How to Create a Content Marketing Plan as a Small Business

Adelina

Adelina

CONTENT WRITER

“Content marketing is a commitment, not a campaign.” – Jon Buscall      

The biggest mistake that a business can make when it comes to marketing is to consider content creation a one-time gig. 

How so? Well, let’s just think about it for a second. 🤔

Seeing that 82% of marketers are actively investing their resources in content marketing, it comes as no surprise that companies are choosing content marketing as one of their main marketing techniques. 

When a business starts creating content, one of two things can happen:

  • It gets the results it wants
  • It doesn’t get the results it wants  

Now, this is when some businesses make a huge mistake and stop creating and distributing content. They either think that:

  • They reached their goals and investing time and resources in content is no longer needed, or
  • Content marketing doesn’t work so they might as well stop trying altogether 

In neither of these cases, you should stop making content. If you reached your goal, then congratulations. Now you can start setting new marketing goals for your business and achieve even more than you have. 

If your content marketing campaigns aren’t working, remember that most often than not, it takes time to reap the benefits out of your content creation strategies. Once you wait enough time and still don’t get the results you want, you change your strategy, not stop creating content. 

So content marketing needs to be done continuously, over a long time. To do this, you will need a plan. More exactly, a content marketing plan. 

Why Do You Need a Content Marketing Plan?

Even though you have decided to make content, here are a few of the things that you need to know:

  • What kind of content you should invest your resources in
  • How to create and distribute your content 
  • What content does your target audience consume most often
  • How much can you invest in your content marketing strategy
  • What do you want to accomplish through your content creation process

To know all these details, and essential to have a successful content marketing experience that will grow your business, you need a well-thought plan. More exactly, a content marketing plan. 

This is what you need to know to create one: 👇

Your Goals 

What do you want to accomplish with your content creation strategy? This doesn’t refer only to the accomplishments strictly related to your business, but also the accomplishments related to your audience. 

What does that mean? For example, here are some goals that strictly refer to your business: 

  • Gain brand exposure
  • Increase number of followers and interactions online
  • Increase sales and revenue 
  • Get better website traffic
  • Gain authority in your field

Then you have to think about how your content influences your audience.

Do you want your audience to be informed about certain aspects of your business or do you want to educate them about the field? Maybe you want to entertain them or maybe you just want to convince them to buy your products.

Either way, you should know the purpose of your content when it comes to your audience. 

For example, as your business-related goals, you want to increase website traffic, sales, and the number of followers you have on social media. As your audience-related goals, you want your audience to be informed, entertained, and open to buying your products. 

Knowing your goals will let you know what kind of content you need to create. 

Your Audience 

Knowing who you’re making content for is one of the most important things in content marketing and business in general. 

To identify your audience, ask yourself: 

Who am I targeting with my products or services?

This will help you identify the demographics of your target audience, their needs, wants, pain points, and even habits. Once you have a general understanding of your target audience, you should go one step further and create a buyer persona

Here’s an example. You’re offering a time management app and your target audience has the following characteristics:

  • Located in the USA 
  • Businesswomen
  • Aged between 35 and 50 
  • Need: to organize time more effectively
  • Pain point: doesn’t know-how prioritize tasks

Let’s say your buyer persona would be Busy Betty, who is a 41 businesswoman in an executive position. Betty wants to organize her time better so she won’t have to keep on bringing her work home. Due to her packed schedule, she can’t look up ways to manage her time better.

This is where your product comes into the picture to save the day. 

When you’re marketing, you market your product with these pain points and needs in mind. Here are a few examples: 

Create blog posts with tips on saving time

Make social media posts and distribute them to the outlets that are most used by your audience

Write an Ebook on time management, etc.

Your Marketing Metrics and KPIs 

Once you have your goals, you need to make them measurable. But marketing metrics and KPIs don’t only assist you in reaching your goals. On a smaller scale, they fulfill many roles and can show you:

  • Which content marketing channels need more attention
  • What kind of content scores best 
  • What kind of content you should stop investing your resources in 

Depending on the metrics you choose to follow, you can see how well your content performs. A few content marketing metrics that you should consider are social media metrics, email marketing metrics, and other digital marketing metrics.

  • Social media metrics allow you to measure things such as number of followers, number of likes and comments, social shares, and of course, you have the ads metrics of each platform in part. 
  • Email marketing metrics can tell you the CTRs (click-through rates), the bounce rate, the number of new subscribers, etc. 
  • Other digital marketing metrics can show you organic traffic, conversions, monthly visitors, average time on page, etc. 
“Any observed statistical regularity will tend to collapse once pressure is placed upon it for control purposes.”

This essentially means that the moment a measure becomes your target, then that specific measure stops being good. No matter what target you set for your business, external or internal factors can and will render your target useless. 

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Your Content 

It would be great if you could try out all kinds of content, but the truth is that resources are limited and you can only do so much in a specific timeframe, with a specific budget. 

What does that mean?  It means that you need to pick your battles. 

Try selecting the type of content that you think will perform best with your audience. For example, if your audience reads blog posts, then you should try blogging. Maybe your audience prefers audio materials over visual ones. In that case, you should try out a podcast instead of blog posts. 

Here are a few types of content that you can select from:

  • Blogs
  • Social media posts
  • Videos
  • Podcasts 
  • Infographics 
  • Ebooks 
  • Case Studies
  • Webinars
  • Email newsletters
  • Polls, quizzes, and studies

Now some type of content needs constant attention, while others can be a one-time thing. For example, you won’t write an ebook every week, but you will have to make social media posts weekly to see results coming from that type of content. 

Ideally, it would be great if you can provide content regularly. Regularly doesn’t have to mean weekly or daily. It can also mean monthly, quarterly, or yearly. 

So you can post on social media daily, write a blog post every week, release a webinar once a month, make a video quarterly, and write an Ebook yearly. 

Your Tools

Content marketing can’t be done on your own. You will need an array of tools that you can make use of if you want to:

  • Create great content 
  • Distribute your content 

Luckily, plenty of websites and apps provide inexpensive and even free tools that small businesses can take advantage of. For example, you can create visuals with Canva, Xara, Animaker, etc. 

When writing blogs, you can use tools such as Grammarly and Frase, and for email marketing, you can go for something like AWeber

When it comes to social media though, SocialBee is a must-try. Used to automate your social media posting, you will be able to save up time and money with this tool. 

But that’s not the only thing that comes with the platform. With SocialBee you can also:

  • Create a posting schedule 
  • Create hashtag collections
  • Customize your posts
  • Import multiple files and links
  • Get an audience status 

If this sounds interesting to you, make sure to book a 1-on-1 demo call below!

Distribution 

Once your content is created, you need to let your audience know about it. Now, if the content is on your website, then SEO plays a vital role. 

Good SEO will bring leads to your content, but it’s up to your website to keep the leads on it. So keep your website fast and up-to-date if you want people to buy from you.

See below what you need to do depending on your website’s loading time: 

Besides SEO, you can also help distribute your content by making use of social media. You can make specific social media posts to promote your content and share them with your social media following. 

For example, if you have an Ebook about marketing that you have just released, and your main social media platform is Twitter, then you can promote your Ebook with a tweet:

Bear in mind that each social media platform has different best practices. The best alternative is to use a social media tool that can be connected with all your social media profiles and customize your content for each particular platform.

Bottom Line 

Content marketing is not easy. Although you know the basics of making a content marketing plan, there is still more to be learned about content creation and distribution.

Luckily, not only are there tools that can help you fulfill your goals but there are also specialized marketers ready to make your life a lot easier. If you’re looking for help in the social media and blogging departments, then our bees can lend you a hand. You can also learn more about content marketing on our blog

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