Creating content with purpose is vital if you want to reach your ideal customer. There is no point in creating for content’s sake. By understanding what your key business messages are and what you want to tell people you will be using your time wisely.

Not only does your content need to be memorable, it needs to be useful to the consumers reading, watching or listening to it. Words are the building blocks of your business whether you write a blog, create a video or record a podcast.

When you are creating a content plan remember to ask yourself:

1. Who am I writing for?

Who are you talking to? What content do they like consuming? What worries them? What services or products do you provide that can help them? Listen to your audience and use the same language they use. Ask them questions and respond with the content you create.

2. Am I being consistent?

Consistency is crucial if you decide to publish a blog a week or to send out a newsletter, make sure you do. If you are creating a series of podcasts make sure you publish them on the same day. If you make a commitment to post on social media every day, do it!

3. What is my audience’s state of mind?

You need to think about planning your content according to the pain your audience is feeling right now. If you are a career coach and your leads are looking to change their job, for example, look for the reason behind that decision. Create content around this and the objections they may have around working with a career coach.

Dedicate some time to content planning

The best way to achieve any goals is to plan the journey.

Remember to think about your audience. What do they want and need to know about your area of expertise and solutions offered? How are you going to offer these answers? What is the client’s journey, from the moment he or she hears about your business until a sale is made? What are the steps in your sales funnel that they need to go through?

Digital marketer Danielle Sarpong from Handnote says it’s important to plan. “Set aside a couple of hours a week to plan content that will go out on the company’s website, blog and social media because it helps reduce mistakes and saves time in the long run. As a marketing professional or entrepreneur you always have to keep on top of trends and calendar dates so planning in advance will enable you to publish unique and on brand content that will engage the target audience. In addition, if one is feeling overwhelmed by using those fancy content planning tools then I advise just using an Excel spreadsheet or Word document!”

Have a goal in mind

What do you want to get out of your content marketing strategy specifically? What is the reason behind each action? Remember each goal needs metrics to evaluate its performance. So, if one of the goals is to increase the number of leads generated, you need to have a way of measuring your success. Writing down your content goals and evaluating them each month will help you do this.

What type of content?

So you have considered who your audience is, their client journey and the questions they need you to answer. You then need to create the content. You can choose from:

1. Infographics

2. Guides

3. Webinars

4. Articles

5. E-books

6. Blogs

7. Podcasts

8. Interviews

9. Case studies

10. Video series

Again, it’s important to know your audience. What free guides and content has worked before? Create something similar. If you aren’t sure ask them what they would like.

Content planning keeps you focussed on your customers and their needs

Content marketing is not about you – it’s about your customers and sharing content that can help them. They are landing on your website and social feeds looking for answers. Make sure you provide them! Hannah Martin, founder of the Talented Ladies Club says, “Content planning ensures you have the right variety of content that achieves your business goals and gives your audience what they want. This is especially important if you want your content to tell your brand story. Your content will often play an important role in your marketing funnel. By planning your content you can ensure that your customers and potential customers are getting the right messages in the right order to help customers move through the funnel.”

Get social on your channels

Don’t just broadcast your content on your social channels. Enjoy the interaction, get closer and communicate with your audience! Read and respond to comments, get inspired with new ideas, share other people’s content.

Don’t forget SEO

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the best ways to help your content to be found. If you already are planning content with the questions and issues of the audience in mind, be sure to research the search terms they normally use and produce content with them included.

Many companies, small business owners, and entrepreneurs are focusing on content marketing as their strategy to stand out from the competition, attract visitors and help drive sales. 2020 is the year you need to up your content game and get visible.

If you want to nail your content plan for 2020 you can download my free planner here.

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