Businesses have jumped on the content marketing bandwagon and now they are along for the ride. But will this wagon get you to where you want to be?
The answer is YES, if you're the one steering and not just “along” for the ride.
Have you noticed your competitors producing content: blogging, offering eBooks, free content like videos, infographics, helpful checklists and such? They may be on the wagon as well. So now it's time for you to do it better!
While it's great to be helpful and offer lots of engaging content, remember this wagon shouldn’t be on a leisurely Sunday drive. You're actually on a popular highway and everyone is speeding by.
Time to get in the fast lane, but first you need a strategic, optimized content marketing plan to get the most out of your time and resources.
Whether you're a large company or a small business these key components can take content marketing to the next level and get you out there on the highway zipping past the traffic towards your target!
Target Market and Persona
There's no way to have an optimized marketing plan and try to market to everyone at once. Narrow down your target market. Clearly define your target and develop a persona. This fictional person will help you keep in mind who you're talking to. Keep referring back to your target persona, and their needs, their questions, their role, their likes and dislikes, how they view the world and process information. All of these characteristics will keep your content focused and speaking directly to your audience.
Once you know your target persona, do your keyword research to see how they're asking questions and what words and phrases they use. This will help you speak their language. Use social media tools to “listen” to what your target market is asking for. What are their questions, needs, popular topics etc.?
Now that you have defined your target and done your research, set your goals. In this content campaign, what is the ultimate action you want your audience to take? This may be one conversion, or a series of conversions as they move through the buyer’s journey. Identify the smaller goals you have for each phase of the buyer’s journey as you lead them through to the ultimate goal. Understanding your goals and how you plan to get them there is crucial for an optimal content marketing plan to be effective.
Content Format and Channels
Once you've identified your goals and target, think about how you will get them there. What types of content do you plan to offer to deliver your helpful message, your solution and your products or service? There are many “vehicles” to deliver your content but keep in mind your persona as you choose the format and the channel you use. Here's a great list of different types of content you can choose, put together by HubSpot to get your creative juices flowing:
(Image Source HubSpot)
Content Creation Management
Plan which roles you need to have filled and which people will fill those roles. Can you write your own content or do you need to connect with a writer? Can you produce your own video or podcast? What tools and resources do you need to have in place? Who will manage the content creation and plan out the editorial calendar?
What types of “to-dos” are involved in your content marketing plan? Everything content related should be included, from gathering your resources to writing/recording the content. Whether you're creating the online assets to be downloaded, listened to or watched, don’t forget to manage how your contacts are being nurtured.
These are the nuts and bolts that need to be put together to allow your content vehicle to fly!
“Create content and they will come!” said no content marketer ever.
Just because you created content, doesn't mean your persona will find it. You need to promote, promote, promote! Share, post, tweet, link, email…think of all the actions you can take online and make a plan for HOW you are going to get your great content in front of your target audience.
Feedback & Analytics
Once you've launched your plan into action, receiving feedback and reviewing the metrics on how your plan is performing will provide insight into what parts of your plan were effective and which parts need to be better optimized. This feedback can then propel you into being even more targeted and focused in your next content plan!
Now, Go Get ‘Em! Start your plan today.You have lots to share with the world and it needs to hear it!
If you find you need assistance in creating your content marketing plan and implementing all the pieces and parts, contact us at Half a Bubble Out. We love helping businesses craft, tell and live out their story!
Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through inbound marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.