Content marketing has exploded over the last 5-10yrs; and some would argue that marketing will only be about content in the future. We have moved from an approach, which pushes information towards consumers and promotes what an organisation wishes to sell to them; to a model where there is so much information available to consumers that they can pick and choose what they wish to consume. In today’s digital world, brands share content that they think will be useful and relevant to our audiences, encouraging them to buy into us, or not. The buyer process has changed and many decisions happen without us even realising, our digital footprint has never been so important. With this in mind, ensuring you have a clear content marketing plan that responds to your business objectives and a way to measure impact is vital for any small business.
As with all successful marketing it is important to plan your strategy and decide what content you wish to share to achieve your business objectives. It should complement and work with all of your other marketing activity and overarching strategy. With this in mind we wanted to share our 6 tips to help you start to write an effective content marketing plan:
1.Define your business marketing objectives. What are we trying to achieve? Do we want the customer to join a webinar, sample a product, attend an event or purchase something? The customer journey to achieve any of the above will differ and the content we need to provide to encourage these actions will also be different.
2. Define your target audience, persona or ideal client. This is crucial. If you don’t know who your audience is then how do you know what kind of content that they would like to receive from you? If for example you are talking to single people in their early 20’s they are less likely to be interested in products for children. Of course you will always have some in this demographic, but this will not be where the majority of your audience will be. CLICK HERE to read one of our recent blogs about how to define your target audience.
3. Research, research and more research. Once you have visualised your target audience, starting to understand what they wish to hear from you about is the next step. Perhaps start by brainstorming initially with colleagues or clients. Once you have an initial idea then start to broaden your market research by checking out industry publications, websites or white papers to understand what the hot topics are. You could also review what your competitors are focusing on and what receives the most engagement. It is also worth including some keyword research to ensure you are also supporting your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. Once you have an idea of the direction you wish to focus on then verify that by conducting some market research and ask your target audience – what are the biggest challenges that they face?
4. Make it visual. The old adage of pictures speak a thousand words has never been truer. In an effort to catch the readers eye, it is important to include strong images within your content and complement your wider marketing campaigns. Don’t forget video. With the explosion of video on the internet as a way of connecting with clients or demonstrating how something works or what it would look like this is definitely a media to include within your marketing mix.
5. Build a plan. Whilst content is a really important part of the marketing plan and mix, ensure that all of your marketing campaigns or objectives all tie in together. As a combined whole they are much stronger, drive cut through and have far greater impact.
6. Tracking and monitoring. As with all marketing we need to understand “Is it working?” Are we achieving what we need to? Of course if the objective is sales then that is a fairly easy one to quantify. However, if engagement is a key piece, which it will be when you talk about content that becomes more difficult to track. There are social media listening tools out there that will give you a view on how many likes, shares and interactions your brand is achieving such as Tweet Deck, Aware, and Agorapulse. These are all good investments for slightly larger businesses. For smaller businesses or sole traders it is probably enough just to review your social media stats on a regular basis. Other tools such as Google Analytics will also give you insight into the impact content has in driving people to a website. I will be able to see for example when I send the email promoting this blog how many people click through and read it!
Simply, do more of what works and less of what does not!
To help kick start your content planning we are pleased to share our Rimu Marketing Content Marketing Plan template with you, if you would like us to send it to you please email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or of course we would love to help you plan the content for the final part of 2019, please get in touch to arrange our no-obligation consultation.