They say that when you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The same can be said for those who enter into content marketing without having a clear plan of action to follow. Knowing what you’re doing, why you’re doing it, and when to do it is an essential component of any successful content marketing strategy.
By documenting what needs to be done and how you’re going to do it, you’ll be more likely to follow through. Plus, you’ll be better able to tell what is working and what isn’t working, as well as understand better how much you should invest in your content marketing plan based upon the value that you’ll receive from it. Without documentation, you’re just shooting in the dark.
Many areas are covered in a documented content marketing strategy, such as:
* Develop audience personas
* Flesh out your content plan
* Advance the story of your brand
* Decide which channels you’ll use to push out your content
Your content marketing plan can be as in depth as you need it to be. Exactly how much you document will depend on how many others you need to bring in on the plan and who you need to convince to invest in the plan. The more people involved, the more documentation you will need to explain and convince others to take part, as well as to keep a team on task working toward the goals you’ve chosen.
Your content marketing strategy should answer who, what, when, why and how of your entire strategy. With a documented strategy you’ll be able to track your progress, determine what is working or not working, justify the expenditures and define the value of your content marketing strategy to the business. In addition, you’ll have a mapped-out plan to follow to ensure that you reach success.
Your content marketing strategy should answer:
* What you hope to accomplish with content marketing
* Who your audience is and how large your audience is
* The content marketing channels you plan to use
* How you define your value
* Answer which strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats exist in the market
Then you need to match these answers with the sales cycle of the business you’re creating the content marketing strategy for. You’ll need to know what to say, when you should say it, and in what form you’ll say it, as well as what channel you’ll say it on. It helps to define the sales process before you develop your content marketing plan.
This process will enable you to turn leads into prospects and prospects into buyers. Using your product funnel and your audience personas, you can then flesh out the content you need for each phase of the sales cycle. Using the sales funnel with knowledge of the buying cycle of your audience as a starting place for creating your documented content strategy makes good sense, because you’ll be able to see right away where you are lacking.
If you can match up these aspects of content marketing with the why of your business, you’ll skyrocket your success in a way that you didn’t think possible.