Content marketing is the art of providing valuable information with the goal of building relationships with your target customers, in the hope that it converts into trust, sales and then loyalty. Explained below is a step-by-step guide on how to create a content plan that can actually get you lots of traffic with a high conversion rate.
Step 1 – Define Your Audience in Your Content Plan
Defining your audience helps in locating and reaching them, so that you can focus on nurturing and converting them into paying customers. So:
- Create your buyer’s persona to identify who your target audience is, and what their pain points; and
- Find out which online platforms this target audience is available on.
Based on this profile, you can say that the top marketing channels our CEO can be reached through include LinkedIn, Twitter, email and just by cold calling him on the phone. But the marketing technique that has the highest chance of success is a referral from someone who knows our CEO. Referrals, especially when it comes to B2B sales, have the highest conversion rates of over 50%. Meanwhile, SEO, SEM, SMM and other website traffic converts at between 2-5%. Which one would you like to do?
Assuming you want to focus on referrals, the best way to go about it is through influencer marketing. Who is the kind of person that CEO David will listen to? Whose opinion does he value and respect? Based on CEO David’s profile, that would be a well-known digital marketing guru, or a business leader in the biotech field. Get such people to promote your business, brand and product or service, and put it in front of CEO David. That’s how you get referrals to work on the web – through strong testimonials from friends and influencers.
Step 2 – Identify Goals and Priorities in Your Content Plan
Stating your goals and prioritizing them in the content plan helps clearly define what is your expected end goal from each piece of content. It may be lead generation, conversions, brand awareness, creating social media buzz, reaching out to other sites and influencers, collecting subscribers for newsletters, and so on.
Step 3 – Content Plan to Decide the Type of Content
You know, or should know, the needs and values of your target customers. This will help decide how to talk to your target audience, and address their needs in the format and channel they prefer.
Most common content types:
- Blog posts – Anyone can do it, but not everyone can engage visitors and readers to take the next steps required to move them down through your marketing funnel. According to the Content Marketing Institute, producing engaging content is the biggest challenge in B2B. That’s why conversion rates for blogs are abysmally low as compared to other sources.
- Tutorials – Provide an easy to understand step-by-step guide or instructions to address a customer problem. The guide created by Kamkash on the topic “How to convert your Ideal Customer Profile into Keywords” has been helpful for many subscribers.
- Infographics – Creating infographics increases your chances of getting shares and linkbacks. Use platforms like Piktochart, Infogram, and Canva which provide free templates for creating infographics.
- eBook Guides – Creating a comprehensive guide around a topic helps in getting your target audience’s attention. Giving it away for free makes people think they are getting something valuable from you, so they have no hesitation in giving you their email, if nothing else.
- Videos – Videos are far easier to create and edit now, and provide far more ROI as compared to text. Cisco estimates that over 70% of traffic on the Internet is soon going to be video traffic, which should be a clear enough sign of why videos should be an integral part of your digital plan.
Step 4 – Marketing Budget for Your Content Plan
The next step for executing your plan is to establish a marketing budget for it. B2B marketers with the most effective content marketing strategies allocate 42% of their marketing budget on content. Set your budget based on the goals. For example: If your goal is to generate 500 new sales and your website’s conversion rate is 3%, you would need to attract 17,000 new visitors. How much do you need to spend for it, and on what channels (SEO, SEM, SMM, email marketing, etc.)?
Step 5 – Commit to a Publishing Schedule for Your Content Plan
Be consistent in releasing articles for publication. Maintain an editorial calendar for your content plan which shows important dates related to the industry you work. Keep updating the calendar, so that that you are aware of upcoming events. The schedule will help other teams involved (designers, developers, marketing & sales) figure out their role in the plan, and allocate their own time and resources for it too.
Step 6 – Distribution Plan for Your Content
This is where the content creation ends and the marketing part of your plan kicks in. You have a budget allocated for it, but the spend on each channel has to be according to this part of the plan. How much do you want to spend on SEO, and for what (on-page optimization, content creation, website marketing tools, etc.)? How much for paid traffic (search ads, display, advertising, etc.)? How much for social media marketing, and what is your strategy for it? How much for email marketing, and on what (tools, campaigns, templates, etc.)?
By following these simple steps, you can create a content plan which meets your end objective. The plan may seem doable in your head, but it gets a whole lot more complicated when you try to lay it down on paper with numbers and a schedule. The thing is that all this trouble and effort spent on creating a plan makes it easier to implement it. You just have to follow the plan, and refer to it to make sure you are not falling behind or going off-track.
Download Free Content Plan Spreadsheet
To make it easy for you, Kamkash is offering you a free content plan spreadsheet. All you have to do is download it and modify it to match your own strategy for content creation and marketing.
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