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How to Build a Content Marketing Plan in Easy Steps?


Content Marketing Plan

Content marketing has become an essential strategy for businesses looking to organically build awareness, trust, and loyalty with their target audience. But creating great content is only half the battle - you also need a strategic plan to distribute and promote it effectively.

Without a solid SEO-friendly content marketing strategy guiding your efforts, you risk wasting time and resources. Content ends up scattered, inconsistent, and fails to reach or resonate with your ideal customers. Luckily, you can avoid these pitfalls by following a simple yet impactful step-by-step framework.


Tips to Build a Content Marketing Plan

Following are easy tips to build a content marketing plan:


Determine Your Goals

Building an effective content marketing strategy involves clearly defining your goals as the first step. What are you hoping to achieve through content marketing? Common goals include:


  • Increase brand awareness or authority in your niche

  • Generate more website traffic or leads

  • Nurture current customers or clients

  • Promote a new product or service

Be as specific as possible with your goals, so you can craft a targeted strategy and accurately measure your success. For example, instead of a goal of "generate more leads," set a SMART goal like "use content to generate 200 enterprise sales leads over the next year."


Identify Your Audience

Next, get clear on who your ideal target audience is. Your content and distribution strategy should be tailored to their needs, interests, pain points, demographics, and more. The more precisely you define your audience, the more effectively your content will resonate with them.

Some questions to consider:


  • Who are our ideal customers currently? What personas do they represent?

  • What key demographics define them (e.g., job roles, seniority levels, company sizes, locations, etc.)?

  • What information do they want or need? How can we be most helpful?

  • Where and how can we reach them? Which platforms and channels would be most relevant?

Personas and buyer journey maps can provide tremendous clarity here. Surveys, customer interviews, and analytics on your current customers can also offer insights.


Carry out Keyword Research

Now it's time to roll up your sleeves for some keyword research. This effort will help guide your content creation strategy and optimize content for SEO (search engine optimization). For keyword research don’t forget to do a content gap analysis.


Start by researching relevant terms and phrases that align with your audience's needs and interests. Pay attention to the approximate search volume for keywords as well. Some helpful keyword research tools include Google's Keyword Planner, Moz's Keyword Explorer, SEMrush, Ahrefs, and Soovle.


Remember to also investigate more specific long-tail keywords (e.g. "software algorithm performance tips" versus just "software algorithms"). These tend to drive more qualified, conversions-focused traffic.


Create a Strategic Editorial Calendar

With your goals, target audience, and initial keyword research established, now you can plan out an effective editorial calendar.

This calendar will blueprint exactly what content types you'll develop, what themes or topics they'll cover when you publish them, who on your team is responsible for what, and more.

Some best practices:


  • Aim to consistently publish new content on an ongoing basis, such as per week 2-3 blog articles.

  • For each piece of content, identify the keywords, audience needs, and goals it serves

  • Plan a mix of evergreen content (e.g. guides and tips) along with timelier news and trends

  • Vary content formats like blog posts, videos, charts, downloadable tools/templates, quizzes, and more

  • Consider relevant holidays, events, seasons, or company announcements to align content with

Maintaining and following your content calendar will help ensure you sustain momentum and continually nurture your audience, instead of ending up with sporadic gaps.


Craft Compelling, Useful Content

When it's time to sit down and create content, there's a tried-and-tested framework that works across all formats and mediums. Make sure each piece of content delivers:


  • Information - Well-researched, credible, accurate details that answer audience questions or provide helpful advice. Cite reputable sources where relevant.

  • Education - Expert insights that instruct readers or teach new skills. Don't just scratch the surface... offer actionable depth and substance.

  • Inspiration - An interesting angle or unique format that hooks attention right away while being enjoyable and fun to consume.

  • Storytelling - Relatable stories or case studies that humanize your subject matter through real-world examples and people that readers identify with.

Of course, the importance of each element depends on your specific content goals. For instance, content intended to build authority should emphasize educational value, while inspirational stories may better support brand awareness.

Adopt an authentic, approachable writing voice suited to your brand's persona. Be helpful and empathetic to audience needs... don't overtly "sell." Sprinkling in relevant links and media can also boost engagement.


Optimize Content for Discoverability

Now that you've created amazing content, it's time to amplify it through search engine optimization (SEO) best practices. These tips will help readers discover it more easily:


  • Compelling title: Include your target keyword early in a title that grabs your attention

  • Subheadings: Break up long paragraphs with subheads containing secondary keywords

  • Alt text: Add descriptive alt text to images to expand keyword targeting

  • Metadata: Fill out title, description, and keyword meta tags

  • Links: Interlink related content to signal value around keywords

  • URL: Make sure the page URL contains your target keyword

There are many more advanced SEO optimization tactics, but this covers the basics of essential first steps.


Distribute on Relevant Platforms

Don't let that hard work languish on your company blog only! Repurpose content across multiple platforms to reach your full target audience.


Which social media networks would your personas actively use? Develop companion posts suited to popular choices like Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, Instagram, and more. Turn blog posts into editorials in industry publications. Repackage ebook content into slide decks, videos, podcast interviews, or webinars.


The more exposure you generate across channels, the faster content can work its "magic" to serve your goals, from lead generation to thought leadership.


Track Performance and Optimize

With your multifaceted content marketing machine now in motion... measure results and continue optimizing!

Tools like Google Analytics can track website traffic driven by different content pieces and topics. Social media management platforms provide engagement metrics per network. Marketing automation systems trace lead quality through purchase stages. Surveys give qualitative data about audience knowledge gain.


Analyze this data regularly to guide ongoing improvements, such as:

  • Doubling down on top-performing themes or formats

  • Retiring poor performers taking up precious resources

  • Identifying and filling content gaps

  • Personalizing future content based on viewer demographics

  • Updating evergreen content as trends change

By continuously monitoring, assessing, and improving, you’ll maximize the ROI of your content marketing.


Conclusion

Following the strategic framework outlined equips you to build an effective content marketing engine that delivers real business growth. Distribute amplified content widely to make your messaging an omnipresent part of your audience's journey. Use performance data to fine-tune a high-impact engine that drives value across marketing and sales funnels.


In today’s world, excellent content marketing is imperative. Implementing these steps will help you build lasting connections with customers through valuable content that fuels loyalty and growth.


Now that you’re armed with a comprehensive blueprint, what first step will you take to advance your content marketing strategy today?

And if you find it difficult, then let MacroHype do it for you. Contact us today!

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