How’s throwing a post against every social media wall working for you?
I have a marketing plan, I even spent the time to create an actual content marketing strategy. However, the other day I got frustrated with my process and went off the rails for a minute, ok longer. To be honest, I do this way more than I should, I get frustrated that my writing career isn’t happening fast enough and then try to run around in circles to make money in other ways. Part of my marketing plan includes cold emails, which honest to goodness I hate doing. So, true story, I decided the other day to try my luck at another type of work, outside my house. I was desperate and frustrated, and so off I went to try my hand at something else. One day, after 12 hours of work in the cold ass Canadian weather, I made a grand total of about $110! The new opportunity had been like a carrot dangling in front of my face, so I had worked like a dog, with the hopes of making a quick lump sum to invest in my business. Of course that hadn’t happened and after a few weeks, I decided I would no longer deviate from my plan because no matter how much I hate cold emailing, I hated schlepping around in the cold even more.
So, today I wanted to talk about planning and sticking to that course of action when it comes to your content marketing and building the business you are passionate about.
Why You Need A Content Marketing Plan These Days more than ever.
According to trend researchers, content marketing budgets are on the rise and people are starting to learn the importance of having a content marketing plan. I even saw a new course titled “content marketing” being advertised on the American Writers and Artists Inc website and they only sell what’s trending. I want to do happy dance watching this trend come to fruition because while I’m no pioneer, someone like Brian Clark who has been into content marketing for over 20 years is the ultimate pioneer, but I do feel relieved that the era of scarcity and shaming marketing tactics are on the way out and relationship building is in.
Now businesses and creators are seeing the benefit of engaging their customers and clients and as I spoke about in my last post and telling their brands stories to reach their customers in a more humane way.
As a trained copywriter, I remember the way I felt writing long-form copy and having to come up with the hard sell calls to action. I remember all the scheming it felt like I did to just get a single sales letter published. I did not enjoy writing that type of marketing material, and honestly, I don’t think I was great at it, because I often thought about the customers way more than the sale. I knew how I would skim copy looking for the “damn point” and the cost. And I think I always held a certain contempt toward direct mail and high-pressure sales copy. Switching to writing the content I wanted to write and focus on getting to know my people and they me, I felt way better about my life and business.
What I didn’t know, or want to admit, however, was that content was not just about creating awareness and making everyone feel heard and accepted, there was an end goal which was sales. Until I finally allowed myself to admit that as soft and submissive as content was, it also got to the same result, I omitted calls to action and got nowhere with my message fast. Yes, people were liking my posts and engaging, but not in the way that made me money.
Accepting the reality of sales as an end goal without shame, empowered me to figure out my content marketing goal and then work backward to create a plan to achieve it.
Content Marketing Strategy is separate from a content strategy
Brian Clark of CopyBlogger defines a content marketing strategy as “A plan of action designed to achieve a major or overall aim,” while I have seen a content strategy described simply as what you write and how you distribute it. And he goes on to remind us that the aim, no matter what roundabout way we take to it, is sales, or revenue generation. Knowing this, we can always work our way from the goal to steps by reverse engineering the process of getting sales using our content and then strategically create the content and tell the stories that will cause our audience to see us as the authority, problem solvers, educators and only choice for spending their hard earned cash. Which I pretty much wish I knew going in.
Having a content marketing plan saves you money, but more importantly, it saves you time. Any business that wants to feel empowered to speak to its core audience needs must have a content marketing strategy. Otherwise, it’s like hunting with blanks and hoping to take something home for dinner.
In today’s digital society, where everybody and their momma’s got a blog, great content is the way to organically magnetize your ideal customers. By showing up each time and providing value for your readers, by offering them something they can share, save or use, you stay relevant, authoritative and front of mind when the time comes for them to buy. Sometimes customers know they need a solution and sometimes they don’t even realize they have a problem. Showing up and highlighting the popular struggles and solutions offers them an anchor to hold on to as they build their business. For example, let’s say you are a life coach, and you target men who want to heal their relationships. Many men may not be aware of their mother wounds and how it affects the way they show up in relationships, both with the same and opposite sex. However, because your content marketing plan has the mission to heal men who suffered relationship trauma, the mother wound series that you post, not only helped them understand the problem they have but also offers exercises to start the healing process. At this point, your content is not only fulfilling the mission you have written down but also covers the objectives and goals of healing more men through your webinars or web classes or through buying your programs. Not only did you have a plan for what you are going to post, but you also had a reason for posting each piece and a target audience that you know needs it. This is why it is important to know what the purpose of your content is and who it serves before deciding the channels and types of content.
Having a Plan in place helps the hard days go by and helps you get it done
Finally, on the days when you’re on a ledge about your business because let’s face it, freelancing can be a cold ass bitch, looking back at what your content has accomplished so far, whether it’s Page likes, collaboration invites, profile views or actual sales, yes, those do exist, can help you figure out what’s working. Also, trying to be everywhere with your content can be exhausting, so knowing what’s working will help you avoid the plaster the interwebs with your posts syndrome. And better yet, days that you feel like what is the point, or you have to take on a side hustle to survive, it will be easier to churn out yet another post or status update, as you know the story your content is telling and the next chapter to write to keep people interested and even buying. Here’s to hoping you get the importance of content marketing planning and that you will take the time to figure out the goals and mission of your content so you can have a more direct approach.
If you are having trouble coming up with your content marketing strategy, with your goals or even a mission for your content, connect with me and I will walk you through each stage the plan, the story and even the platforms and metrics, to help you come up with your content marketing strategy and get to posting pieces that get you to your goal. If you already have a plan and need help executing it by creating and curating poignant, informative or useful pieces, get in touch anyway, my prices are reasonable and my services quite comprehensive.
All the best.