“Make high-quality content and you will sell more!” is something that probably every marketing guru says nowadays. Well, yes, content allows you to be more personal with your audience, to give the prospects value before you sell your main product, and Google also loves good content. It all sounds like a win, win, and win once more. However, building a solid content plan is not easy. Many companies create content just because others do it too, or just because it’s popular. Let me share with you a few tips on how you can create a serious content plan that will really bring results.
1. Determine your goals
What are your goals? You can’t progress without answering this question. You know your business the best and you know what you want to achieve with your content in the first place. A few examples:
- I want to create content so I can boost my position in Google Search for luxury holidays in Mauritius to help increase my sales of this product by 20%.
- I want to create content so I can showcase my knowledge and skills and, thus, sell my consulting services.
- I want to create content that inspires my target audience and helps me boost my image.
- I want to create content so new prospects, who’ve never heard about me, come to my website, get to know my services, and eventually become my customers which will increase my sales.
If you’ve already begun making content in the previous years, this is a good time to evaluate. Does your previous content strategy reflect your goals? What were the results? What can you do this year to change it?
2. Think like your target audience. What are their interests?
Buyer personas are very useful in this step. If you know what they like and how they behave, you can easily create content they will enjoy reading and can interact with. Such content then makes them proceed further in the sales funnel.
For instance, let’s say that your target group is young mothers aged from 25 to 40. You might be selling clothing for infants that makes babies sleep better. Your topics should obviously include baby sleep – techniques to make babies sleep better, interviews with experts, tips for apps with different sounds and soothing melodies, etc. This is easy to figure out, but your target group is also interested in other topics. They deal with breastfeeding, baby diets, diapers, child development, health and other similar topics which you can write about in order to make them interested in you.
Your target audience (moms) might find you because they were researching EC methods. They like your article because you helped solve their problem. They browse more on your website and they find out that you are actually helping babies sleep better.
3. Experiment with various types of content
Based on your goals and your target audience, you can now determine the type of content. You have your buyer’s persona ready and you know if they prefer to watch videos or to read articles, what social media they love to use, and what media they follow.
You can always combine more types of content. Let’s talk about mommies from the previous example. They spend a significant amount of time on Facebook discussing their lives, children, and husbands. They also love Facebook contests and share pictures with inspirational quotes about motherhood. They want to be informed and to be perfect mothers, so they read a lot about the newest trends in parenting. They laugh and cry over cute videos of babies and baby animals. So what types of content you can create for this target group?
- Funny and cute videos.
- Educational articles.
- Inspirational and funny images.
Every few months you can evaluate the different types of content you tried and see your results. Remember, content management has a long learning curve. The country and its culture can also influence a lot. Young moms in Germany will probably react to your content differently than moms of the same age in the U.K. Though the two countries are relatively close, the results you get might be very different. Bear this in mind if you create a content plan for more than one market.
4. Time to create a content plan
So now you know everything about your target group. You also know what your goals are and the type of content you want to produce. We can confidently proceed towards the creation of your content plan. Before you create a spreadsheet with your perfect content plan, there is one last question you need to answer. What are your resources and how often can you actually create content of solid quality? This will determine your periodicity. The only rule here is to publish constantly so your audience knows when to expect a new piece of content.
You don’t need any special software to create your content plan. Excel or Google Spreadsheets are more than enough. It must contain the:
- title of article,
- date of publishing,
- type of content,
- targeted persona (if you have more than one),
- products/brands you want to push (in case you have product articles, banners to add in sidebar etc.).
Prepare your content plan for a few months in advance. You can always change it, but you should have a general idea where you are going. The content plan must be aligned with your goals.