put efforts in the most crucial step – planning for the content marketing plan? You are definitely planning to fail.
Designing a content marketing plan seems simple, yet it is an important and crucial step before displaying your content to the audience. According to Altimeter, 70% of marketers don’t have a consistent content marketing plan. Why over half of marketers in the profession don’t have a plan? Designing a plan is a complicated task because it requires intricate details about the past, present and future stage.
Creating a content marketing plan is not just about planning the content – it is a whole strategic process to ensure that the right information is delivered to the right people, at the right time, and on the right platform. Seems daunting? No, it is not. Let’s us help in designing an effective plan to market your business through powerful content.
Why is it Important to Have a Content Marketing Plan?
A precise and clear content marketing plan acts as a light to your marketing path. It will assess the past and present, and plan the future stages of a business’ content cycle. A detailed plan will help business understand and analyze who they want to communicate with, what content to display, the dissemination of the message in an appropriate yet an effective manner, the platform on which they will be promoting the content, the appropriate time, and many more.
Keeping a plan will help organize team tasks, too. Every member of the team will know what needs to be posted and when hence giving an organization an added advantage to measure whether goals are aligned or not.
Steps to Create a Successful Content Marketing Plan
1- Know Where You Are
If you have already got content in your bank, conduct a content audit. A content audit helps in assessing your current efforts. Though it is a lengthy process, it is crucial to align your future marketing activities. It helps you to figure out successful and not-so-successful content.
Once you have figured out, try to assess the outcomes and reasons behind them. In the end, results generated through a content audit will help you in later stages of content marketing plan.
2- Know Your Audience
Here comes another crucial step: audience analysis. At this stage, you will need to answer two questions:
- Who will you be targeting?
- What do you want them to do with the information presented?
From the content audit, you can easily identify what type of content attracts what particular set of audience. However, always keep in mind that what may have been successful, may not be as effectively successful in future, so you may have to amend successful strategies of the past.
3- Customer’s Persona
Customer’s persona is the analysis of key traits of a larger set of audience. It can provide businesses with deep insights about the customers, their problems, needs and wants. This information will help you carve a better and relevant paragraph of engaging content for your audience.
4- Buyer’s Journey
Another analysis is of a buyer’s journey. Content varies as the buyer gradually steps up to different stages of the journey. What is successful to attract visitors, may not be relevant for the existing customers.
5- Create Connection
No matter how remarkable your content apparently is, it will only make difference if it matches with the target audience. For instance, if you want to spread awareness, the content should be purely educational and informational; it should be a piece of information that will help prospects to identify problems, needs and feasible solutions available.
If you want to encourage sales, you would have to display educational content while giving a slight hint of your product as a possible solution.
Just as this, content varies at every stage. The only key is to look into details, figure out, and then put out relevant content.
6- Create an Editorial Calendar
Consistency has always been an issue when it comes to content marketing. For that, a content marketing editorial calendar is the perfect solution.
Editorial Calendar is not a new term – it has been around for quite a while. It is a tool to organize and keep content marketing efforts on track. A content marketing editorial calendar helps to manage daily operations for creating, publishing and controlling the content across different platforms
Why Is It Important To Keep An Editorial Calendar?
It is an essential tool for even those who don’t have a problem with inconsistency. An editorial calendar is a strategic tool that helps plan for future activities, sticking to strict deadlines, and planning around certain themes. It also helps to keep things on track team activities.
Implement, Document, Evaluate, and Monitor
Now that you are done with all stages, you are ready to document and implement it. Documentation helps in aligning your future activities. You may have to make amendments in your strategies according to the prevailing market trends.
To sum up, content marketing can’t be executed if one drives without a steering wheel – a content marketing plan. The important thing to note is that content strategies vary from company to company and industry to industry. These are general guidelines to help you get through a complex task of developing the content marketing plan.