Creating great content isn’t just about having something to say – it’s also about knowing your audience and what they want to read, see, and engage with. Your content plan is the roadmap that will take you from A to B. And, just like any good road trip, you need to know where you’re going before you can start driving.
That’s why the first step in developing an effective content plan is understanding who your target market is and what problems do they want to solve?
Once you know who you’re talking to, and why you’re talking to them, it will be much easier to map out your content marketing plan with strategic content pieces that also help support your overall marketing goals.
Here are eight tips to help you develop an effective content plan.
Start with your SEO keywords:
These are the words and phrases that your audience is searching for online. Use them as a starting point for developing the topics you want to write about as these are the key problems that they are having and want to find a solution, or find someone who can help them.
From there, it’s all about creating a balance between evergreen content (the stuff that will always be relevant like tips and advice) and timely content (the stuff that’s tied to current events or trends).
Next, you need to consider which channels and mediums you’ll be using to share your content:
It’s important to not only choose the topics your audience is interested in, but to also consider which content types they engage with the most, and which mediums they tend to use the most when seeking answers.
Does your audience prefer long form content that they can book mark and come back to at at later date? Will it written form such as a blog with clearly outlined headings and detailed sections?
Is your expertise better highlighted through visual mediums, such a video, infographics or illustrations? If it’s on video, is it more detailed and better shared on YouTube or would a shorter TikTok video be sufficient?
Will be shared across other social media channels such as Facebook and Instagram? or is it more suitable for LinkedIn only?
Choose the channels where your audiences are most active and go from there. This leads to the next tip:
Think about repurposing:
When drafting content ideas, can you take one topic and cover it in multiple ways? For example, you could turn a live Q and A session into a series of blog posts where you expand on each answer in more depth. You could also showcase the questions in smaller, bite-sized shareable illustrations, or collate them into one big infographic. You could then revisit these same posts at a later date to update them with new information.
The longevity of a content piece will serve you more for half the time and cost – so instead of having to recreate a new, original piece of content every single time, you can get a few different pieces from one topic. While shorter, trendy pieces are also important to include in your content marketing (if they’re relevant to your brand), evergreen content that you can continually repurpose is a more solid investment of time and resources.
Don’t forget about your audience:
Sometimes our audiences can surprise us with the things they want to know. Crowdsourcing some ideas by asking them directly is a great way to not only find out exactly what it is they are keen to know more about, it’s also a great way to give your audience more active participation. People only work with, follow, or admire the people that they like, know, and trust.
Calling out to them, showing more authentic sides to you, inviting them in is one way to help build those relationships with them on a deeper level.
You can survey your readers, send out a call for guest posts, or look at what topics are being shared the most on social media.
Set some goals:
This is important. Content marketing is a long term game, and some people believe that you cannot set any goals for content because it’s hard to measure its exact ROI. Someone could read one of your blog posts, and then decided to follow you on social media, and then decided come back to your business three months later, and engage in your services. The content from the blog and the social media posts helped do that, but you can’t exactly say “this blog post helped us make $200 today.”
So while you cannot exactly pinpoint how much ROI content can generate, you can still set some other measurable goals for your content.
First consider what do you want to achieve with your content? Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Increase brand awareness? Establish yourself as a market leader? Generate leads? Keep these goals in mind as you develop your content plan and make sure that each piece is helping you move closer to achieving them.
Keep it organized:
Once you have all of your content ideas, it’s time to start organizing them. You can do this in a number of ways, from using a simple spreadsheet to more complex project management tools.
It’s also a good way to ensure that your content marketing plan dovetails nicely with your overall digital marketing strategy and is helping meet the overarching business goals.
Create an editorial calendar:
This is where you’ll map out when and where each piece of content will be published. A clear content outline for the week, month, and year makes it easier to ensure that you don’t miss an important dates that you want to produce content for and by having everything laid out in advance, it will help you stay on track and avoid any last-minute scrambling.
Measure your success:
Finally, it’s important to measure the success of your content so that you can see what’s working and adjust your strategy accordingly. You can track things like pageviews, social media engagement, and conversion rates to get an idea of how well your content is performing.
By following these tips, you’ll be on your way to developing a comprehensive and effective content plan that will help you achieve your digital marketing goals.
If you would like some help with your content marketing management, get in touch with us! We like to start with coffee.