Content — Which is which?

The first step to getting a leg up on the competition is to have solid and smart content plan in place. Content marketing helps business prepare and plan for reliable and cost effective sources. Content will help attract leads, educate your target prospects and also generate proper awareness for your brand.

There are several ways to create a content marketing plan for your blog.

Goal definition- why does your blog exist? Before you can dig into the strategy of your blog you need to clearly articulate its underlying purpose. After defining the purpose of your blog ask yourself, what’s the aim for developing this plan? Why do you want to produce solid content and create a content marketing plan? What content supports the purpose of my blog? Before you begin to plan, you have to identify your goals. If you can answer these questions with clarity and put them together into one defining statement, you can create a powerful anchor for all future blogging decisions.

Conduct buyer persona research – for a successful plan, you first need to define the audience that your content is targeting. This is crucial as it will guide on producing relevant and valuable content that they will be interested to read and convert on. After defining who your customer is, there is need to go ahead and research on their behavior so you can adapt and tailor blog content for their biggest interests, challenges, and curiosities. Yes I know this kind of research is expensive, but if you want to bootstrap it, you should go on with it. There are many places you can start the research like, question and answer forums, social media, blog comments to name just a few. Work towards your customers trust. If you discover the information your customer want and provide that information on your blog, they will likely start to trust you. This trust gains momentum and before you know it, the trust relationship will make your customer keep on coming back and probably who know they might bring their family and friends with them.

Content audit – conduct a content audit of your biggest competitors which of course you know at least the top five of them. You don’t want your customers seeking and buying information from your competitors, but they sure will if they provide the information that your customers need and it’s not on your blog. Check and review their content, repackage your content if need be and figure out what you can do differently in the upcoming content and set new goals to reach.

Decide a content management system-which key words are you targeting? Keywords let search engines understand what your content is about. When a customer searches for a phrase you want them to find it in your blog, right? This means you should know what your potential customer will search for. Find out the keywords they frequently use to type in to search engines and include them in your posts.

Brainstorm content ideas- this is where you start coming up with ideas for your content. You can use some tools like hub spots website, CoShedule and other sites that can help you see where you are with your marketing. You decide what to write, this should be unique content or a unique way of doing the usual. Brainstorming can generate lots of ideas. This stage you make a decision on what subject you want to talk about. There are also several formats you can create your content such as E-books, Blog posts, templates and many other.

Distribution platforms- where will your content be distributed? Writing quality blog content is a great start towards running a successful business blog, however, the hardest part is getting that content discovered out there and turning your platform into an authority. Creating well researched topics on your blog can be time consuming. A tactic I found helpful is repackaging your blog content. Using the same content- the ideas, structure, research- in a different form. This will make you reach a wider audience than before.

Finally publish and manage your content- your marketing plan should go beyond the types of content you will create and also how to organize them.

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