Content marketing is like a good storyteller: It operates best when humor, information, creativity, and strategy are all working together to compel you to do something with the story you just heard.
What IS Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a method within the realm of digital marketing that focuses on sharing valuable, engaging and consistent content that attracts and retains a specific audience. The goal? To be constantly converting the people who see your content into loyal customers because of the value they find on your page(s).
Just like a good punchline or resolution, good content should be well-timed and well-delivered, leaving a lasting impression.
With all this in mind, here is your definitive content marketing guide to creating a killer content marketing plan that will take your online presence to new heights!
Content Marketing Plan Creation: Research
First things first: research. To succeed in your efforts, you need to know a few things about where you’re starting.
For example, in order to create a content marketing plan that actually works, you need to have a good understanding of your target audience. Who are they? What do they want? What are their pain points? Here are a couple of ideas for how to get started so you can create content that speaks directly to them and addresses their specific concerns.
Conduct keyword research using a keyword search service to identify the phrases and terms your target audience is searching for, and then incorporate these keywords into your content.
One other place you can do your research is on forums like Quora or Reddit. What are the questions people are asking about your niche, and how can you contribute to that conversation? Content marketing is all about providing value to your audience through your content, so take a moment to find out what people want to know!
Finally, you’ll want to include an audit of your accounts in this research phase. Figure out if you’re on the right platforms or posting on the right days and at the right times. Look at your competitors or other friends in the industry to see what they’re doing on their pages and how that’s working for them. Examine your color and style choices through the lens of design principles and color theory to make sure everything is aligned.
Content Marketing Plan: Putting Your Research to Work with Dedicated Content Production
Now that we've got the research out of the way, it’s time to get started on content production. The key here is to focus on quality over quantity. You don't need to be pumping out content every day to make an impact, but what you do produce needs to be valuable, informative, and engaging. You'll also want to decide on the types of content you'll create such as blog posts, social media updates, videos, infographics, etc.
Use the research you did to design templates and creatives that communicate your brand consistently. Need ideas? Use a color palette finder online along with some information on color theory and brands to help jumpstart this phase!
Content Marketing Plan: Using a CMS for Streamlining
Especially when you have multiple channels to keep track of, it’s important to create a content calendar outlining when and how often you will publish new content. While these kinds of calendars can be as simple as a spreadsheet, there are programs and services available that you can use, too.
A content management system (CMS) or scheduler help by centralizing your online marketing. Rather than having to check in and manually post on the various platforms, these programs keep everything organized in one place, often with automatic scheduled posting available so you stay on track.
Content Marketing Plan: Analyzing and Adapting
Last but not least, let's talk about analyzing and adapting. A content marketing plan is not a one-time effort—it requires ongoing commitment and adaptation. To measure the success of your content marketing plan, you'll need to establish some metrics, like website traffic, social media engagement, lead generation, and conversion rates. By regularly tracking these metrics, you can see what's working and what's not, and make adjustments as needed.
Adjustments aren’t only okay, they’re necessary. As your audience grows, you should need to change directions occasionally. New people mean new preferences, new data points, and new possibilities! So when you learn that your current tactics could be improved, don’t just find the data, apply it.
Content Marketing Plan: Frequently Asked Questions
Have questions still? Here are our top FAQs. We want to help!
Content Marketing Plan: The Basics
Content marketing can be done by creating and sharing valuable, engaging and consistent content. This can be done through a variety of formats such as blog posts, social media updates, videos, infographics, etc. It is important to understand your target audience in order to create content that speaks directly to them.
Content Marketing Plan: What's Included?
Content marketing includes creating valuable and engaging content for your target audience and then distributing it through the right channels. The primary focus is on social media content like Instagram posts or TikToks, but it can also include things like e-newsletters or online white papers.
Content Marketing Plan: Are They Effective?
Content marketing can be highly effective in building brand awareness, generating leads, and ultimately driving sales. It does this in part by establishing a business as a thought leader in its industry and building trust with its audience. However, just like anything, it’s important that it is a well-crafted and well-executed content marketing plan in order for it to be effective.
Content Marketing Plan: How to get started with content marketing?
To get started with content marketing, businesses should begin by researching and understanding their target audience. This can be done through conducting keyword research and studying customer pain points. Once a clear understanding of the target audience is established, businesses can then begin planning out valuable and engaging content and distributing it through the right channels.
Content Marketing Plan: How to create a content marketing plan?
Start with your research: audience analytics, brand audit, keyword search, etc. Then, set specific goals for your content marketing efforts and develop a strategy to align with those goals. Decide on the types of content you will create and establish a content calendar to organize and schedule your content. Remember to track your progress and make adjustments as necessary. Continuously researching and understanding your target audience, along with regular monitoring of your metrics, will help ensure the effectiveness of your plan.
Content Marketing Plan: A Summary
A content marketing plan is an essential tool for any business looking to establish and maintain a strong online presence. By researching and understanding your target audience, creating valuable and engaging content, distributing it through the right channels, focusing on quality, tracking your metrics, and continuously monitoring and adapting, your business can tell an effective and impactful story through content that drives profitable customer action.