Whether you are just getting started with content marketing or have had a running strategy in your business for awhile, it is never a bad idea to take a second look at your plan.
While creating a website and throwing money at Google Ads may have been a solid plan 5 years ago, this strategy is no longer successful.
The market is now saturated with businesses using Google Ads, making it extremely difficult to win at this game unless you have major capital to spend.
So what do you do? The simple answer is to create as much content as possible.
Most have the reaction of, “I don’t know what to post on social media” or “a blog wouldn’t be valuable for my type of business.”
The truth is, content is king in 2020.
This is the way to separate yourself apart from other businesses, make connections with your target audience, and win over google by having people search for your business specifically. Whether you are a graphic design firm or a plumber, there is always something to post that will add value to your audience.
In this post, we will layout the key steps to creating a successful content marketing strategy.
By the end of this exercise, you will be ready to hit the ground running, and win at the marketing game in 2020.
Steps to make a successful content marketing strategy:
Step #1: Create an internal goal for your content
Every business who posts content, should have a clear goal as to what the content is for.
While posting a catchy quote or funny meme may get a few likes, it’s important to establish a purpose for your content.
Meet with your team and decide on a key performance indicator (KPI) for your content. Are you trying to increase sales on a specific product? Do you want to drive more website visits? Maybe your only goal is to gain a loyal community of followers on social media.
Whatever it is, write it down and use it as your guide for deciding the rest of your content strategy.
You can take amazing photographs and post stunning graphics, but it serves no purpose unless you have a strong goal behind it.
Find your “why?” for posting, and this will help you stay on track with your strategy.
- Drive traffic to website
- Get 100 email subscribers
- Sell 50 products online
- Get 50 people to sign up for your event
Step #2: Decide what value you are adding to your audience
Now that you have your goal in mind, it is time to decide what content you will post to execute the plan. This is one of the most important steps in your content strategy.
A common place to start navigating this is to ask the question, “how can my business’ content add value to our audience and customers?”
No matter what industry you are in, no matter how big or small your business is, there is always a way to add value.
For example, let’s say you own a small, local coffee shop. To start, you could post about the different drinks you serve and educate people on the ingredients you use. Then you could go a step further and show tips and tricks on making good coffee at home using your beans.
This will drive people to order drinks at the shop and inspire them to purchase your beans and to make their own creations at home.
Adding this value to your audience will set you apart from other businesses in your industry. While consistently promoting your coffee shop is good, posting information that people can learn from is better.
Using this strategy, you may even accumulate followers from outside of your local area. This could lead to opening up an e-commerce store where you sell your beans nationwide.
This is just one example of how posting valuable content consistently could lead to big opportunities in your business. Apply this same mentality to your company and start brainstorming ways to start adding value to your customers.
While consistently promoting your business is good, posting information that people can learn from or be entertained by is better.
Step #3: Decide on what channels you will post
When deciding on a channel to post on, any marketer will tell you do be on all platforms. This will give you a major leg up and allow more people to find you.
However, if you do not have the bandwidth to be on all platforms efficiently, pick a few that you feel you could execute best. If you have a good photographer on your team, Instagram will be a great choice.
Maybe you have access to professional video equipment. In that case, Youtube would be a great avenue to explore.
Pick the most platforms that you know you can manage effectively.
It is also extremely important to consider up and coming platforms. Take Tik Tok for example.
You may think it is a young platform built mostly for young teens. This is a huge oversight. Tik Tok is an amazing, new platform with little algorithm restraints.
This means you could post one video a day and see major leaps of growth in just weeks.
Don’t you wish you were on Facebook or Instagram the first day they launched? Never miss a new opportunity to market your business.
Step #4: Chose a management system
While you can post all your content manually for free, it takes up a lot of your time. And as we all know, time is precious when you are running your own business.
Instead of relying on yourself to post everyday, choose a software tool that will help automate the process. A few good places to start your research are Hootsuite, Planoly, and Tailwind.
There are a myriad of automation tools to choose from and it’s up to you to find the perfect match that will fit your posting needs.
Incorporating an automation tool will save you time and money. Instead of trying to remember to post a photo everyday, you can take an hour out of your day to schedule posts for the entire month.
This way you are guaranteed to post valuable content to your audience everyday without thought.
Popular content automation tools:
Read more about business automation tools here.
Step #5: Create a posting plan
Now you almost have everything you need to start creating amazing content for your audience. But first, you need to decide how often you want to post.
This will guide how many pieces of content you need to be creating every month to meet your quota. You are probably asking yourself, “how often should I be posting?” The short and simple answer is, “as often as you can post quality, meaningful content.”
While frequency is great, consistency is better. In other words, don’t go on a posting spree one week and disappear for a month.
It’s better to map out your content and create a schedule that is balanced and consistent for your business.
Facebook: 1–2 posts per day
Instagram: 1–3 posts per day
Twitter: 15–30 tweets per day
Pinterest: 11–30 pins per day
LinkedIn: 1 post per day
Youtube: 1 video weekly
These are just guidelines that will help you begin creating your personal posting plan. Do some research and think about your business goals to help guide this step in your content strategy.
Start brainstorming and creating!
Let the fun begin! You now have a solid content strategy to follow. Now all you need is to brainstorm content ideas and start creating!
You will want to go back to step 2 and remember what value you are trying to add to your audience. Let this guide you as you brainstorm your content ideas.
There is no better time to be creating content than right now. If you don’t have a content creation team, no problem! There are so many websites and online tools that will help you make stunning graphics and videos in minutes.
You don’t have to be a graphic designer or videographer to make eye catching content.
Simple drag & drop tools and pre-made graphics will make your business look like marketing pros.
Some of our favorite content tools:
If making content marketing a priority was one of your business goals for 2020, follow each step of this process to create a successful strategy that will take you to the next level.
Content is what will give your business personality and set you apart from others in your industry.