Writing for Business Advice, Rebecca Beale, a content specialist at SEO agency Tecmark, guides readers through the four essential steps to planning a winning content marketing strategy.
As a small business owner, planning a great content marketing strategy can sometimes seem like a rather overwhelming task. There are probably hundreds of ideas rolling around your head as we speak, but how do you get them all organised and strategised?
Content marketing is a great way of getting your message across to potential and existing customers due to its affordability, credibility and creative accessibility, but many small business owners wince at the thought of actually creating a strategy.
If you’re struggling to create your content marketing strategy, here are four helpful steps.
Do your research
Doing a good amount of research is paramount to creating a decent content marketing strategy. Why? Because you need to know your audience and industry before even putting pen to paper, or you could be looking at a marketing flop.
It’s essential that you familiarise yourself with your target audience, so that you’re aware of the types of people you want to influence with your content.
It’s also worth keeping in mind that sometimes, our initial content ideas just don’t match up with our target audience. Ask questions like:
- What types of content are your typical customers into?
- What mediums are they going to use to find out new information?
- What are their wants and needs?
It’s also a good idea to have a look at the sort of thing other businesses in your industry are doing. What areas of their content campaigns are doing well? What ways do you think they should improve? Are there any areas they haven’t covered that you think you could use in your campaign?
Once you’ve looked at what’s going on in your industry, take a look at the wider picture. Research trends within some of the big brands out there – is there anything that continuously seems to do well? Also have a look at the types of content that are shared the most.
What are your objectives and overall goals?
When creating a content marketing strategy, it’s really important to list out your main objectives for the campaign. Here are a few examples of some objectives:
- Increase the amount of traffic to your site by improving your SEO keyword rankings
- Fuelling a social media campaign
- Customer retention
- Securing an increased amount of conversions
It’s also vital to be realistic about how long you think it will take to reach these objectives, at which point do you want to start seeing results?
Make sure this is realistic, we’d all like to see results within the first few days but that’s not always feasible.
Something that comes hand-in-hand with your timescales is your investment. What is your budget? Again, make sure that this is realistic.
Once you’ve taken all of these factors into account, it’s time to create a content execution plan.
Get everything down on paper
Now for the fun part – planning and getting everything down on paper.
Your plan should be a step-by-step guide on turning your content ideas into the finished product. Take into account any content ideas, who will be creating the content, internal and external deadlines, briefs and the content schedule.
Think about how you will promote your content
Once you’ve penned your content execution schedule, it’s time to think about how you’re going to promote your content. After all, there’s no point in creating content if no-one’s going to see it.
How you want to promote your content really is up to you, you could go down the owned, earned or paid social media routes, email marketing, influencer marketing, PR or SEO optimisation.
We find that a healthy dose of all these routes works well, but it really does depend on what your budget allows.
Tecmark is a content marketing agency based in Manchester
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