Many people fail at content marketing because they jump right in and start to produce content, pushing it out month after month until their enthusiasm wanes because they aren’t seeing any meaningful results. If you want to see meaningful results from content marketing you first have to have a content marketing plan to follow, without one you are simply producing content in the hopes that it achieves the results you want.
You need to know who your audience is, at all junctions of the buying cycle, you need to know the keywords you need to use to attract them. A content marketing plan helps you decide upon content types and topics and then plan when and how you’ll create them and publish them to attract your audience. The most actionable content will be the most meaningful content to your audience, which is why your audience plays such a central role in your content development.
Most content marketing experts will tell you that your audience consists of a specific type of person. You should know their demographics, location, profession, learning style, and more if you want to craft content that people will act on. If you can create audience personas for each type of content you want to produce, you’ll be able to better form your content.
As I deal with businesses wanting to generate revenue based on their content marketing efforts I first of all develop a sales funnel, sometimes more than one based upon the products and services being sold by the company. At each stage of the sales funnel I then work on a audience / buyer persona. By understanding the people within the sales funnel, content can be developed to meet the needs of all of these groups, moving them from being audience members, to prospects, customers and repeat customers.
Each piece of content that you create needs to have a reason for being. This may be to sell a new product, promote a new service, and get more subscribers, or something else entirely. It’s important that you know why you’re creating the content so that you can use the right words to encourage the actions you want.
The KISS method works for a variety of issues and it’s no different for creating actionable content. Explain jargon to your audience and define terms to them, so that there is no confusion about what something means and no mistake about what you want them to do to follow through. The idea of content is not to impress people with your long words or industry jargon, it’s to engage your audience, to educate them and to move them along your sales funnel.
How something is laid out and presented depends on how your audience will consume it. Will they be reading the content in a book, or online? Understand how people read books versus how they read content online. For example, online content needs plenty of white space and other factors that break up the content to make it easier to understand.
When you ask people how to do something, if you provide them with examples of what to do and expect they’ll respond better than just asking them to do something. It’s generally the difference between an expert and someone who is just regurgitating information learned from others.
Images can evoke emotions as well as helping explain complex issues much more than words alone. You can use graphs, memes, infographics, and other types of images to get your point across and inspire your audience to take action.
Your audience has burning questions that need to be answered and problems that need to be solved. If you’re aware of these questions and problems, not only will your audience feel as if you can read their mind, but they’ll also make you the go to person when they do have a question that needs to be answered or when they want to purchase something that you . Find questions where your audience hangs out, online and offline, and then start producing content to answer the questions, you’ll be amazed at the results.
If you re like most people when you think of content creation, your first thought is almost certainly blog posts or articles. But, there are so many other forms of content creation. Be innovative and think of new ways to present your information and your audience will be transfixed and will remember you.
Finally always remember that it’s your responsibility to create real value for your audience, to create a loyal audience that go out and tell the world all about you, you will need to deliver engaging content every time at the right time. By developing a content marketing plan, your content marketing with be strategic and have real purpose, allowing you to deliver value to your audience every single time.