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Marketing mini-series Part 3: Components of a content marketing plan

There are many questions to consider when putting together an effective content marketing plan. What do you hope to achieve? What sets you apart? What do our customers need from us and what do we as a company need?

To help answer these questions it’s important to put together a thorough plan. Here are seven key components to any effective content marketing plan.

1. Plan
An idea is nothing without a plan. Research shows that one of the biggest barriers to the success of a content marketing strategy is the lack of a documented plan. Build a plan that fits the resources of your organisation.

2. Audience
Define and thoroughly understand your audience. After all, your content needs to speak directly to their wants, needs and desires.

3. Story
Communicate your story to the audience so they can build a relationship with you. Giving your audience a glimpse into your background and journey so far helps to foster trust and loyalty.

4. Channels
Identify the range of channels you’ll use to promote and distribute your content – recognising the channels your audience already uses. There are four main content channels – owned (eg your website), earned (eg media coverage), paid (advertising) and created (eg forums).

5. Process
Develop timelines and responsibilities that details the exact process of what needs to be carried out in order to effectively implement your content marketing strategy.

6. Conversations
Nurturing connections with your audience is vital to ensure your audience you are listening. While the creation of content is effective in getting your message across, engaging in conversations with your customers is essential to create much needed two-way communication.

7. Measure
Decide how to measure the progress and report on its success. It is important to measure not only the reach of your content marketing, but also whether you have provided the target audience with something of value.