Content marketing is easily one of the best long term strategies to grow your business, and increase your revenue. And the fact that content marketing is 62% cheaper than any other marketing platform only sweetens the deal. Skimping on content marketing could be damaging your business.

But, how do you create a successful content marketing plan that stands out to your audience within a crowded industry? Let’s take a look at 5 tips for building a successful content marketing plan for your business.

Tip #1: Have A Clear Goal

The first step to creating a content marketing plan that gets results is ensuring that you have a clear goal in mind. Now, this doesn’t mean that you’ll make a wild guess about the amount of revenue you’d like to make from content marketing. Instead, this means sitting down and figuring out what you’d like to achieve from your content marketing efforts. To do this, you’ll need to take into account things like who you’ll be targeting, what content you’ll use to reach them, and how they’ll benefit from the content you produce.

Once you’re clear on those three things, you can formulate a goal statement or a mission that encapsulates your entire content marketing aim. Some examples of what to include in your goal statement are:

  • Getting more high quality leads that convert to sales as a result of your content marketing.

  • An increase in traffic to your website thanks to the engaging and informative content you produce.

  • Building SEO, leading to more people discovering your business through Google search.

  • Spending less on marketing in the long run as the effects of your content marketing compounds.

After you’ve thought about it, allow these goal statements to inspire you to come up with one that fits your brand.

Tip #2: Make Sure You Know Your Audience

Content marketing requires effort, so you wouldn’t want to spend your time putting content together for an audience that isn’t interested in the topics you’ve chosen. That’s why knowing your audience is imperative. How can you figure out what it is your audience will be interesting? If you’ve got a website, previous sales and a basic amount of information on your customers, then you’ve already got some of what you need.

Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can help you learn more about your audience. By diving into the data the software captures, you can find out things like:

  • The average age of the people who visit your website.

  • Whether the majority of people who visit your website are male or female.

  • The education level and income brackets of the people who visit your website.

With this information handy, you can further dive into sub-categories. For example, you might find that many high-earning women with at least a masters’ degree visit your website. By doing research to figure out what people like that would be interested in, you’ll have a great place to start when coming up with topics.

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Tip #3: Evaluate Where You Are

Before you can chart a plan for the future, you’ll need to know exactly where you stand on the content marketing frontier. More often than not, businesses have already started putting out content, albeit without a strategy. In order to do a thorough evaluation, take stock of everything that you’ve published. This includes blog posts, videos, tip sheets, guides.

Afterward, compare the content to those of your competitors. Is your content on par with the content produced in your industry? Does it appeal to your audience? Answering these questions will help you to understand the direction you should take your business in. If you’re left with more questions than answers, you have probably found a content gap, which you can exploit to your benefit.

Tip #4: Build An Email List

An email list is valuable asset, and the sooner you start to build one, the better it will be in the long run. Regardless of what your content marketing goal is, building an email list should be your secondary goal. An easy way to do this is to include an email sign-up plugin at the end of every blog post you’ll create. Additionally, creating valuable content that your audience would love that they can get for free in exchange for their email address.

With their email address, you can send them content through email marketing. As part of your content marketing strategy, email marketing will help to educate and inform your audience, as well as them sending them information about your services that will help them to make a decision. You can use emails to send promotional content, direct them to new content you’ve created, and build trust and brand loyalty.

Tip #5: Decide On What Kind Of Content To Produce

After you’ve tackled tips #1-4, it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of deciding the kind of content you’ll produce as part of your content marketing strategy. One of the good things is that after evaluating your current content and finding more about your audience, you’ll have a clear picture of where to start.

Still, there are a few avenues available to you, like blog posts, video, case studies and more. Each kind of content has its advantages and with more than 90% of the content online slated to be video, you’ll do well to invest into great video content for your website and social channels. Some research will help you to understand which kind of content resonates best with your audience.

With these five tips, you’ll be able to create a solid content marketing strategy that will help to achieve your business goals and grow your market share. But what if it all seems a bit overwhelming? Here at Business Wilderness, we help our clients create and execute content marketing plans that help them to insightfully connect with their target audience and add value to their lives. These people then go on to become loyal customers of the brands we work with.