One of the questions we get requested most frequently at Convince & Convert is how to create a content material advertising technique and plan. Some individuals assume we’re holding onto particular tips or the ever-elusive but way-over-hyped “content marketing secret sauce.”
The fact is there aren’t any secrets and techniques to creating a content material advertising technique. Instead, we merely use our confirmed, 7-step framework as a information, plus add loads of significant effort and time (often about 60 days or so for us).
These 7 core steps present the quintessential framework for long-term success. We’ve outlined them right here so you possibly can take your personal content material advertising technique and plan to the following stage, too. Oh, and we additionally embody a free content material advertising technique template to assist information you alongside the way in which.
Of course, if there’s anything we are able to do to assist you to or your group, please tell us. Or join our on-demand content material advertising course for much more in-depth and hands-on steering.
Why Content Marketing Strategy Is Important
Before we bounce straight into the steps, we wish to emphasize that a content material maroketing technique isn’t a “nice to have”—it’s a elementary requirement for fulfillment.
In truth, Content Marketing Institute confirms this truth yr after yr with their Annual Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report. In 2019, 61% of content material entrepreneurs nonetheless say they don’t have a documented content material technique, but those that do have a content material advertising technique persistently charge their efforts as much more profitable than those that don’t.
61% of content material entrepreneurs nonetheless say they don’t have a documented content material technique by way of @CMInstitute Click To Tweet
These info and figures additionally echo what we see day-after-day at Convince & Convert, the place we create content material advertising methods for a number of the best-known manufacturers in the world. And that’s precisely why we’ve put collectively this information that outlines our methodology for creating a content material advertising technique. In addition, now we have a useful content material advertising technique template assist preserve you on observe and in alignment. You can obtain the PDF template right here.
Content Marketing Strategy in 7 Steps
To assist you to get began on leveling up your content material efforts, right here’s an outline of every of the seven steps to creating your content material advertising technique:
1. Document Your Goals
It might be really easy to get caught up in the what, how and the place of content material advertising that we frequently skip over the one most essential foundational piece: the why.
So why are you doing content material advertising? Is it to create leads? Build relationships? Improve your prospects’ experiences?
No matter what your content material advertising objectives are, simply ensure that they’re sustainable for the long-term they usually really join to your group’s overarching objectives, mission and imaginative and prescient. To preserve your technique centered and crystal-clear, stick to three to 5 enterprise objectives max, and doc them.
Remember: Creating content material for content material’s sake is rarely your objective.
Creating content material for content material’s sake is rarely your objective. Click To Tweet
2. Determine Your “One Thing”
There is a gigantic glut of content material, and an increasing number of is being revealed day-after-day. So what is going to you create in your content material advertising program to set your group aside? In different phrases, what’s the coronary heart and soul of your content material program? Is it to:
- Be disproportionately helpful?
- Create Youtility?
- Motivate and encourage?
- Educate and entertain?
The solely acceptable response to the entire above is YES! Otherwise, you run the chance of offering extra of the identical and contributing to that giant, rising content material glut.
Going one step additional, Jenny Magic, one of many celebrity analysts at Convince & Convert, has a unbelievable tip for gut-checking your “one thing.” First, she recommends writing down the entire model messages your organization makes use of. Then, take your prime three opponents and cross off any messages in your listing that they’re utilizing, too. What you’ll have left is a utterly distinctive set of name messages, which will help make clear your “one thing.”
Remember: Give your self permission to make your story greater.
three. Measure Your Content Marketing
If you need to observe content material, do one thing trackable and work out the way you’re going to show the content material works earlier than you make the content material. Warning: watch out for utilizing self-importance metrics that don’t actually say a lot of something in any respect.
Instead, to perceive in case your content material is admittedly doing what it’s meant to, we want to look to motion, not simply eyeballs. That’s the place the four classes of content material advertising metrics come in:
- Consumption metrics: This is without doubt one of the finest and best locations to begin. Basically, what did audiences do with the content material? Think actions: views, downloads, listens, visits, and so forth.
- Sharing metrics: How resonant is that this piece of content material, and the way typically is it shared with others?
- Lead technology metrics: The final objective for many organizations; How many leads got here from a piece of content material?
- Sales metrics: Did we make any cash on this piece of content material?
Remember: The plural of “anecdote” is just not “data.”
four. Identify Your Top 5 Audiences
Relevancy magically creates time and a spotlight. In order to be related, now we have to perceive who we’re speaking to and concentrating on, and there are a number of variations of what that appears like:
- Audience: High-level collections of equally motivated people with some widespread curiosity or agenda. Think: repeat product purchasers.
- Segment: Cross-sections of an viewers or listing in which people (or corporations) share a number of widespread traits or might be grouped by a widespread trait. Think: Work-from-home mother and father.
- Persona: An information-informed, detailed but fictitious characterization of the objectives and habits of a hypothesized group of customers. Think: In-Charge Charles or Happy-Go-Lucky Hank.
Whichever viewers definition you employ or look to to information your content material advertising efforts, be sure to’re focusing in your prime 5 audiences solely, and take a look at their psychographics, not simply demographics. Also, take into account changing inventory images with icons or symbols to keep away from getting caught on what your viewers bodily seems to be like or stereotyping by age, race, or gender.
Remember: You will not be your viewers. Focus on their wants and motivations, not yours.
5. Research Audience Needs
No matter which strategy you employ to classify and determine your prospects from step four, get to know them with the 5x5x5 methodology.
The 5x5x5 takes your prime 5 audiences, seems to be at their prime 5 questions at every of the 5 key levels of the advertising funnel to higher perceive their needs, wants, and expectations, so you possibly can create content material that fulfills all of it.
If you’re doing the mathematics, you’ll discover that this methodology produces 125 questions to create content material for. But don’t fear, when you distill the 125 questions down to distinctive questions and take away duplicates or near-matches, you’ll often solely have about 50-60 distinctive questions. And you probably have already got content material that solutions a few of their questions, so begin on the lookout for the plain content material gaps first.
Once you could have this listing, you’ll know your viewers a lot better, plus the place your content material stands with serving to them.
Remember: Your content material ought to reply their questions, not simply fulfill your enterprise objectives.
6. Create More Content with Less
When it comes to content material issues, virtually everybody thinks the answer is to create extra. But, as we’ve lined in Step 2, there’s a glut of content material, and we don’t need to add our content material on prime of the already huge heap. Plus, you in all probability have loads of content material created at this level, which implies it’s time to remix and refresh our content material earlier than we even take into consideration creating one other new piece:
- Repurpose or reuse content material: Give content material new life, by giving it a fast remix. That might embody updating some still-relevant content material with new info, turning an infographic into an animated video, or republishing content material so it’s entrance and middle for customers to see.
- Curate content material: Why reinvent the wheel when there’s loads of nice content material on the market already? Curate content material from trusted sources, however ensure to give credit score the place credit score’s due and embody your personal perspective on the content material piece, too.
- User-generated content material (UGC): Tap into your prospects or your social group for added content material concepts and items.
- Atomization: Take one large piece of content material and break it down into eight smaller items of content material. This one is a tried-and-true Convince & Convert favourite.
Only after you’ve recognized gaps in content material or have remixed, refreshed and atomized content material must you transfer on to new content material creation.
Remember: Content isn’t free. Maximize what you could have, after which create new, if wanted.
7. Create a Content Calendar
We have a complete content material calendar weblog publish, plus a free content material calendar template, that walks you thru precisely how, what and why to calendar content material, however right here’s the gist:
- Start together with your binge-worthy reveals: Add binge-worthy reveals (aka ongoing content material efforts which might be executed no less than 2x per thirty days) into your calendar first and ensure to listen to any key dates or massive occasions.
- Add your one-time specials: Pay consideration to how your quarterly content material commitments, or one-time specials, overlap or complement your binge-worthy reveals.
- Round it out with commonly scheduled programming: Last, however undoubtedly not least, add in your commonly scheduled programming. These ought to assist fill any gaps in your cadence and preserve content material constant.
- Add content material to the content material repository: Don’t have a place proper now in the calendar for some nice concepts? Add it to the repository. Let this be your storage resolution for excellent concepts and verify back on it typically.
Remember: A content material calendar is one a part of, however by no means a substitute for, a content material advertising technique.
Click Here to Download Your Content Marketing Strategy Template
This publish was initially revealed in 2014 by Jay Baer and up to date extensively by Anna Hrach and Jenny Magic in 2019.