3-Step Guide to Creating a Solid Content Marketing Plan

Your content planning will play a significant role in producing quality content that resonates with your audience, increasing your brands presence and reach online, driving traffic and generating leads.  It will be one of your most powerful tactics to growing your business and building a name for your brand. 

However, with 88% of B2B and 76% of B2C marketers currently leveraging content marketing as part of their inbound strategy, it’s crucial that you have a solid plan to rise above the sea of content being distributed.

Most businesses actually face challenges with their content planning due to lack of clarity in creating engaging content that captures attention.  This doesn’t have to be you!  You see, you can build a working plan that provides a strong foundation to sharing content meant for your intended audience.

Here is a 3-step outline to launching a successful campaign in your content marketing:

#1 Clarity on Your Audience and Establishing Buyer Personas

The first step to your content marketing strategy is understanding exactly who your audience is and their pain points.  The primary objective is to create content that speaks to your market, engages them, solves their problems and moves them to action. Being clear on your market is the only way to make this happen!

Forming buyer personas is the optimal way to target marketing because essentially you’re painting a picture of exactly what your ideal customer looks like based on the types of customers your business has and desires.  Buyer personas goes beyond the traditional demographics data that builds large, vague target markets.  Establishing buyer personas allows you to foster deeper relationships and connections with your audience because you’ll be able to speak directly to them, making your content impactful and engaging.

#2 Brainstorm Content that Matches Your Sales Process

Different prospects are at different stages in the buying process.  You’ll have prospects that are ready to buy right away as they become more familiar with your brand while others may still be getting to know who you are and how you can meet their needs.  For business growth, you want to have content that relates to all the different stages in your sales process to be effective in your marketing.

Let’s briefly label the stages of a sales process and content ideas that fits each one:

  • Awareness Stage

Here the prospect is in the discovery process of your business so content that creates awareness and promotes your brand is ideal.  Best content formats for this stage would be blog posts, white papers, social media posts, and infographics.

  • Consideration Stage

So the buyer is accustomed with your brand but not yet ready to make a purchasing decision.  They do, however, respect you as a credible source in your industry.  Your focus here is to capture qualified leads. Suitable content that complements this goal are video series, guides, product webinars, and case studies.

  • Decision Stage

They’re moving close to buying!  They’ve warmed up to your nurturing tactics and may be ready to pull out the credit card for purchase. To convert these leads/prospects into sales, persuasive content types are free trials, implementation (how-to) guides, and live demonstrations.

#3 Create Your Content

After identifying your buyer personas and thinking of content that fits each stage of your sales process, now you’re ready to produce winning content.  No worries though, there are countless content ideasand topics to share with your audience and various types of content to keep your audience engaged.

You want to offer variety in your content types to appeal to different audiences and learning styles.  With more content you’ll have more data to work with to evaluate and measure what types of content are responsive with your readers.

Consider these types of content formats:

  • Blog posts
  • Video
  • eNewsletters
  • Visuals/Images
  • Infographics
  • Case Studies
  • How-to Guides
  • Research reports
  • White Papers
  • Surveys
  • Lists
  • Podcasts
  • Webinars
  • User Generated Content (highly effective)
  • Interviews
  • Print Magazines
  • Slideshares
  • In-person events

Quick SEO tip: Search engines favor content with over 2,000 words. So the longer and more detailed your content, the better for ranking!

Conclusion

With this 3-step guide, you can now proceed to creating a solid content marketing strategy for your brand that’s gets in front of your market and builds engagement. The goal is to implement this quickly to discover which content works best for your audience and ramp up from there!

Need help in creating an effective Internet marketing strategy that targets your audience, boosts engagement and generates leads?  Contact us here for a free consultation.  We are equipped to help accelerate your online success!

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