Content that Clicks: How to Build a Content Marketing Plan

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Despite research showing the advantages of content marketing, the time and financial investment required to do it well can seem overwhelming for many associations.¬†Whether you’re just starting out with content marketing or you’ve been using the same approach for a while, it never hurts to revisit your content strategy plan — to make sure it’s up-to-date, innovative, and strong.

The first step to getting a leg up on the competition is to have a solid, smart content marketing plan in place. If you’re having trouble planning for the upcoming year or need some fresh ideas to include in your plan, read on.

What is Content Strategy?

In short, your content strategy is the piece of your marketing plan and development that refers to the management of pretty much any tangible media that you create and own — written, visual, downloadable — you get the picture.

You may have heard how important content creation is, but as we’ll get into throughout this post, it needs to have a well-planned purpose. When you develop a content strategy, there are some key things to consider:

      • Who you’re creating it for
      • The problem it’s going to solve for that audience
      • How it will be unique
      • The formats you’ll focus on
      • The channels where it will be published
      • How you will schedule and manage creation and publication

Determining Your Content Strategy

Define your goal.
What’s your aim for developing a content marketing plan? Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan? Know your goals before you begin planning, and you’ll have an easier time determining what’s best for your strategy.

Conduct persona research.
To develop a successful plan, you need to clearly define your content’s target audience — also known as your buyer persona.

This is especially important for those who are starting out or are new to marketing. By knowing your target audience, you can produce more relevant and valuable content that they’ll want to read and convert on.

Determine a content management system.
Have a system in place where you can manage your content. A few vital parts of content management include content creation, content publication, and content analytics.

Brainstorm content ideas.
Now, it’s time to start coming up with ideas for your next content project.

Determine which types of content you want to create.
There are a variety of options out there for content you can create. Here are some of the most popular content formats marketers are creating and tools and templates to get you started.

  • Blog
  • Ebooks
  • Templates
  • Infographics
  • Videos
  • Podcasts
  • External Content

Publish and manage your content.
Your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you’ll create — it should also cover you’ll organize your content. With the help of an editorial calendar, you’ll be on the right track for publishing a well-balanced and diverse content library on your website. Then, create a social media content calendar so you can promote and manage your content on other sites.

MVP
Megan Van Petten
CEO & President
Van Petten Group, Inc.

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