Before You Create That Content Marketing Plan…
You’ve probably heard the phrase ‘content marketing’ somewhere in your travels. If you haven’t, rest assured you probably will. It’s often cheaper than traditional advertising, more easily accessible to an increasingly mobile audience and provides a more valuable and personal touch.
Content marketing can indeed be a powerful way to take your business to the next level. But to get started, you’ll need a plan that works with your existing business goals. Here are some things to consider before you put that plan together:
What exactly do you want it to do? Do you want greater sales, greater visibility or to generate extra leads? A content marketing plan should mirror the goals of your business. Keep your specific goals in mind when you design a content marketing program and make sure they line up with your overall business objectives.
Who are you going to be marketing to? It’s important to know your audience, particularly if you’re new to content marketing. Figuring out exactly who they are, what they are interested in, how they prefer to receive their information and how that integrates with your product or service is critical.
How will you know if you’re successful? To know whether your content is doing what it’s supposed to, you’ll want to develop and then refine ways to measure it. Are your customers receiving it? Are they responding to it (hint: click-through rate)? Is it translating into greater sales? Gauging how effective your content is can be just as important as creating it.
What stands in your way? Anything worth doing is going to come with its own set of challenges. Maybe you’ll struggle to produce engaging content or have difficulty narrowing down your audience. Whatever your challenges might be, identify them early and develop ways to overcome them.
How much do you want to spend? Given enough time and resources you can likely overcome any challenge, but content marketing must be cost effective. How much of your overall budget do you want to devote to this type of marketing? Having a budget in place beforehand gives you an idea of whether you’re getting your money’s worth. If you are a micropreneur, developing content can be a real strain on your time so consider delegating whatever you can.
Content marketing is your chance to put your personal stamp on your marketing, and it’s a journey well worth taking. They say a trip begins with a single step, but before you take that step, you’ll want to figure out why you’re starting out in the first place. Sometimes it helps to plan before you plan.