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Your simple guide to building a content marketing masterplan

Written by Digital Impact Solutions on January 25, 2015

Creating a content marketing plan for your business is more important than ever. As competition increases, more people understand the importance of business online, you’ve got to be at the top of your game.
 
But it’s probably simpler than you might think.
 
A content marketing plan doesn’t need to be in a pretty document. It doesn’t have to be laminated and bound. It just needs to be specific, relevant plan that sets out clearly how to create the right content for your brand and your audience.
 
So here is your simple guide to building a content marketing masterplan that will make most out of your content, drive visitors to your website and make more money!
 

Goals

You have to know what you want to achieve if you have any hope of succeeding. If you don’t know where you are going, how can you possibly know how to get there?
 
Knowing your goals also helps you to monitor progress. It’s easier to see where you have been, where you are now, and what you need to do to get to your goal.
 
So what are your overall business goals for this year? And how is your content going to help you achieve those goals?
 

Audience

Who are your target audience? Who are your most profitable customers?
 
You have to be clear in your mind who you are targeting your content towards.
 
Even better, have a specific person in mind. Someone you know or are familiar with that fits the bill.
 
We all fall into the trap from time to time by thinking our products are aimed at everyone, and that everyone could benefit from what we have on offer.
 
And that might be true. But content that is totally beneficial to a small number of people is much better than content that might be relevant to a bigger number of people.
 
Ask yourself a few questions:
 
  • If my target audience was a soap character, who would it be?
  • Who do I know personally that is the perfect client for me?
  • What car do they drive?
  • What clothes do they wear?
  • What is their favourite drink?
 
These might seem a bit off the wall, but once you have an idea of the person you are aiming your products at - the way they talk, the words they use, their hobbies, interest, and character - it’s easy to think about the types of content and ideas you might choose.
 

Types of content

Once you have a clear idea who your audience is, and where you can find them, you can think about how you can reach them.
 
There’s a huge range of content that you can use to make an impact on your audience, such as:
 
  • Webinars
  • Guides
  • Pinboards
  • Giveaways
  • Blogs
  • Videos
  • eBooks

This list goes on.
 
Start to think about which types of content your target audience are most likely to use. Busy people might prefer infographics for quick and easy information; train commuters might prefer videos or blogs for the journey; sole traders might prefer audiobooks for their drive to client meetings.
 
So don’t just go with your favourite, or what looks best. Choose your content because it’s the best for your audience.
 
Also think about what it takes to create that type of content. If you don’t have the skills, time or experience in-house, does you budget allow to hire someone to do it for you?
 
There’s a balance that you need to achieve. You might be able to stretch the budget for a creative and inspiring video, but could you achieve the same with a less expensive blog article?

Ideas

This should be the fun part – a chance to let your imagination run wild. We’re not interested in inspiration or great world changing ideas. Just ideas.
 
A good place to start is with your customers and clients.
 
Make a list of all the questions you are asked regularly by your audience. If you create content that answers those questions, you are directly appealing to your audience.
 
Another great idea is to do a `mind dump` – get everything out of your head and throw it down on to a massive piece of paper. Don’t stress about the quality of those ideas because at this stage there are no bad ideas.
 
`Bad` can lead to good ideas, and whoever came up with the `bad` idea might not want to offer any more ideas for fear of those also being bad.
 
There are some excellent tools on the web that can help you create some amazing ideas and see what’s trending or popular:
  • Buzzsumo
  • Swayy
  • Google Alerts
  • Scoop IT
 
You now have the perfect platform to start building those ideas, linking them together, linking them to your goals and your services.
 

Evergreen Content

Somewhere in your ideas now I’m sure there will be topics that are current and trending now, and there will be topics that are always relevant - `evergreen` content.
 
Evergreen content should stay relevant for a long time, which means you can promote it and direct your audience to it for longer. You get more use out of it for your efforts.
 
That doesn’t mean topical ideas are no good. In fact, topical ideas have a great chance to increase your visitors to your website. But if all your content has a shelf life of a couple of weeks, you shelves will soon look pretty empty.
 

Timescales

Your timescales should fit with your goals. I’m sure we all have things on our to-do list that have sat there for a long time. But if you commit to a timescale – really commit – not only are you more likely to get it done, but you can start to map out you plan.
 
So what are you going to do and by when? What events are coming up that could tie in with the promotion of your material? When is something fresh and exciting going to happening in your sector that you could link with your content?
 
Use a wall calendar of some sort and start to plan out what needs to be done by when. Include milestones and your major goals so you can start to see the path you need to take to get there.
 
It will also help you stick to your timescales because you’ll clearly see the knock on effect of missing a deadline.
 

What are you waiting for?

It’s now time to take some action. Gather your team and start building a content marketing masterplan and stick to it.

Content marketing might not give you an immediate impact. Not like you might see from a TV ad, or short terms sales from a local event. But stick to your content marketing plan, and not only will you see a massive impact on your visitors and sales, but you will see long term benefits and growth with content that keeps working for you business all day, every day. If you need any help with content marketing, you can find more information on our content marketing page
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