Updated: Nov 26, 2019
Content Marketing Plan
A plan of action for content will start by asking questions of various departments.
Ask sales what their top three objections are. Ask Customer Service what their top three problems are. Ask production what the top three products are. Ask the Executive what their top three goals are. Collect data from as many departments and stakeholders as possible.
Once you’ve collected the answers from the organization you will need to prioritize which content takes precedence over the next. Hopefully, a common topic will emerge as a starting point. Once you have an idea of the topics, hopefully you can find the answers to the questions of each department using that topic.
Determine how your content will meet the goals of the Executive team. Research and collect data to draw from and find the answers the questions the sales and customer service team are asked. In the end the content should educated the reader about the topic, meet the goals of the Executive team, and answer the questions customers regularly ask.
From this document pull information to create sound bite content that fits the various social media and content platforms the organization utilizes to tell its story to the market place. Successful content marketers understand how the audiences of each platform interact with information.
Test the content and measure the results.
Once content has been developed for each platform, a schedule can be created for the campaign to ensure maximum results. Always analyze the data and fine tune the content and the schedule for better overall results.
Google ‘what is marketing’ and you will find a number of different definitions. Ask people around you what it is and you will hear different ideas. Marketing encompasses the full life cycle of a customer. It starts at the first encounter with a company’s message and continues until either the company closes up shop or the customer’s life has ended.
It all starts with a plan, an outline to help the organization to stay on track, focused, and accountable. A Marketing plan needs to fit into the company’s larger business plan by addressing how it will meet the mission, the goals, and the bottom line. It is a living, dynamic, document that grows with the company and at it’s core respects the concrete values of the organization.
A plan must address the following:
Purpose, mission, or goal of the plan
Definitions of important terms, words, and concepts
Outline budgets and financial targets
Identify tools, software, partners and venders
Identify the key indicators of the target market
Identify how you will reach your customers
Identify the unique selling proposition of the company
Identify strategies for both online and offline campaigns
Identify step by step strategies
Identify measurable KPIs
Identify client maintenance strategies
To be effective it should communicate to anyone in the organization what the purpose of the Marketing team is, what they are doing, how they are going to do it, and what the outcome of their efforts needs to be. Regardless of talent acquisition, growth, or turnover the plan works independently as a consistent manual for the department
Knowing yourself will enable you to tell a story that is unique to the marketplace and will attract 'like minded' customers to your business. It is always easier to sell to someone who trusts you and we instinctively trust those who are like us, unless we know we aren't trustworthy, but that's a whole different kind of post.
There are lots of ways we can find out about ourselves, here are a few ideas:
Make a list of things you like to do
Make a list of your favourite things
Make a visual collage of images you like
Make a visual collage of your goals
If you want to get even more introspective start asking yourself those tough questions and write the answers in a journal to come back to. Questions like:
What is my purpose?
Why do I exist?
Why am I a (career title)?
Why do I love my life partner?
What do I love about my kids?
Why do I want to be successful?
What does success look like to me?
Understand you behaviours, reactions, and choices:
When I get stressed I ....
When I am hurt I ...
When I want something I...
When I lose/win I...
What about your buying choices and lifestyle:
I buy (item) because it is ....
I chose to wear (fashion) because the image I want is...
I like to (activity) because it makes me feel...
I live (city) because it is ...
Knowing yourself and embracing who you are, will help you define your target market better. All these questions and statements can be used to understand the type of customer you want.
Be you, tell your story well, and live fearlessly.
Know Your Client
No one likes to be treated like a number. Don't treat your potential customers like commodities. In today's world people are more cynical, more informed, and way less patient, not to mention less forgiving.
It takes someone 5-8 times to see your ad, message, product, before they even pay attention enough to start on the buying cycle. Don't put them off by being too in their face so they close the door to your message all together.
Why does someone need my product or service?
Who needs my product or service?
When do they need me?
What questions do they ask me?
What objections do they have?
What ways can my product or service be used?
When you have these answers you can start to construct a story around your product or service that will connect to your target market because they identify with the message. Be strategic in telling your story so you aren't making it a sales pitch every time, it isn't a constantly asking them for something, and it builds trust.
What is Your Big Marketing Goal?
Think about the reason why you are marketing in the first place and see what you want your marketing to do for your business. Is it to gain leads? Make sales? Build a brand? Attract talent? If there is more than one purpose, that's good.
For example, my big marketing goal is to be seen as a thought leader in personal branding and digital marketing to gain followers, attract clients, sell books, and book speaking engagements. I want people to know my name and want to talk with me because they value my knowledge, my creative problem solving, and ability to see solutions to their problems. My brand will attract quality talent to my business to help take my business and personal brand to the next level.
That's a pretty big goal. It's a dream I had when I had my first job as a marketing associate in the Financial Planning industry and was set aside to focus on the day to day tasks of raising two children and keeping a demanding, unsupportive, husband happy. I succeeded at raising two independent, self sufficient, intelligent children. I failed at making my husband happy and ended up divorced, which is one reason I was able to focus on my dreams again.
You have your big marketing goal clearly defined. You know why you want your goal and what your marketing purpose is. Does it seem so huge you have no idea where to start?
Draw out an organizational chart
First break out your marketing goals into their major sub goals. For example, my big goal would break up as follows:
Create a Strong Personal Branding Marketing Management Services
Marketing Consultation and Coaching
Book & Speaking Engagements
The main goal that touches all these subgoals is Personal Branding. I put it on the top of the chart and below it each of the other sub goals. Since a strong personal brand is the main sub goal, I start a second chart and break this goal into smaller sub goals that need to be achieved to drive the bigger goal's success. I then do the same for each sub goal.
What is it going to take?
You will have a number of different charts of sub goals that have identified smaller sub goals. Are there any of these smaller sub goals that show up on more than one of the sub goal charts? For example, a Facebook Page that is highly valuable to my target market shows up on all four sub goal charts, making it a higher priority. I take this smaller sub goal and create another organizational chart that breaks this goal down into small sub goals.
You keep breaking down each sub goal into smaller sub goals until you get down to daily tasks. Once you've broken all the sub goals into daily tasks you can create a calendar of daily tasks that need to happen in order to work towards your larger goal.
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Shannon Peel is a Professional Marketing Manager and Storyteller. She has authored three novels in three different genres. Her company, MarketAPeel, helps Professionals define their personal brands and tell their story through different channels, including writing their book.