We live in the age of content. Every day streams of information, articles, lists, tips, recipes, and endless amounts of “hacks” flow over us via the television, radio, and website. However, much of this information is less than informative, and you often get the sense that new content get posted simply because it was time to post something, and not because a business was interested in giving you information that is actually useful and relevant.
So how do you, as a business owner learn how to develop a content marketing plan? That is, as a business, deliver content that will be useful and beneficial to your customers? The key is to develop a quality content marketing plan. The development of a solid and well-thought-out content strategy is the foundation for any successful communications endeavor. Effective, useful content can increase both your business exposure and reach, as well as your sales. Here are a few basic tips for putting together an effective content marketing plan.
1) What do you want to say?
Deciding on the message of your content seems like a logical place to start, but often businesses don’t think past the “We need a blog or something” stage of planning. Your blog, website, newsletter – however it is you are communicating to your customers and potential customers – needs to have a purpose other than to simply exist. It needs a focus and direction, and subjects need to be planned out in advance to avoid a panicked “We need to post something quick! It’s been a month!” grind that leads to slapdash, place-filler content that benefits no one. Plan regular content meetings far enough in advance that you always know where your efforts are focused, and who will be responsible for each post.
2) Who is your target?
Now that you know what you want to say, you need to define your “ideal customer,” and you need to get very specific. A great way to do this is to make a comprehensive audience “persona,” in which you create an ideal customer with detailed information about who that customer is – the more specific the better. Age, education, business size, hobbies and interests, location, family – create a complete customer profile and hang it up where you can see it. When you create content, create it explicitly for this persona to ensure that everything will be meaningful and useful to your client and customer base. Any message that doesn’t hit that target audience will become apparent, and you’ll be able to keep your messages clear, concise, and effective.
3) How often?
Keeping a topical blog or website means you need to have current, relevant information. But because we are surrounded by a constant barrage of messages and marketing, how can you keep from simply being part of the noise? Developing and sticking to a content schedule is the key to planning how and when you deliver your information. Knowing the upcoming dates of content delivery is both beneficial to content creators and their ability to form effective messaging, but also to your customers, who can know when to expect new content.
4) Review: Is it working?
Marketing results can sometimes be difficult to measure. With online content, it becomes easier through simple measurement tools like Google Analytics or by monitoring the page hits or comment responses to any given post. There are dozens of ways to measure the performance of your content marketing, but the important part is to set goals and review periods for your efforts. Have there been the responses, shares, or comments you were aiming for? Have the page views been consistent? Has your content been following your initial guidelines and goals?
That is How to Develop a Content Marketing Plan
Plans are an important aspect in any business plan and now you know how to develop a content marketing plan. With so many ways to communicate with your customer base, it’s vital that the goals you set for your content marketing are clear, direct, and are aimed with precision. By laying out the plan in advance, achieving your content marketing objectives will be both easier to achieve as well as easier to measure.