A content marketing strategy – Sound intimidating, doesn’t it? Like this 80-page plan you need to write before you can even get started writing content. Content creation was already daunting and something you have been postponing. And now you need a PLAN???
Don’t worry! A content marketing plan doesn’t have to be longwinded, complicated or taking much time. All it means is that you know why you are doing what you are doing.
Hopefully, you already have a marketing plan. In that plan, you will write about who, what, where on a bigger scale. This is your content marketing plan, that will build on your general marketing plan but therefor can be quite simple.
Let’s get out a paper and write down the answers to these questions:
- Why are you talking?
- What are you saying?
- Where are you saying it?
- When are you posting it?
- How are you posting it?
Step 1: Why are you talking?
Whether you have a marketing plan or you don’t, you need to know why you will be talking online. Which means you have to know what your goals are for talking online.
There are different options and though you can achieve all of them it is good to focus your efforts on one of two elements.
- Giving information
- Showing expertise
- Driving traffic
- Gaining clients
- Improving visibility
- Branding your company
- Improve customer service
Read more in the blogpost “Why are you talking?“
Step 2: What are you saying?
Now it’s all about what you will be saying online. There are a few elements to this questions:
- The themes of your content
- The forms of your content
- The tone of voice and branding of your content
First of all, you want to come up with the big themes of what you are talking about. Those should fit with what you are selling and where your expertise lies.
Secondly, it’s about forms of that content. Will you want to post videos, images, audio? This is the form of what you are saying but it will also have an influence on what you are saying.
Check out the blogpost ‘The shape of your content‘ for more information about forms.
Last but definitely not least it is good to think about the tone of voice and branding. If you want to be enthusiastic and cheerful that will look and sound different than if you want to be serious and strict. And what you want will depend on your topic/themes and your audience.
Step 3: Where are you saying it?
So next, where you will meet your potential customers? If you have that marketing plan, you will have the channels written down. If not, think about which channels you will use for connecting with your audience.
When deciding where to post it is crucial to think about your audience: where can they be found, but also think about your personality: if you don’t like being on camera, don’t pick YouTube. If you hate writing, select a channel that works best with imagery or video.
Moreover, you want your audience to move through the layers.
You can read more about the marketing layers in my ebook “7 great ways to simplify your marketing strategy and get more clients now” or in this blog post: “How circles can help you figure out your marketing strategy“.
You might write down: Facebook, blog, YouTube, Instagram. Or something completely different. Just make sure you know where you want to post.
Step 4: When are you saying it?
Now you need to come up with a schedule. How many blogs will you post a month? How many posts will you make on Facebook? Do you want to post three times a day on Instagram?
At what times is it best to post on those channels? You can consult your statistics if you have them or look at the general information about your audience for those channels.
In the end, it is more important to come up with a schedule that you can keep to and test, than that it has to be perfect. You can tweak it if necessary.
You can use the schedule for a content calendar. You can read more about content calendars in the blog post ‘The Content Calendar‘.
Step 5: How are you posting it?
Now that you know when you are posting what, it is time for the how. You might need to come up with tools for scheduling to those channels that you want to be using or tools to make content for those channels.
Having a good list of the tools that you will be using is not a required step in your content marketing plan but it can help you tremendously when you start to implement.
Your content strategy
With these answers, you have your strategy. That is all there is to it.
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