How do you run content marketing campaigns or even create a 2021 marketing strategy for your business when the competition is fiercer than ever?
Content marketing has been producing amazing results for businesses for years. For instance, studies show that a good content marketing plan will generate three times more leads at a 62% lower cost than traditional marketing. Considering the current global economic reality, content marketing is an important avenue to improve your ROI (Return on Investment).
To effectively create your own content marketing strategy, your first task is to create a content marketing plan. With a good plan in place, you are on your way to achieving content marketing success in the year. Marketing content organiser, CoSchedule found that marketers who proactively plan their projects or campaigns are 356% more likely to achieve success. So, if you want to be among those who generate great results from content marketing in 2021, start by putting together a documented plan.
In this post, I will share seven steps to create an effective content marketing plan.
Carry out a Content Audit:
To create a content marketing plan for 2021, you need an audit to determine your current performance and understand what works and what does not. This knowledge will then help you plan your content marketing strategy.
While carrying out an audit, some details to check include:
Content publishing frequency
The more you understand your current performance – and the reasons behind your performance, whether good or bad – the more knowledge you will have to help you develop future content marketing plans.
Set your 2021 content marketing goals:
As effective as content marketing can be, you most likely may not get an improved ROI if you have no target. Without goals, your marketing activities lose focus, and it becomes difficult to judge its success or failure.
In most cases, businesses use content marketing to achieve the following goals:
In setting your goals, use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) method. Your goals will depend on the stage of the sales funnel you are creating content for, type of content you create, how you intend to promote your content, and other activities.
Carry out audience research:
Another essential aspect of creating a content marketing plan is knowing exactly who you are targeting with your content. You must answer the following questions:
Who are you trying to deliver your content to? What type of content is their favourite? Do they expect a formal or an informal content style? What type of content should you create for them? What channels should you be using?
An extensive audience research will help you find answers to these questions. After your research, you should have detailed information about your prospective customers, and your findings will help you develop the content with your customer in mind.
One way to go about your research is to build profiles for the individuals you hope to reach with your content. Alternatively, you can look at your current customer base and build profiles from your best customers/leads.
Determine the type of Content to Publish in 2021
Long ago, content was synonymous with the written content. But over the years, various other content formats have grown in popularity. An example of this is visual content, which has been especially popular. Unsurprisingly, many marketers find success using illustrations alongside text.
Apart from the written content, other formats include:
The type of content you go for will depend a lot on your target audience. Ideally, you should use content formats that perform best with your audience.
Create your 2021 Content Calendar
A good content calendar aids consistency and forms an integral part of your 2021 marketing strategy. In content marketing, one of the main determinants of your success is consistency. It takes time to achieve results with content marketing and you need to consistently deliver great content experiences in order to grow.
With a content calendar, you can plan your content publishing at your preferred frequency. Your calendar provides you with a visual overview of your content marketing activities. Team members can then easily follow progress on pieces of content, making the entire process more productive for your team.
Some details to have in your content marketing calendar include:
Team members responsible for content
Stage of the sales funnel
Due dates for content’s first draft
To create a content calendar, you can either try Google Sheets and create it yourself, or you can use a specialized tool.
Meanwhile, if you use WordPress, there’s a plugin called “Editorial Calendar” that shows your calendar on your dashboard.
With your content calendar, you can produce enough content to post consistently to achieve your intended content marketing results.
Have a plan for your 2021 content promotion
While creating content is one part of a viable 2021 marketing marketing strategy, another vital part is promoting your content. Many experts will tell you to spend the same amount of time for the creation and the promotion stage. In fact, Derek Halpern of Social Triggers believes that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and 80% promoting it.
While you have a plan for creating content, you need one for promoting it too. Of course, there are many platforms to promote your content and you should pick the best ones to reach your audience.
Some platforms to promote your content include:
Guest posts: These are relevant pieces of content that you post on bigger industry sites that can increase your exposure.
Social media: Share your content on social channels where your audience hang out. This way, it is easier to reach them.
Search engines: Create and optimize content with keywords your ideal customers are searching for.
Emails: Send emails to your subscribers to inform them about new pieces of content on your website.
Forums: Here, you can answer relevant questions on forum topics and share link to your blog posts with detailed answers to the questions.
Advertising: you can spend money to promote important content through social media ads. Another option is using Google ads to bring searchers to a landing page where you have an attractive offer.
In your promotion plan, you need to include the frequency of promotion on each platform. It is vital to note that each platform has best practices when promoting content on them.
Measure your Content Marketing Success and ROI in 2021
After taking the above steps in creating your 2021 marketing strategy, you also need to track your campaign’s performance. The metrics you track will depend on your next set of goals. Which metrics indicate brand awareness? Which metrics show lead acquisition?
You need to specify these metrics in your campaign plan because this way, you can start following the results as soon as you start your campaign. By doing this, you will be able to quickly see if something is not working as it should – and optimize your campaign to improve your results and ultimately, achieve your objectives.
Furthermore, metrics can produce insights to improve the strategy for future campaigns.
Creating a content marketing plan drastically improves your chances of achieving your targets in a timely manner.
You need to know your current performance, understand your audience, use a content calendar, promote content, and track performance. By going through all of these steps and developing a quality calendar, you will be able to attract more leads and customers through content marketing in 2021.