In order to plan, develop, and execute a successful marketing plan, it’s imperative to understand what channels and mediums your brand needs to be involved in. Whether you want to conduct direct-mail campaigns, be extremely active on social media, or publish a consistent blog, assessing where these tools fit in your company’s overall marketing goals (i.e. generating leads, becoming a thought leader in your industry) is essential.
This assessment can often lead you to determine that some of these marketing channels and tactics might in fact be inessential to your overall marketing goals.
For instance, if your company’s revenue is based on B2B sales, it might be more important for you to focus your attention on LinkedIn rather than Facebook. Or, if you mainly rely on referrals to boost your client base, you may not want to participate in PPC ads, as they may attract the wrong clients.
However, there is one component of online marketing that all companies should try and fit into their marketing plan: content marketing.
Content marketing involves the creation and sharing of valuable and relevant media and publishing content to in order to acquire leads and generate a defined audience. Content can include videso, white papers, eBooks, blogs, case studies, photos and more.
There are multiple reasons why content marketing should be included in your marketing plan, including increasing sales, retaining customer, building your brand, and SEO purposes. But for now, let’s focus on the 3 initial steps you need to take to fit content marketing into your marketing plan.
1. Define your goals
This might be the most important part of fitting a content marketing into your marketing strategy. What’s the point in starting a new marketing strategy without defined goals? These goals can include building a following, increasing sales leads, or educating your audience. The purpose of these goals will allow you to measure your results and compare them to your overall budget.
2. Identify your metrics
Once you’ve defined your goals, you’ll need to identify and define your metrics. There are quite a few metrics to consider with content marketing. These include but aren’t limited to:
- Page views
- Content shares
Again, this isn’t a hard and fast list, and there are many other metrics to consider. But for for now, define what metrics are important to your business and your specific content marketing campaigns. While not typical, if you’re more interested in building a following with your content rather than gaining sales and new clients, content shares and interactions might be more important than conversions. Define your metrics and measure them at every step.
3. Define your content channels
I addressed this at the beginning of this post, but the next step is to think about what type of content channels you want to invest in. There are multiple ways in which to create content, but what’s important is to identify the content that will help you reach your content marketing goals, while providing value to your defined audience. You can choose to host online webinars, start a blog, or create white papers or eBooks. The questions you’ll need to ask yourself, are what does my audience want and how can I deliver it to them? This will depend on your business model and your stakeholders. Once you know the answer to that, you can choose to focus your attention on certain content channels.
There is much more to content marketing than these 3 initial steps, which we’ll address in later posts, but this will give you a solid start to your content marketing plan and get you on the right track. Content creation is a great way to increase your brand awareness and revenue growth, and it’s got serious ROI potential as well. If you’re considering fitting content marketing into your marketing plan here is a quick cheat sheet on content marketing as well as 9 content marketing tips.
Written by Luke Severn
Luke is a marketing coordinator at Kaufer DMC. He loves the Arctic Monkeys, David Fincher movies, and the Portland Trail Blazers.