Having a sound strategic content marketing plan is crucial to building and maintaining your brand image. The use of social media in today’s fast-paced world has expanded business owners’ messaging tools, making the creation of consistent messages an important part of any marketing campaign.
Before you start to think about the following questions and try to incorporate them into your plan:
- Your company’s current situation
- Where your company is headed
- What actions you plan on taking to help your company get there
Knowing where you stand at present will assist you in creating a content marketing strategy that suits your business model, goals and values. Building a strong foundation will move your business further towards your goals and help you reach your objectives.
Building the foundation
Building an effective content marketing plan needs content that is relevant, informative and entertaining. In order to achieve this, marketers should plan ahead and think about strategy rather than what the current trends are. (Here are some tips for smart content marketing.) Editorial calendars are planned a year in advance and result in content that is well planned and interesting for the audience.
As an expert marketer, you should consider the following before planning their strategic content marketing plan:
- Delegate tasks effectively – hunting for topics on an on-going basis will cause staff burnout and produce low-quality work. It is important to think ahead and have your teams’ ideas shared ahead of time so you will have the opportunity to think strategically about what you’d like to communicate throughout the year.
- Create relevant content – the content your plan produces should be relevant to your audience and specific to their needs and interests. Make sure your content covers all the main holidays and events.
- Fill gaps in the plan accordingly – some weeks may be empty and lack content. Those are the weeks that require proactive action in your strategic content marketing plan. Address these gaps by using specific keywords, buyer personas, etc.
Implementing your strategic content marketing plan
Creating a strategic content marketing plan requires a lot of planning. To help you get started here is a brief description of what your plan needs to consist of:
On an annual basis: Deciding what you need
- Look at what you have – conducting a visual audit will help you realize what your organization’s strengths and weaknesses are.
- Create SMART objectives- designing a good plan requires specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely objectives. A SMART objective will build the foundation you need to succeed with your plan.
- Be in the know – being aware of your organization’s sales goals will assist you in developing an integrated strategic content marketing plan that can help your business attain its overall business goal.
- Create a content calendar – Much like a newspaper or magazine, your organization needs a content calendar for its content marketing plan. Make an overall yearly content calendar that addresses all the important and informative topics you wish to communicate to your stakeholders throughout the year.
On a quarterly basis: integrating your plan
- Adjusting goals: quarters are a good time to reflect. Review the data you’ve collected so far and decide what the weaknesses and strengths are thus far.
- Identify builders and drivers – know what aspects of your plan need to be fixed or revised within the next 6 months. This will help you plan accordingly.
On a monthly basis: Building a useful content calendar
- Have a look at your current calendar – what aspects of the calendar need to be revised. Input any upcoming events or milestones you’d like to communicate to your audience into the calendar.
- Assign tasks and set deadlines – Set goals and expectations for your staff to attain. Know what your expectations are and communicate them accordingly to your team.
On a weekly basis: time to assess and adjust
- Set weekly review times – be sure to keep up with your content marketing plan and keep tabs on what is being done.
- Meet with your content producers – On a weekly basis put some time aside to meet with your content writers and be sure to listen to what they have to say and address their concerns.
On a daily basis: publish
- Be sure to monitor and check content before it’s published.
- Use Yammer to communicate with your team – Having open lines of communications among all team members is crucial to the success of your plan. Using enterprise social networks such as Yammer will be beneficial in achieving this.
Remember that creating an effective strategic content marketing plan is time consuming. Plan ahead and use your resources wisely in order to achieve the best results.
Our free consultation service will help you see where your organization’s inbound marketing tactics stand so you can plan your next move.
What content marketing tips do you have to share with us? Feel free to leave your comments below.