Good content requires more than good writing. A lot more. It requires creativity, persistence, discipline and most importantly, planning. When there is no plan in place, it is easy to burn out, procrastinate and have low-quality content or no content at all.
To ensure your content marketing success, consider the following four things when making a content plan:
Do not underestimate how much time content marketing takes. Despite the misconception, content marketing is not simply posting on social media. Social media is just one way to deliver your content. Content marketing is about creating content that sparks conversation. It is about educating, entertaining and connecting with your audience. It is about establishing your brand as an expert and building trusting relationships. Doing all that is just as time consuming as it sounds.
Helpful hint: Make content a routine. It is easy to put content on the back burner, so make sure to schedule it in. Set aside a couple times a day to check in online and chunks of time each week to write blog posts or create videos.
Content marketing requires focus; you need to define a target audience. There is no need to please everyone, and honestly, it is impossible to please everyone. Figure out who you want to reach and build relationships with them. Gain their loyalty and trust by tailoring your content to what they need and want.
Helpful hint: Match your brand’s personality to the personality of your audience. Research your audience so you can make relevant pop culture references, recognize issues/events that affect your audience and speak their language.
You need to think about the long-term and spread out your ideas. It may be easy to come up with content for the first few weeks, but you will quickly discover that creating content day-by-day is inefficient and stressful. Planning ahead will ensure you don’t miss anything important, provide you with flexibility and allow you to pace your delivery.
Helpful hint: Create a content calendar each month. Mark down important days and events so you can base your content on them. For example, if you have a new product launching on the 25th of the month, you can be posting teasers weeks ahead of time.
As in any relationship, you are judged on consistency. Inconsistent, unpredictable timing reflects poorly on your brand, so unless you want your brand to appear flaky, post consistently. Consistent content is great for SEO because Google looks for fresh content and because when people know to expect new content from you they will repeatedly visit your channels.
Helpful hint: Re-purpose content. If you are lacking creativity or time, do not skip posting; instead, leverage some of your old content. Check out previously created content and expand on it, update it, or convert the message to a different medium. Be sure it’s meaningful and relevant as well (don’t just post for the sake of posting; it’s a fine line).
Planning ahead will help you avoid the most common content marketing mistakes and set you up for success. Even better, it will eliminate the anxiety associated with starting everyday with a blank slate.