Your 2019 Content Marketing Playbook-Part 2: Define Your Content Haves, Wants, and Needs – Yes, You Can Have It ALL
Getting started with your 2019 content marketing plan can feel intimidating if you’ve never given content marketing much thought before now. It can even be intimidating if you have given it thought and put some effort into it! It’s possible to become overwhelmed when suddenly tasked with coming up with an honest-to-goodness plan. I’ve seen many people freeze up and not move forward because everything just becomes too overwhelming!
That’s one reason why I rarely suggest a client start from scratch. Unless you’re a brand new business, chances are you have already put out some type of content – and that’s where I usually suggest we start when developing a plan. I ask:
- What kind of content do you already have?
- What do you want to achieve with your content marketing?
- What do you need to do to reach your goals?
Taking Stock and Turning It Into Actions
These three questions are really just a form of taking stock and then using the information to create a plan. Let’s look at each question in turn:
What Do You Have?
First things first. What kind of content have you already created? If you have a website, you have some web content. If you have a social media page, you have some social content. If you have a blog, you have some blog content. If you post videos, you have some video content. Even simple online business directories you find on Google or Yelp reviews qualify as testimonial content.
- Start a list and include anything and everything that is out there and available for public consumption.
Next, ask yourself: What kinds of resources do we have? Do you have staff to create, post, and manage the new content you’ll be creating or will you need to hire new people or a consultant or contractor? What has your process been like thus far? Who’s been managing your content? Has anyone been overseeing it or has it been a more ad hoc approach?
- Add to your list to identify current resources and current areas of responsibility.
Then, think about this: Where is your audience going for information? This is a very important question because it can be used to help refine your focus. You’ll drive yourself mad if you try to tackle every single avenue of content marketing all at once. There’s just too many. So, take a step back, figure out where your customers are going for information about your business and make sure you include those avenues first in your new content marketing plan. Look at your website analytics, paid ad reports, or social activity for hard data but be sure to take into account comments and requests from customers. Ask them how they heard about you or what kinds of content or marketing materials they use to decide where to shop.
- Create a new list that identifies how customers are coming to you and what kinds of content they use to make purchasing decisions.
What Do You Want?
Next big question: What are your objectives? What do you want to achieve with your content? Are you trying to drive sales, build your brand or reputation, increase your online presence? Create a social following? For many businesses these objectives will be very similar to their marketing objectives. That’s ok, because as I pointed out in my last post, content marketing is marketing.
- Start another list that identifies your wants or content objectives.
Be as specific or as vague as you’d like. Sometimes people have very concrete objectives such as “increase clickthroughs by 25%”. Others have very vague or broad objectives like “post regularly to the blog”. Don’t worry about how you are going to make this all happen, that’s what our next question addresses.
What Do You Need?
Okay. Now you’ve taken stock of what you have and have identified some goals and objectives. Next step is to figure out how to make it happen. Take your lists and look for areas of alignment or areas of need.
- Where are customers going for information? Do you have any content on those channels?
- What kind of content are you creating? Who is responsible for it? Do you have one person in charge of managing the process or has it been a piecemeal process where whoever has time or an idea puts out the content?
- Do your wants and objectives align with your customers’ needs?
- Have you devoted resources to content marketing? Content marketing takes time, money, and ideas. It can’t be an afterthought.
Putting It All Together
The overarching goal of your content marketing plan is to put content out on those channels or in the formats that your customers or potential customers rely on so they’ll see it and come to you when they are ready to make a purchase. To do that, you’ll need to:
- Give your customers what they want. If your customers rely on your current content channels, then you know you need to keep those channels and add to them.
- Drop content that isn’t helping to meet objectives. If customers aren’t using certain channels and you have been devoting resources to those channels, it might be time to change your strategy and drop those channels. At this point, you’re just wasting resources. You can always add channels back in later once your primary channels are running smoothly.
- Identify resources. Identify and allocate resources to make content happen. That means figuring out who is going to create your content. Will it be internal or external? If internal, will it be a new hire or can you expand or shift someone’s job duties to accommodate the new needs?
- Create a plan. Develop your plan. A 12-month plan would be great, but a quarterly plan might be more manageable, depending on what you want to achieve. Your plan may be as simple as, “Post one new blog post every two weeks,” “Create a video on a product each month,” “Run a giveaway or sweepstakes on social media during our anniversary month.” The possibilities are endless and they are entirely up to you!
- Review and reassess. Come back to your plan from time to time to review your progress and assess how well it’s working. Make changes when necessary; your content marketing plan does not have to be set in stone. It should be fluid enough to accommodate changes in your industry and/or customer behaviors.
Remember, there is no one size fits all when it comes to content marketing. Content marketing is a blending of what works best for your business and your customers. That does not look the same for every business.
Orlando Content Marketing Is Here To Help
You may find yourself at a loss or needing help at any stage of this process. It can be very difficult for business managers and leaders to take a step back and look objectively at their business. That’s where an outside perspective and help becomes invaluable. Orlando Content Marketing can help with this. We can help you take stock of what’s working and what’s not, create your content marketing plan, or even help you create the content you need! Contact the team at Orlando Content Marketing to get started or browse through our blog for ideas and inspiration!
In our next post, we’ll get back to basics and discuss how to bring content back to your core marketing platforms of website, blogs, and email lists!