Tag Archives: social media content strategy

How To Create An Effective Content Marketing Plan

Great content marketing is key to your marketing efforts and can reap huge rewards for businesses, both large and small, but how do you ensure what you are creating is great content? It’s a question we all need to ask ourselves, whether setting out to create content for the first time or thinking of developing an existing approach.

Inspirational quote – motivational poster with words by Benjamin Franklin: By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.

I’m sure you will have heard the Benjamin Franklin quote, ‘By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’, well it’s something that we here at Carvill Creative certainly agree with. The starting point when it comes to content marketing is all about devising a smart and robust plan, so that you know what you want to achieve and can measure how effective you are. ‘But…’ you may be asking, ‘where do I start?’

Goals and Measurement

There are basically 5 goals, which effective content marketing can help you to achieve, and which you must always be mindful of when creating content:

  1. Raise brand awareness
  2. Drive traffic to your website
  3. Generate leads
  4. Convert leads into customers
  5. Encourage existing customers to repeat purchase

It’s wise to sense check that what you are creating content-wise is actually helping you to achieve these goals. Measuring the success of your content marketing isn’t always straightforward, but with a little effort you can pull together enough information to be able to make a reasonably informed decision. Take a look at Google Analytics, get a deep understanding on how your content is performing against driving traffic, converting leads and repeat purchases. Get clarity on reach and engagement using the analytics available via the social channels you are using, and where relevant, track how many leads are being generated and converted.

Know Your Audience 

Whilst in an ideal world, you have one key persona that your create content for – it may well be that you have more than one, and therefore, there are a number of target audiences that you are creating your content for. But whatever the case, you need to understand what engages each audience. What are they sharing and liking content-wise? What topics are of interest to them? What needs / problems do they have, and how can you best present information to meet the audience’s needs and solve their problems so that they will want to read the content and ultimately feel compelled to share it?

And it’s not just about understanding what might engage your audience, you also need to understand where they are more likely to engage with this content, i.e. which channels that they use.

Create a Content Calendar

It’s a really good discipline to create a load of content ideas relevant to your target audiences that you can schedule into a content calendar, which can include topics and keywords, as well as the different formats required. This enables you to review opportunities to repurpose content too. Your Content Calendar might cover the upcoming quarter, or even the next six months and will allow you to remain focussed on creating timely and engaging content.

Your Plan is Good to Go!

This may initially feel like a lot of work, however once you have done the planning groundwork, you will reap the rewards of an efficient and effective way of creating engaging content, which will ultimately, transition your content creation from being a ‘churn out of publishing haphazardly’ – into a far more targeted and purposeful way to help you achieve your goals.

Be mindful of the quote we shared at the outset of this article…and be sure to plan for success.

Thanks for tuning in…

Team Carvill would love to hear your comments and ideas around content planning. Be sure to join the conversation over on our dedicated Social Souls Group.   

 Carvill Creative the digital marketing and social media agency, helping organisations to ‘Get Social’.

You Are What You Tweet

The Social Marketing channels present us with opportunities to share our content and get our messages across. social media consultancy social media training

Plus, given that the social channels are superbly designed to make sharing and tapping into other networks simple – then they have the potential to be far reaching, extending beyond our usual ‘databases’ – as they present opportunity for advocacy.

If people love what they’ve read, seen or heard, they can share the content on to their networks too.  Helping a wide audience to get to know about you, like you, trust you, share your messages, and ultimately, even do business with you.

And of course, sharing isn’t an onerous task, but simply a case of hitting a button; ‘like’, ‘share’, ‘retweet’ etc.

Given how potentially far reaching the social platforms can be, therefore, you need to ensure that you are not wasting the opportunity these far reaching channels provide by talking about the latest cheese sandwich you just ate. (Unless of course you’re Pret and it’s a tactic you’ve employed to showcase a new product!).

Businesses of all shapes and sizes now need to be getting their ‘content house’ in order.

Ask yourself…

  • Have you got a strategy for regularly creating fresh and acceptable content which meets specific business objectives?
  • Have you got a blog that you regularly update for your business?
  • Are you regularly creating videos for your business – how to videos, sharing FAQs, customer testimonials, new product and service features?
  • Have you got any research information that others would be interested in – could it be turned into an e-book and provide potential for data capture?
  • Are you a lead authority in a specific area – can you create ‘whitepapers’, industry reports etc?

Content is all around us, from our websites, to service standards, to internal training, to product demos, new products, case studies, testimonials, video interviews (I could go on) – and so it’s a case of ensuring that you employ a mechanism for regularly collating the content within the business so that you can leverage it effectively.

@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of marketing strategy and online visibility – covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.

Want to talk to the team at Carvill Creative about your social media activity or training needs? We’re happy to chat, so simply ‘get in touch’.

Finally, why not download our useful Social Media Marketing Planner and Marketing Plan. They’re totally free to download and use.

 

 

Content – Feed your Hungry Social Media Platforms

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Click on Image to Enlarge

Ok, so you’re all over social.  You have a clear understanding of your objectives and what you are setting out to achieve with social – and each channel is therefore, optimised accordingly.

You’ve got a Twitter channel, or two or even more – Facebook is set up and your Timeline is a heritage piece and also a showcase of your brand and business’ day to day life. Your LinkedIn Company Page is product and service optimised and you’ve spoken with all your team about the importance of their LinkedIn personal profiles being 100% and optimised – and linking through to your LinkedIn Company Page effectively.  Google+ is set up and optimised and you’re leveraging that platform for social search.

You may even be leveraging other platforms such as Pinterest and Foursquare (to name just two of the many) to further leverage your online visibility.

Effectively, the tool kit is all in place, each channel knows  its purpose – and so the base is well and truly grounded.

Each social channel has been designed to enable people to share very quickly and simply. What that translates to is that messages can spread quickly, people can advocate your brand, business, service, product and share to their friends. Therefore, your message has the opportunity to extend its reach beyond your usual database and the noise level has the opportunity to be significantly amplified.

The channels are clever bits of kit that’s for sure – however, what’s important is what you put through the channels.

We love the saying from Stowe Boyd:

“It’s our dancing that makes the house rock, not the planks and pipes. It is us that make Twitter alive, not the code.”  

And the same sentiment could be said about each of the social platforms.

The social channels, as you will find, are content hungry. You have to be sharing ‘something’ – and that ‘something’ needs to be compelling enough so that others share it and engage with it.

Your content needs a lot of thinking and planning. Like any conversation, some of it is scripted, some of it we’ve said before, some of it we’ve rehearsed, much of it is responsive and spontaneous.  It’s always wise to ‘think’ before you open your mouth. And the same applies to your conversational content.

Our advice, throughout every element of social is to think about your objectives, plan strategically and be prepared.

This Content Road Map should help you on your way.

@Michelle Carvill is owner and Marketing Director at Carvill Creative – the online visibility experts. A digital marketing and design agency based in Maidenhead, Berkshire.  The agency covers all aspects of marketing strategy and online visibility – covering social media marketing and social media training, user focused website planning and conversion focused website design.

Want to talk to the team at Carvill Creative about your social media activity or training needs? We’re happy to chat, so simply ‘get in touch’.

Finally, why not download our useful Social Media Marketing Planner and Marketing Plan. They’re totally free to download and use.