Content Marketing allows small businesses to publish their own work or express their thoughts and opinions about other ideas that have been circulated. This input grants entry into the world of your target audience. Small businesses become influencers in their target community by consistently providing useful, relevant and helpful content for their audience. In order to make sure the content you provide meets that description, you need to develop an effective content marketing plan.
When developing a Content Marketing Plan, consider the following:
- Identify and understand your target audience — Know who are you talking to and how you can help them with their unique challenges. Develop a “buyer persona.” Buyer personas are fictional “characters” you create to represent your audience. Thinking about what interests and engages these characters will help you focus on what they want to know about. This focus is the first step in creating content that will inform them and instill in them trust for your company and your brand.
- What, Where, How? — Considering your target audience first and foremost, decide what to write, what the most appropriate writing styles are, how the content should be formatted and where to post for the most impact. What you write needs to appeal to your audience. The content can include blog posts about problems and solutions, funny or insightful pieces, infographics, video blogs and more. Many options exist—just pick the one that most closely meets your business goals and best engages your target audience. Next you just have to find the best outlet to reach the target audience. Would the buyer persona you created be most likely to frequent YouTube, educational channels, social media or some other medium? You need to be wherever those “character” audience members are so they can find you!
- Quality Matters Most—More important than quantity, the quality of your content needs to be high to build a relationship of trust with your audience. Quality determines how many times your content will be shared, reposted, commented upon and also where it ends up on SERPs. To be quality, your content needs to be current, relevant and trustworthy as well as interesting.
- Stay Organized — Create a content calendar to ensure that you are producing and publishing quality content on a consistent basis each month. Content and format has to be decided upon and then written. Next it should be reviewed for optimization and scheduled for release on the appropriate forums. Once released, it should be promoted on social media. When using SEO in your content marketing, you have to know what the month’s focus will be to coordinate all of your efforts for best effect. Maintaining a content calendar can keep all of these tasks aligned.
- Review, Measure, Improve — Since it can be hard to verify the effectiveness of a content marketing plan, you should focus on things that you can measure from month to month. To get started,
• Determine objectives – Set goals, whether they are profit goals, interaction goals, or mobile reach goals.
• Establish key metrics – These metrics can help you determine how effective your content marketing has been in reaching your objectives, so choose the ones that best illustrate each goal. For example, if you are trying to attract new prospects, you might examine Google Analytics to see how many of your visitors are new users or keep track of how many people fill out contact forms.
• Measure engagement – Once you have determined the metrics you will focus on, check your results each month to see how different types of format, different posting locations, and SEO strategy, for example, are achieving engagement with your audience.
• Make improvements – When you have analyzed your results and determined ways that your content marketing plan is falling short of your goals, make adjustments. Maybe those funny blogs need to be replaced with educational whitepapers and located on educational forums to get the interactions you are looking for. The key is to keep analyzing and adjusting as you move forward.
For professional advice on content marketing and incorporating SEO into your content marketing strategy, contact one of the internet marketing consultants at WSI Philadelphia.