And although you already know this, you have your keywords ready, your topics prepared and you already know what some of the titles of your publications will be, you are missing something. Plan your content.
Why is a content plan important?
You could spend hours creating content, but it wouldn’t be very profitable for your company, would it? When creating content you have to keep in mind that a plan is the only thing that will keep you organized, agile to react to last minute changes and proactive.
Content contributions have to be constant to maintain the health of your website and being organized is what will allow you to achieve the objectives of your content campaign, which in turn have to do with the objectives of your SME. Remember that for your vehicle to work, it is not enough to fill the tank just once.
In addition, a plan will give you the ability to tell your story more efficiently, taking into account the role of your audience (within the marketing funnel) during their buying cycle as consumers, i.e. the buyer’s journey.
How do you make a content plan?
1. Establish what your marketing objectives are
Establishing the objectives of your content marketing strategy will allow you to have a long-term vision of your project and more motivation in the short term. Having your objectives clear at all times will help you get organized, making your efforts and resources profitable when creating content. And remember that your objectives must be SMART:
(with a limited duration).
So, each piece of content has to have a marketing objective that in turn is directly related to your company’s objectives. It is as if you had a map with the route traced. Well… as if you were using Google Maps to go from point A to point B. You’ll be interested in going the shortest way, but there will be times when you encounter more traffic or some other difficulty. As long as you keep in mind that you have to get to point B, your goal, you will be able to decide in an agile way how to act.
2. Conduct a content audit
The second step of a content plan is to perform an audit. And what does a content audit involve? Evaluate your company’s initiative and assets. The objective in this case is to identify all the material you have at your disposal and identify if there are any leaks or opportunities that you had not seen in your strategy. In this case we could say that it is like checking your vehicle before passing the ITV. Maybe everything is fine, but you might need to check the oil.
Knowing where and how much content your company has can save hours in creating new content. When you have it, remember to record it by topic and format; the channel it is on (web, blog); who it is aimed at (audience, buyer persona); what stage of the buying cycle or buyer’s journey it is in (exploration, consideration, decision), etc. All the information that can be of help to your company.
3. Identify the stages of the marketing funnel
This step is a must in any content strategy and planning. You need to be clear about where your buyer persona is in the marketing funnel and buyer’s journey. We have talked many times about what a buyer persona means, but if you don’t remember, let us refresh your memory.
(buyers) are representations of potential customers for your company. When we say representations, we mean that we give them a name and identify them with socio-demographic information and information of interest according to the sector in which your company works. These representations allow us to segment, personalize content and target it in a more professionalized way.
And targeting content involves knowing at what stage of the buyer’s journey
this potential buyer is and identifying him in the marketing funnel:
- In the exploration stage, we would talk about visits and then leads (from the marketing funnel) looking for content to identify a problem and possibly having subscribed to your newsletter, etc.
- In the consideration stage, once they know what their problem is, they seek information about different solutions. As they consume more information, we can say that these contacts are marketing qualified leads (MQL) or sales qualified leads (SQL). These are basically leads (from the marketing funnel) with more knowledge about a relevant topic that you are providing information about. The former will need more information on solutions, the latter will begin to weigh their alternatives.
- At the decision stage, the content you offer is already related to your products or services and the opportunities (from the marketing funnel) are close to becoming customers.
As you can see, there is a close relationship between the buyer’s journey and the traditional marketing funnel and it is important to plan what content you give your potential customer at any given moment.
Once you have all this information you must register it. And an Excel sheet will be your best friend. Write down your objectives, the deadline, the content that can support your objectives and that you have taken from the audit. Write down how you are going to reuse this content, what new pieces you are going to make without forgetting your new keywords and SEO. Where these pieces of content will go (on what channels) and in what format. Write down, above all, for whom you will create this content(buyer persona) and divide it according to the marketing funnel and the buyer’s journey.