By Damien Edmonds & Emma Foster.

Did you know: 2017 is predicted to generate more internet traffic than ALL prior years combined? This unprecedented amount of noise has prompted 200 million people worldwide to install ad-blockers and undoubtedly build up a barrier to somewhat silence the hordes of content grappling for their attention.

Our PREVIOUS BLOG explored how content marketing adds value for your customer and ultimately to your brand by adopting a ‘less-is-more’ attitude. The NEXT STEP is creating a killer content marketing plan.  Unlike ‘push’ marketing and the use of mass-media advertising, content marketing is a long-term engagement strategy (ie. pull-marketing). And with any strategy comes planning.

Traditional ‘push’ marketing (ie. pushing average ideas through mass-media advertising, leading to excessive clutter) undeniably has had its glory days. But amidst today’s competitive landscape, the solution to too much content is not merely more content.

To help you get on your feet we’ve assembled a list of fundamental content marketing ‘how to’ steps that will really engage with your target customers by differentiating you from the amateurs and will continuously add value to your brand.

Spread over two separate blog posts, this guide consists of three fundamental stages to creating a content marketing plan, allowing you map out your path to success.

STEP ONE: BACKGROUND CHECK

 1. Align your goals

Take the time to revisit and consider your organisational objectives. WHAT IS IT you want to gain from your content marketing strategy and HOW will you measure it? This will guide your content strategy and help you measure factors of success along the way.

 2. Revisit your audience

Your overarching organisational strategy most likely called for a market analysis, where you identified your target market, segments and patterns of usage and behaviour. Revisiting this information will create context for your content and provide a point of reference for you and those contributing to your campaign.

For maximum effect, break down your target audience into different character personas detailing demographic, psychographic and behavioural traits and maybe even usage characteristics too.

  1. Get a grid

When it comes to your content, no one-size fits all.  A consumer who has just heard about your brand has different needs and wants to another who’s just used for your services for the first time, or yet again for the hundredth.

Setting up a content grid against core character personas within your customer segment allows you to orchestrate the right content to the right customer, at the right time.

Are you aware of the AIDA funnel?  Your content should encourage people to move along your funnel, so ensure your content topics help this progression.

Brainstorm questions prospects or customers might have at different stages of your usage funnel, then write down useful topics that would add value for these people during these phases.

Another way to generate content is to explore pain points and trigger events relevant for your customer segment – think about events or drivers that might generate interest in your services.

Next week: See PART 2 ofHow to put together a Content Marketing plan’, including steps:

  1. Develop, and
  2. Measure, Refine & Grow.