Planning a Long-Term Marketing Content Strategy
Do you struggle with putting out new marketing content on a consistent basis? New content creation takes a tremendous amount of focus, time, and resources. So many marketing teams are under-staffed or under-resourced that just staying on top of your marketing efforts can be a struggle.
It doesn’t have to be like that.
A long-term structured marketing content strategy can help improve your focus and assist with capitalizing on available resources. Let’s examine how.
Content MarketingFirst, what is content marketing? It’s the distribution of consistent, worthwhile, and applicable information designed to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience. Content marketing is connecting with your audience without actually selling to them. The message is designed to provide value, be helpful, and solve a relevant challenge with your solution.
Why Is Long-Term Content Planning Important?Planning provides a roadmap for your content. If you know your destination, you have the best chance of accomplishing your specific goals. A long-term plan helps all of your key team members across your company stay organized for the duration of each of your different marketing initiatives.
Creating a Long-Term Content PlanYou can start getting on top of your content marketing, and creating a longer-term strategy, by examining these key areas:
- Setting marketing goals
- Auditing your marketing assets
- Creating a content calendar
Setting Marketing Goals
Each piece of your marketing content should be tied to a goal that is related to the goals of the organization.
If, for example, your goal for the month is to generate 15 new customers, you need to consider your own marketing data. If you know that it takes 50 leads to generate 15 customers, and if you know that it takes 1,000 visits to your site to generate 50 leads, then you know that you need to create content compelling enough to drive 1,000 visits to your site in order to reach your goal.
Auditing Your Assets and Initiatives
You need to have an idea of your current marketing assets, the ones you’ve run in the past, so you know which assets could quickly be repurposed. You also need to be aware of upcoming marketing events and initiatives that you need to support.
So before we even consider producing new content we need audits on:
- Upcoming events and initiatives
A content audit allows you to evaluate the materials that you already have on hand. These are marketing material that can possibly be strategically reused and recycled for future marketing efforts. Creating new marketing material is time consuming. If you can reuse or tweak your material you can turn it around far faster than creating new material from scratch.
To do a content audit, you need to identify all of the marketing assets available to you as well as any gaps. Consider creating a spreadsheet to keep track of all your content, with a column indicating key aspects of the content, such as:
- Content title
- Buyer’s journey stage
- Marketing funnel stage
- Format or type of content
- Which buyer persona is the target
Existing content may be scattered anywhere and everywhere within your organization and amongst the staff. Consider looking in or checking with:
- File manager and marketing folders
- Sales team
- Tenured employees
- Customer relationship system (CRM)
- Content management system (CMS) (website)
Organize your materials into a single file with cross references for title and content and other relevant information. The goal with this system, is to enable you to quickly find previous marketing content that can be quickly reused or repurposed.
An event- or initiative-based audit helps you plan for upcoming marketing efforts that you need to support. Is there an upcoming product launch, upcoming industry event, or an upcoming holiday? By looking ahead you can determine what assets are needed and balance that against what assets you need to create to support your event or initiative.
To do an event-based audit, you need to look at your calendar for many months into the future to determine the schedule of your marketing initiatives. Be sure to consider:
- Upcoming projects by month
- Initiative overview
- Prospective blog post topics based on buyer personas
- Inbound marketing campaigns that can tie efforts together
A specific long-term strategy should be mapped out on your content calendar. Check out our previous post on How to Create a Content Calendar for detailed steps along with detailed content calendar examples.
If marketing them based your process can work something like this:
The idea is to create specific dates for specific strategies to run live. For example, you might have April designated as Ice Cream month. Week 1 could discuss flavors, Week 2 could discuss toppings, Week 3 could discuss ice cream parlors and Week 4 could discuss recipes.
You could then designate Mondays as blog day and Tuesdays as a Social Media posting day. Wednesdays might be your email campaign day, and so on. Of course, your topic most likely won’t be ice cream, but you can see how you can take a big topic and break it down into smaller topics that are all relevant to each other, and which all serve to complement each other in any particular marketing campaign.
Map Out Your 2021 Content Calendar Now
Start this year right with a long-term content marketing strategy designed to accomplish all your marketing goals. Our team at CycleWerx is happy to help you however we can, from planning to execution. We want to be your marketing and sales enablement partners. Contact us today to implement your long-term content marketing strategy.