How to Create a Content Marketing Road Map
Research shows that marketers who know how to create a content marketing road map see better ROI than those who go in blind. And this is no accident, because while having a general content marketing strategy is good, a road map helps you keep the bigger picture in mind.
Let’s start with the basics – the first step is to figure out where you’re at and where you want to go.
Outline the Present and the Future
This step is mostly about reviewing your business as it is now, and thinking about the future you want it to have. Here are a few things to consider:
- What’s your mission, the most valuable thing you’re offering to your customers?
- What’s the current state of your business and budget?
- What are your short-term and long-term goals?
- Are your short-term goals achievable with your current budget?
- What kind of budget will you need to achieve your long-term goals?
Answering these questions will help you lay the groundwork of your content road map, but that’s only the beginning. Be specific with your goals: is your short-term goal to raise your brand awareness or engage your existing audience? What are the numbers you’ll need to pull in so you’d have a positive ROI? Don’t stop when you get a vague idea of what you need, but ask more questions and refine it further. If you do this, the path ahead of you will become much clearer.
Figure out Who Your Customers Are
You’re seeing this tip everywhere for a reason: it’s crucial to content marketing success. Still, there is more to do here than just figure out what your customers want. Keep this checklist in mind when it comes to defining your customers:
- Who are your ideal customers?
- What are the stages of their buyer’s journey?
- How can you lead them through those stages efficiently towards your ultimate goal?
- Where and how can you engage them in conversation?
The business-customer relationship should be balanced in every stage of the buyer’s journey. Focus your content-creating efforts on the stages where your strategy has been lacking – usually the early ones. The goal doesn’t always have to be getting money in exchange for a product, or giving out a freebie in exchange for a subscription. Your customers could also provide valuable information that will help you figure out what they want and give it to them. Social media comes in handy there, as well as for building trust and rapport with your customers.
Sort out the Logistics
After you outline a general idea of what your content marketing strategy will be, you need people to carry it out. Depending on your strategy, you’ll also want to figure out which platforms you’ll be using and how to track your efficiency. This is the phase with all the heavy planning:
- How many people do you need to manage your content marketing strategy?
- Are you going to use social media, and if so, which ones?
- Which parameters are you going to track (subscribers, social shares, visits, page views etc.)?
- Who is going to be in your team and how will their content benefit your target audience?
Having a digital marketing strategy is great, but you need to keep your available resources in mind. If the strategy you plan takes two people and you can only hire one, it might be better to readjust. Details are up to you. However, you should definitely decide on what your metric of success will be, so you can start tracking it early on. ROI calculations are important and shouldn’t be overlooked.
Produce Great Content
Pretty much any marketing strategy will fall flat if you don’t create meaningful content. But what does that mean and how do you accomplish it?
If you went through all the previous steps, you should have a good idea of the kind of content you need. From that point, you need to think about frequency of posting. Websites/blogs benefit from a few posts per week. As for newsletters, even once a month could be good depending on your list engagement, company size and type of business. When it comes to social media, daily content is a must.
It’s completely up to you to decide how detailed you plan will be, but a good way to gauge this is to look at what your competitors are doing and try to exceed their efforts. Start from the basics, work your way down to the specifics – your content marketing plan will be up and running in no time!
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