Ambitious goals are not achieved without a plan. But you can quadruple leads with a content marketing plan. Of course, you’ll need great content. and quantifying and qualifying objectives.
Document a Strategy
The tasks you never get done are long and laborious. Failure’s not an option, so make your content marketing plan short and simple.
Later, it may prove imperfect. So you’ll amend it.
Begin your content marketing plan by establishing objectives - e.g. generate X leads where X can be a number over time or percentage.
Without an objective, there won’t be a plan.
Next the definition of a “lead” could be a new email opt-in, phone call, trial, webinar registration, download, survey completion, or some other action.
Define how to measure leads with (specific tool), (specific interval) and record it in (specific document).
So, you’ve documented and defined an objective. But you probably have additional objectives: increase retention, build community, establish greater authority, etc. If so, repeat the exercise for each.
Who’s your Personas?
You must know precisely who your customers are and what makes them tick - personas. “Personas” give your potential customers faces, names and motivations.
Start with the ideal customer. Most marketers develop a fictional person, but a real one works too. There may be some research involved, but you really should know your customers. Who are they?
The task of creating personas seems to be unnecessarily complicated when it’s explained. Don’t let it be – check out this Free PowerPoint with templates.
What’s your Story?
1. Define what makes your company unique.
First your selling (or value) proposition. Why do people do business with you? Find out the who, what, when, where and why.
2. Define your content marketing mission.
As a content marketer, you are a publisher. So, your content marketing mission needs to:
- Articulate your approach to the content and industry.
- Clearly define whom the content is for.
- State how the content will satisfy the needs of those that consume it.
In summary: why you matter and why your content will too.
How can you help?
We come to the funnel - a metaphor to represent the progression of a person from stranger to prospect to customer i.e.:
- Stranger. They didn’t know your company. Now, thanks to your content marketing, you’ve achieved awareness.
- Prospect. They have demonstrated interest or are doing research. You help them with evaluation.
- Customer. They make the action you seek, buying because your content has inspired a purchase.
Different organisations have different names for the steps. Ensure you’re comfortable with your description of the buying cycle in your customers’ journey.
The image from HubSpot, above demonstrates the concept. Your goal is to determine:
- What you have
- And what you don’t
Determining the have/have-nots in your content audit produce further considerations:
- What performs well and what doesn’t
- What will be easy to develop and what won’t
- What questions do prospects have (at varying phases in the cycle) and what’s the best way to answer them
Think like a Publisher
Your personas defined potential customers. Your selling proposition and mission statement defined your story. Your buying cycle defined your content production needs.
Now it’s time to satisfy them. You may not know what to create. Over time, results will steer the course. Begin by considering the most popular, and often, effective options.
- Social media
- Events (online and off)
- Case studies
- eBooks and whitepapers
- Research reports
Long-term, you’ll research; test; analyse your metrics; repurpose winners, dump losers, and refine others. But first speculate, decide and create a content marketing calendar:
- Brief description (or title)
- The need addressed
- Buying cycle stage
- Call to action
- Useful metric(s) for assessment
Do this for a month or maybe three. Any longer probably won’t be useful.
Plan for Distribution
You need to make a CONTENT DISTRIBUTION AND PROMOTION plan.
Consider your resources, your audience and decide amongst:
- Social media networks
- Organic search
- Paid search
- Sponsored content (on blogs and social networks)
Map your strategies by content type. E.g.
- promote your blog via (Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+).
- promote your webinars via (our enewsletter and PPC ads).
Measure what Matters
Content analytics and metrics are your friend. Now it’s time to look at the number crunching component.
It doesn’t need not be complicated. Use this simple approach: the objectives you’ve documented inform the metrics you’ll use.
If your objective is to generate leads, you will measure how many leads you’ve generated.
You need not track a massive list of metrics. You documented your objectives. List the most meaningful metrics to indicate your progress and track them.
And that’s your Plan
It’s important work. It requires thinking, because the plan is the foundation of a successful content marketing programme. To move this forward download the PowerPoint from the link below:-