Content is what makes your product or service sell when put in front of consumers. And what better way to put your product front-and-center than to have a great marketing strategy!
As a content marketer, you need to have a plan in place for how you’ll tackle your role. That’s true whether you’re just starting out, or you’ve been in the game for a while.
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But how exactly do you ensure that you can deliver the very best, every time?
Having a content framework allows you to understand your audience, and give them what they’re looking for. Here’s how to build that framework and improve your content:
The Key Components That Should Make Up Your Content Marketing Plan
Firstly, you’ll need to understand just what your framework should look like. Not knowing what your framework would like is like trying to drive somewhere in a very thick fog. Don’t let that be you!
In that case, you’ll need a working framework for your content marketing plan. The framework will have all the data you need on your target audience, and what you know they want from you. As a result, you can start creating content that works for them.
Aside from having a good framework, this part is the first and most important thing you need in your framework. If you don’t have a goal, then you’re not going to find success in what you do.
How do you set goals? Many marketers use the SMART method, as it helps them narrow down what it is they’re looking to do. It works like so:
- Specific: Who, what, where, and how?
- Measurable: What are you looking to see once you have reached your goals?
- Acceptable: What you’re not hoping to see when you implement your plans.
- Realistic: Are the goals you’re setting possible with the tools you have?
- Timely: Set a deadline. When do you want to achieve your goals by?
Use this method when you’re deciding what your goals should be.
For example, say you want to increase the number of leads you get through your site. You’ll need to be specific, so say you want to get 500 new leads. Is that a realistic goal? When will you want to do that? You can measure this goal too, through your site analytics.
As you can see, you’ll create a goal that makes sense, and one that you can actively work towards.
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Understanding your target audience
Next, think about the audience that you’re looking to attract. Who is it that is going to be interested in your product? This is where you’ll need to start conducting market research, to see who you should be reaching out to.
For example, say you’re selling a line of tech aimed at infants. You’ll be looking to market the tech towards parents. You’ll need to narrow this down further. How old should the infants be? Should the parents be first-time parents? Do you want to target mothers or fathers specifically?
The more info you have on your audience, the better. This allows you to really understand where they’re coming from, and so create content that works for them.
Understanding user behavior
You have your target audience now, so you’ll need to understand what they’re doing online, and what they’re searching for. This can be done through media monitoring tools, so you can see what they’re doing.
To go into more depth, media monitoring ensures that you get valuable insight about your users by tapping into their online habits. As a result, this type of monitoring gives you the following benefits:
- Protects your brand’s reputation
- Prevents any crises that might rise
- Helps you deeply understand your audience
- Measures the results of current PR and marketing campaigns
- Helps you find the right influencers to promote your brand, AND
- Helps you discover potential opportunities for media coverage on your brand.
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Let’s use the new-parent example again, to see what they’re looking for. Say your product is an app that plays certain sounds that help infants sleep, such as white noise. Because of this, you’re looking to see what parents are searching for when it comes to getting babies to sleep.
You’ll also need to see what social media they’re using, too. Where are they most likely to be looking at related content? With this info, you then know where to target them and get their attention.
Segmentation of your audience
It’s not enough to just know what your target audience is, you need to be able to segment them, too. This allows you to get a granular look at your audience, and make content that’s laser-targeted at them.
Using the new-parent example, you can segment them via gender, location, and other different variables. If you’re selling an app, maybe you want to aim the product at parents in their twenties, as they’ll be more likely to want tech to help them with childcare. With this in mind, you’ll have more effective content for them.
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The content funnel is what your customers go through when they make a purchase with you. It helps you visualize that process, and gives the customer what they need at every stage. It works like so:
- Awareness: The customer is made aware of your product, through things like blog and social media posts, videos, e-books, and so on. This is where your content will first grab them.
- Evaluation: The customer will be deciding whether they want to buy your product. This is where you give them discounts on offers, emails, and other useful resources.
- Conversion: This is where the customer buys from you and completes the transaction.
If you’re aware of how funneling works, you’ll be able to create content for customers at every stage. That way, you can grab their attention and they’ll be more likely to convert.
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Different content types
Content isn’t just writing blog posts. In fact, there are all kinds of different ways you can get your customers’ attention. That means that if you want to create content that’s different from blog posts, you can!
When you were researching your audience, you’ll have seen which platforms they spend the most time on. Do they use YouTube as a resource, for example? Then you’ll need to create videos to get their attention. Or, do they spend a lot of time on Facebook? Then you’ll need to create a page and create regular content there to show up in their feed.
With that said, consider reaching out to your target audience through the following:
- TikTok, etc.
As you can see, diversifying your content strategy is key to reaching more people. You need to go where they are, so take a look at the content they’re already consuming, and work from there.
Why Create A Content Framework?
Now you have an idea of what a content framework looks like, you would then need to answer the question: Why should you make a content framework? That’s something a lot of content creators will be wondering, especially if they’re already in the middle of promoting a product or business.
Keep in mind, however, it’s not enough to just create content. All good businesses are creating content too and, at the end of the day, you’re going up against them when it comes to content creation.
By having a working framework, you’re creating content that fulfills a need that your audience has. You’re making content on the right platforms, and getting their attention.
How You Should Be Setting Goals
We already covered goal setting above, but as well as goals you should be creating sub-goals. For example, you want to get 500 lead conversions, but how do you accomplish that? That’s where you set a sub-goal that will help you. For example, you may set a sub-goal to increase social shares to 50 a month, or increase blog traffic by 10%.
With these smaller goals, you’re taking small steps towards achieving your end goal. These goals need to be actionable, so you can make that steady progress.
Delivering Your Content To The Right Audience
Again, we’ve already covered finding your audience, but that content needs to be crafted carefully around their needs. Good content is delivering just what they need from you, so the audience will keep coming back.
For example, your content really needs to meet the niche that your audience fits in. Using the new-parent model again, first-time parents are going to need different info to what second or third-time parents need. As such, your content needs to speak to them.
Also, whatever topic you’re writing about has to relate to their needs and your product. It’s no good simply writing pieces about baby care, when you need to be writing about baby sleep needs to target the correct audience.
Use Analytic Tools To Audit Your Existing Content
You’re not often going to be able to directly question your audience and ask them what they want. Instead, you’ll need to audit the content you’re already making. That will give you a lot of insight into what they’re looking for.
You can use analytics to look at which pages are doing better than others. Which posts have lower bounce rates, for example? If they’re spending longer on the site, that’s a sign that they’re interested in what you have to say.
You can also use new vs. returning reader comparisons, as that shows you which posts are bringing people back, and what’s bringing the new leads into your site. You can even find the keywords that brought people here, so you can get a taste of what your customers want.
Creating a content framework helps you give your audience exactly what they’re looking for, and gets them coming back for more. With these ideas and tools, you’ll be able to create one that fits your needs and helps you achieve your goals.
Remember: You have the data on your customer audience, so make sure that the content you’re creating is speaking to them.