Digital marketing Content Marketing

Significance of Creating a Content Marketing Plan

content marketing plan benefits

Whether you are just starting with content marketing or you been using a similar approach for a while, it is not bad to revisit your content marketing plan- to ensure it is up-to-date, inventive, and engaging for your customers and prospects, no matter how or when they intend to purchase. If you are like other marketers, you start your content marketing efforts with the best intentions. You have great ideas for content that surely readers will connect with. You have some ideas about places to promote the content. And that you will find the resources and time you need to create a content marketing plan.

But then again you do not.

To understand the potential content marketing offers, it is important to have a content marketing plan. It sounds simple, though it is a step that most content marketers do not take. 70% of marketers lack an integrated or consistent content marketing strategy and just 29 percent of leading marketers methodologically repurpose and reuse content. This is because creating such a plan is a difficult task. It needs marketers to analyze where their marketing efforts have been and what they want to attain in the future.

If you are one among those 70 percent of marketers who operate without a specific content marketing plan, think again: we have got the information you need to go through the planning process and create a content marketing plan that can generate positive results.

Content Marketing Plan is More than Content.

Why is it so difficult for marketers to create a strategic content marketing plan? Let us start by looking at what content marketing is. According to The Content Marketing Institute, “Content Marketing is the planned marketing approach of curating and distributing relevant, valuable, and consistent content to attract and attain a clearly defined target audience- to drive profitable consumer action.

Note the stress on content marketing strategy in this statement. Taking a strategic approach to your content marketing plan ensures your message cuts through the clutter and reaches your audience with the right info at the right time.

Value of A Content Marketing Plan

More than an editorial calendar, a content marketing plan is your road map to successful content marketing efforts. There are various benefits to having this level of planning in place before you begin to share the content.

To begin, a good strategy document will define the important elements of your effort. It will outline who will talk to you, what will you say and how should you say it, where the content will be advertised, and how will you know when you have been successful.

Having this kind of plan keeps everyone involved in curating and sharing the content on the same page, ensuring you have the required resources to handle all the aspects of a successful content campaign. From writing, posting, sharing, and tracking, every member of the team understands what needs to happen and at what time.

Also, you have a guide or road map that you can share with others in your company. This makes sure that content marketing goals are in alliance with and are supporting the objectives of your company. Sharing your content marketing plan also gets others in your company to purchase into the role that content plays in making the company successful. This not just supports your efforts but gives you a team of employees who are involved and eager to share the content of the company.

Understanding the value of your content marketing strategy brings a good first step. Now, let us look at how to create that content strategy and at the templates that are available to guide the procedure along the way.

Why Marketers Need to Create a Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing helps businesses to prepare and plan for cost-effective and reliable sources of new leads and website traffic. If you can create only one blog that gets a good amount of organic traffic, an embedded link to an eBook or free tool will continue collecting leads for you as time moves on- after you click “Publish.”

The reliable source of leads and traffic from your content will offer you the flexibility to experiment with other marketing methods to generate revenue, like social media advertising, sponsored content, and distributed content. Also, your content will not just help in attracting leads- it will also help to educate your target audience and generate awareness for your company.

How to start a Content Marketing Plan

Content Audit- You cannot tell where you are going if you are not aware of the place where you went. That is why the first step in creating your content marketing strategy plan starts with a content audit. To begin, collect all your content that is at present produced by your company: blog, keywords, social media, website, etc. Then, using a content inventory spreadsheet, you can show how successful these elements have been to your content marketing strategy. Now, spend some time analyzing the results.

To start, you will want to see which content was most successful and which one did not meet your expectations. Try to get a sense of the reasons behind these results. You will also want to note what is in your content “library” so that you can reuse that content in your strategy document. It is significant to note gaps in the subject areas so that you can develop new content to fill that place. The content audit will take some effort and time, but it will provide you the details required to build your content marketing plan.

Defining the audience for your content marketing plan- Once the audit gets completed, you are ready for the next step, which is the most critical one, i.e., developing your content marketing strategy. Here, you need to define the purpose of your content plan. The purpose is a huge topic but essentially it comes down to two significant elements: whom are you targeting with your content, and what do you want them to do with the info you offer? Review the information that you compiled in your content audit to find who is responding to which content. As you do this, be aware that some of the business trends or issues that were a problem in the past might not apply to the strategy you are creating today.

Matching content with your customers- With the target audience defined, then you want to consider what action you want your content to encourage. To find out, start with the info collected in the content audit. Look at what content areas were successful, ask yourself in the following:

  1. What is the message of your content?
  2. Who is your target audience?
  3. Why was this piece successful?
  4. Are these still the right messages for the target audience?

Evaluating what content was successful with which target audience offers you a start on creating your content messages.

Developing your editorial calendar- You have done your content audit, defined the target audience and the goals of your content marketing strategy. If you have used the content audit template, we have provided along the way, then now you have the info you need to create your editorial calendar. In simple language, the editorial calendar is defined as the working document that offers everyone involved in your content effort the info they need to curate, deliver, and promote the content marketing strategy plan.

Content marketing can be an important resource for an organization. Be sure you have the data which you need to show how valuable it is. An important part of your content marketing plan is the editorial calendar.

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