Creating Your First Content Marketing Strategy with Ease
Whether you are just starting out or you have an established business, marketing plays a very important role in your success. And content marketing is uniquely suited for small businesses, because it is less expensive than traditional marketing and capitalizes on something small businesses already have….expertise in their industry or trade.
Just as the prospect of writing a business plan can be somewhat daunting, the development of a content marketing strategy can also leave one scratching their head. However, it doesn’t have to be scary at all. Here we look at some tried and true ways to create your first content marketing strategy that will have you on your way in no time… and without added stress.
A well-developed content marketing plan will keep you focused on success! Think of this plan as a roadmap to that success and a user-friendly guide that you can look to whenever you need to refocus or reevaluate. Before any strategizing and planning can be done, there is homework first. Start by doing some research.
This can be basic research to get your head wrapped around the current market environment.
Identify your clients: What problems do they face? What questions do they have?Know your competition: What are they doing different? What are their strengths? What are their weaknesses?Industry trends.Decide what platforms are suited best to your industry. Maybe a blog is the way to go? Perhaps Facebook will help with your reach?
But be sure to be realistic… if you do not have a Facebook budget, how much traction can you truly get from only organic reach?
You’ve identified your audience, checked out your competition and spent what may seem like hours online looking at how people connect… You’ve probably found a ton of information so WRITE IT DOWN.
Keep a record of what you are learning and the natural ebbs and flows that you are noticing. Not only will this help you with the current market state but it will allow you to identify changes in the coming months and how to easily adjust your plan. A calendar is a simple, yet invaluable tool and a great place for notes, tentative timelines, goals, etc…
Now it’s time to set some goals. Start by choosing 3 main objectives for the year, and then set tasks and timelines accordingly.
Are you trying to increase your social media footprint?Are you trying to grow your email list?Is gaining referrals on your hit list?Is client retention your initial goal?
Think realistically about what it will take to reach your goals. If you are looking to reach a very aggressive goal, you must have the time and in many cases, money to make it happen. Be sure to WRITE them down, and return to your goals periodically to assess your success and address how you might want to tweak the process. Setting a monthly or quarterly reminder will help.
This is where you’ll flesh out your strategy, and plan the execution of your content. First, seek to find the right content formula for you.
Determine what you’re going to talk about. (Perhaps start by talking about the questions your customers ask most)Choose when you’re going to talk about it. (use a calendar)Decide how you’re going to talk about it. (Blogs, videos, white papers, info-graphs, etc.)Determine who. (Assign tasks and responsibilities)
Just as your business is unique to your style and taste, so should your content be. Rather than just providing information that is important to your company, try to provide information that is important to your customers. And don’t feel like every piece of content you share must be unique.
There is great value in curating and sharing content from other leaders and innovators in your industry or marketplace. This only adds to your credibility. Now, WRITE down your plan!