If you’re interested in finding, engaging, and converting more of your ideal customers, content marketing is the way to go. It is powerful when it comes to connecting with and establishing trust with your potential clients. That being said, there is very little good that comes from engaging in content marketing if you don’t have an effective strategy.
Planning is vital. You don’t just try this and try that, cross your fingers, close your eyes, and hope something works. You need to establish a plan. And that’s where we’re going to work on today.
Here are six steps to having an effective content marketing plan.
Know Your Audience!
One of the great misconceptions about content marketing is that we should put out what WE think is important. It’s not about us and what we think It’s about the needs of our target audience. Find out what your ideal client actually wants to learn about. What does your audience need? What are their fears and frustrations? How do we get them exactly what they are searching for? The best way to do this is to create an ideal client profile; who they are, what they do, who their clients are, what their weaknesses are, where they may need support. Only then do we create content to help them solve their problems.
Create a Content Marketing Plan
Now that you have an understanding of your ideal client and their needs and you’re able to create some content to match those needs, we need to figure out how to use it effectively. What are the methods that best suit your client needs? Where do they spend there time?
For example, if your clients require a lot of “how to” knowledge, quick how-to videos on Youtube could be a great solution. If you are looking to generate leads through your website, downloadable articles, in exchange for a name and email address, may help you achieve that goal.
Create a Content Marketing Schedule
One of the main reasons that companies fail in content marketing is that they are inconsistent with their production and dissemination. Trying something a few times and quitting after it yields nothing isn’t enough. And creating three pieces of content in a day but then nothing for six months will also bring nothing.
Be honest with yourself about the level of commitment you are willing to make. Set a plan. If that means writing one blog post per month sending it in one newsletter per month, then do that. But by all means be consistent, and understand that this is a long term marketing strategy, so don’t quit! You eill eventually see the impact on your marketing funnel.
Create Valuable Content
We always want our ideal client to become interested and to come back for more. We always want to make sure that the content we create for them is valuable and high quality. How do we do this? Do your research to see what other companies may be putting out. This will give you insights into what meets the needs of your ideal client.
Another method for finding out what your prospects may want is by asking your existing clients what content is most valuable to them, what their biggest frustrations are, and then create the content according to that. Remember as well that the value isn’t just in the information, but your opinion of the information. You are the expert, so make sure that you’re giving expert advice.
Promoting Your Content
Creating content that sits on a shelf is never a good idea. Make sure that you maximize the exposure of every piece of content you have. That means having a plan. How does it fit into your social media strategy? How about an email newsletter? Make sure that you are getting the best exposure possible for each piece of content.
Monitoring and Tweaking the Results
It’s critical to understand how well your content is performing, what pieces are working, and what pieces are not. Looking at the data will allow you to understand what content is having the greatest impact on your ideal clients. This will allow you to monitor and tweak your strategy. By tweaking your strategy, you have a greater impact on your ideal clients and have the potential to generate more business.
Now you have an understanding of the six vital steps in creating an effective content marketing strategy. Go forward, do your best, and get rid of that throw-it-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks attitude. And always have a good, strong plan in place.