Content marketing refers to the creation and distribution of marketing collateral. Content in an expert marketing plan isn't always focused on selling, instead it's designed to interest the audience at every stage of their journey. Some content might be informational whereas other pieces are purely created to entertain. Content marketing encompasses a lot of different formats. Some of those include ebooks, videos, podcasts. The goal of a content marketing plan is to build trust in your brand, provide value and build brand awareness. In this guide, we're discussing everything you need to know to plan an expert content marketing plan.
What channels should you be using for content marketing?
How can you write consistently great content?
Where can you get inspiration for content?
How can you create a smooth workflow for content production?
What are the best ways to reuse content?
How can you track the success of your campaigns?
Choosing your channels
Not all channels were created equal. The channels that you choose to focus on will be completely dependent on your industry. For example B2B businesses are more likely to focus on channels like LinkedIn, and B2C might put their energy more into Instagram. To choose the right channels, ask yourself the following questions...
Does my ideal client persona use this channel?
What can I learn about the way the customer consumes content from my existing client base?
Have I got the resources to create consistent, high-quality content for this channel?
Sometimes, it might be obvious that a channel could work well for you but you simply don't have the resource. In cases like that, it's often better to wait until you can attack that project in the best way possible and make a real success of it. If your team are at capacity with the channels they're working on right now, branching out to others probably isn't the best idea. In those scenarios, it is a good idea to look at what tasks could be outsourced to make it easier for the team.
Planning your workflow
All the best ideas in the world can get lost in translation without a properly planned workflow. How will your ideas get from the brainstorming stage to the point of being out in the world? This has to be a really important part of creating your content marketing plan. To do that, evaluate the resource you have existing in your team. Bring your team in on your plans and ideas and let them feedback on what they feel is realistic. Where you don't have the resource in-house, check if there are outsourcing methods that work with your budget.
Once your workflow is planned, project management tools like Asana or Monday.com give your whole team great visibility on the project.
Looking for inspiration
A big challenge with content marketing is finding inspiration. Not only do you want a great quantity of content, it needs to be great quality. So where can you find the inspiration for fresh, relevant content?
Keyword Research - Conducting keyword research using tools like Ahrefs or Semrush is a perfect starting point. You can research what your audience are actually searching for and make sure your content answers those questions.
Ask your audience - Take to your social channels and ask for feedback! Ask your audience what they'd like to see, or host a Q&A to understand what questions you could cover in your content.
Google Trends - Google Trends is a really helpful tool for seeing what topics are hottest at any given time. Use this tool to create reactive content based on what people are talking about.
Inspiration is everywhere, you could find it in books and tv shows or on a walk to your local town. The important thing is to make the time to look for inspiration and let it power your content marketing plan.
Writing better copy
Another challenge in content marketing is actually writing the copy! Here's some tips to keep in mind when writing copy for your content pieces:
Know your target audience - To write the best copy possible, you've got to know who you're talking to. Spend time getting to know your demographics, and how they consume content. When you understand that better, you can write better copy.
Map out your key points - Before writing copy, it can be helpful to map out the key points you want to include. That helps you to keep your copy clear and will make your message easier to understand.
Once you've spent time researching, writing and designing content - how should you distribute it? You'll be distributing on the channels you've picked out earlier, but how can you make the content go further? This is where repurposing of content comes into play. Not everyone consumes content the same. Some people will prefer short-form video whilst others love a blog to get stuck into it. So to make your content go further, repurpose it into different formats. When a blog post becomes a podcast topic, a infographic and a Instagram reel - you've just tripled your content from one single idea. That means more eyes on your content, a further reach and more brand awareness.
What metrics should you track?
Tracking key metrics on content is the best way to make sure that your content marketing strategy gets better over time. Tracking the success of content gives you valuable insights into what resonates with your audience, and what doesn't. But what exactly should you be tracking? Well, that really depends on your overall goal. If you're looking to build up a strong brand identity, keep an eye on metrics like reach and engagement. If driving sales is your main goal right now, you'll want to keep an eye on clicks and other metrics like CAC. Knowing your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) gives you important insight into how hard your content is working for you.
Other metrics that can play a key part in understanding how successful your content marketing strategy is include...