By: Lori Smith 

 

 

Just once, I would love to see Google get called to the principle’s

office. I mean seriously, how frustrating.  

 

Just when I thought I had a content marketing plan that could

withstand the next few changes, boom, it gets blown to pieces.

 

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have revised and

tweaked my plan. But, the truth is, without a solid marketing plan, no

one’s going to even see your content. Okay, whiny rant over.

 

I have read too many articles to count, about all the new changes

Google is implementing this year. Well, at least in the first quarter that

is. So, get ready for a roller coaster ride to creating an effective 

content marketing plan.

 

You’ll not only want to create a plan will address the newest changes,

but will be adaptable for the long haul.

 

First order of business, whatever plan you had, I want you to take it

out of your file. Then hold it up in front of you and tear it up. It’s no 

good to you anymore.

 

I know what your thinking, but Lori I’m still seeing results with my old

plan. I’m sure you are. To be honest, I am too, but that is going to

change. I’m not saying, that going forward some past strategies won’t

work, it’s just that they will have to change in a big way to still be

effective.

 

With each change, Google is making it very clear that they are

wanting to weed out the fast cash gurus. As well as, bloggers with

content that offers no real value to anyone.

 

In a way, you could say Google is on a mission to clean up the internet.

They have customers to serve, and they want to serve them well by

providing only the best of the best content for any given search query.

 

Google is the big bad schoolyard bully who holds the power to kill

businesses. If you can’t get on board with their algorithm changes, 

then let me deliver your business’ eulogy now.

 

For all you, determined bloggers and entrepreneurs reading this, your

business doesn’t have to end up in the Google graveyard ( for any of

you who are not sure where the graveyard is, it’s on page two.) Google

may be the bully, but we know how to fight back against their

changes. We know how to stay ahead of the game because

persistence is our middle name.

 

Now in this post, I’m going to give you actionable steps for each

category of your content plan. You’ll learn how to create a

strategy, that will serve you well, for many Google changes to come.

Google sucks so your content marketing plan has to be agile

 

What You’ll Need

 

Content Management System

 

You need a way to manage your content. This simply means the

platform where your content will live. Here’re a few to consider.

  • Your own website (WordPress, Squarespace, Wix)

  • Instagram

  • Facebook Notes

  • Hub Pages

  • Tumblr

Analytics

 

You’ll need to track the success of your content to measure

marketing performance against your goals. Here’re a couple you can

check out.

  • Google analytics

  • Data Hero

Project Management Software

 

You need a way to organize your content and set deadlines. I use

Evernote, but here’re a few others you can look into.

  • Trello

  • Asana

  • Zerys

Design Software For Graphics

 

Your visual content will play a big role in your content marketing

strategy. A few you can use for this are:

  • Photoshop

  • Canva

  • PicMonkey

Email List

 

An email list is your most treasured asset because you own it. It’s one

of the best ways to drive traffic and conversions. Here’re some email

marketing systems you can try.

  • Mailerlite

  • MailChimp

  • ConvertKit

  • AWeber

Premium Assets

 

Your blog posts are not the only content you’ll need for an effective

marketing plan. You can use premium assets for brand building and l

ead generation. Some premium assets to consider creating.

  • E-Books

  • Webinars

  • Templates

  • Workbooks

Visual Content

 

Most of us are very visual. We like pictures or graphics that enhances 

the content we are reading. Some visual content you can incorporate.

  • Infographics

  • Marketing graphics

  • Videos

     

Content Marketing Plan

1) Auditing – You’ll want to review all your content for optimization.

Does your content include the best keywords to drive organic traffic

to your site?

Auditing will also help you assess what content you already have

that’s working. If you have content that isn’t resonating with your ideal

audience, then you’ll need to decide if you should delete it or rework

it.

You will also discover what content you’re lacking. Depending on your

goals and audience needs, you can determine the types of content

you still need to create.

When auditing your content, pay special attention even if the content

seems popular, whether it is in alignment with your goals. If you have

content that doesn’t address or align with your current goals, then it’s

nothing but random content with no purpose.

Researching trends and influencers in your niche will give you insight

into whether the content you’re creating will resonate with your ideal

client.

2) Produce – When writing articles, always stay on track with your

editorial strategy. This will aid you in creating content that will help

you reach your goals.

Write about topics your ideal audience needs. Offer high-quality

content that addresses their struggles and provides them with a

solution.

Format your articles according to industry standards. Write in short

paragraphs and include headings and subheadings. For length, aim

for 1000 words or more.

Given the fact that most individuals prefer visual content, create

infographics to enhance your content. This will give a more preferred

visual aesthetic, while still providing the necessary information.

I’ve read, that videos are predicted to amount to 79% of online

content in 2017. That’s a number to sit up and take notice of. If you’re

not creating video content already, you need to start.

Email marketing has evolved over time and is continuing to evolve.

Your list, as it’s called, is something to guard within an inch of your life.

Unlike followers you may have on other platforms, your email

subscribers are the only list you outright own.

Email is one of the best ways to create and distribute your

promotional content. What you put in your emails is determined by

the goal(s) you want to execute.

Setting up an editorial calendar will keep you organized. It provides a

framework for producing the right content at the right time.

3) Distribution – Consider this the tentacles of content marketing. You

want the content you create to get found by the largest audience

possible. The way to do this is to have a strategic marketing plan.

Publishing content on a regular basis does a lot of the work for you. If

your article is keyword optimized then search engines will take care of

the rest. Yet, your content will most likely be distributed on page 

never never land, a.k.a page 22.

The goal is to have your content rank higher with the best SEO, so it

ends up on page one. But, your marketing should not end here.

Share your content on social media platforms that your ideal

customers are active on. Google’s algorithm also considers social

signals important to ranking. They view socially shared content as a

vote of approval.

Webinars are a high-impact way to share your content. If executed

strategically, they can drive traffic and conversions. Incorporate 

webinars into your content marketing plan as another way to reach

your ideal client.

Your email marketing should also include sharing your most recent

content. It’s important to share it with your list to build your brand’s

message and foster relationships with your readers.

Pay to play social ads are unprecedented in audience reach, traffic,

and conversions. That is, when they are well crafted and targeted.

Even if an ad doesn’t result in conversions, they may still result in

social shares or inbound links. This will only help improve your SEO.

Ads are tricky. If your not well versed in how to create attention

grabbing copy, then consider outsourcing this task. Your money will

be well spent.

A well thought out strategic marketing plan is what produces results.

If you’re creating random content and marketing it on an inconsistent

basis, your business will die an untimely death.

Measuring Your Results

There’s a multitude of metrics you could track to measure your

content marketing results. Don’t make the mistake of trying to set too

many goals. Focus the metrics you measure on your specific goals at

the time.

Tracking two or three metrics on a monthly basis is a good place to

start. Business owners might want to track traffic and leads. While

bloggers will most likely want to track traffic and subscribers.

You will need to measure social media metrics as well because the

more followers you gain, the more traffic it will drive.

Tracking these metrics will help you not only determine what’s

working, but also identify issues before they become a problem.

Overview

  • Analyze what content is needed

  • Take inventory of existing content

  • Align your content with your business goals

  • Create high-quality on target optimized content

  • Create content in different formats

  • Automate marketing processes where possible

  • Plan a content strategy for different channels

  • Use proper SEO keywords to get found

  • Track specific metrics for results

Tips

1) Don’t make the process too difficult. Create processes that are easy

to adhere to and stay consistent with. Content marketing should be a

long-term plan, not a once in awhile when I feel like it kind of thing.

2) Automating some of your processes will save loads of time, but

choose your content marketing software wisely. Find the ones that

are easy for you to understand and operate.

3) Create a plan that will grow along with your business. What that

means is, keep future plans for your business and algorithm changes

in mind. Do your research. Stay on top of industry trends, and develop

a strategy that can evolve as the industry changes.

Final Thoughts

Businesses that develop a content marketing strategy which includes

a solid measurement framework have a better chance of achieving

their goals.

As the online business industry matures, a haphazard approach to

content marketing will become more unlikely to work.

You owe it to yourself and your business, to develop a solid content

marketing strategy.  You want to ensure your content gets in front of the

right audience, at the right time.

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