It should start with a content marketing plan

keyboard.2Research tells us that one in every four marketing dollars is spent on a content marketing initiative, however it also shows that only a small percentage of organisations have a concrete strategy for the deployment of those content assets. Put simply it’s like building a house with no architectural plans.

Often marketers cite “creating content” as one of their biggest challenges. But in reality they’re not using the content they have to their best advantage. To do this you need a strategy that tells you how much content you require, the product and service areas you wish to promote, the audiences you wish to attract and the targeted search keyword phrases.

Importantly your plan will provide a calendar to schedule the production and promotion of content, which is available to everyone in your organisation involved in content creation.

Like publishers, content marketers must have a detailed picture of their target audience in order to create optimal content for them. In developing different personas or audience segments that characterise your range of prospective customers, it’s helpful to find out:

What is their demographic information?
What do you help them solve?
What do they value most?
What are their goals?
Where do they go for information?
What experience are they looking for when seeking out your products or services?
What are their most common objections to your product or service?
How should you describe your solution to this persona?

Taking content inventory

Taking stock of your existing content will help you find holes that you can fill with new content, or identify where you may be writing about some subjects more frequently than others, as well as which topics generate the best results and reader interest.

Another key aspect of a content marketing plan is to identify the types of content and channels that work best for each stage of the buying cycle.
While your prospects may traverse a range of channels related to your brands or products, marketing studies have shown that certain types of content play particularly important roles at specific stages of the decision-making process or buying process.

Most of the visitors to your website will be in the “research” part of their buying process and are looking for content to help them understand their problem. Once they have done their research, they’ll start comparing the options available to them. Once they’ve narrowed down their options, they will want to compare the providers.

This is what we mean when we say they are moving through their buying process or buying cycle. Say you identify three key stages of the buying cycle – initial, middle and closing – your choice of content will be tailored to the needs of the buyer dependent on where they are in the cycle.
Once you have identified all the segments, products and services you need to target with your content marketing plan, it’s time to start producing content.


Promotion: Get your free 20-page content marketing guide for writers

Are you interested in improving your search engine rankings, driving more traffic to your website and generating quality leads? In other words, attracting more people to your organisation with whom you want to ‘do business’? Then our free content marketing guide for writers will help you get there. It also gives you tips on keeping the creative output flowing, which means the content keeps coming, whether you’re outsourcing the job or managing your own.
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