Content Marketing Plan
Why is it so hard for marketers to create a strategic plan for their content? Let’s start by taking a look at what content marketing is:
The Content Marketing Institute defines it this way:
Content marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience—with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
Note the emphasis on strategy in this statement. Taking a strategic approach to your content marketing plan ensures your message cuts through the clutter and reaches your target audience with the right information at the right time.
The Value of a Content Marketing Plan
More than an editorial calendar, a content marketing plan document is your road map to a successful content marketing effort. There are several benefits to having this level of planning in place before you start sharing content.
To start, a good strategy document will clearly define the key elements of your effort. It will specifically outline who you will be talking to, what you will say and how to say it, where the content will be promoted, and how you will know when you have been successful.
Having this type of content marketing plan keeps everyone involved in creating and sharing your content on the same page, ensuring you have the resources needed to manage all aspects of a successful content campaign. From writing and posting to sharing and tracking, each member of the team knows what needs to happen and when.
The Start of a Successful Content Marketing Plan
The Content Audit
You can’t tell where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been. That’s why the first step in creating your content marketing plan starts with a content audit.
To start, gather all your content that is currently produced by your organization: keywords, blog, website, social media, etc. Then, using a content inventory spreadsheet, to chart how successful each of these elements has been to your content strategy.
Defining the Audience
With the audit completed, you’re ready to take the next—and most critical—step in developing your content strategy. Here you’ll want to define the purpose of your content marketing plan.
Purpose is a big topic but essentially it comes down to two important elements: who are you targeting with your content, and what do you want them to do with the information you provide?