The best content in the world doesn’t provide much value for a company if it’s not hitting the right targets. In fact, David Ogilvy once said that copywriting is “the art of writing words to sell.”
It doesn’t matter how large or small your company is; you need to have a coherent strategy in place. A content marketing plan can help you organize your ideas and make the right decisions when creating content. If you’re looking for the best way to get started with content marketing for your business, then you’ll love these 6-important things to consider!
Establish Goals and Objectives
The first step in any content marketing plan is to establish goals and objectives. Your goals will help you gauge the success of your content marketing strategy, so they must be specific and measurable.
I recommend following the SMART goals methodology: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound.
Here are some examples of SMART goals:
- Increase sales of enterprise software by 15 percent before the end of Q1
- Grow monthly organic traffic by X percent over the next six months
- Acquire more leads via an email signup form on our website* Establish a strong presence on Facebook with X number of followers by the end of May
Define Your Buyer Personas
Determining your customer avatars is one of the most important aspects of content marketing. This exercise will help you understand their problems, what they’re looking for, and how you can solve them.
To start with this exercise, identify your top 10 customers. They are the ones who buy from you regularly and spend the most money with your business. For each of these customers, create an avatar that defines:
- Who they are
- What problem they’re trying to solve
- Where do they hang out? (online and offline)
- Why do they buy your product? (motivations)
- How do they consume content?
Select Content Topics and Types
Choose topics relevant to your business, engaging to the audience, and will help you to achieve your goals. You want to avoid issues that are too broad or too narrow.
If you need some topic ideas, try searching your industry or competitor names in BuzzSumo. It’s a great tool for finding out what content has been popular within a niche, giving you plenty of inspiration for new content and showing which types of content tend to perform best for your industry.
Create a Realistic Content Calendar
Your content calendar should include all of your blog posts, the dates you will publish them, and any other major pieces of content you plan to create. By setting a schedule for yourself from the start, you’ll be able to see if it’s realistic based on how much time you have available and what types of content you want to create. If your schedule is too jam-packed, consider either shrinking it or adding week(s) where nothing new is posted, and only evergreen content (content that will always be relevant) goes live instead.
- Set reminders to promote your existing content.
The fun part of publishing new content is watching it go live, but it’s just as essential to continue promoting older posts, so they aren’t overlooked by newer ones (and your audience). Setting up reminders at regular intervals to share some of this older content within social media posts or newsletters can keep these older articles from getting lost in the shuffle while driving traffic back to them from new sources over time.
- Use a CMS platform like HubSpot or WordPress for managing your blog posts and other types of downloadable web pages (guides, checklists, ebooks, etc.)
Don’t be afraid to collaborate with other brands.
Collaborating with brands is a great way to open yourself up to an audience you could otherwise be missing. It can also keep your brand image consistently positive or help you save money on production costs. Collaboration can also keep you relevant in the ever-evolving world of content creation. These are all important factors that many smaller businesses forget when creating content strategies, but we’re here to remind them!
Don’t know where to start with collaborations? Try tapping into your network of industry peers or freelancers. Do some research and find someone whose work aligns with your brand values and aesthetic. You can ask them to do anything from basic tasks like designing an image for social media to more involved projects like helping you create infographics or blog posts.
When collaborating with others, remember that communication is key. Make sure both parties are on the same page about expectations, deadlines, budget, and deliverables before getting started!
Track, Measure, and Adjust
Tracking, measuring, and adjusting are the three steps you need to implement your content marketing strategy successfully. Every 30 days or so, track the results of your content marketing strategy and measure its success. Adjust your content marketing strategy as needed for ongoing optimization based on this data. To effectively track, measure, and adjust in this way monthly, there are some key points you’ll want to keep in mind throughout the process.
Content Marketing Institute found that of the top content marketing performers:
- 67% measured the ROI of their content
- 83% tracked KPIs
Of the less successful marketers:
- 23% measured ROI
- 30% had KPIs
Content Analytics Metrics To Track
If you’re measuring your content (as you should be) these are a few of the essential metrics you need to be tracking:
- Unique Visitors: The number of new website visitors
- Pageviews: The number of views received by specific pages
- Attention Time: The average time a visitor has spent engaging with a webpage
- Articles Viewed: The number of articles a visitor has seen
- Engagement Rate: The percentage of total page views in which a user was involved for with the content for more than 30 seconds
- Scroll depth: How much of the page a reader has seen
- Social shares: The number of times a link was shared by users on social media
- Keyword Rankings: The keywords you’re ranking for through search results
- Lead Generation: The content that pushes your leads down the conversion funnel
- Conversions: The content that’s pushing generating the most conversions.
It’s up to you what counts as a conversion. In some cases, the goal of your content might be to make a physical sale, while in others, it just might be to raise awareness of your brand and increase your authority.