Creating content without a well-defined strategy and purpose is just noise. Here is a step-by-step no fluff content plan that you can easily execute:
1. The Basics
2. Define your goals
3. Pick your Content Platforms
4. Conduct Content Research
5. Do a Content Audit
6. Choose your Content Pillars
7. Collect Content Ideas
8. Plan your Content Calendar
When you create a content marketing strategy write down a few key things before you start:
✅ Who will you create the content for? When you know who you’re talking to you will have a much better sense of what exactly to share. Get as detailed as possible.
✅ What problem will your content solve? How do you want to interact with them, what can you do to support them, what keeps them awake at night, and how do they want to be spoken to?
✅ How can your content stand out? What is your unique selling point? How can you infuse your content with your personality and make it special? What can you share that others can’t share quite like it?
On to the juicy details. Here are the specifics of how to create a content marketing plan:
All your content should be INTENTIONAL and have a clear purpose. Plan out and set goals for every week, every month, every quarter. What will you focus on, how will you market yourself, what are your concrete content goals.
Break down your big goals into smaller action steps and focus on achieving the next step.
Example: Your big goal is to make $10k a month on Instagram.
Action Step 1 – Create a signature offer.
Action Step 2 – Warm up your audience by providing valuable content and engaging with them, etc.
Which channels will you focus on? Don’t try to be everywhere and get burned out on content.
1. Choose one Core Content Platform – Blog, Video or a podcast – How do you prefer creating content and how does your ideal client prefer consuming your content?
2. Choose one Traffic platform – Choose a platform that can drive traffic to your your website. There is one obvious choice – Pinterest! Almost all my website traffic comes from Pinterest and I swear by it! I use it to drive traffic (and convert sales) to my shop, for affiliate marketing and to book clients!
3. Choose one Social Media platform – Instagram, Facebook Group, Facebook Page, Twitter, etc. What platform best showcases your work (e.g. if you’re a photographer Instagram would be a great choice here) and where does your ideal clients hang out the most.
- Send a survey to your email list – Make sure you explain what’s in it for them when they take the time to fill out your survey (gift card, tailored content, Q&A session with you)
- Market Research Call – hop on short (15-20 min) calls with your ideal client and ask away. Remember it’s all about them!
- Instagram Stories – Connect with your audience directly. Use polls, question stickers, the quiz feature or DMs to ask them what content they are CRAVING. And then create it.
Content pillars are topics that discuss various aspects within your business. They should all connect to an overarching brand message. Your specific content pillars will depend on your niche.
Pick 3-5 content pillars that are relevant to an outcome your audience hopes to achieve. Don’t forget to throw in 1-2 personal pillars as well (you are a personal brand after all ;)). To give you an example my content pillars are
1. Content Marketing
2. Instagram Visibility
3. Profitable Online Business
4. Digital Product Creation
All the content I create is related to those 4 pillars because I have found it to be what my audience needs most and can relate to.
Here is another example. If you’re in the fitness industry your content pillars might look something like this:
1. Weight Loss
2. Muscle Gain
3. Easy, Time-Saving Recipe
4. Motherhood (how you combine being a busy mom with finding time to work out)
Don’t worry – you can always change your pillars as your business evolves and you get to know your audience better.
Find and keep track of relevant topics based on your pillars (find ideas on YouTube, Pinterest, Google, etc.) Start a spreadsheet and list all the niche specific topics you can find on the following platforms:
- Quora – Questions are asked, answered, and edited by other users. Find topics your potential clients and readers are most interested in learning about.
- Facebook Groups – Stalk Facebook Groups (others or your own) full of your ideal clients. What questions are they asking? What frustrations are they sharing? Turn them into content ideas.
- Pinterest – Like Google, Pinterest has search suggestions that show you what your ideal client is looking for. The most popular pins give you all the deets.
How often will you publish your content? Are there any scheduling or measuring tools or programs you plan on using? Set a posting schedule and stick to it and pick a few KPI (key performance indicators) to track your results.
Using your content pillars and content ideas create a monthly outline. Keep track of what to post, when to post and what channels to post on. For example:
Monday: Blog Post
Tuesday: Email Newsletter
Wednesday: Instagram Post, Pinterst Pins
Thursday: Pinterst Pins
Friday: Instagram Post
Sunday: Pinterest Pins
IMPORTANT: Don’t forget to base your content around your promotions and product launches.
Remember to focus on quality over quantity when it comes to your content.
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THANKS for sharing these tips. This means a lot to build an effective marketing strategy.