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One of the things we find that is often the hardest for a brand to figure out when wanting to build their brand is actually also the most important thing. The most important part of any content marketing campaign is a solid campaign strategy. A solid campaign strategy gives you the roadmap for what to create, how to create and how to promote it. Without this roadmap, you risk many pitfalls.

Your content might not be seen as pertinent and valuable by your ideal customers, resulting in them not clicking on your content and becoming aware of your brand. Your content might not be planned around the types of long tail keywords your ideal customers might be using to search for your product or solution, leaving you invisible to them. Or, perhaps after the first few articles, you simply run out of ideas because you haven’t laid out your entire strategy, making your content regularity spotty and not helping you build your brand. With that in mind, today I wanted to share with you some specific steps every brand should follow when planning their content marketing strategy.

Set your content goals

It’s important to remember when you set out on your content marketing campaigns that you aren’t simply creating content for the sake of creating content. You are creating content to successfully reach one of your business goals. For instance, you might want to increase the number of visitors that go to your website, or generate more leads for your sales team, or drive more sales through your online store. Whatever it is you are creating, you have to remember to always create it with this main goal in mind.

PRO TIP: Something out of the ordinary is bound to come across your radar and you may want to jump at it and add it to your marketing plans because it seems new, different or cool. Remember, always ask yourself, “If I add this to my marketing goals, what will it mean to the overall goals I have and how will it help?”. I you do that exercise and you cannot point to how it’s going to help you with your overall goal, it isn’t worth doing.

Remember to create your buyer personas

Once you’ve defined the goals of the content you are going to create, the next step, equally important to setting the overall goal of why you are doing this, is to create your buyer personas. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional accounting of an ideal customer. It touches on things like background, technological skills, age, needs, pain points, etc. Generally it turns out that a brand will have three, or even five different buyer personas. That is okay.

The purpose of creating the personas is to help guide you with the type of content you will create. The content you are going to create is going to be geared to be found by these ideal customers, when they are doing google searches, or see your post on social media, and then keep their attention enough to read the entire article. Your buyers personas will serve as the roadmap for the type of content you will create.

Remember that buyers go through a journey

Once you start creating great content, you have to remember to create content for the entire buyer journey. There is a standard buyer journey path that customers follow. It is important that you have content for them to absorb at each stage in the sales funnel. Specifically, these stages, and some possible appropriate content for each stage are:

Awareness: Whitepaper, Blog Post, Checklist, Tip Sheet, Infographic, Ebook, Game, Quiz

Consideration: Podcast, Webinar, Worksheet, Comparison Matrix, Template

Decision: Demo, Free Trial, Product Guide, Consultation, Coupon

As you plan your content, always keep in mind that when people interact with your content, there is always a next step. It is important you plan for these and develop the content that will go into those stages as well.

Be sure you are using the right marketing vehicle

Another super important thing to consider when planning the content for your content marketing strategy is the actual vehicle you are going to use to deliver the content to your prospects. Be sure to consider your buyer personas when considering the appropriate content vehicle. You have to remember that you are creating the content for them. You want to be sure that whatever it is you create, it is able to easily be accessed and absorbed by your ideal customers. The vehicle itself does not matter. It can be a blog, a Vlog, a whitepaper, a podcast, or anything else. Just make sure that your buyer personas are going to gravitate to that vehicle.

Planning a successful content marketing campaign can sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of companies out there (including ours) that would love to help you get started and rock your campaigns to 11. If you’d like to discuss having our firm help you with an upcoming campaign, have questions about how to pull off a D.I.Y. campaign, or just have an idea you want to bounce off of somebody, click the button below and we are happy to help 🙂

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