Whether you have a website for your brick and mortar business or your business is completely digital, content marketing is a reliable way to increase the amount of traffic your site receives. Just as importantly, these new viewers will be whats called “targeted traffic,” or directly-targeted potential customers. As a result, content marketing can lead to more leads and ultimately sales for your business.
Although its technically possible to jump right into content marketing without doing any planning, that approach is going to greatly limit your success. Just as with any aspect of your business, in order to reach your goals, you need to clearly define what you’re actually trying to accomplish.
Get It Out of Your Head
Before you start planning a specific strategy, its worth your time to get your core objectives out of your head and into a text document. The first objective you should define is your target audience. Keep in mind that you don’t only want to target people who may become customers. Instead, you want to cast a wider net and include groups like influencer’s within your industry.
Next, write down your mission statement. Even though this statement should be about what you want to accomplish with content marketing, you can use a variation of the mission statement you previously created for your entire business.
Finally, you want to figure out your core message, as well as any secondary messages. The total number of secondary messages you have can vary based on your business. For example, a plumbing company may have four secondary messages they want to convey, while a financial services company may have a total of seven. Its also worth noting that one or more of your messages can take the form of a question.
The point of figuring all these things out is instead of simply churning out content and hoping that it works, you’ll have a foundation that will allow you to ensure that every piece of content you publish on your own blog or as a guest post will play a role in building your brand and ultimately improving your bottom line.
Use a Spreadsheet for Tracking
The easiest way to keep track of all the content you create and publish is by using a spreadsheet. Simply open Excel, and then start creating the columns you want to include in your planning. While you’re free to customize the columns to your specific objectives, the ones to consider using are content types, outlet, goal, structure, how often, tone, call to action and URL.
Because a spreadsheet is so easy to use and share with other members of your team, you’ll find that it really helps keep your plan on the right path by allowing everyone involved in producing content to stay on top of exactly whats happening.