Did you know that 80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus an advertisement?
That means your content marketing strategy should be the centerpiece of attracting your customers!
Today we’re going give you a simple content marketing plan template that you can use to kick off your efforts.
First, let’s start out with the basics:
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is the a strategy of consistently creating and promoting targeted, useful content to attract your perfect customer.
Here’s how it works:
Instead of pushing products on people that may or may not want them, we will pull them in (“inbound marketing”) by creating content they are searching for or interested in.
When they land on our site, they will consume our information (answers to their questions, news updates, resources, etc).
Through the content, they will get to know, like, and trust our brand. Here we can capture their information, send them more cool stuff that develops a relationship with them.
Then when we are ready to sell something, they are much more likely to buy since they know us!
The whole purpose of creating this content is to create trust with your leads. This makes sales 1000X easier.
Here’s how to create a simple content marketing plan that will work for you:
Simple Content Marketing Strategy
1. Define Your Goals
A ship without a destination is just lost at sea.
First we need to define what your goal is:
- Increase email subscribers?
- Increase sales of a product?
- Educate users?
You might even have multiple goals, but you must understand where you want to go before you create your strategy.
If you’re just starting, my favorite goal is to create educational content. That way, you can put it to an autoresponder that delivers the answers to the most common questions your user base asks.
Think about where you can make the most impact in your business – Is it by educating customers? Is it by driving more leads? Is it by explaining your product or service in a valuable way?
2. Define Your Perfect Customer
After you understand your goal, then think about WHO you want to attract.
We want to create a customer persona, or avatar before we create any content.
You know how some customers can be AMAZING and you make lots of money with little effort?
Then other customers are really really difficult and it’s hard to make a profit?
The quality of the customer can vary greatly – So if you create your perfect customer persona first, all the content that we create will be geared toward attracting them, and leaving everyone else in the dust.
Here’s an example:
In the book “Dot Com Secrets,” Russel Brunson tells a story about how he use to sell marketing training to anyone and everyone.
It was very profitable, but he hated it because the customer base made it really difficult.
So he switched his lead magnet to a book called “108 Proven Split Testing Winners.”
Instead of attracting the “make money online” crowd that consists of lots of newbies, he started attracting more advanced businesses.
People that know what split testing is generally have more advanced online businesses.
Just by changing the type of content he put out, he attracted an entirely different (and better audience).
You can do this by creating your perfect customer avatar.
What is a customer avatar?
A customer avatar is a list of characteristics and the persona of your perfect customer.
This could include any amount of data that you deem relevant:
- Job Title
- Wants, Needs, Desires
- Big problems they have
- Questions they have
The best way to get this information is to know your customers! Actively talk to them or create a survey for them to understand who they are and what they want.
Another way to find more about your target customers is to run Facebook ads.
With the Facebook’s demographic reporting, You can find what age, sex, target interests are converting the best and actually bringing revenue.
3. Research & Validate Topics
One of the hardest parts about creating content is that you can invest a lot of time with little to no results if your content doesn’t “hit” with the audience.
That’s why you’ll want to find topics that your perfect customer is proven to respond to.
You can do this by reverse engineering content that’s already out there to find hot topics, trends, and news.
Once you find topics that are getting lots of traction, you’ll know that what you’re going to create is going to work before you even have the first word written.
Some of my favorite topics to create are based around current news – If you are one of the first to put out a piece on a trending news item, it can rank easily and attract natural links!
4. Create Awesome Content
Now that you have your goals set, your target audience defined, and validated topics, it’s time to create the content.
Depending on where you’re at with your business, you may want to write the content yourself or get a blog writing service to do it for you.
Writing for web is different that other types of writing though – You’ll want to make sure you format for the web by creating scannable content.
You’ll want to link to authoritative sources to back up your points, as well as your own content. (It’s called internal linking and will help your website rank better!)
More than anything, create value for your target customer. Make sure your content answers their questions and positions you as an authority.
As your readers become familiar with your posts, they will trust you as an authority and will begin to like you. So when you go to pitch a product or service to them, they will be much more likely to buy from you!
5. Optimize Your Blog Posts For SEO
One huge part of a content marketing strategy is getting search traffic from Google.
That’s why for every post, you’ll want to do keyword research to find what people are searching for.
Include these keywords in your title tag, your meta description, and throughout your content.
This will help you rank better and drive more traffic!
6. Promote Your Content
Creating the content is just one part of the equation. If you optimize well for SEO, then you have an increased chance of ranking over time.
You’ll want to develop a checklist for content promotion after every piece is published.
This will include things like:
- Posting to social channels
- Post to Facebook groups
- Send to email list
- Tweet out to the people you have cited in your article to let them know
- Go back through old posts and add internal links to your new post in relevant places
- Link to your content in guest posts
By putting all these pieces together, you can formulate an awesome content marketing strategy that will grow your traffic.
What is your content marketing strategy for this year?