A common question amongst many of our clients, how can I plan for my content marketing? One of the key challenges of working in an early stage business is that a small team need to do everything that needs to be done. This often means that planning is the last thing on your mind, especially when it comes to planning for a content marketing campaign.
But this is crucial if you are going to create a community of loyal followers and customers to take your business to the next level. So you may be wondering, how can I plan for content marketing?
You probably already have an idea which is most appealing or realistic for you and your business. Just pick one that you think you’ll actually stick with. That’s going to become very important in step two, coming up with your content plan and the first part of this step is really figuring out a schedule that you can stick to consistently, so when you start to think of content marketing as something that you’re just going to chip away at.
Your content marketing campaigns will be a key part of your digital marketing strategy.
Finding the time for a consistent and effective content marketing strategy is another question. Content creation and distribution can be very time consuming. Its important to remember that you are building a relationship with your market.
Let me give you a few tips that I stick to which have helped me immensely.
How Can I Plan for Content Marketing – a Few Key Tips
First, I would target the idea of weekly content. Whether you’ve decided on writing or recording podcasts or making videos, I recommend doing one each and every week. I think more than that can get unwieldy and hard to stick to. Less than a weekly cycle makes it really hard for you to become familiar in the minds of your prospects. That’s just my perfect world scenario, so if you know all you can commit to is once every two weeks or even once a month, that’ll still be valuable. It just may take a bit longer to get to the results you want. Any less than once a month, I think, is going to make it very hard for you to get any traction, at least when you’re starting out. So my suggestion it for you to decide on your frequency.
My other big tip for you here is to batch produce, you know, four to six content pieces at a time. When I first started this channel I was doing two videos a week and I was doing them one at a time, meaning I’d have to set up my camera and my lights clean up my desk in the background here, and then edit them and upload them, and then once I’m done.
I would then have to start the whole process over again and switching gears like that between setup, recording editing writing, uploading, every time I switched what I was doing, it takes some, you know, mental bandwidth to get into the groove of the new task, which just killed my productivity. I don’t necessarily think you have to do eight at once but it really helps me to just take a few weeks to make a few months’ worth of content as opposed to taking three days every week to dote one-offs.
Step two of the planning process is to brainstorm a content plan, so in other wards what specific topics are you going to cover in your first batch of content. I generally recommend creating content meant for all three stages of your sales funnel so we have a top of funnel, middle funnel and bottom of funnel.
I’m going to discuss each one of those for a minute so you understand it. For the top of the funnel content that’s meant to be found by new people who are finding you for the first time. This is generally where your instructional or how-to tutorials, even inspirational content live.
So if you’re an accountant, it might be an article about all the deductions that you can take as a business owner. You get the idea, it helps your audience address specific problems that they might have. Then, for the middle of the funnel, you want to create content that’s more geared towards helping your viewers or readers make a decision. So this can be comparing two options or even are view of a product or service in your niche for instance. I might use a video where I tried buying a website design, for example. For bottom-of the funnel content, we might use videos or content that’s meant to actually drive them toward taking that next step with you.
This might or might not have a teaching component, but they can also be things like testimonials or case studies. Whatever the meat of the content is, you’re ending with a really clear call to action to buy something or schedule a consultation or an appointment with you.
So having all three types of content is key to having the right content marketing mix, that’s going to bring people all the way down through your sales funnel. If you’re just starting out, I would recommend making your first couple batches completely focused on that top of the funnel. Focus on educational and inspirational content first. Engage people in with your expertise first before you start selling anything to them.
Once you get up and running I generally recommend to divide your content into three top of funnels, one or two middle of the funnels and then one bottom of funnel. Make sure you first understand what topics are resonating well within your niche.
Consider a mix of sources for this. Everything from blogs to YouTube, podcast episodes, and other relevant content for your specific audience. If you are focussing on business to business, for instance, using white papers or interviews for instance, could work quite well. Draw your ideas from all of it. No matter which platform you’re planning on using, start a spreadsheet of topic ideas and then just split them into the top mid and bottom funnels.
Once you’ve got your content underway, it will be time to move to step three, promoting your content. It’s not always enough to just create content, especially at first. You need to get the word out for your content to be found and for it to work.