How Anyone Can Create a Content Marketing Plan
“Content marketing isn’t about the brand, your products, or your services. It’s about your audience. What do they care about?” – Michelle Linn, Content Marketing Institute
Which newsletters, blogs or emails do you actually look forward to receiving each week? There’s probably just a handful that you put aside time to enjoy. Take an objective look at them next time they come through. Because they’re the results of a successful content marketing plan – written specifically for you, and people like you.
Content marketing succeeds when it provides you with information, tips or practical ideas that you value because they are relevant and useful to you. It could be that you’re looking for a car and content marketing helps narrow down the search. Or that you want to make a Birthday Cake and content marketing inspires you with a recipe. It’s not selling; it’s sharing knowledge and expertise.
How To Do Content Marketing
As a starting point, simply ask yourself the following questions:
- What are 2 or 3 of your customers interested in talking about?
- What are a couple of recurring problems people want solved?
- How can your expertise can make just one customer’s life easier?
- Why do customers choose to work with you? Think of two examples.
What each of these questions does is stop you thinking about ‘everyone’, and get you thinking about ‘someone’ instead. All your customers are ‘someones’, not ‘everyones’.
Work Out What You Want Your Content To Do
The customers you deal with are all very different, but they’re united by the fact that they would all benefit from what you sell. Some are convinced of this fact and are ready to purchase. Many are still researching whether your product is their best option. And most of your customers aren’t yet aware of what you can offer them.
Content Marketing creation will always target one of these three categories. Purchasers will be looking for a live demo, a great offer, or advice on implementation. Researchers will want to have case studies, video demos of the product in action, and detailed info sheets. The unaware need to have their attention ‘caught’. This will take an authoritative blog, examples of what you do, useful tips or a fun activity.
Who Is the Person You Are Selling To?
Some businesses generate a specific ‘type’ of customer that have a tightly defined problem they need solving. Most businesses have a number of different types of customer, all using your product to solve slightly different problems. The easiest way I’ve found to discover who your customer is, is to draw them.
Never mind if it’s a stick-person; drawing your customer doesn’t ignore the basics. Like, are they mainly men or women? Old or young? Family-oriented or friend-oriented? Married or not? Instagrammers or FaceBookers? Into football or winter sports? Likes pubs or restaurants, or both? Drives what kind of a car? Lives where? Has kids, or not?
“Content marketing is really like a first date. If all you do is talk about yourself, there won’t be a second date.” – David Beebe, Brand Storyteller
Now Write the Content
- Choose Who You’re Writing For. Is it a new customer, a researcher or a purchaser?
- Decide How You Can Provide the Best Value. Sit down the imagined person you’re going to write for. Ask them what they would ‘love’ to receive from you. What would make their day?
- Give Yourself Time. Writing good content can’t be done in a hurry.
- Try Out What You’ve Written. Ask existing customers to take a look and provide feedback.
Deliver Your Content
Half the pleasure we derive from gifts comes from the way they’re delivered. The surprise package. The touchingly thoughtful parcel. The gift that makes you feel special. That’s the science behind effective content delivery. Take time to consider how you can make your customer’s day. Then do it.
Outsourcing Content Marketing
Creating a content marketing plan is all about knowing your customers and putting them centre stage. There’s relatively few businesses, though, that have the time and resources to create killer content on a regular basis – which is why there’s Outsource Your Marketing. We can help with creating a content marketing plan, or our content creators can write to your brief, observing your deadline. All our work is project managed and we work to clearly defined targets and goals.