Anthony Robbins, as well as any other successful individual, understands that if you lack clear, definable goals, your chances of succeeding are next to nil. If you want to make some waves online, grow your audience, and put yourself light years ahead of the competition, you need to create a plan for your content strategy.
But where do you even begin? Should you just survey competitors’ blogs, make comparisons about keyword competition, and see what sticks?
Too many businesses fail to put pen to paper (or fingers to their keyboard) to map out and plan their content marketing strategy.
Well, let’s solve that problem.
The following are 6 steps that will help you chart a path towards content marketing success.
1. Define Your Goals
Why are you creating content in the first place? Are you trying to increase conversions? Are you trying to build an email list? Perhaps you are trying to solve an education gap in a new market. However, your goal shouldn’t be, “To increase my bottom line.”
Sound counter-intuitive? There’s just one problem with ‘bottom-line’ goals – they are incredibly vague. Try to quantify your goals, and make sure they are realistic and achievable. Make your goal to grow your email list by x number of subscribers, to generate a specific number of leads in a given timeframe, or to improve the number of repeat customers by a predetermined amount. This will give your goals substance, and you’ll be able to track how close you are to reaching your goal.
2. Define Your Audience
You have to, have to, define your audience if you want to create an effective marketing strategy. A marketing strategy that appeals to everyone is a marketing strategy that appeals to no one. Don’t forgo the necessity of defining your audience, or you aren’t going to be very effective.
Though in the past a large part of SEO and previous ideologies about ‘content marketing’ were really focused on trying to game the Google search algorithm, you can’t get away with that anymore.
Sure, a Google bot is going to crawl your pages, but your audience is going to be digested by real people. If you lack a clear definition of who these people are, how could you ever hope to create something that will engage them? A good way to understand market segments is to create personas.
3. Research Your Audience’s Needs and Desires
Only after you have defined your audience can you start to delve a little deeper to uncover content marketing opportunities. Now that you have defined your audience and various market segments, you need to look for patterns. What do members of your audience have in common and how can you solve their pain points and problems?
At the end of the day, your content needs to do something valuable for your audience. It needs to entertain them, educate them, inform them, or provide assistance in any number of other ways.
If your content doesn’t meet the needs and desires of your audience, your content plan will lack effectiveness, plain and simple.