Content marketing is one of the most effective ways to find, engage and convert more of your ideal customers.
But all of these benefits require a content plan. Effective content marketing isn’t a “throw spaghetti against the wall and see what happens” process. With a strategic plan, you can make content marketing simple to implement, easy to measure and something that can actually be (dare I say it?) fun!
Step 1: Understand Your Audience
When you create a connected content plan, you have to start with your audience. They are the people who are seeing your social media updates, reading your blog posts, sharing your content and interacting with your company. It makes sense to give them exactly what they are searching for. Get focused by creating a detailed ideal client profile and then creating content to solve their problems.
Step 2: Plan Your Strategy
Before you can use all of this problem solving content, you need to figure out *how* to use it. You need to map your content marketing to your business goals. For example, if you want to increase website inquiries by 50%, you may want to take your great content ideas and turn them into a downloadable white paper or e-course.
Step 3: Set Your Schedule
At this point, you’ve got a clear idea of who you’re speaking to and a bit about how you’ll be speaking to them. Now it’s time to get a schedule set up for publication. Whatever it is, be consistent. Three posts per week. One white paper per month. A Webinar each quarter. Like clockwork.
Step 4: Create Quality Content
If you want to create interest and grab the attention of your ideal client, you’ve got to offer quality. You can’t just say the same thing that everyone else is about your topic. Each time it seems like we hit critical mass on a particular subject, there’s someone out there publishing something fresh and new online. Be that publisher for your market. Example: Blog Criteria: 3 Blogging Criteria for Writing Great Posts
Step 5: Promote Your Content
Content promotion is ESSENTIAL. If your content isn’t promoted somehow it’s unlikely it will get the audience exposure that you want or the results that you’re looking for. If you’re using keywords research to create website content and blog posts, someone will find your content eventually. But why wait for someone to find it at some time? Be sure to incorporate social media and press releases to promote your content and maximize views. Example: Content Promotion Strategy: 33 Ways to Drive Traffic
Step 6: Analyze Your Results and Plan Ahead
Without analysis, you won’t know how well your content is performing and what the next steps should be. Make it a point to regularly review your website traffic, your conversion rates and your inquiries. Since you’ve followed step three and have a consistent schedule, you’ll be able to track exactly how your content is affecting your results.
Now that you have these six steps outline for you, content marketing should be easy, effective and (a little) fun. Which of these six steps have you tried? Which ones have you been missing?