Content Marketing Plan for Marketers & Bloggers

If you are ambitious, your goals will not be achieved without a plan.

What is Content Marketing? It’s all about the creation of content,  optimizing it for the search engines and also promoting it to your own audience. It is also that ” know like and trust” factor. Becoming known by your ideal customers by the publication of information that your ideal customer is searching for.

If you have a business, you probably have a content marketing plan. Most companies don’t succeed without a  marketing plan of some kind.  If you don’t have one, you need to get one together as soon as you can.

I’m going to give you a solid plan for creating a  content marketing plan.

 

Document Your Strategy

Do you have tasks you never seem to get done? You have a  non-existent system for tracking your work like Blog posts on your WordPress blog, or scrambled Social Media items? Let’s make your content marketing plan short and simple.

  • Later on, when you’re implementing your plan, you can make changes and add things. The plan you’ll put together today may prove ineffective for later on. You can always make an amendment to it. Even the best-laid plans get amended.

 

What Are Your Objectives?

To begin your content marketing plan, start by establishing your objectives.

If you don’t have an objective, you don’t need a content marketing plan. But—you also have no business doing content marketing if you do not have a plan. Don’t waste your time. Time is the one thing we all do not have enough of. Manage it well by planning it well.

Objectives – another of my articles  Social Media Business Goals 

Measure your leads monthly, record your email list growth weekly in a spreadsheet report. Google Docs, Spreadsheets.

Now you’ve documented and defined an objective

Additional objectives could build your community, establish your greater authority. See my article link above for more on objectives.

 

Content Marketers

Effective content marketers know precisely who their customers are and what that their target market wants, and where to find them.  “Personas” (who your market is represented by) results in giving your potential customers faces, names and their motivations.

Start with the ideal customer. Most marketers develop a target person,  There may be some research involved, but you really should know your customers. Who are they? Where do they hang out?

What do you want in the new year?

Develop a ” Persona Template” for yourself.B2B personas will differ from B2C personas.

• Name (consider using a photo you like as well )
• Job/role  -Basically field in which they work
• Job responsibilities -or life responsibilities
• Toughest challenges What keeps them up nights
• Pain points and or (and pleasures)
• Role in decision-making Makes her own purchases
• What influences him or her? People they follow

Editorial Content Calendars Another of my articles on using an Editorial Calendar

Your content marketing mission
As a content marketer, you are a publisher. Your content marketing mission needs to:

• Articulate your approach to the content and industry
• Clearly, define whom the content is for
• State how the content will satisfy the needs of those that consume it
(The list above comes from a LinkedIn Influencer post by Joe Pulizzi of Content Marketing Institute.) Hubspot

Your Marketing Funnel

Content marketing plan
“The funnel”, a metaphor symbolizing the progression of a person from -stranger to -prospect to -customer.  Description  -the buying cycle in your customers’ journey.

Stranger. She didn’t know your company before.  Thanks to your content marketing, you’ve achieved awareness. This is the first step – Awareness.
Prospect. The person has demonstrated interest. She is doing her research. As a marketer, you are helping them with evaluation. Second step – Interest.
Customer. The person is making the action you seek, buying. You’re a useful marketer because your content has inspired a purchase. The Third step – Purchase.
Different organizations will have different names for the steps. Different descriptions. Often, they’ll have more steps. It’s your funnel, so have it your way. What matters is you’re comfortable with a reasonable amount of steps.

Your personas define your potential customers. Your selling proposition and mission statement defined your story.

Content : Consider the most popular, and often, the most effective options. Like…

• Blogs
• Newsletters
• Social media
• Events (online and off)
• Case studies
• Videos
• Podcasts
• eBooks and white papers
• Presentations
• Infographics
• Webinars
• Research reports
• Microsites
• Apps

Research and Testing

Long-term, you will do some research. You’ll test. You’ll analyze your metrics. You’ll repurpose winners, dump losers, and refine middle-of-the-road stuff. But short-term, you’ll speculate, make some decisions and create a content marketing calendar. Bloggers tend to call it an editorial calendar.

Content marketing expert Jay Baer often says, “Content is fire. Social media is gasoline.”  A Good way to think of it.

Jay also wrote, “You must market your marketing and create a distribution plan for each piece of content.” Solid advice. Consider your resources (and, of course, your audience) and attempt to make smart choices amongst:

• Social media networks
• Email
• Search
• Paid search
• Advertising
• Sponsored content (on blogs and social networks)

Map your strategies per content type

For instance…

• We’ll promote our blog via (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+).
• We’ll promote our webinars via (our e-newsletter and PPC ads).
• And so on

The planning process, it need not be overly complicated. Apply this simple approach: the objectives you’ve documented inform the metrics you’ll use.

You need not track a massive list of metrics. Document your objectives. Make a short list of the most meaningful metrics that indicate your progress and create a simple dashboard for tracking them. I use Google Docs, Spreadsheets.

And that’s your plan  – put together today.

 

 

If you would like to chat for 15 mins for (free) pick a time here on my calendar.

About Kathryn Maclean http://www.facebook.com/marketingofflineonline
A certified Social Media Campaign specialist using Facebook, Twitter Pinterest and Google +. Affiliate Network Marketing using resources such as PAC Power Affiliate Club – PAC Welcome Coordinator.

29 comments on “Content Marketing Plan”

  1. Hi Kathryn,

    Well, isn’t this a timely article for me. It is that time of year where I like to re-vamp some strategies for business. You have given me some wonderful ideas here and I WILL put them into action.

    I have a “checklist” that I follow, but as business grows, I do have to implement new things. Getting social media to take less time. Writing content and re-purposing it also. There is so much I want to do.

    As B2B and B2C are different, it is time to shake it up.

    -Donna

    • Hi Donna, ( thanks for sharing my article, I do appreciate that!)
      Re-vamping strategies is a good thing. I am all for doing things a new way if it benefits me in terms of time and money.
      I can’t tell you all the advantages of CoSchedule here but I did ask a very well know marketer Steve Dotto about it on his Wed Webinar “Ask Steve Anything” this week.His team uses Asana and other things but I think he was impressed with me that I asked about it. He said “it’s a very good program.” More on that coming up.Thanks for your comments!

  2. Good Morning Kathryn! Just as Donna has stated this is also a timely article for me as well! I really have not done a whole lot with my business this summer and do need to sit down and get my marketing plan together. I am also looking forward to your post about this CoSchedule, this is something new to me!

    Great Share My Friend.
    Thank You
    Chery :))

    • Hi Chery,
      Getting your ducks in a row my friend? I learned about CoSchedule from seeing their articles online which I thought were great. But I took a mini trial of a membership plan that included a really interesting video on CoSchedule. I signed up CoScheules trail and I am getting the least expensive one down under the others see the + sign at the bottom. I am very excited about using this to do EVERYTHING in my business. You can even publish your blog posts on your site using it. Thanks for your comments.

    • Hi Sharon,
      I want to use more infographics as well. I have some info and places to do this stored somewhere. If I
      come across it I will let you know. Thanks for your comments

  3. Great article Kathryn! Content marketing isn’t really content marketing if you don’t have a plan. I’m in the middle of updating mine because I just merged four blogs into one, so your suggestions will come in very handy for me as I go through and sort through everything to find the keepers.

    • Hi Ruth,
      I did that two One blog is so much better than 4 of them. We live and learn, in the blogging world, right? Thanks for your comments.

    • Hello Saurabh,
      The ideal promotional strategy to promote your content in plain english is very important.
      Thanks for your comments.

  4. Hi Kathryn,

    If money goes with everything, as some old school movie star supposedly said, then so does planning.

    Thinking in terms of the total picture helps with building a system for reuse. And systems increase productivity – a good thing.

    Thoughtful article, thanks,
    Edward

    • Wondering who the old movie star was? Hi Ed,
      The total picture. Systems do increase productivity, they save time. As someone else said “Time is money”. Henry Ford???
      Thanks for your comments.

  5. Hi Kathryn,
    I’m a fan of Jay Baer whom you quoted. I follow the plan you listed.
    I was focused on your chatbot. I just got one for my site. I would love to quote you in my next chatbot article and link to your site. Why would you recommend a chatbot to others?
    Thanks,
    Janice

    • Hi Janice,
      Wonderful plan hu? Big Jay Baer fan. Feel free to quote me in your next article. My pleasure. I would recommend a chatbot to other blog owners even if you have a great page like Book Like a Boss for scheduling meetings. That takes time, even a contact page form takes the same, time. A chatbot is immediate if you are on
      the site or darn close if you check the email with it continually. Contact is important.

    • Hi Elise,
      You are right breaking down objectives adding further objectives, reviewing objectives. All to achieve our goals. Thanks for commenting.

  6. Great Tips! Such a great information.

    I agree with you that ”If you have a business, you should probably have a content marketing plan.” I have always been facing problems with Content Marketing Plan and was trying to hire someone to help me.

    I will tweet your post. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Thanks a lot!

    Stefan

    • Hi Stefan,
      If you would like to chat about creating a content marketing plan, be happy to. Just see my about page to set up a day and time. I visited your blog to see
      a little more about you before I asked to chat. Nice site, easy to read and navigate.

  7. Content marketing is all about optimizing the content by making the content helpful, applicable and reliable that attract and obtain a clearly defined audience. Definitely, Content marketing require a plan and strategies and we have to focus on how can we organize or manage our content.
    I just wanna thank you for sharing such informative post with us.

    • Hazel,
      you are correct about content marketing.You are more than welcome, I publish on a weekly basis, please visit again. Thanks for your comments.

  8. Hey kathryn,

    Nice Article! I utterly agree with you, Nowadays a business nothing without content marketing. Even many business owners do that but they don’t know how to optimize content, how to make effective content strategies in order to get good results.
    I like your post so much, It’s truly useful for other people as well. thank you for sharing.

    Maria.

    • Hi Maria,
      Content marketing is where it’s at. Optimizing your content is key. I have a Women’s Group and every Wednesday I share a Webinar Wednesday with a very well known marketer. Next week he is talking about Content Marketing, in case you are interested. My woman’s Group is here https://www.facebook.com/groups/Womenonlineinbusiness/ You are welcome to join us. Thanks for your comments.

  9. Hey,
    There are a number of challenges you will usually face before you can successfully implement your content marketing plan. The idea is to learn from your failures and use them to your advantage. Determine what works best for you by measuring and testing your results. Making changes to your content marketing plan along the way is healthy.

    • Hi Jack,
      Thanks for your comment. I agree. The challenges are definitely there. Implementing a content marketing plan is learning and testing new ideas. Determining what works best for your particular business.

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