How to Build a Winning Content Marketing Plan in 8 Steps
Attracting customers with appealing content is a savvy way to bring more visibility and revenue to your company. However, without a coherent content marketing funnel, your strategy isn’t accomplishing what it could.
A content strategy plan pulls your endeavors together, and a successful one puts you on a profitable path from the start.
Check out this actionable guide to build an innovative content marketing plan in eight steps! Or, if you’re looking for professional help when it comes to developing your website’s content strategy, contact WebFX to learn more about our award-winning content marketing services.
1. Consider your objectives
Content marketing requires a clear trajectory, and your plan needs a defined focus to drive your business forward. Your intentions for your company can include a variety of goals, but it’s important to review them to direct your marketing efforts.
Circulating your material can lead to plenty of positive results, but which ones are useful to you? Your plan can strive for one or more of the following objectives:
- Establish brand awareness
- Promote customer engagement
- Boost website traffic
- Improve search engine optimization (SEO)
- Gain leads and conversions
- Build customer loyalty and trust
- Raise revenue
After you determine your objectives and priorities, your content has a consistent purpose to serve. Throughout the planning process, you can refer back to your ultimate mission, which keeps your strategy unified.
2. Take inventory of previous content
Examining the content you’ve published in the past can reveal the current strengths and weaknesses of your company. Although you may not have a structured content marketing plan in place now, your company can still be effective in some areas.
If your Instagram following responds well to your posts, for example, you can capitalize on this success by expanding your strategy on Instagram.
Pinpointing your most prominent content can give you a sense of the best way to connect with potential customers. In the same way, negative outcomes can display insufficient or ineffective content.
Auditing your material offers insight into your pre-plan performance. This starting place is your baseline that you can measure future improvement against.
3. Decide on a target audience
Relating to specific demographics can build a unique understanding for prospective partnerships, as 96 percent of top business-to-business (B2B) content marketers report that their target groups think of their company as a credible resource.
When dealing with general consumers, a bond is equally crucial for company growth.
The target audience for your content will find your material helpful and worthwhile, which pushes them to interact with your company. When you know your audience, you can craft your posts, videos, or blogs with specific characteristics in mind and pass your content on to the right people.
To find relevant demographic groups, create a buyer persona, the hypothetical version of your desired customer. Existing customer trends — which you reviewed while inventorying your content — and market research can form the buyer persona for your products and services.
4. Pair content types with the audience needs
Once you grasp your target audience, you can tailor your material to meet their needs or pain points. Your content can act as a solution, resource, or persuasive piece, depending on the intended audience. The content can take on different formats that will attract your customers.
A few examples include:
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- Blog posts
- How-to guides
Your content type can shift between needs, but your audience may respond more readily to a specific approach. For example, if you’re attempting to engage your audience and breed trust, you may choose to host informative webinars regularly.
5. Generate content ideas
Before initiating your content marketing plan, you need a range of ideas to fuel your projects. The topics you cover through your content should fill in gaps in your industry or address current challenges of your target audience.
Investigate topics competitors cover, keywords related to your company, and industry-specific trends. You can tackle these topics with your company’s distinct expertise and position to publish popular content.
Content idea tools are valuable for fostering productive brainstorming. For instance, FAQ Fox can generate topics that target high-value keywords for your industry. It can even search for specific websites.
6. Choose promotional avenues
The methods by which you share your content is a significant part of content marketing. Promotional channels can cause your website traffic to surge, making your content even more powerful.
Social media platforms are essential promotional channels, and you can encourage followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to visit your newly published material. Sponsored promotions can also produce more exposure for your content.
Regular emails can alert customers to new and upcoming content, and they can also assist you by sharing your content in their circles of influence. You can extend incentives to spark this word-of-mouth behavior from individuals, which can help your website content strategy.
7. Chart out an editorial calendar
Accumulating a library of well-received content takes organization, and an editorial calendar allows you to plot out the creation and release dates of your material. Forming a solid collection of blog posts and videos can set your company up as a trusted resource in your industry.
The dates you choose for subjects can correspond to seasons or emerging issues, and timely content can make the most of rare opportunities. Evergreen content is equally as vital because it withstands changes and perpetually influences your target audience.
Arranging an editorial calendar can sustain a steady workflow, and this carries your content marketing plan through to the end goal.
8. Select a content management system and monitor your strategy
A centralized system can merge separate parts of your content marketing strategy into one destination. You can oversee the development, publishing, promoting, and tracking of content in a content management system (CMS).
A major role of a CMS is watching metrics like the website traffic to lead ratio or overall revenue. These measurements can show your accomplishments and any ineffective parts of your content strategy plan. Continual data tracking and analysis can let you tweak the strategy as you go.
Content marketing planning is a preemptive move to steer your content and execution, but it also needs recalibrating from time to time.
Frequent meetings and evaluations of your content marketing plan are advantageous to keeping your projects on course. Looking at the analytics and following up on data-backed observations is a cycle that can boost your sales and produce an exceptional marketing campaign.
Set your content marketing strategy up for success
Our passionate team at WebFX is skilled at implementing content marketing plans that can bring you the highest ROI possible. With ongoing monitoring, we keep your content strategy plan equipped to meet your goals.
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