This post was originally published on February 25th, 2019. Updated for July 1st, 2022.
Content marketing is the technique of creating valuable online material. Your content can be blog posts, podcasts or images. It might also be videos, press releases or anything else you share on your website or through social media.
But how do you decide what to write and how to share it? Here are three steps to creating a solid content marketing plan.
Know Your Audience
The first step to writing great content for your readers is to identify your audience. Your blog should attract buyers for your business, so you need to know who they are. What do they like? Where do they hang out online and offline? Put yourself in their heads, write content they want to read and post it where they will find it.
You want to attract as many readers as possible. Although it might be tempting to make your target audience as big as possible, don’t do this! If you make your blog too general, it won’t attract anyone. Instead, you want your target readers to feel you are speaking directly to them.
Define Your Goals
Once you know your ideal customer, begin to generate business blog goals. Identify your readers’ needs and help them solve their problems. To do this, research other blogs and magazines in your industry. Take part in discussion groups online or ask for client feedback through surveys. Let your clients get to know a little bit about you. Share a few of your business successes. Highlight great customer service within your organization.
Audit Your Old Content
If you have been blogging for awhile, you have a gold mine. Find out which of those posts did well and write a follow-up. Be sure to link to the original post. On posts that did not do well, find out why. If the topic is still in line with your current goals, maybe the content of the post can be re-written and updated.
Knowing your audience is an ongoing process. Don’t be afraid to refine your niche and update your goals as your business grows and changes.