12 Step Guide to Creating a Solid Content Marketing Plan

Goals

    Content Marketing is a long term strategy, it often takes four, six or more months to make any sort of impact and your short term goal needs to reflect this.When setting goals you also need to ensure they are realistic and obtainable.

Audit your Current Content 

   You might for instance want to increase sign ups to your newsletter, email campaigns, you might want your content to attract one thousand additional visitors per month, per week as well as an increase in sales. By auditing your existing content you also get the chance to check that all pieces of content have an appropriate call to action.

The Starting Point 

    Should document the number of websites visitors, page views, numbers of visitors from each social media platform, bounce rates, conversions rates.

Target Customers / Audience 

  Over time your audience changes, the demographic might not but how you reach and interact with them might, for instance advertising, copy used years ago might seem offensive and old fashioned today.By studying your audience you can always ensure your message remain relevant to them.

The Sales Funnel 

   Once you have some understanding of who your target customer is, you then need to consider your sales funnel. To do this let’s look at a simplified funnel. At the top of the sales / buyer funnel we have the attraction phase, in terms of content marketing this is the content that you produce that attracts people to your website. This is the largest part of the funnel as it encompasses all of the people you attract.

Understand Your Purpose 

   Once you understand the different personas in your sales funnel, the content you create can have a purpose. Each piece of content that you create needs to fulfill a purpose, if it’s purpose is to attract people to your website it will be created to feature well within the search engines, to make people want to share it via social media etc..

Develop the Content

   Now you have to really get to work, developing any products to fill the needs of your audience as well as the content you need, if you create great content it will educate, inform, engage and get your audience to do something. The purpose of content is to tell a story that attracts and engages your audience, the purpose of marketing is to get your audience, the purpose of marketing is to a get our audience to do something and only when these come together, is the content marketing.

Develop an Editorial Calendar 

    A complete editorial calendar includes meeting the needs of all personas  that you attract and it also includes product development, blog content, sales pages, social media content and much more.

Promote Your Content 

     In essence all you need to do is create lots and lots of search engine optimized content and eventually you will feature well within the search engines for your chosen market.  This works and content creation doesn’t stop when you have created content, that’s just the beginning. 

Measure the Result 

    If every single piece of content you create has a purpose, then there is a metric that you can use to measure the results. It’s important to always measure the results of everything you do if at all possible.

Refine and Perfect 

   As mentioned as you measure the results, you will want to modify things, refine them and perfect your content as you go, By doing this you actually learn  more about what your audience wants and you job therefore a become easier.

Content Marketing

   You find out what works you’ll want to do more of thats, and less of what doesn’t, its really is a simple as that, provide to meet all of the stages of your sales funnel. Each year or so, you’ll want to start over, with a new content marketing plan.

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