This is intended only as a quick overview to give you a focus on the essentials for a content marketing plan. It’s much easier to build your business with a blueprint or roadmap. Start an outline and fill in the details as you learn what’s required for each step.
An effective website is more than simply an online brochure advertising your business. It’s a “meeting room” where you proactively visit or engage in meaningful conversation with your prospective customers to show how you and your business may help solve their problems.
Be more interested than interesting. It’s about them – not you. But you knew that. right?
When you show them you understand their problems or specific needs and offer possible solutions in an authentic manner, you quickly gain recognition and trust for your brand. So, it makes sense to take the necessary time to plan your marketing strategy so you optimize your results.
Step One – Who?
Create a “character” for your marketing efforts. It’s a persona or avatar – a fictional profile of your ideal customer. Yes, it takes research and organized planning but worth the effort.
Find out how to Define and Attract Your Target Audience.
Unless you know who you’re talking to, you’ll never know what to say or how to say it. Unless you get it right, they simply won’t visit your business, read your content, buy from you or return to your website. When you speak their language they’ll understand you care about them and build trust faster.
It’s critical to your success to understand your “ideal” customer. You must proactively choose the type of person you want to reach and purposely exclude the “wrong” people. Armed with your research you can easily respond to problems and motivations of your prospect. When you do that – all your content will resonate with your audience.
Step Two – What?
It’s easier to figure out what to say now you know who you’re talking to. Step into your prospects shoes and deliver the right information at the right time. Do this with a funnel sequence or scheduled content delivery after they sign up for your email newsletter.
The content: Deliver what they need to know to hire you, buy from you or join your business. Make sure you deliver the right information in the right order. Show value first to build trust before trying to sell products or recruit them to join your business.
Timing: Decide the best time to emphasize social proof and your authority in your particular profession or industry. Figure out the best time to eliminate initial objections.
Step Three – How?
Armed with your knowledge in step one and two, you now can craft messages knowing how the prospect needs to “hear” that information. Video? Demos? Courses? Ebooks?
The “who” reveals the stories you should tell to create a unifying sense of connection to resonate with your prospect (not just data) so you connect emotionally with their core values.
Story telling is one of the most powerful ways to communicate your message.
The “what” tells you how to craft an overview to connect with the prospects motivation for change. Give them examples of other with similar motivation and what they did to change. And how you and your business were able to help achieve the results.
Can you imagine the power you possess when you deliver perfect messages with anecdotes and metaphors so your ideal prospect sees you as the only reasonable choice to help solve their problem?
Your marketing will naturally be authentic because you choose to honour your prospects first by reflecting your own values to only those who share them. And pushing away those who don’t share them. It’s the key ingredient of your attractor factor.
Remember, this about developing a marketing strategy plan – not about who will create the content to fulfil the plan. That’s a content plan. It comes later.
I suggest you don’t even begin thinking about how you’re going to create and distribute the videos and blog posts or ebooks. That’s usually where people start, which is why so many people are cranking out “content” but not marketing it. Plan the strategy first.
Understand the difference…
Marketing strategy is mapping out the overall plan for what you should be creating and promoting. Content strategy is about how you get content created. You can plan to write your own content or outsource to other skilled writers.
Of course, you’ll assess and adapt based on what happens once your content is actually out there. However – developing a documented strategy will help you get closer to the mark, earlier. You’ll save time and money no matter how you decide to create and promote your content.
Make today count and have some fun!