Whilst some brands choose to upload content sporadically there is much to be gained from having a solid content marketing strategy in place. As the popular saying goes, Content is king! And there’s definitely a lot of truth in this statement. In fact, a study conducted by ABG essentials discovered that content marketing produced up to 6x more leads than any other source of lead generations.

Having a content marketing strategy keeps your posts focused on the wants and need of your prospects and clients aswell organised, providing you with opportunities to set and track key metrics to ensure your content is producing results. So, with this in mind, it is important to put together a game plan to help your business succeed. Let’s dive into the 7 tips for creating a content plan that will make your content, lead generating machines.

Make your content marketing plan all-encompassing

You can create two separate plans – one for your social media content and one for your blog or opt for a plan that includes both channels. However, I personally prefer the latter as it places all of your ideas in one place. This allows you to time promotions of your own content alongside inspiration images/quotes, content curated from other sites, and influencers collaborations without missing things out.

Write down the goals you want to achieve from the content

Don’t go crazy too here, its best to keep the number of goals you set a maximum of three at a time so that you can focus your efforts on achieving them without spreading your resources too thin. It will also make them easier to track and your strategy adjust and pivot if necessary. Be sure to set SMART goals and assess your progress weekly to ensure you are on target. For example, our blog will generate 1000 additional signups this month by posting 16 pieces of content (4 per week) with the CTA to sign up for our mailing list on each post. Deadline – 23rd October.

Conduct a mind dump for content ideas

Before you can start creating content you’ll need to have some solid ideas to act upon. This is your chance to get your creative juices flowing so go for it! Throw all of your ideas into a word document. Don’t worry about them being perfect, you will pick the best list from the list and edit them to fit your audience later on.

If you get stuck, browse through social media to find trending topics you can discuss, and sift the comments on your competitor’s blog for inspiration. If you notice any reoccurring topics or issues discussed, make a note of them as you may be able to base some of your content on them. Alternatively, if you are really short on time or feeling especially lazy, use software like Hubspot’s Blog Idea Generator to get a list of relevant ideas to last a whole year.

Really consider your audience

In order to create content that will resonate with your target audience, you’ll need to know who are they, what are their wants, needs, and struggles. For instance, your target audience could be CMO’s in venture capital-backed startups and their wants may be saving time, looking good in front of their bosses, managing FOMO or even staying one step ahead of their colleagues. So, think about how you can help them attain these wants and incorporate it into your content.

It’s also a good idea to remember you’re bound to have different types of people in your customer base. Think of how can you serve all of them through the content you produce as you don’t want to alienate one type of customer in preference of another.  Do you recall those buyer personas I discussed in an earlier post? They will come in handy here to help you understand who you are talking to.

Know how are you going to get your content noticed

When making your content marketing plan, think about the channels can you use for maximum exposure and engagement with your target audience. When it comes to social media, make it about your target and current clientele.  Don’t be tempted to only use platforms you are comfortable with but instead focus on platforms they social on. To avoid overwhelm, start on two platforms and as you master these two, you can gradually include other platforms. If you’ve tried but are struggling to gain traction in your social media efforts, hire a Social Media Manager (or shameless plug, hire me! I will be adding social media management to my services soon).

Consider the steps involved in creating quality content

When it comes to creating the content, you’ll need to know from the very start what you need i.e videos, blog posts, and inspirational quotes. You’ll also need to decide who is going to create the content and how often they will do so. Curating other people’s content is also a lengthy process and so you’ll need to allocate time to complete this or outsource it to a VA. Also, at this point you’ll want to set a standard for the quality and type of content you’ll post to ensure your content is cohesive with past uploads, caters to the prospects taste and remains on-brand. This can be done by creating inspiration boards that highlight your brand’s style and ethos.

It helps to draft procedures and set deadlines for content creation to be shared with your entire team. This will ensure you don’t mistakenly end up with nothing to share or post and that everyone knows what their deadlines are.

Optimise the timings and scheduling of your posts

To ensure your content is seen and engaged with you will have to look at the best times to post. You’ll find this information by looking at industry standards as well as via trial and error on your blog and social media channels.  For some quick wins, consider the geographical locations of your audience and post according to the top three time zones. Keep a close eye on your analytics and dig through the data to uncover the times your brand experiences peaks and troughs in your traffic to help you set your posting times. Use geotagging were possible to boost the likelihood of your brand being seen by potential clients in your area and increase your engagement levels.

Nowadays, there are some excellent content scheduling tools to help you manage multiple social channels and track your progress. Plann for Instagram and Hootsuite for Facebook and Twitter are my go-to’s.

Have some fun and mix it up

In order to keep your prospects coming back for more, keep your content fun, interactive and thought-provoking. Even if you sell a seemingly ‘boring’ piece of software or service you can make it interesting.

Run campaigns and schedule competitions that will engage your desired clientele, and allow you to incorporate your offering. You can keep your content fresh by switching up the types you distribute. For instance, Whitepapers, blog posts, insightful quizzes, videos, quick-sheets, workbooks, infographics, listicles,  and templates are all great types you can use to build and engage your tribe.

Take a sneak peek at your competition’s content

A great way to know if you are on the right track is to have a look at the kind of topics being discussed and content types being used by your direct competitors. Whilst you certainly should not copy them outright (prospects always notice) you can use it to figure out what is working for them, how can you put your own spin on it.

Use these tips to get you on your way to creating a killer content management plan that will keep you eagle-eyed on your goals and put you on the fast lane for producing results. But remember the content management calendar is a living document that is to be changed regularly in live with insights gained from tracking metrics, audience feedback and of course, your sudden burst of genius.

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