August 28, 2014

How to Create Your Content Marketing Game Plan

content marketing plan

Content marketing is crucial to developing a worthwhile Internet presence for your blog, website or business. Content marketing helps increase traffic, build links and create strong brand awareness.

Quality content is of the highest importance when you’re developing filler for your Internet spaces. It not only makes your informational outlets more credible to users, it also means Google and other search engines will rank your site higher than others based on the quality of the content offered.

Essentially, online marketing and content marketing go hand in hand. The content marketing plan below is a great checklist for developing a quality base of online content.

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan

Blogging

Setting up and maintaining a blog is a must if you’re striving for an excellent content marketing plan. It is important to keep these pointers in mind:

  • Create a reliable and informative blog that’s fun to read, even if you’re just blogging about products and services.
  • Aim for about 5 blog posts a week, but don’t force the content. Quality over quantity is crucial in blogging. If content is forced, it will lose its quality. So do the best you can to post five times, but scale back if the content isn’t there.
  • Have a motive behind your blog posts. Do your research and work to develop high-ranking SEO keywords and key phrases to use within each post to give your blog posts the intended purpose of creating traffic and disseminating information.

Guest Posting

Guest post on other sites to make your content available to a wider audience. Doing this helps you connect with other people in your industry. Guest post with an aim to provide valuable content and a following for your site rather than for link building. Comply with these guest posting guidelines:

  • Find a list of sites from your industry that allow guest posting.
  • Do a “background check” on these potential sites and check their domain authorities and page rankings, and make sure they understand their audience.
  • Don’t guest post on a site that accepts guest posts from just anybody. Do your research and find quality websites.
  • Write good quality articles following the guest posting guidelines of the website, keeping their target audience in mind.
  • Keep track of the success of your guest posts to give you an idea of which posts are most popular and successful, and continue to guest post on these sites.

Press Releases

Press releases are a great venue for creating quality online content and developing links and avenues of sharing information. The frequency of the press releases you send out or post depends on your budget and the products and services you offer. However, try for at least one press release a month, minimum.

Press releases not only give you quality content for Google to pick up on, they give you back links and the chance to fit in keywords related to your business venture within the text of the press release.

Infographics

Here’s the breakdown on infographics and why you should use them in your content marketing plan:

  • Infographics are “information graphics” that display complex situations or descriptions that require a lot of information in a simple, picture (or graphic) oriented way. They offer an explanation of an intricate subject in a straightforward, clean way that’s easy to understand.
  • The use of infographics on your site or blog is attractive because users prefer to see a concept rather than read a bunch of text about it. Also, Infographics have the potential to go viral, and they are great tools for social sharing over Facebook, Twitter, etc.
  • You can create infographics by using free tools, or you can acquire a more complex one designed by an online graphics company or handy Internet user.
  • Infographics can include bar graphs, survey and statistic results, or step by step pictorials. Don’t make your infographic too stuffed with information or too complicated to understand. Otherwise, you defeat the whole purpose of using one.

Audience Engagement

Engaging your audience is one of the most important steps in your content marketing plan, but it often occurs after you have all the other elements of your content marketing plan in line. Make sure to follow these guidelines to effectively engage your online audience:

  • Provide social sharing icons any chance you get. This will make it easy for users to share information that they like, without going to too much trouble to post manually on their own social sharing channels. Sharing should just be a click away.
  • Include access to your mailing list wherever and whenever possible. This way fans of your company or blog can be part of the network of shared information you’re building. Think about starting a monthly newsletter or even sending your monthly press releases out through your mailing list.
  • Always establish a call to action when content marketing. Your content should really spur your users to take action. Encourage them to share your information, like your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter.
  • Blog posts should also push users to take action. Include links to your site or product pages so they can follow through with the action you’re suggesting.

Conclusion:

Hopefully this content marketing plan will help you to establish effective content marketing for your company or online venture.

Remember, content marketing is a crucial part of online marketing. So start working on building your network of quality content and you’ll be on your way to becoming a successful online marketing guru.

Planning Photo via Shutterstock

17 Comments ▼

Boney Pandya


Boney Pandya Boney Pandya is a Marketing Manager at WebNet Hosting, a company providing fully managed Cloud Hosting and Dedicated Servers since 2002. Boney provides online marketing consultation for small businesses and also helps them in migrating their website to the Cloud. Boney regularly blogs at Webnet Hosting Blog.

17 Reactions

  1. Boney, you nailed it. Quality content is the only content that matters to target audiences and is placed as a top priority in the search engines. Establishing yourself as an authority figure is much more important than pumping out a slew of poorly written, keyword-saturated articles in an attempt to gain exposure – which ultimately looks “spammy,” does not rank well, and turns your viewers off.

  2. Dunno. “Content Marketing” as described here is just a rebranding of the same old content people have been mindlessly shoveling out for a long time. Every time the old stuff in the cupboard starts to get stale, call it something new. This isn’t content marketing. Content marketing is a rich environment of transmedia that interconnects and builds trust via stories, entertainment, educational content, gaming and much, more. It requires storytelling ability (we use nun screenwriters) that emotionally engages at a deeper level. Most of what I see is still a weak effort. Really, content marketing now is just an effort from the ad world to make their dying industry relevant again while bailing water from a slinging ship. Brands will learn that they can create their own rich content channels without ad firms. We do it for small and large biz. We create reality shows for networks, so it was an easy adaptation of the same skills at a low cost for small businesses and create programming that connects users to their brand in authentic ways. It’s cheaper than most web firms charge for SEO and pulls traffic to sites quickly. A video field trip once a week to experience the world of a satisfied customer does more than a blog and gets big exposure if the video SEO is done correctly and the format of the program is not pitchy. When i make you the Bob Vila of your industry in your town, people flock to your door.

    • That would be union screen writers. Sorry to all the nuns in the room.

    • Hi Carl,

      I totally agree with you that a well-done video that tells a great story can be awesome content — if you can afford to do pieces like that.

      Cost and time are very real issues to small businesses. I wouldn’t want any business owners or marketing managers getting discouraged at the cost and effort involved with professional video, only to throw up their hands in frustration saying “it’s too expensive, too hard.”

      I say … start somewhere, with baby steps.

      Today, only a small fraction of small businesses do any content marketing at all. I think this piece lays out some very achievable, practical techniques appropriate for time-starved and money-starved small businesses. Once you master some of these, build your way up to more ambitious efforts.

      - Anita

      • Anita, good point. We are teaching businesses large and small to make video with an Ipad – it is quick and easy. The only expense is the iPad and perhaps a good microphone for sound. For less than $500 you can be fully equipped to make excellent business videos.
        Sal

  3. I completely agree with Anita.
    There are many ways that you can get creative when doing content marketing such as Videos, Storytelling, whitepapers, case studies, infographics, slideshare etc. But not every small business can afford to do that and most of the content marketing techniques are also not relevant to their business. As the business grows the business owners can then experiment with other techniques.

  4. Great piece, Boney. There are so many things that one can do in the realm of producing content. One of the easiest ways to do it is by curating content.

  5. This is great! I think it’s key to list out the components of the content marketing plan versus the bigger picture.

    “Have a motive behind your blog posts.” Love this. So many businesses just start blogging because they think they should. But what results can you expect from that??

  6. I hadn’t thought about the infographics aspect. That’s a great tip! Thanks for the information.

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