Why long-term plan work best for the top content marketing companies?
Why long-term content planning is important to your business?
To start, planning provided a roadmap for your content.
You would not get into a car and drive without an end destination; you did be wasting petrol.
This is probably why 86% of highly effective organizations have someone to steering the direction of their content strategy.
At this point, you should know how important content is to your inbound marketing strategy.
But as a reminder, content has the very important job of pulling people from one stage of the inbound methodology to another.
It plays an integral part in each and every stage of the buyer’s journey.
When it comes to creating content, you want to remain as reactive and agile as you can to do your best to make the most of your time.
Having a plan will give you and your team the ability to remain reactive to upcoming initiatives.
It helps you to stay organised and proactively manage the content required for your marketing tasks.
Think of your long-term content plan like a saving account.
If your goal is to retire someday, then you need a plan, and you need to be consistent with the contributions.
The more consistent you are and the better you are with the contributions, the more you will get on your return on investment.
But in order to retire, you need to be consistent month-after-month.
Otherwise, you will miss your goals and the ability to retire.
The same can be said about your content.
If you make a plan and a consistent approach, then you are giving yourself the best chance at achieving ROI from your content efforts.
You will have the opportunity to grow an expansive library of content, making you and your business-content wealthy.
It is important to note that obstacles and roadblocks will come up along the way, but at least you have your goals and direction set.
Having a plan will make it that much easier to regain alignment, as well as understand bandwidth and priorities for what needs to get done and when.
Another reason why you should have a long-term content plan is it helps you to stay organised.
Most often, marketing teams place a focus on more than one initiative at any given time.
A long-term plan accounts for all upcoming initiatives and provides the ability to be agile in your content creation process.
Being organised will also allow you to align with the overall goals of the business.
In essence, it gets the marketing team in-line with the current initiatives of the entire organization,
Content is not just about supporting the marketing team.
It should be about supporting the sales team, customer service team, products and services team and so on.
By aligning your content marketing goals to the overall goals of the organization, you can rest assured that your focus will provide an immediate impact to where it matters most.
For example, attracting and attaining of your audience.
Lastly, the long-term planning allows the ability to tell a story by taking your audience down their buyer’s journey.
Remember, content is the fuel that keeps the inbound methodology running.
Having a relevant approach like this gives you the opportunity to answer your prospects’ questions and meet them at their point of need.
How Do The Best Content Marketing Company Build a Long-Term Content Plan?
Okay, now you know why it is important to have a long-term content plan.
Let’s actually learn how to do it.
Let’s take a moment to revisit the buyer‘s journey, as it has a similar corresponding marketing funnel, which also known as “marketing machine”.
The marketing machine relates each buyer’s journey stage to a corresponding marketing funnel stage – Awareness, Consideration and Decision stage.
Firstly, the awareness stage that related to visit and lead.
Secondly, the consideration stage that relates to the marketing qualified lead (MQL) and sales qualifies lead (SQL).
Lastly, the decision stage relates to opportunity and customer.
These funnels are designed to help you visualize and guide a prospect through the stages of the buyer’s journey.
So, you can effectively measure your funnel and provide a tailored message to that prospect at their particular stage during the buyer’s journey.
It is important to understand the relationship between both funnels as they are working towards the same goals.
The goals are attracting your prospects, converting them into leads and closing them into customers.
A marketing machine is not developed overnight.
It takes a lot of time and planning to build it.
This is where long-term content planning comes in.
The Importance of Long-Term Content Plan for Content Marketing Companies
So, what is involved in developing a long-term content plan?
There are 3 steps you must take to create a long-term content plan.
Step 1: Setting marketing goals.
Step 2: Auditing or assessing your organization’s initiatives and assets.
Step 3: Identifying the buyer’s journey for your buyer personas.
The ultimate objective here is to have a unifying document you can use to keep track of your long-term content marketing initiatives.
First, let’s talk about setting your marketing goals.
Setting marketing goals provides you with a long-term vision and short-term motivation.
It helps you to organize your time and resources so you can make the most of your content creation efforts.
Each piece of content created for marketing initiatives should be tied to a goal that is also directly related to the overarching goals of the organization.
This will help you stay laser-focused with the content creation process.
Let’s take a second to think about this.
If your company’s quarterly customer foal is 15 new customers and you know the number of leads needed to generate 15 customers is 50 leads.
If you know the number of website visits needed to generate 50 leads is 1000 visits, then you need to take into consideration the content you needed to hit your visit goal.
Include SMART Goal in Your Plan
Each of the goals you set should be a SMART goal.
That is Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
A potential SMART goal example could be increased quarterly site visit by 30%.
That’s 5000 per quarter to 6000 per quarter by the end of the year.
The second step in creating a long-term content plan is auditing or assessing your organization’s initiatives and assets.
Your audit is going to consist of two parts.
First, auditing your content assets, and second, auditing your event-based priorities.
Let’s begin with the content audit.
Your goal with the content audit is to help you identify all of the marketing assets that you have at your disposal.
And potentially identify gaps or opportunities in your content strategy.
There comes a point for every marketer who has been generating content for a while when they realize they have no idea where all of their content is or how much they actually have.
Content has likely been created by you, your predecessors, or other individuals in the marketing department.
This including subject matter experts from other departments and is scattered just about everywhere.
By doing your content audit, you will be able to identify resources that you already have, which could save your hours of content creation time in the future.
When it comes to documenting a content audit, there should be a place for you to insert all of your assets.
Properly organize them based on the content title, buyer’s journey stage, marketing funnel stage.
You also should include the format or type of content, which buyer persona is targeting, and additional notes that provide value or content.
Now it is time to do some digging for content assets such as guides, worksheets, or sales collateral.
You are recommended to systematically combing through the following dark corners where content can typically be hiding.
It is like that old file manager or marketing folder on your computer.
You can ask your sales team what type of collateral do they use.
Check in with the more tenured employees, you will be surprised at the wealth of knowledge here.
Pore through your customer relationship management system (CRM) and your content management system (CMS) as well.
Now, you might already get the picture here.
Thus, you are a step closer to be more efficient in creating a plan for your company.
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