Knowing where to begin in creating a content marketing strategy is often the biggest hurdle for website owners and digital marketers. As with planning any project, having a documented strategy in place increases the likelihood of your marketing making an impact. What’s more, research carried out by the Content Marketing Institute finds that those with a documented content strategy are more likely to consider themselves effective in social media and they’re able to justify a higher marketing budget too. So, to help you on your way to creating a measurable plan, we’ve created a free content marketing strategy template for you to use for your projects.
You can also download this template as a Word document.
1. Goals and Objectives
What are you hoping to achieve from your content marketing? What timescale are you working to? We recommend planning your strategy over a 12 month period and reviewing your progress every 12 weeks or so.
2. Audience Hangouts
Make a list of all the places online that your customers actively engage in conversations – ask yourself where they hang out? These are the places that your customers discuss your industry. Find out what the hot topics of conversation are and interact with them directly or answer any burning questions they may have in the form of a blog post.
3. Your Competitors
Make a list of other websites in your industry. Have a look at the content they offer their audience. Can you gain any insights from the comments their audience leave on their blog? What do they do well and what could they do better? Which types of content receive the most interaction and which, the least?
4. Publishing Channels
Where on the internet will your content live? Make a list of all your distribution channels and order them in terms of audience reach. Don’t forget to include guest posting opportunities too. Remember, you’re looking for maximum exposure.
5. Types of Content
What form will your content take? Don’t just limit yourself to blog posts. Consider landing pages, videos, slideshare presentations, PowerPoint’s, infographics, direct emails and newsletters too. Different types of content appeals to different audiences.
6. Brand Messages
What do you want your brand to say about you? Write down your most important messages and bear them in mind when creating new content. Pay close attention to the tone of voice you use as this can play a big part in the type of audience you attract.
How will you know if your content marketing efforts have been successful? Make a list of ways you can measure your strategy’s success. E.g. Google Analytics. You may want to look back at your goals to remind yourself what you were hoping to achieve initially.
Once you have your content marketing strategy in place, you’ll want to revisit your plan as your website grows and your goals and objectives change. We recommend revising your strategy every 12 weeks. Having updated versions of your plan can be a great way to see how your business is progressing and acts as a record of your content marketing efforts.
I’d love to know how this template has helped you with your content marketing. If you’ve found it useful, please let me know in the comments section below.