The 3 Biggest Challenges to Developing a Content Marketing Plan and 7 Steps to Address Them
On June 13th we ran our Content Marketing Workshop and met with 25 business owners and marketing professionals to walk them through a 7-step process to build a content marketing plan that can help you find customers and keep customers.
The 3 most common content marketing challenges we heard from participants were:
- How to uncover customer-centric content as opposed to product-centric content
- Sharing the content development burden across the organization
- Analyzing who engages with your content and how that helps them through the buying process
The product bias is hard to avoid. Writing about your product comes easier to most, however conversion and buyers that will take a next step in the buying process will come from customer-centric content. Let’s face it, people want to read about their problems and how to fix them, not about the features of a product or service.
To create powerful content, we always suggest creating buyer personas and a buyer map to track the challenges your best customer goes through to buy a product or service like yours. Tracing this journey will help you uncover important content that can be used to develop your content marketing plan.
During the content marketing workshop we were able to address these issues and others based on the 7-step process we have created to help companies design and deliver a content marketing plan that works.
Here are the Marketing CoPilot 7-steps for Content Marketing success:
1. Process: Identify the right process for your company and get commitment from the top.
How do you get the right buy in?
It’s simple, tie your content to revenue and lead generation. If you create a single focus for various forms of content, you can be specific about what you hope to achieve. An increase in conversion rate equals an increase in revenue and customers acquired! An increase is customers acquired means you can have an informed discussion with your CEO about how to allocate resources and align marketing tactics to business goals and measurable results.
2.Buyer: Develop the voice of the customer.
What does your buyer care about?
Buyer personas are important to understanding your customer. If you do not have a formal buyer map you should consider downloading the customer scorecard and start thinking about valuable customer-centric content. Forget about self-promoting products or services, think about the buyer and the business problems you solve for them.
3. Keywords: Structure content around a sound keyword strategy.
A well-researched keyword strategy from the perspective of your buyer, not your product or service, is a great starting point for questions and content that can drive your strategy. If you don’t have a keyword strategy for your company, look into our Keyword Workbook.
4. Ideas: Brainstorm customer-centric topics.
To provide content that works and converts, follow a few of these tips:
- Document the top ten questions that get asked in the sales process
- Address the subject of price
- Do a “Best of” article in your area
- Talk about your industry/ products for 2013
5. Write: Use a content template and create a schedule.
An editorial calendar based on your keyword strategy is crucial. Our Sample Editorial Calendar is a great first step. Start by creating a template for success. We suggest using our blog post template that will set up how you want to tell the story. Story telling is key to grabbing your reader’s attention and achieving a next step with your potential buyer. The best content focuses on a conclusion that is relevant, important and urgent. It is important to remember you must focus on:
- Buyer problems
- Helping them achieve orientation on-page (where am I, what is this about?)
- Build engagement through story telling
- Provide a solution to problem they may be encountering
- Make the ask – what do you want them to do next
However, do not ask for too much too soon. What you are trying to do is move the reader up the value proposition spectrum.
6. Post & Share: Where is it going?
Never forget to share! Make sure you have published the content with the ability to be searchable by using these elements:
- Well-optimized front and back end keywords
- Title optimization
- Email campaigns
- The best social media channels: LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter
7. Track & Measure: Make sure you know if you achieved your goal(s).
It may seem tedious but Google Analytics has made it easy. Google can test and measure whether or not you have achieved your goals. Did your content build your email list? Did it inform prospects about our product or service? Did it open up conversation rather than sell? Google has numerous ways to measure and we have numerous ways to analyze.
This 7-step process will develop a lead- generating content strategy, in which you will see an increase in conversion and an increase in revenue and customers!