If you are running a business and marketing your services online, you know contents add values to your brand.
But the success of the entire content efforts depends on the Content marketing planning that structured every required thing to lead the ultimate marketing goal.
Content marketing is not limited to content creation or distribution, it’s walking side-by-side with your business aims.
It provides market insights and reports over moving audience preferences.
Content marketing planning is the same as a Business strategy.
Marketers require to analyze external data and stats plus manage internal resources and tools at all levels.
So firstly have a look,
What content marketing is:
Content marketing is the marketing approach to create, organize and promote the contents that are planned for a target audience, who are searching for information (Solution) that helps them to make a final Decision.
Why there is a need for a content marketing plan ?
Just looking at content’s importance for business and start creating and distributing it anyhow, doesn’t guarantee for the optimum results.
Surprisingly, more than half of companies that apply content marketing having no Documented plan.
Rather focusing on what content will return, it’s advisable to have a detailed plan over How to apply the available resources with effective content strategies that deliver profitable results for long.
Benefits of having a content marketing plan Documented
- Indeed there are a lot many things to do, your content marketing plan to make sure that everything going as projected.
- When having a content plan, you(marketer) have a clear idea of when & where to direct your all forces, for optimum benefits.
- Content marketing plan ensures the ultimate success.
- Whether to manage human resource or software usage…content plan organize everything as there should be, and present it at a precise time.
- From goal setting to organize, creation to distribution, it’s better to have recorded strategies. Due to that work responsibility and delegation becomes easy.
- Apart from managing everything on track, content marketing plan also providing campaign insights periodically, like market analysis.
- After having the right data in hand, marketers can make future advertising strategies that maximize the ROI.
Content marketing is a lengthy process and attached several strings.
In order to achieve the predetermined goals and make the most out of your marketing efforts, Documented content marketing planning is the first and foremost thing that business needs to invest first.
Factors to consider while creating a content marketing plan
Content marketing plan is a great way of managing every required detail on-time that leads to goal achievement.
But having a plan in-hand solely not be the reason for content success, there are some key elements becomes essential in making successful content marketing.
And here are the factors that marketers should not ignore while content marketing planning:
Documented Content plan
Content marketing is very dynamic, and when having a documented content plan helps to get the exact ideas over what produces which kind of results.
Foremost reason to have Documented content marketing strategies because it makes monitoring easy.
Content is a marketing tool that required active human involvement and tools/software to make it compelling enough to generate results.
Resource planning is also an essential factor, to acquire defined ends with adequate resource application.
To make effective content marketing, it’s essential that your content aimed audience at the particular marketing funnel.
At every funnel, there’s diverse information need, so it would be better to plan marketing contents likewise, rather having a standard content form.
Content delivery has to be constant to make an effective impression and serve its purpose.
Like social media demands an active presence of brand, even your blog post also needs to be posted regularly.
Regular content delivery interests the audience in brand and reminds the message you want to pass.
In the process of content optimization, a marketer as well creator lose the sight from content quality.
They are so much concern to get more traffic anyway, they apply tactics to manipulate the robots in-exchange of content quality.
Which at the end cost in their content marketing efforts.
Strange thing is:
…in making Robots fool, they just forget that there are Readers who take final action.
Your content has to provide Quality information.
Quality means the information that directs the audience’s interest and solves their problems, actually.
Step-by-step content marketing planning
A goal without Plan is just a WISH.
Content marketing plan helping Business to create, organize, implement and analyze the whole content efforts.
It covers each major to minor things that driving actions and direct towards end goals.
Like a Business plan, you have to have that tracking for the whole content marketing efforts.
Having a content plan in-hand,making it easy for content manager to keep an eye on track plus to perform adjustments, if required.
So, let’s take a look at,
How to create a content marketing plan for your Business:
1 Content Goal Setting
On the very first step, you specify what’s your purpose for content marketing planning and what are the reasons to run marketing campaigns.
What outcome do you expect from the whole process?
That assists in making the entire content map from where to start and where to reach.
The more you clear about the goal at first, the easier it is to create and execute a content marketing plan.
Your content goals can be a:
- Business promotion
- SEO Advantages
- Website traffic
- Lead generation
- Product/services sales
- Brand reputation building
Your content goals can be anything from above or more..but has to be a SMART one. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Real, Timely)
2 Target Audience
Once having a goal and what to achieve, now it’s time to define for whom.
Here you find who are your target audience. (Potential buyers)
New business or new products, there’s always a need to define the buyer persona.
Understanding Buyers persona aka target audience, you have a better idea over which set of content to compose and where to promote.
Target audience has to be specified in:
- Customer / Clients (B2C/B2B)
- Demographic factors (age, gender,education,occupation)
- Location-based (Local, national, international)
- Psychographic (Passionate, Brand-oriented, Habitual)
- Interest groups (Affinity, Custom affinity, In-market, Remarketing)
3 Content Audit
Your past campaign results become the base for future content marketing plans.
Past performance is the insight into audience preferences change over time, whereas campaign experiments guide for effective content strategy making.
Take a look at your previous content marketing reports and figure out what kind of campaigns helped you in achieving goals and which one needs improvements.
Also to figure out what your audience needs, and what you’re offering plus how to shorten the gap.
Content audit will reveal this:
- Audience’s interest
- Content reach
- Medium analysis
- Campaign experiments
- Effective content forms
4 Content Media Platforms
Content media selection refers to decide which platform to use for promoting your message.
Before start creating content, you also need to planning platforms for marketing your contents.
Every content should be customized according to platforms and media needs.
You can also create a media-specific content or re-purposing the one content for different media.
Content media can be owned, paid or earned one.
- Owned media probably the first and essential one in content marketing, which like assets of the company.
That includes, websites, Blog, Social media profiles, etc.
- As the name suggests, Paid media is cost for the company (Or an Investment). But the reason for paid media, because it shows the immediate results.
Every online media that you pay to promote your business…whether it’s a google ad or Facebook ads or outbrain or any…are paid media forms.
- Earned media are like a suggestion that your business having from other online communities or profiles.
As these are recommendations, that makes it a powerful media type.
Online word-of-mouth, post shares and retweets, Brand mentions are the earned media that involves minor (PRs) or no manual involvement from your end. That’s possible because of the quality you provide, in the form of service or content.
Here’s sharing where to apply which media:
- Owned media: Long-lasting Brand building
- Paid media: Direct Brand promotion
- Earned media: Industry-expert profile creation
5 Content Curation
Content creation is quite tricky.
You always need to come up with creative ideas to implement and craft your message.
Content curation is a process of resourcing and idea generation for content making. By collecting the topic ideas, audience needs, latest trends, content curator identify what kind of content are in-demand.
This content process also includes competitors’ content analysis, finding the audience’s interest or performing a keyword research or to run a content experiments.
Indeed, you can take the help of keyword planner tools and come up with certain keyword/phrase and create content over it.
Also, you can simply go to some content curation tools to find out the perfect ideas for your next content campaign.
Of course, to find out which kind of content get more shares and traffics, based on more data stats.
Sharing some of content curation tools, to use:
6 Types of Contents
As there are multiple kinds of content available, the purpose of creating them also varies.
Using different content types helps many ways apart from getting more exposure.
Various content types easily connects with different audience’s information needs and interest.
Customized content according to audience choice and platform…succeeding the most.
It’s better to come up with primary content type and then change according to the media type with updated information.
Here are the types of contents, commonly used for marketing purposes:
- Social media contents
- Website content
- Case Studies
- Ebooks, Whitepaper
7 Content Calendar
Indeed there is a lot of work to do in-between content planning (creation) and content execution (marketing).
Having a content calendar in hand ensures content creation and promotion happen on-time.
Content calendar enables tracking over content activities from start-to-finish.
Your content calendar covers information like…who’ll handle the content flow, who’ll create and when, How to plan and promote content and where.
Through a content calendar, you also assign roles to accomplish the immediate work.
Here are the benefits of the content calendar:
- Content organization
- Resource distribution
- Publish date records
- Time management
- Effective performance
8 Content Creation
Content creation is tough.
Whether it’s a website content, Social media content or regular Blog post, it’s better to have separate planning for content creation.
Get content written in-house or outsource it, are an important decision that businesses need to make.
As content creation takes time and effort, Better to have someone to handle the process.
Content experts are a better option especially for new business, as they are aware of the optimized writing and key factors that ensure the content effectiveness.
Here is Process that content creators follow:
- Brainstorming, Industry research
- Outlining the content
- Blog/Content creation
- Organizing content
- Image insert & Optimization
- Blog posting
9 Content Promotion
Promoting content online makes it available and viewable to target audience.
To make your content viewable in a search engine, make sure to optimize it first.
Agree, that it takes time to get more clicks and traffic to that post organically, but if your content is quality, it provides results for long.
Whereas organic reach takes time, you can also plan your content marketing on other manual way.
This gives your content a push and places it in front of your prospects.
Presenting the ways you can promote your contents:
- Social media channels
- Guest posting on reputed sites
- Social sharing options
- Mail notifications
- Convert to other content-type
- Shareable content: Infographic & Video content
- Paid promotion (Taboola, Outbrain,etc.)
- Sharing in communities & forums
10 Content Analysis
As your every content having ultimate goals and end-results to achieve, the content analysis/reporting is an activity to make sure it’s a successful campaign.
At this final step, you match your KPIs to the actual performance data from the overall content marketing processes.
Traffic, conversions, Ranks, Impressions, profiles shares, likes…and many data analyzing your content marketing efforts.
Apart from numerical data, your content marketing reports also present valuable information such as profitable medium, effective content types, target age groups, as well as the highest converting audiences and country they belong.
You can compare your KPIs to actual result with these analytical tools:
- Google analytics
- Social analytics tools such as Hootsuite
Content marketing planning is a lengthy process.
While implementation is even quite tricky.
But all these efforts are paid-off, when your approach is right and everything going as planned.
Agree, content marketing is very dynamic work and takes many testings and experiments at some point it maybe goes on trial and error basis.
Don’t forget results are always unexpected, But provides actual market insights which help in Decision making.
Things matter at the end is, Quality of your content…over what you are contributing to readers and how it feels them after reading it.
Look for…Is it your content provides the ultimate solution to readers or move them to another search.
Ketan Parmar, a content strategist and founder of Wordzyx, a content strategy agency from Ahmedabad. Currently working with small businesses and startups, Ketan contributing their Business growth via content strategies plus website optimization, through own proven marketing experiences. He’s on a mission to promote content marketing as an Investment for a business, rather just advertising costs.
Read something more about, Ketan parmar.