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7 Steps to a Solid Content Marketing Plan

by: Finella Kristle Panlilio

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 |

Social media marketing today is nothing like its early days when all a brand had to do to be heard around the world was send out a single tweet, engage with its existing audience, and its content would just about share itself. Today, consumers are savvier and more discerning when it comes to what they pay attention to. Overwhelm your audience with content, and you’re sure to lose their attention and the possibility of converting customers.

Steps to a solid content marketing strategy

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that brands need a content strategy to succeed in marketing. But with marketing trends shifting rapidly, how do you come up with a content marketing plan that works? Forbes listed 7 steps needed to develop a solid content marketing strategy:

1. Document your strategy.
Documentation is the only thing that is consistent amidst game-changing trends. According to an annual research by the Content Marketing Institute, those who document their content marketing strategies are more likely to consider themselves effective, feeling less challenged, and able to justify spending more of their budget on it.

Focus on a core outline and actionable steps when documenting. You could start by outlining your target social media channels, content you want to produce, and your objectives. And then support your efforts by having regular meetings with your team to re-evaluate your strategy and make necessary adjustments.

2. Develop an audience persona.
Build personas for your audience to effectively execute your content marketing strategy. When identifying your core audience, go beyond demographics and develop a persona that covers their pain points and how they react to different types of content.

3. Match your best ideas to the best channels.
No matter how great you think your content is, it will likely be ignored when posted on the wrong channel. The best thing to do is come up with ideas that match your brand’s voice, determine which platform the topic works better on, and, having pulled out the best quotes and statistics, cross-promote on another channel. However, take note that finding success with your content on the right channels can still be a hit or miss. Study trending topics on various channels and pay attention to the most clicked-on headlines and buzzwords. Find out the type of content that earns the most engagement and incorporate similar posts and tap into the power of relevant influencers on those channels to share it.

4. Think fast.
Remember Google’s Mobilegeddon? Mobile-friendly websites now rank better in search results. Make sure your website is optimized for mobile before publishing content linked to it. Because mobile is now the leader in search and ultimately the future of marketing, it’s important to start tracking engagement and shares in detail now. Learn about how users are finding your content and what they’re doing with it - if they’re sharing it, clicking on it, or uploading it elsewhere.

5. Incorporate the user experience.
Having a solid user experience strengthens your content efforts and eventually leads to sales. After creating top-quality material, make sure that users can easily engage with your content, whether they’re accessing it on a desktop or on a mobile device. On every mobile device you have available, test if all your call-to-action buttons are working and if the forms can be easily filled out. Ensure easy navigation throughout your site, check the speed at which your pages load and how quickly icons respond to a click, and find out where on your website users are spending most of their time.

6. Embrace social media as a channel.
Limiting your efforts to only social media can tank your marketing efforts altogether. Instead, embrace social media as just one of many channels that fully support your content marketing campaign. Make all of your content work together consistently and offer the same quality, optimization, and personalization regardless of the channel.

7. Go offline.
Don’t be so caught up in social media that you forget to take into account what your customers are doing offline. For further engagement and brand awareness, identify what type of content works offline and how it complements what you’re doing online, and take advantage of the opportunity to cross-promote and power your marketing with user-generated content.

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