Creating a Content Plan
Everyone who does any marketing will most likely have to create content at some point. But by not having a plan, you could be wasting all your effort.
When it comes to creating marketing content, the first step, before anything else, is to decide why you’re doing this and what you want to get out of it. Is it to get in leads, build brand awareness, overcome a competitor threat, or maybe something else? Whatever content you create, it needs to work specifically to help you reach your goals. There’s no point in just putting lots of stuff together. Things always work best if you have direction. So keep that in mind.
Once you understand what you want to achieve, then now is the time to create your plan. The less ad hoc you are in terms of content, the better the results will be. The first step I’d recommend is to brainstorm everything that you could talk about. The following are a few suggestions of things you could consider. Write down as many ideas as you can:
· What do you care about, and what do your customers care about?
· What do you stand for and how can you discuss that?
· What is happening in the world that could affect you and your customers?
· Do you have any customer stories that you could share?
· Are there any events that you could promote or utilise?
· What tips/advice/guidance could you offer?
· What are the current key industry trends/issues?
· How could you educate your audience?
· Could you offer a competition or incentivise your audience in some way?
· What products or services could you highlight?
· Could you share news or articles from other people with your own insight added in?
Something like having one or two pieces of content to share every month is more than enough. That means you’ll only need a maximum of twenty-four pieces of new content each year. It could look something like this:
· 6 x product news/product related articles
· 3 opinion pieces
· 3 case studies
· 3 tips
· 1 competition
· 6 x industry news – taken from other press articles that you share/re-purpose
· 2 x brand pieces that talk about your brand story
When you break this down over a whole year it doesn’t seem so much. This would give you a large range of content with your business regularly having something new and interesting to talk about. Planning ahead means you could even create them in bulk so it becomes half a day of work a month rather than scrambling around for time whenever you have it.
The next is to think about how you could present these ideas. Social media is purely a channel. Having a home for your content is vital. For example, is it a blog, an mini e-book, a page on your website, a video, a press release or a new landing page? Whilst it’s possible there are times when just a social media post in itself might be best, the more you can think of creating something larger that you can utilise in more ways, the more effective things will be.
Squeezing Them Dry
Whenever I help create content for clients, I always say that we need to squeeze the living daylights out of it. That means use one piece of content in multiple ways. Post about it on social media several times. Send it out via email. Do a webinar on it. Do a poll following it. You don’t even have to be that creative. Marketing isn’t about doing tons of individual tasks. It’s about doing a few tasks and utilising the power of them really well. So when you have a new video or blog, make sure you use every channel possible to promote it. The more people see it, the better the results will be.
When I start to work with people, they often tell me they don’t know what to talk about. They have nothing of interest to post or write about or put on their website. But a simple discussion using a list of pointers like the one above normally provides more content than is needed. If you know your business and your industry, you should have plenty to say that will interest your audience. You just need to take some time to think about it. The worst thing you can do is make it up as you go along.
If you’ve been struggling with creating content, please contact us at Lindsay Woodward Marketing. We’d love to help you get started.