Content Marketing Plan
In the modern digital marketing mix it is a customer awareness approach that succeeds. This involves planning and understanding your customer. Knowing how your customers seek out answers online and which formats they prefer is vital. Knowing how to create useful, engaging information which encourages the customer to progress from being aware of your product or service, to purchasing your product or service online. This is why clever content marketing and investing wisely in content gives ROI.
By understanding how your target audience discovers, consumes and acts on information, it is possible by using the RACE Model ( Dave Chaffey’s Marketing Value framework to increase sales) i.e. Reach, Act, Convert, Engage them .
The answer for improved online marketing starts with content: You should think of it as how you are going to help your customers get the information they require but it should also come from the heart and reflect what your company stands for. It should be a commitment to your customer that you are there to help them and they should feel confident purchasing from you.
So how do you decide what to write and how much is enough??
Content should be planned in an editorial calendar and should concentrate on the channels that you know the customers you are trying to connect with are using. According to Heidi Cohen author of ‘Actionable Marketing Guide: “Marketers and media firms must create stories people want to read”. In her book she emphasizes that content marketers must become storytellers. Stories draw people in and if you want to stand out, becoming a better story teller is a good way of doing this. To discover how much is enough is trial and error, constant monitoring to see what is working and what isn’t is probably the best way to discover this. Sometimes what works is completely unpredictable, there are no hard and fast rules that predict what is going to work and what isn’t.
How does Social Media work with search and where does Content fit it?
Content is where your stories are relayed to your customers and social media and SEO are ways to optimize the reach and engagement to these customers. Analysing your SEO keyword research can review subjects which are in demand and may attract customers who are actively searching online. Search engines favour high value content in search results and Social Media sites favour sharable, linkable content. A small business that combines smart Social Media and SEO tactics can create an advantage for attracting new customers no matter which channels they use. Also monitoring Social Media Insights and statistics can reveal trends and topics that your customers are interested in. Understanding your customer is the key to being successful no matter which channel you are using. Giving your customer the information they require in a fast and efficient manner helps with relationship building and gives your customers confidence in your company and making it easy to buy from your company will ultimately increase your sales.
Content Marketing Tactics for Start-Ups combining SEO and Social Media
A Blog offers many advantages for both Social and SEO. Blog posts can concentrate on answering ‘frequently asked questions’. It can contain interesting topics for your customers. You can schedule posts to save time and encourage staff to comment on posts etc. It brings a human dimension to your business and builds good relationship with your customers and they can engage with your business on a 24/7 basis.
- Newsletters & Email Marketing
Email newsletters are a great way to inform your customers of offers and information regarding your services and products. They can be segmented and targeted to your direct market. While engaging with your customers through whichever Social Media Channels you are using you can invite them to sign up for your newsletter and they can be more informed about your business.
- Social Networks & Media
Customers expect every business these days to be ‘social’. Engaging with your customers through social channels that your target customers are using is essential to succeed. The particular business you are involved in will determine which channels are best suited to your business.
As they say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, and using YouTube to demonstrate your products or services can be very helpful and engaging for your customer. Videos can be embedded within blog posts, extending their value as content.
For small businesses or start –ups it is not necessary to use all the above tactics. What is important that you start small and specific and monitor at all times what is working and what is not. Make it a priority to gain an understanding of your customer’s needs, what topics and keywords are important and then socialize and publicize that content. Strive to be the ‘best answer’ for your customer at the time that they need you most.
E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, implementation & practice. Dave Chaffey (fifth edition). RACE marketing value framework (460-1).
Philosophy of Neil Patel (Quicksprout and KISSMetrics: ‘Combine your content marketing with SEO’.
‘Actionable Marketing Guide’ by Heidi Cohen, Content Marketing & SEO Perspective.
E-Business & E-Commerce Management, Strategy, Implementation & Practice. Dave Chaffey (fifth edition). Chap. 8 ‘Content Strategy’.
Content publication and syndication process. Source: Smart Insights (2011) The best tools and tracking techniques to save time on your social syndication. Dave Chaffey, 18/1/2011. www.smartinsights.com/blog/digital-marketing/tools-tracking-social-syndication.