With each passing year the digital marketplace is becoming even more crowded, making it important to have a strong content marketing strategy in place for your business. Without having the ability to create high-quality pieces of content, your business’ voice may get lost in the crowd leading to decreased engagement on your website and social media channels.
But can business owners create this content marketing strategy while also overseeing the core operations of their company? For many businesses this is any area they end up neglecting, either without the time to create new content themselves or weary of the costs of hiring dedicated marketing staff to create and upload content for them. This can lead to what we would call ‘content spurts’; posting several pieces of content in rapid succession, followed by weeks of silence, only broken by the busy business owner or director remembering to update their digital channels.
If this sounds like you, then be sure to read this guide we’ve created on cost-effective content marketing! In this article we’ll detail what a content marketing plan looks like, how to optimise your content to suit your audience and how content marketing can drive success for your business.
A Content Marketing Plan: Your First Step To Success
Success in the digital marketplace doesn’t happen by chance; it requires careful planning, detailed knowledge of your audience and optimisation of your messaging. This can apply to any aspect of marketing but even more so for content marketing, as without a plan your business simply won’t garner the right type of engagement you want for your business.
At its core, a content marketing plan serves as a roadmap that outlines your objectives, target audience, content creation/distribution strategies and the methods for analysing and optimising your efforts. It’s a comprehensive document that aligns your content initiatives with your overall business goals, ensuring that every piece of content you produce contributes meaningfully to your company’s success.
Some of the core parts of a content marketing plan include:
- Defined Objectives: Begin by clearly defining what you aim to achieve through your content marketing efforts. Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving website traffic, generating leads, or nurturing customer relationships, your objectives should be specific to your goals for your business, not someone else’s.
- Target Audience: Understanding your target audience is fundamental to creating content that resonates with them. Conduct thorough research to identify their demographics, preferences, pain points, and online behaviour. This knowledge will inform the type of content you create and the channels you use for distribution.
- Distribution Channels: Now that you’ve researched your audience, you should have some idea about what channels they frequent and the types of content they engage with on that platform. Are they 20-year-olds looking for the latest restaurants to try in their area on TikTok? Or maybe they are medical professionals for new businesses to handle their finances on LinkedIn? Picking the right channels to suit your business is a key step to success, naturally complimenting the type of content you create with this plan.
- Content Strategy: This section of your strategy should outline the type of content you’ll produce, the topics you’ll cover, and the formats you’ll employ (e.g., blog posts, videos, infographics, podcasts). This should include who is responsible for generating, publishing and scheduling your content where necessary to ensure it reaches your audience properly, tailored to the distribution channels you’ve picked for your business.
- Measurement and Analytics: Creating content and uploading to your website or social media channels is only half the battle, you need to determine specific content marketing KPIs in this plan to measure its performance before you start, not after. You should also have awareness of the analytics platforms you’ll need to use to measure these results, allowing you to tweak and optimise your content marketing strategy at regular intervals.
Having a clear, defined plan that includes the elements above will put you on the right path and help you to properly engage with your target audience. Business owners should take this as a necessary step to achieve success online, something that can be either created in-house or through a digital marketing agency. Once you have this plan in place it’s time to turn your attention to how you’ll go about generating the type of content that sees results.
But before you go out and buy expensive camera equipment, know that content creation doesn’t have to be expensive! Businesses can utilise existing resources and knowledge to generate content on any budget, from those just starting out to established firms looking to showcase their latest offerings.
Content Creation On Any Budget
The content your business creates can be expensive as you need it to be, it just depends on the resources you have available. Big brands spend millions of dollars each and every year on expensive advertising campaigns, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the most cost-effective.
As you can often see on social media, one of the most cost-effective means of promoting a business can be through user-generated content (UGC), utilising a hashtag to encourage your target audience to share a post that highlights your product or a service that your business offers. One of the biggest companies in the world, Apple, utilises UGC nearly every year in their advertising via their #ShotOniPhone campaign, taking photos and videos from around the globe and re-purposing them for their own ads. This strategy would drastically reduce the cost of producing some of these advertisements and highlights the functions of one of its core devices perfectly. +
There are also a ton of websites online offering free content to users, including photo sharing website Pexels, stock music from Pixabay and free videos from Videvo. All of these can be utilised to help generate your own content online, from header images for your website articles to stock footage for promotional videos on your Facebook channel. Another great option for business owners it utilising the power of AI via ChatGPT. With ChatGPT, you can turn nearly any prompt into a text response for your business, allowing you to source free copywriting for social media posts, website articles and even things like recipes and instructional guides.
These are great resources to have at your disposal and can make content marketing a much more cost-effective process. However, you do need to keep in mind that somebody, whether its yourself, an employee or a marketing agency, will need to implement and manage this content for you to ensure it is properly scheduled and published to engage your audience the way you want to. Without that oversight, you may see mixed results with content that may not resonate with your audience exactly how you envisioned.
Addressing Your Plan Properly To Drive Success
As mentioned above, while creating a content marketing plan does not have to be an expensive process, you still need someone to drive this strategy for your business in order to achieve success online. Content marketing is a long-term strategy and you need someone on board with your company to ensure that it is addressed, analysed and tweaked where necessary.
That may be where dedicated staff come in, allowing you to focus on managing to the core aspects of your business while someone addresses your plan for you. But for many businesses this is simply not an option, not having the resources or time needed to properly manage an additional staff member and incorporate them fully into the business.
For business owners in this camp, this may be where you need to turn to a professional digital marketing agency. Agencies, like Sky High Digital, can be utilised how you need them and when you need them, within the budget that you have available. Instead of worrying about staff leave, ongoing costs and administration, you can work with an agency to manage these channels for you, helping you generate the results you need up until the point where you’re comfortable.
Here at Sky High Digital, we’ve been successfully managing content marketing and a range of other services for Australian businesses for close to a decade, helping them reach new heights in their respective industries. If you’re interested in having a content marketing plan developed for your business, then get in touch with our team today or call us on (03) 9723 1783.