If you’re in business, chances are you’ve heard of content marketing. but what exactly is it? And why should you care? In short, content marketing is creating and sharing valuable content to attract and retain customers. This can take many forms, from blog posts and articles to social media posts and even videos.
Content marketing is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy, and for good reason. The benefits of content marketing include everything from building brand awareness to generating leads and even increasing sales. Plus, creating quality content can help you position yourself as an expert in your field, which can be extremely valuable for businesses of every size.
But with all the different types of content out there, how do you know where to start? And more importantly, how do you ensure that your content is effective? That’s where having a plan comes in.
Why You Need a Content Marketing Plan
Creating quality content takes time, effort, and planning. Without a plan, it’s all too easy to get lost in the sea of information and ideas out there and end up with a jumble of content that doesn’t actually achieve anything. By having a plan, you can focus your efforts on creating content that is aligned with your business goals and resonates with your target audience. Plus, a plan can help you manage your time more effectively and avoid burnout.
Not sure where to start? Here are a few things to consider when creating your content marketing plan:
What types of content will you create?
There are endless possibilities when it comes to the types of content you can create, so it’s important to choose the ones that make the most sense for your business goals. For example, if you’re looking to increase brand awareness, blog posts, videos or articles might be a good option. If you’re looking to generate leads, white papers or ebooks might be a better fit. There are endless possibilities when it comes to the types of content you can create, so it’s important to choose the options that make the most sense for your business goals and that your audience is most likely to respond to.
Who is your target audience?
It’s important to know who you’re creating this content for before you even start writing (or filming or recording). Who are they? What are their needs and wants? What pain points do they have that your product or service can solve? Knowing your target audience inside out will help you create more effective content that resonates with them on a personal level. If you haven’t specified this level of detail for your audience, you might benefit from this post on buyer personas.
What are your goals?
As we mentioned before, your content should be aligned with your business goals. What do you want to achieve with this content? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Generate leads? Make sales? Once you know what your goals are, you can measure your success (more on that later)and adjust your strategy accordingly. It’s also important to note that different content types are more effective at different stages of your customer’s journey from being unaware of you through to making a sale.
Where will you share this content?
Last but not least, think about where you’ll share this content once it’s created. Will you post it on your blog? Send it out in an email newsletter? Share it across social media? Again, there are endless possibilities here, so choose the channels that make the most sense for your situation. And, when it comes to your channels of choice keep measuring to see what’s working and don’t be afraid to change where it’s needed.
How often will you publish new content?
This one ties into both managing your time effectively and avoiding burnout. Trying to publish new content every day (or even multiple times per day) is unrealistic for most people, and will likely lead to burnt-out, subpar content. On the other hand, publishing once per month probably won’t cut either. Finding a happy medium — whether that’s once per week, every other week, or once per month — is key. And if you need help staying on track, consider using a content calendar (talk to us if you need help on creating one).
There’s no question that content marketing is an essential part of any business’s marketing strategy — but only if it’s done right. Creating quality content takes time, effort, and planning; but if you take the time to develop a solid plan upfront, you’ll be well on your way to reaping all the benefits that come with an effective content marketing strategy.
If you’d like to learn how to create the right content for your business, you’re in need of a content marketing strategy or you’d simply like a professional second opinion on how your content marketing is working for your business, we offer a once-off one or two hour sessions, or alternatively, we can work with you 1:1 over a number of weeks to ensure you’re comfortable with making a difference in your business. Pop an email to email@example.com to arrange a complimentary discovery call.
Debbie Ringwood is a Marketing Specialist with over 20 years of experience in B2B and B2C Marketing. She is a Graduate of the Marketing Institute of Ireland and the Digital Marketing Institute. She is a Linkedin Certified Marketing Insider, META Certified Community Manager, and Canva Champion.
Debbie supports, coaches, and trains businesses in Marketing, Social Media, Canva & WordPress along with her team, working with businesses at different stages of their journey.