CREATING YOUR CONTENT MARKETING PLAN IN 2021: THE FULL GUIDE

Having a contact marketing strategy is paramount to the success of a business, yet only 46% of businesses have a documented strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute. Companies that have a documented content strategy are more successful in their marketing efforts than their counterparts.

Like all marketing, content marketing also requires preparation and focus on your performance indicators to understand website traffic. This is why we have put together a guide that includes all the essential facets of content marketing for 2021.

Know Your Content Marketing Goals

If you are starting your contact marketing with no set goal in mind, you will quickly run out of budget. There is only so much money you can allocate in marketing, and you have to make sure you are improving your return of investment by accomplishing the goals you have set.

One of the most common goals of contact marketing strategy is to increase your website traffic. Like that, you have to determine the significant goals your organization wants to focus on.

Creating a mission statement will help you stay on point. You can visualize the following formula to formulate your critical missions.

We provide {your target audience} {type of content} to help their {motivation}.

The purpose of the mission statement is to understand what you are providing your audience and how you have to dedicate your resources towards your content strategy.

Here are some of the common content marketing goals –

  • Improving return on investment on your marketing budget
  • Getting more high-quality leads
  • Increase website traffic
  • Creating awareness of your business
  • Search engine optimization
  • Reducing marketing budget
  • Improving social media engagement
  • Creating brand story

Key Performance Indicators

The only way you can ensure you are meeting your goals is to measure them. You have to know your key performance indicators and diligently monitor them every week, month, quarter, and year to ensure that you are effectively utilizing your content marketing strategy. Below are some of the most vital and common metrics of a business that should be tracked regularly.

Unique page visits

Every time you create new content, measure that your website is receiving the desired traffic. Unique page visits will give you an idea of how influencing your newly created content is.

Downloads

Downloads show that your content has an elevated rate of interest. You can create simple forms or other media files that could be quickly downloaded. Downloadable content creates a high level of engagement, and it is more influential towards increasing your traffic than straightforward textual content.

Time spent on page

Whereas people visiting your page is a good thing, you still have to make sure that they are lingering enough to consume your content. They have to take some action at least once they visit the website. If they are quickly logging out after visiting, the time spent on the page is relatively low. It is an indicator that your content has a problem or is not engaging enough.

Inbound links

People linking your content on other sites or social media is an indicator that they trust your brand. It is a good indicator of measuring influence and can help you achieve a higher spot ranking in the search results.

Cost per click

In all likelihood, you have to calculate how much money you are spending to get every person to reach you. This is a measurable metric that translates into cash, directly correlated to your marketing investment.

Lead generation

For a lot of companies, content marketing is a primary way of generating the lead. This can be done through forms or other content downloads. You have to ensure you know exactly how many leads you’re getting from content marketing, so you can attribute that credit to your content marketing even if your deal is not working out.

Understanding Your Audience

Knowing every little detail about your audience will ensure that you reach them better. You have to take three actions to make sure you target the right people, so your marketing money is well spent.

Collect demographic data

New brands will struggle to understand the correct target demographic. You have to collect data through your email subscription, social media following, web analysis, email analytics to find out your targeted audience. You have to take it one step further by collecting other information about them, including their location, age, gender, income, etc.

Tools such as Google Analytics can give you plenty of information about the people who are following your brand. If you have a business account on Facebook and Twitter, you can also get more insight from Facebook and Twitter analytics.

Collect feedback

Whether you are a new brand or an established company, understanding how your audience feels about your product is essential to your business. You have to know how your customers feel about the content you are creating, whether you are meeting their needs, how you can address the problems they are facing, and where their priorities lie. This is necessary to create an image of your brand and fine-tuning your content strategy.

Create buyer personas

With the help of feedback and demographic information, you can create buyer personas. This might be an overlooked step by many companies; however, you have to understand your buyers’ motivations to be effectively catering to them. Buyer personas will help you know what kind of content your audience reacts to and what they are looking for when visiting your website.  

Contact Assessment

Depending on your industry, it is highly likely that there are many other brands already catering to the same demographic and creating similar content as yours. This is why you have to ensure that the content you are creating is effectively helping you meet the goals you have set.

To do that, you need to have a historically holistic view of your content. Everything you have created so far should be put through an audit. You have to log every content you have made, including guest posts, blog posts, social media posts, and so on. This is crucial to identifying the gaps existing in your content strategy.

The content assessment will let you create a compatible report. This report can be tallied against the leaders in your industry who are also creating content. This will also tell you how the new content will suit the market.

Below is a step by step process of how you can log and assess your content.

Logging content

You can utilize tools like Screaming Frog as the starting place for storing all your content. This tool is a URL crawler. It will take all of the URLs available on your website, list them for you, analyze the pages and titles you have created, find any duplicate content or page existing in your website, and even create sitemaps.

If you are a small brand, you can utilize the free version, which will let you collect up to 500 URLs. Things like this can be utilized to research the content of your competitors also. You can run the same analysis on your website and your competitor’s website and get a feel for what kind of content they are creating that you are missing out on.

You can alternatively utilize tools like SEMRush for content auditing. You can create a project in the tool and add the website you are trying to audit, which can be your website or your blog. After that, you have to select the URL and simply press on the start content added. The tool will give you a detailed analysis of all the content you have created, length of the content, existing backlinks, how many times your content has been shared on social media, etc. These reports can be extracted into a spreadsheet for further analysis.

Measuring content success

Once you have logged in the content you have created, you have to measure how effective they have been in spreading brand awareness. Some measurable metrics will give you an idea of how effective your content is.

Look for how many inbound links have been created to your content, which is a key performance indicator you want to track diligently. It shows that your content is influential.

The next step is understanding the keywords that have been associated with the piece of content that is popular. Identifying the right keywords is the only way to make your content strategy successful. It will help you get a better search engine result ranking and make your content more accessible to the users searching for help.

Once you know these details, you can easily determine the content types that are completely effective and do not need to be modified. You can also identify which type of articles or posts that are not performing as well.

Last but not least, you have to identify content that should be removed entirely. You might have some content on your website that does not attract as much traffic as you have predicted. Whereas it can seem like a good idea, this is a waste of your marketing efforts and resources. You have to focus on pushing out popular content more to maximize your return on investment.

Find gaps in your content strategy

Logging your content and your competitors’ content will give you an idea of the gaps that exist in your current content strategy. Look for keywords that are popular in your niche and used by competitors, but you have not utilized them in your content.

Look at social media sites and other places where your target audience is frequenting. They might be asking questions or looking for help that your site is not addressing. Also, look for content that is positively well ranking, but there is still some scope for improvement.

Content gap strategy can be carried out by using popular tools like Ahrefs. You can simply go to the tool and look for the organic search to get the content gap analysis. To do effective competitor research, you have to add the domains of your main competitors to the site. In comparison, you can see how your website is ranking for keywords as compared to your counterparts.

Content Scheduler

High performing content strategy is not only based on quality content; it is also based on consistency. You have to identify the right platforms to use for your content at the exact right time. This means you have to plan months beforehand to capitalize on the right opportunity. A content calendar will help you prepare for content for upcoming events, festivals, location-specific happenings, and so on. And then, you can use the content scheduler to pre-create content that has to be posted.

If you are publishing a lot of content, you can increase your productivity and management by utilizing editorial calendar tools. This will also help you stay in touch with your audience at the right time.

For example, you might be based in the USA, but your target audience could be based in China. So, the content you are posting should be at the right time targeted for the Chinese audience. However, you might not have the time to be available every time your target audience is most active. Understand the time when you are target market is most likely to view your content, and use your content scheduler to post your content at that time to create maximum effect.

The Wrap Up

Creating a content marketing plan requires a lot of effort and determination. Ideally, you must study your target audiences well, identify their preferences and likings, analyze your competitors, and recognize the gaps. Make use of content marketing tools to tick the right boxes. Use data to make well-informed decisions, and keep tracking key performance indicators to ensure that your content is driving in the required results.

To learn more about creating a successful content marketing plan in 2021, contact us today.

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