Have you ever planned a big party? One with catering, and rentals, and A/V, and games, and invitations, and…the list goes on. It can be overwhelming. You start with this big idea, but sometimes, it’s easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of what your goal was to begin with: to throw a fabulous party.
Your small business has many goals, too. Perhaps not to throw a party (although, that’s not a bad idea come the holidays!). But to increase leads, convert followers into engaged users and buyers, and grow your business. That last one is definitely a worthy goal, but trying to do that all without some kind of plan is going to get crazy fast.
Enter in a content marketing plan. While each plan will look and feel different, the point is that as you’re working to scale your business, you’re doing it with intention. You’re not just saying you want to generate more leads—you’re making a plan for how to get them. Same can be true of any digital marketing goal you have.
Whether you’re partnering with a digital marketing agency, or getting your marketing juices flowing in-house, we’re offering up some tried and true tips to develop a successful content marketing plan.
A Content Marketing Plan Starts with Your Audience
You’ve probably heard the phrase “read the room” from comedians. It’s the idea that you can immediately get a sense for the vibe of your audience and tailor your material and tone to them. The same can be true for digital marketing strategy.
Harkening back to our party analogy, if you’re planning a party for a teenager, but you offer them goody bags filled with kazoos and crayons, your audience of snarky teens may revolt. You’ve got to know your audience well enough to speak to their needs, pain points, and the value you bring. You may even shift your goal from making more sales or generating more leads to making better connections with your audience.
To develop those connections and build your content marketing plan, start by breaking your audience up into segments. There are many different ways to segment, but to keep it simple, consider demographics and psychographics.
Demographics are things like age, gender, location—the real tangible stuff of who your audience is. Psychographics are things like buying habits, values, and hobbies—the why behind your audience’s actions. Using only one of those segments can lead to a marketing campaign that’s too broad and never truly connects with any one audience.
Getting all this information is a great place to start building your strategy. And how do you do that? Here are a few simple ways:
- Get to know your current clients: Engage in some small talk and learn more about who they are and what they’re into. As the relationship develops, you’ll be able to get more information about why they chose your company and what they love about your services. Don’t be afraid to ask some questions and show you care.
- Analytics: If you don’t already have some sort of metrics for what your audience is doing online, start with that. With tools like Google Analytics you can easily assess behavior and engagement.
- CRM Tools: Organize, prioritize, and catalogue relationships with your audience using CRM software. CRM tools are a great way to build your audience segments, too.
How Are You Talking to Your Audience?
Putting together a solid content marketing plan means that you’re going to be using a variety of channels to talk to your audience. Emails, blogs, website copy, social media, ads—they’re all ways of communicating. But how you communicate will change depending on which channel you’re using.
For instance, let’s say you’re setting up an email campaign: five emails that target an audience of brand new users who you want to introduce to your business. First off, can we just say how important these email nurture series can be to cultivating new relationships? SO important!
Each email in that series will share a bit of information about what you do, pointing back to your website blogs, services, or a guide of some kind. But you have to consider the intention of your communication channel (email): to point your audience back to your website so they can engage more.
These emails aren’t blogs. You’re not trying to educate readers on one specific topic with lots of relevant information. Yes, you want to show your value and credibility, but you have to do it succinctly and with your target audience in mind. Once they click on a link in your email, they’ll get back to your website and clearly see how awesome and credible you are.
The bottom line is that when you’re creating a content marketing plan, you have to seriously consider the type of content you’re producing and how it’s being delivered. It’s a game-changer for connecting with your audience, but also for your marketing ROI.
Show Your Value
Finally, don’t forget how great you are. People tend to be uncomfortable talking about themselves, but remember, you are an expert in your field. That’s why you’ve built an entire business around your zone-of-genius. Be confident in that.
Part of that confidence is understanding what problems your business solves. What are the pain points your audience has? Why are they searching things like, “Best screen repair in San Diego?” What are they feeling when they’re searching or sending you an email?
Answering those questions on a macro level can help to get your content marketing plan started by identifying general industry pain points. Answering them on a micro level can help you develop specific, targeted campaigns that address how your different products or services solve a user’s unique problem.
So, there you have it—some content marketing essentials. Know your audience, assess your communication channels, and know and show your value. With this foundation, you’re sure to avoid a dud content party
Don’t get lost in the details of your content marketing party. Let Wayward Kind help you develop a strategic content marketing plan that takes the stress of trying to wrangle digital marketing off your plate, so you have more time to focus on growing a thriving business. Contact us today!