content_marketing_01As we wrap up 2013 and welcome 2014 I want to ask you a serious question.  Of all the content you created and published in 2013 how much of it was ‘strategically planned’?  A lot? A little?  All? Or maybe none?  Whatever your answer is, don’t worry, that’s the beauty of a new year.  A new beginning and a new chance to improve and do things a little better than the year before, right?

As Robin and I plan for 2014 one of the most important things we are looking at and strategizing around is our content marketing strategy.  We definitely don’t want to enter the New Year blindly and just fly by the seat of our pants.  And I bet you don’t either. 🙂  So we’re going to help you out by sharing exactly what we are doing and how you can plan out your content marketing strategy in advance and with ease.  So here goes.

Plan Your Content Marketing Themes By Month

This one may seem pretty simple and well it is. 🙂 Each month presents different seasons, holidays and opportunities.  January could be ‘starting a new’ and so on.  Certain month’s also present larger causes or activities that everyone is paying attention to like ‘breast cancer awareness’ or ‘March Madness’.  Use them in your content marketing.  these are genius because there is already momentum and popularity behind the topic or theme so this provides you with a great opportunity to leverage (which are big, big fans of).

Each month presents you with the opportunity to build upon the theme for an entire month and lead in toward a bigger opportunity like a live webinar or tele-class. 

Understand The Larger Goal

This is one of the areas where we heavily coach all of our clients, “Understand the bigger picture.”  Everything you do should be strategically planned and have a tie on or impact on something else you are doing.  Your content marketing strategy is no different.

Now that you have your monthly themes all laid out now you will want to look at the actions you want your visitors and readers to take.  This should be one of 4 things:

  • Comment
  • Share
  • Become Lead
  • Buy Something

Everything you post in that particular month should lead toward one of these four goals.  This gives you an entire month to build up and create anticipation and a reason for your visitors to revisit.

Selecting Your Format

Now that you have your content marketing strategy laid out, you have your monthly themes now it’s time to look at what types of platforms you want to use.  Do you want to do video?  Slideshares?  Social media?  Blogging?  All of these? 

The most important piece to understand is what format(s) does your audience desire most?  You can’t make the mistake of just guessing here.  You want to serve your audience well for the best results so understanding what particular formats they prefer will ensure that your content marketing gets maximum results.

Along with understanding want formats work best for your audience you will also want l to look at other factors such as: do I want this to be conversational?  Data-driven?  Trendy?  Argumentative?  What this means is that for each piece of content you plan for the year and individual month you may want to consider what ‘style’ you want to attach to it and so on.

I know that sometimes planning can be a bore and a hassle but when you approach it with clarity using some of what I shared above you can really knock this out and enter 2014 with a butt-kicking content marketing strategy that makes sense and works for your business!

 

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