Content Marketing Magazine

6 steps to creating a successful content marketing plan

Written by the Editorial Team

According to a survey conducted by MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute, 93% of businesses now use content marketing as part of their overall promotion strategy, and 73% say they now produce more content than they did two or three years ago.

Content is what makes your potential customers (clients AND candidates) become just that – customers. If they are able to gain access to content that is relevant to them, their experience of interacting, engaging and doing business with you will be all the greater.

I was the lead content writer for Monster between 2006-2010 and during that time some 40% of visitors to site were not only looking for a new job, they were seeking career advice to help them in their current roles too. So for them, having great content wasn’t just an added benefit, it was a marketing imperative as these visitors often turned into jobseekers at a later date.

It was the same for CareerBuilder.com, Reed.co.uk, Jobsite, MSN Careers, SKY, TotalJobs.com and many more – all of who we have provided content for and in some instances, continue to do so.

Here we show you what you need to do to make sure your site has the right content.

STEP 1

Know whom are you talking to before planning your content, and understand your audience’s goals and interests:

  • Who is viewing your website?
  • What do they already know about you – nothing, something, they know you better than their own mother?
  • Is your audience ready to buy in the here and now, or are they simply looking for some form of distraction from their busy lives?
  • What do they need?

Writing content that is aimed at ‘everyone’ will be attractive to no one and demonstrates a lack of understanding on your part about your audience and what they are interested in.

STEP 2

Identify why they are coming to you in the first place:

  • Why should they buy from you?
  • What makes you unique over your competitors?
  • Why should they care about your agency?

Align your content according to your customer’s needs and satisfy their concerns, resolve their objections, and overcome any other potential barriers preventing them from taking the next step in the buying cycle, whether that is to engage you as their recruiter or to seek your support to help them find their next role.

STEP 3

Develop your content.

There is no point loading your site with a plethora of white papers that do little to support the overriding aim of the organisation. Rather, decide what the purpose is behind each piece of content. For instance, it may be to:

  • Inform
  • Entertain
  • Start a conversation
  • Inspire
  • Persuade
  • Prompt action
  • Share knowledge and information

STEP 5

Decide how to present your content:

  • What resources do you have available, who will produce the content, and how much time to they have to make this happen?
  • What budget do you have and what are your time frames?
  • What format will work best and do you have the skill set within your agency to deliver these?

Your customers will engage with you in varying ways, such as looking for something worth sharing (blog, infographic) or information that addresses a specific need (report, white paper). By understanding the point at which they interact with you, you can enhance their experience of dealing with your business.

STEP 5

Decide the frequency of your communications:

  • How often do you want to produce these deliverables?
  • Do you have the resources to react and respond to immediate requests for information?

The delivery of your content marketing plan is just that – it is planned and deliberate both in its content and its timing.

STEP 6

Get it out there:

  • How can you promote your new content?
  • How can you maximise the return you have made on your content investment?

Once your content is produced, think above and beyond the obvious delivery mechanisms for sharing this information. For instance, if you have produced a new white paper, extract two or three of the most salient points and use these as the foundation for other forms of communication, such as a series of new blog posts, an infographic, a press release or a featured article for the trade press.

Similarly, perhaps you are organising a roundtable discussion – again, thinking laterally, turn this into an opportunity for a new video, a series of thought-leader Q&As or engage your audience in real-time via a webinar.

by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins, Editor