Content marketing is a form of digital marketing that focuses on creating free content to reel your audience in. There are many different forms of content: your business blog that lives right on your website, eBooks or other content extras that you use as a lead magnet in exchange for an email address, informational products that your business might sell for a small price in order to start with an easy conversion, and more.
Using content marketing as a part of your sales funnel is a great way to increase lead generation, but you have to have a plan. We're going to go through our seven steps to creating a content marketing plan that works for your business.
Step 1: Determine your goals.
What do you hope to get out of content marketing? There are many different goals and objectives that you might be hoping to accomplish. Perhaps you're more interested in brand awareness, and letting the general public (local or otherwise) simply know that you exist. Perhaps you're looking to completely overhaul your content marketing plan and be known for your informational products and downloads as a major part of your business structure. Or maybe you just want to use content marketing in your sales funnel to help you generate more leads. Once you've determined what your goal(s) is/are, you can move on to step two.
Step 2: Figure out what types of content you need.
The next step in your content marketing plan is to take a step back and figure out each of the different types of content you'll need to create in order to meet your goals. At the very least, you will need to create regular blog content. We recommend updating your blog 4-12 times/month (1-3 times/week). For lead generation, you will need to invest the time and resources into creating at least one downloadable PDF to start with. You will want to update or change out your email opt-in every quarter or so. In order to really ramp up your content marketing efforts, you might even want to have 3-5 different email opt-ins available at a time.
Other types of content include eBooks, email courses, digital courses, webinars, infographics, worksheets, and/or video content.
You'll also want to look at who your audience is, and what types of content they would be interested in consuming. Conduct a competitor analysis to determine the types of content that your competition is creating. You want to be doing the same thing that your competition is doing and more.
Step 3: Put together a plan of action for creating your content.
Conduct a content audit and take a look at all of the content that you already have. Does this align with your goals and objectives? If so, you can keep it. If not, you may want to revisit it or repurpose it into a content piece that is going to help your business achieve its purpose.
Then, you need to determine your plan of action for continuing to create quality content consistently to keep your blog updated, and to fit in with your content marketing plan. Make an editorial calendar and determine how many times you want to publish a new blog every month. Look at your budget and resources to see if you need to write the content yourself, if you have a team member who could work on your content marketing, or if you'd prefer to outsource the content creation process to a team of experts.
The Zerys writers are experienced in many different industries and can help you accomplish your content marketing goals. Don't worry about having to create new content every week. Instead, let the Zerys team help you find the best writers who can create your content for you, bring about awareness of your business, and help you bring in new customers.
Step 4: Publish your content.
Put together an editorial calendar with your set publish dates for each of your blog posts. When you get each article from your writers, schedule them out according to their corresponding date per your calendar.
If you're creating email opt-ins, integrate the PDF with your email marketing platform so new subscribers will automatically be sent the download they signed up for. Work with graphic designers, videographers, and other creators to help create other types of content. Share your content on social media, on your website, and via email to reach more and more people.
Follow these steps to put together a content marketing plan that works. Want to learn more? Check out our white paper, "What Is A Digital Content Strategy? And Why You Need One."