Last updated on January 14th, 2020 at 04:23 pm
In the past, brands relied on brochures, pamphlets, magazines, fliers, etc. to market their products. This practice, in a way, inconvenienced entry level players or small businesses that did not have generous marketing budgets.
The rapid advancement of technology has leveled things a little bit. Businesses can now push their brands to market courtesy of affordable internet marketing through content.
This, therefore, compels every business, whether a newbie or an established brand, to adopt content marketing as an integral tool in running of the business.
Many marketing avenues have cropped up all over the internet from social media to business networks. A brand can use these to achieve high levels of targeted campaigns for exceptionally high returns.
To build a trustworthy relationship with customers, brand marketers must conduct a lot of research and invest a lot into thinking up a strategy that works.
Whatever avenue a brand chooses to use, its content should be purposefully geared towards sharing information and engaging the audience.
What is a content marketing plan?
A content marketing plan is a strategy that brands use to optimize and distribute content to their target audience. In the process, the brand can demonstrate their mastery and propose value to the customer, convince and convert the customer.
High conversion rates are good for business growth because it creates a reliable source of revenue for the business. Good content strategy will keep the customers eager to learn about what the business has to offer next. You will find this to be a necessary step in ensuring your business site has traffic.
Why content marketing strategy?
Every business looks forward to improved performance. Some get it right while most don’t.
What usually makes the difference between these two categories is the plan they have in their arsenal.
Most businesses fail to achieve their targets because they either have unsound strategy or they totally lack a strategy.
As we have already indicated, content is the currency of the web. Quality of the content will make one brand get more attention than the rest, even if their product is just an average of what is offered in the market.
It calls for witty marketers who have mastered their art and are conversant with customer psychology. This enables the content management department to create compelling content that not only drives the sales at the department but also shapes the customer mindset.
With a sound content marketing strategy, you will find the best ways to generate new leads and boost traffic for all your brand channels (social media, blog and podcasts).
Customers have more confidence when they see their fellow consumers endorse a particular brand. Your brand, therefore, needs to have social proof. This is easily achieved by ensuring that you have sizable following on your social media channels.
Additionally, you can create a minimal viable product (MVP), which can be an eBook or a training manual and give it out for free to every new subscriber to your blog. This boosts their confidence because they can already derive value from you just by associating with your brand.
Now let’s learn how to develop a content marketing strategy that that will set your business in motion step-by-step .
#1 Define your Marketing Goals Clearly
What are you aiming for with your content marketing strategy?
Why do you want content marketing strategy for your brand?
Ensure you can answer the above questions before you begin to prepare your content marketing strategy.
This will be help pick only the strategies that align to your business or your marketing team.
You have to conduct research on your target audience. Know who they’re and the kind of content that is relevant to them. This is important especially if you are new to the game.
If you’ve done marketing before, you might want to re-target. This may involve changing the target audience, expand the current audience or retaining market.
#2 Audit your Content and Set KPIs
In content marketing, most people rush to create and publish blog posts. And that’s where they go wrong.
Content marketing is diverse; you have to diversify your content. Depending on your target audience, their tastes and preferences, you need to know what will work best for your brand.
Having audited the content type to adopt for your brand and market, you need to set the key performance indices (KPIs) for it.
The KPIs should be SMART enough to define a parameter objectively. It should tell you what to do, how to do it, when to do it, who to do it and how much it will return to the business at a prescribed time.
At the end of the prescribed time, you need to audit the KPIs and query each result. Poor performance should have attributable causes that can be addressed with available resources.
After evaluating the KPIs, choose content that converts most and invest strategically to improve efficiency.
#3 Analyze the Market and Decide the Content Formats to Adopt
List down the content formats that will work most for your target audience. You can use blog posts, video, social media, podcasts, ebooks, case studies, infographics and templates.
Determine which one you would love to use and allocate adequate budget for it. The budget should not only cover for the content development and dissemination but also the personnel responsible for the activity.
#4 Determine the Tools / Channels for Content Dissemination
Creating high quality content is not enough to bring you customers. You have to publish it so it can be seen by your target audience.
There are various places you can publish your content such as your blog and social media accounts. Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram can create quite a buzz if the content is compelling enough.
You must know where your target audience hangs out mostly.
For instance, if you run a travel or photography blog, your audience most probably spends most of their time on Instagram. You should follow them there. This will help you target them with laser-specific content, which will improve your conversion rates.
There are other free platforms you can share your content like Medium or LinkedIn Pulse. Sharing your articles on LinkedIn Pulse can help you reach more people in the corporate world.
People who run a businesses that help job seekers improve their chances of scoring a job have better chances of finding paying clients on LinkedIn. Follow them there.
Once the tools have been identified, you should then prepare a posting schedule for different platforms. A content publishing calendar would be a great idea.
You can make your simple publishing calendar in Excel or Google sheets. This will help you track all your content marketing activities.
#5 Brainstorm Content Ideas, Create and Disseminate
With a clear map on what to be done, you are now ready to start creating content.
After generating topic ideas, write your copy and disseminate using the plan outlined above. How you edit your copy will determine whether the customers buy your product or not. The copy should sell the customer without being salesy.
Have the complete buyer persona when you write copy. Your product or service should be a solution to their problem or an avenue to experience their thrill. Essentially, you should be either reducing their pain or increasing their ecstasy.
#6 Monitor Results
The only way to know if your strategy is working is to keep tab on the deliverables.
You must monitor all your predefined metrics and see if your actions measure up to what you desire.
Failure to achieve certain KPIs should be a red flag that you need to stop and reflect. As we have already said, you do not have to wait for six months to do an audit. You should do regular audits, at least every week, to see the efficacy of your plan.
Keep testing and optimizing content to suit the needs of your audience.