Content Marketing Plan – how to develop it?

Content Marketing Plan is a must for every content marketer. To start with the plan it is necessary to define Marketing Goals. Nothing more easy – they align with the sales funnel.

 

Content goals

They start with Awareness, then comes Engagement, Affinity, Conversion and to finish, Advocacy.

 

 

What is a bit more difficult is to align marketing goals to the business goals of the company. Here come 4 parameters:

  • consistency: needs to be ensured across brand assets (graphic design); general look and feel, language and the way of interaction with the audience
  • timing: consideration how content marketing helps other campaigns in business
  • input: speak and share ideas with other business members; they may contribute with ideas and inspiration
  • website: content needs to be be optimized and SEO goals aligned to the overall business goals

 

Buyer persona

 

A fictive character depicting an imaginary customer (customer personas) help understand current and prospective customers better. Understanding the behavior allows to tailor the content, messages and tone to the specific needs and behaviors, as well as different groups. It applies as well to the product development and services.

Purpose of buyer personas in content marketing:

  • targeting: writing needs to be focused on topics of interest
  • format: gives insights how customers consume content
  • discovery: knowledge where the online audience gets information

When a buyer / customer persona is developed, it needs to be taken into consideration:

  • her objectives
  • location
  • job specific details
  • platforms she uses
  • devices she uses
  • purchase behaviors
  • interests

 

Content topics

 

To be sure that the content is relevant for the audience, the best is to use proven tools: keyword establishment, search trends and audience insights.

Content can be generated based on activities (brainstorming, community engagement and social listening) and using tools (RSS Feeds, Pinterest, StumbleUpon)

 

Content calendars

 

An essential tool for any content marketer. Content calendars allow to map all social media content and schedule it for the coming weeks or months. Essential elements of a content calendar are:

  • copy
  • creative
  • subject / theme
  • date and time
  • platform

To create a content calendar, a content marketer needs to:  plan (for a specific moment in time), create (simple spreadsheet with columns and headings is sufficient), populate (with as many details as possible), edit (and amend, if required).

It absolutely needs to be taken into consideration:

  • business priorities, set up timelines and programmed product launches
  • marketing activities executed by others in the company
  • sponsors and their activities
  • internal and in-store promotions
  • season of the year

Very important: do not forget to include stakeholders in the development of content calendar. So invite: marketing team, sales team, PR team, legal and compliance team, graphic designers. copy writers,media, creative team, investors, manager and clients….

Content Management Systems

 

CMS – Content Management System is a web application created for non-technical users allowing edition and content management on a website. Besides of the fact that it is already non-technical, other benefits are:

  • automation
  • content creation
  • task assignment
  • content enhancement
  • cross-publishing

From the existing CMS the most known is WordPress (used by around 30% of the planet  – it must be a reason for that), working very well with Google. There is Drupal – good luck with that. From niche products there is Percolate or ExpressionEngine.

 

What to consider choosing a Content Management System? Just three simple rules: dynamism (is it easy to edit the content?), intuition (is it easy to use?), cost (how much will be the final price?)