Picture this: you’ve just bought your first home but there are a few problems. The kitchen counter isn’t quite how you’d like it. The bathroom hasn’t been updated since 1985. The spare bedroom is painted in a puke green. In order to get your house where you want it to be, you need to spend some money at Lowe’s and some time in your work jeans making things just right.
Facing a content marketing plan is a lot like renovating your home. There is a lot to be done but you know once you get both feet wet you’ll be a lot better off. Starting and implementing a content marketing plan can’t be done overnight, just like home improvement. You need a plan with clear intentions in order to get either project done.
Intentions are essential for success with content marketing. They give you and your copywriter a clear goal to shoot for. They help define what type of content will be produced, where it should be published and how to measure it’s effectiveness.
If you’re not sure what your intentions are for content marketing, here is a simple step by step process that you can use to make your life (and your copywriter’s) a heck of a lot easier.
1. What do you want to accomplish?
Content marketing can help you increase leads, convert those leads, develop better relationships with your current customers, reach out to new potential partners, upsell customers and a variety of other business related goals. But one piece of content isn’t going to do all of that.
Each piece of content in your content marketing plan has a specific job. A web page that is designed to attract new leads isn’t going to be written the same as a web page that is for current customers.
Before you hire a copywriter and implement your content marketing plan, you need to get specific about your goal. What do you want to accomplish with this current investment in content? What is your biggest goal for your business? Like home renovation, content marketing is never done. There are always more blog posts to create, new resources to collect and website updates that need to be made. Instead of focusing on all of these goals at once, you need to get clear about what you want to accomplish with this specific content marketing project.
2. What type of content will accomplish that goal?
You could paint your ceiling with a makeup brush, a 2 X 5 sponge brush or a paint roller. All of them will get the job done – but the roller is going to take less time and be effective. Your goals for content marketing will determine what type of content you’ll use.
Need to spread your idea like a virus? A video or infographic will do the trick.
Want to increase customer loyalty? Try using a insider’s guide white paper or delivering great content via email.
Using the right kind of content for the job will help you eliminate the overwhelm of “What do I publish?” and zero in on the technique that will work best.
3. How will you measure success for your goal?
When you’re doing home renovation, you have a specific end point in mind. You’ll know when the kitchen has been completely remodeled (and then you’ll likely move on to the bathroom or rip up the carpet – it never ends!). But with your content marketing, the end point can be kind of fuzzy if you don’t carefully define your goals.
Having clear intentions naturally leads to clear end points. It’s not clear enough to say “I want to increase my traffic.” You need to look at your traffic stats and give your goal a number. “We want to increase traffic by 50% in 3 months” or “I want to get 75 opt ins to my free report in this month.” Knowing the measurement for success will also help your copywriter put together the right positioning and call to action for your content. Trust me…your results will be a heck of a lot better.
If you’re just getting started with content marketing or want to use it more in the coming year, get clear. Clarity will bring definition, organization and better results to any content you use to market your business.