Looking for the most cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your site? Want to grow your business and establish yourself as an industry leader? Quality content is the key.
The digital marketing landscape has changed a lot over the last years. One thing remained the same: content is still king.
Consumers can smell a sales pitch a mile away. Unless your content provides real value, they’ll move on to your competitors. Whether we’re talking about blog posts, newsletters, or videos, it’s important to address your customers’ needs.
There’s a reason why 86 percent of B2C marketers and 91 percent of B2B marketers have a content strategy in place. Quality content not only drives traffic but also improves customer experience and raises brand awareness.
But what does it take to create a killer content marketing plan? Do you need any special skills or a big budget? Let’s find out!
Why You Need a Content Marketing Plan
Not too long ago, the Web was flooded with keyword-stuffed posts and spammy articles that offered little or no value. Marketers were spending thousands on creating as much content as possible just to get traffic.
Things are different today.
The search engines use complex algorithms to determine content quality and relevancy. You can no longer throw a bunch of posts on your site, waiting to see your traffic numbers skyrocket.
Quality content has the role to inform, educate, entertain, and help people. It needs to provide value to the target audience and address their needs. Think of it as the backbone of any interaction you have with your clients or readers.
Surprisingly, many businesses still overlook these facts. In fact, 70 percent of marketers lack a consistent content strategy.
A solid content marketing plan can strengthen your brand and bring you new business.
Over 75 percent of people who find local, helpful information online are more likely to visit physical stores. Depending on your niche, any of them could be a potential customer.
Big brands like IKEA, LEGO, eBay, and Nike invest heavily in content marketing. However, this doesn’t mean you need to spend a fortune to do the same. Planning and consistency can go a long way toward your success.
Ready to get started? Follow these steps to design a powerful content marketing plan!
Create an Outline
The first step is to create a brief outline. This will guide your efforts and streamline your content marketing efforts. Make sure you include:
- Who you are writing for
- Your customers’ needs and wants
- Types of content (text, videos, infographics, etc.)
- Distribution channels (your blog, social media, YouTube, etc.)
- What sets your content apart
- How you will manage content creation and distribution
- How much time and money you can invest in content marketing
Your plan should cover each of these steps. For the start, define your target audience, set a budget, and determine how you’ll schedule content creation.
Assess Your Goals
Next, focus on your goals. What are you planning to achieve with content marketing? Is it more traffic, brand authority, or higher profits?
Once you set goals, create a content strategy accordingly.
Let’s say you have an online store. In this case, consider writing eye-catching product descriptions in addition to blog posts.
Define Your Target Audience
Who are you writing for? Is it children, expecting moms, or business owners? A blog post appealing to seniors who want to keep fit will be different than one gym buffs.
Consider your goals in the process. Use personas to define your audience so you deliver relevant content.
Check your web traffic stats to see where your visitors come from and what pages they visit. Analyze the keywords they’re using to understand their needs and wants. If you’re running PPC campaigns, check that data too.
Research Your Audience
Once you’ve defined your audience, take the time to learn more about it.
What are your readers looking for on the Web? Why are they visiting your website? What problems are they facing?
Consider their age, gender, location, income, education, pain points, and other factors. Post surveys on your site and social media pages to research their needs. The more you know about them, the better.
Create a Unique Value Proposition
A unique value proposition (UVP) is what sets you apart. Basically, it’s a statement that describes what differentiates you from the competition.
Everything you post on your site or blog should emphasize your brand’s UVP.
Let’s say you’re selling organic sports supplements. Tell your customers how these products benefit their health.
For instance, you could write about the dangers of GMOs and synthetic flavors – and why your supplements are a better choice.
Keep Your Content Varied
Now that you know who your audience is and what makes your brand unique, create a content plan. Blog posts and articles are not your only option.
Use a mix of text, pictures, and videos to engage your audience. Blog posts that include images, for instance, produce 650 percent higher engagement than those without pictures.
Remember, most people are visual learners. On top of that, they only skim the content they read online. Images and videos should be an integral part of your content marketing plan.
Promote Your Content
The next step is to determine how and where you’re going to promote your content. This depends on your niche and business goals.
A B2B company, for example, will use different content distribution channels than a B2C business. If you’re offering business products and services, such as this inventory software, LinkedIn may be a better choice for content marketing than Instagram.
Don’t try to be omnipresent. Focus on a few channels rather than spreading your efforts too thin. Think of your readers and where they spend their time online, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or Medium.
Track Your Results
Last, find a way to measure your content marketing efforts. Think about how you can track success every step of the way.
For instance, you can use StatCounter or Google Analytics to find out how many people have read your latest blog post. Many publishing platforms, such as LinkedIn Pulse and Medium, have built-in analytics, so check them regularly.
Harness the Power of Content to Build a Successful Brand
As you see, creating a content marketing plan takes time and effort. It’s important to define and track every step – and adjust your strategy along the way.
Always focus on quality. It’s better to have a few quality posts on your site rather than a bunch of content that says nothing.
Don’t forget about SEO. Your content should appeal to both readers and search engines. Hire an SEO professional to find the best keywords for your business and optimize your blog.
For other helpful tips, visit our blog! From content creation to blogging and branding, we’ve got you covered!