Forgive us if we sound like a broken record, but having a strong content marketing plan is one of the best things you can have for your business. It is our jam, it’s our raison d-etre and we want to get you excited to finally write that content marketing plan for your business.
That’s why we’re going to do a deep dive into 10 must-haves for content marketing strategy. If you are thinking, ‘erm, what is content marketing?’, have a look at our blog post Content Marketing vs. Social Media Marketing – What You Need to Know, this will get you ready for the goodness that we are about to share.
An understanding of your brand
This is always the first thing on the list. You need to be crystal clear on who you are, what you provide and who you are helping before doing anything else. Having clear foundations makes marketing so much easier in the long run. Branding can seem scary, but just break it down into the visual and non-visual elements that make up your business. You can ask these questions to get started:
- Why do I do what I do? What problems am I solving or solutions am I providing? What is my mission?
- Who do I do it for? Who is my ideal audience? Get to know them, find out how they like to see content, where they hang out online and what they need from you.
- How do you want to come across and how best can you connect with that audience? Think about your messaging, tone of voice, types of content, style and aesthetic.
Using brand strategy and having a clear understanding you can begin to create the visuals behind your brand. Use colour theory, create moodpboard and build a visual identity that is truly you and speaks to your ideal audience. You can DIY this, but working with a brand designer can make a huge difference.
Once you have a solid foundation you can build your content marketing strategy.
A really good task management system with a content calendar
It’s time to set out a plan and become accountable. Have you heard the phrase, a goal without action is just a dream? Find a great task management system like Asana, Trello or ClickUp. These systems are great for planning out your tasks, assigning due dates and collaborating with others. Plus, you can organise your to-do list in a way that works for you. Whether you’re a list go-getter, a vision board creative, or a calendar loving planner, these task management systems make it simple. Make sure that whichever you choose, you have your content marketing tasks laid out in a calendar so you can clearly plan ahead.
An email marketing tool
Email marketing is one of the best channels for your marketing. Growing an inspired and interested audience who signs up to hear from you can really help to grow your business. So how do you do this? You need a great email marketing tool to safely hold your email list, and to design emails that will stand out from the crowd and persuade your audience to click. Some great tools include Kajabi, Flodesk, Mailchimp and Convertkit. A lot of them have free trials, so have a look and try them out to see which one is the right fit for you.
Lead magnets or incentives
In order to get those ideal clients of yours to sign up from your value packed emails, you need a lead magnet of incentive. Something that draws them in, something they need to have but can only have by agreeing to sign up to your email list. Think back to your brand foundations. What problem are you trying to solve or solution are you able to provide? Create a value packed workbook tackling one of these or a free template. Not only do you position yourself as an expert and a helper, you are providing value that your audience needs and building a connection. The joy you can provide and the relationships that you build are a big part of what makes running a business so much fun.
A solid website
One of the things that we can’t stress enough, is the importance of having your own website. A website is 100% yours and is home to your brand, your services and your value. It’s the storefront for your business, and a key tool for your content marketing strategy. Just think, if Instagram or Facebook were to disappear tomorrow, where would your business be? With a website you are in control. And, hey, what a great way to start 2021, with a new website or a website refresh.
On your website, it is so beneficial to have a blog section. Long-form content such as blogs, not only position you as an expert, provide lots of value and tips to your readers, but they help to drive traffic to your website and your services. The more you talk about different subjects and use keywords that align to your business, the more likely you are to get in front of people searching for those subjects. How? blogs support SEO (search engine optimisation), as google bots crawl your site and index these keywords, they see how active you are on your site and that you have up-to-date info, so when someone is searching your site may appear higher in the results.
Thinking about blog topics is also a great way to build your content plan. You can easily turn your long-form blog post into an email, a number of Instagram posts and stories creating a conversation about the topic. This saves you time and makes your content work harder for you. Win, win.
Facebook and Instagram business pages
Social media plays a huge role in your whole content marketing strategy. Having business pages allows you to have a strong business and brand presence, to find and connect with your audience and to network. Business pages have lots of great features to help you to grow your business, insights being one of them. You can use your insights to track your engagement, and to see what’s working and what isn’t. Create new content that you know will appeal to your audience.
An auto scheduling tool for your social media
Auto scheduling tools like Planoly, Later and Hootsuite make creating content that much easier. Your time is precious, so why not use your content plan and dedicate half a day a week to create content for the upcoming week, or weeks in advance? The posts can then be scheduled to go out and it is another job ticked off the list. BIG CAVEAT, you still need to actively engage, comment and talk to your audience and be present. Social media is just that, social.
Canva or a design program
Tools like Canva, Adobe Cloud and Affinity are great to create eye-catching and visual content that will stop the scroll and help you to stand out. Canva is a go-to loved tool for non-designers. You can create Instagram posts & stories, Pinterest pins, Facebook posts and a whole range of other things easily and quickly. Canva lets you download your designs or upload them straight to your socials.
Good time management skills
All of the tools that we’ve talked about can really help to give you clarity, streamline your business and set you up for success. But, the one thing that you need to put in is good time management skills and dedication. Find a routine for your content marketing that works for you and plan ahead.
- Start with planning your long-form content and break this down.
- Use a great paper or digital planner to plan out your content.
- Be consistent and get into a rhythm.
- If time management is a struggle, use the Pomodoro method whilst you work.
So, there you have it, 10 Must-haves for a content marketing strategy. How many do you currently have in your business? What changes can you make in 2021 to make this your best year yet. Let us know in the comments, or if you have any questions, speak to us, let us know how we can help.