Those in the search engine optimization industry as well as marketing know how powerful content can be. It can develop brand awareness, engage customers and/or clients, drive sales, and even create loyalty. In the dynamic world of SEO, perhaps it’s the only constant thing. No matter what algorithm update Google throws your way – as long as you produce quality content – you can pretty much survive anything.

But content can be tricky. More than simply spewing blog posts or podcasts, it needs the right strategies in order to succeed. Content without direction is like a loaded missile aimed at the wrong target. But with the right plan, you won’t just receive online authority; you can also boost sales, get leads, and connect with audiences all over the world [Tweet Me!].

[icon name=”hb-moon-pencil-4″ size=”medium” color=”” float=”left”]Content Marketing Defined

According to Quicksprout, content marketing is making and/or publishing information meant to create trust and showcase expertise to your intended audience. It is both a method and a system: a means to build relationships to foster brand loyalty; while at the same time, override traditional advertising and marketing ploys.

With content marketing, businesses hit two birds with one stone: one, they provide fantastic data that’s useful as well as informative to their customers; two, they subtly promote their brand and/or company without being aggressive.

Content marketing is also specific. By studying the different kinds of communication along with social media channels, marketers and SEO experts gain better advantage compared to unspecific methods.

[icon name=”icon-file-text-alt” size=”medium” color=”” float=”left”]The 5-Step Content Marketing Plan

It’s never too late to organize ideas. If you already have a bunch of amazing content (which are not getting attention), then all you need is to re-group your thoughts and jot down a plan. Begin by:

  • identifying your client/brand/business
  • identifying your customers/readers/target market

These are two of the most important things you need to be clear on. Once you’ve become familiar with them, you can produce all types of content aimed specifically to answer the objectives. Unsure where to begin? Just follow these simple steps to content strategy development:

Step#1: Know Your Goals

The secret of all things successful? Goals. Identify what you want for yourself, your company, client, or brand. Is it to drive sales? To increase social media engagement? To direct traffic to a particular website? Whatever it is, make sure that it’s something that will contribute to the overall growth of a business. Write it down on your file.

Step#2: Know Your Audience

Who are you creating content for? The more specific you are, the better chances you have of achieving fruitful results. Use online tools such as Forrester to find out more about your target market. What matters most are their brand perception, online habits, age, demographics, and hobbies.

Step#3: Know Your Content

The exciting part: which content to produce to get the results you need? Remember that there are tons of stuff you can do – so don’t just stick to one. There are blogs, podcasts, videos, infographics, ebooks, slideshows, and webinars to name a few. In the beginning, you may use just one or two to get started. But once you gain enough leverage, don’t forget to incorporate other content types to add some variety into your strategy.

Step#4: Study Social Media

Remember the word ‘marketing’ in your master plan. There’s no point to creating all those wonderful blog posts if no one’s there to read them. Use the power of social media to your advantage. Schedule your Tweets, ask friends to Like your Facebook page, make an online pin board on Pinterest, and blast announcements on LinkedIn.

Step#5: Study Your Strategy

Write them all down. Jot notes for review, and evaluate your efforts everyday if needed. This is the only way to know if your plans are working. It’s going to be a hit-or-miss at times – but if you did your homework right (proper research, invested in online tools, received expert feedback, etc.), you will see results in as early as the first few weeks.

Nobody said content marketing would be a breeze. This is just the beginning. Professional SEO service and marketing experts have more comprehensive strategies. Whether you go for the simple or the complex is up to you – what matters is that you HAVE one. Again: content is a powerful SEO component. Use wisely and it will propel you to unimaginable success.

One thought on “Do You Have a Content Marketing Plan Yet?
  1. Pam Didner

    Nice post, Al. In addition to study social media, it’s important to integrate ‘paid media’ as part of content planning.

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