3 Steps to Take Before Launching Your Online Content Marketing Plan
You’ve learned from reading this blog and others that the most important function of an online content marketing plan is to bring in more revenue via your marketing efforts than you’re investing into those efforts. Simple math.
Invest in an online content marketing plan and soon you’ll be reaching new customers, right?
Right. Be patient though, driving organic web traffic on your site, business or online profile takes time – at least a couple months of top-notch helpful content that follows as many SEO rules as possible.
Before that super high-traffic day hits your site and you can finally pop the cork on that bottle of champagne you’ve been saving, and before you make a sale from your online content marketing plan, and before you even launch your online content marketing plan, there are three simple steps you need to take.
1. Explore Your Content
Understanding your own business inside and out and how it helps solves problems is a step that many content managers take for granted. Companies make assumptions about outside perspectives of their products and services.
Sure, you believe your company is valuable to the public, but you work there – potential customers don’t. It makes sense that you’d have a biased view of your benefits.
A) What does your business do?
Take a good, long look at what exactly it is that your business does at all levels. Ask yourself tough questions, and then ask them of everyone else that works above and beneath you.
B) How do your services benefit people?
People have bought your services before, so your business must be beneficial, right? Perhaps, but you need to understand WHY your business is beneficial – there could be details that you’ve previously overlooked that would convince potential customers to buy your services. Write these details down as you come across them so you can fit them into your online content marketing plan later.
2. Explore Your Niche
After you explore every cog and wheel of your side of the company, it’s time to investigate the people who are going to be targeted by your online content marketing plan.
Here’s a semi-appropriate teambuilding activity that will help you define your audience:
Place a large piece of white paper, set over 5 or 6 sheets of thick cardboard, on a wall in your office that you don’t care about. Draw an outline of a person on the paper. Inside the appendages of this person (we’ll call him John Q. Customer), write characteristics of the people who have bought your services in the past or who you want to buy your services in the future.
…That’s all for the game for now – keep the paper up on the wall, get some darts and subscribe to the blog to learn about the rest of the game next week.
A) Who are you marketing to?
Define your audience and why they would want to buy your services. Remember, we haven’t actually launched your online content marketing plan yet – we’re taking care of the groundwork first.
B) Can you please everyone?
At this stage in the game it’s easy to get sidetracked. Remember to focus on your core niche: those who would really benefit from your products and services. It’s impossible to please everyone, so don’t try.
3. Set Your Goals
Before you set out to create a killer online content marketing plan, remember the most important question a content manager can ask him or herself: what’s the point?
- What do you want out of your marketing plan?
- How will you measure your plan’s success?
Setting goals for the end of a project is crucial to finding a way to achieve them before the project begins. Set realistic, measurable goals first; then find a way to achieve them later. (Pssst: guess what part 3 of The Content Manager’s Guide to a Killer Online Content Marketing Plan is about?)
Deciding to launch on online content marketing plan is a valuable choice in building your brand and gaining some notoriety for your products. Write everything down while you’re setting up your plan and you’ll find that the rest of your content fills in all the gaps.
Read Part 3: Content Marketing: How to Plan Methods That Work
Does anyone else have a technique or two they like to explore before they launch new content marketing campaigns?