It’s the start of a brand new year which means a brand new start in your business that could probably use a makeover. If you’re like me then you’re always looking for ways to improve and if your content strategy sucked in 2018 then you have landed on the right page for a chance to get a content marketing strategy makeover for 2019.
This strategy is for the whole year of 2019 (and beyond) and you can follow this exact template for each educational content that you will share with your demographic. You can plan everything out right now so that you can save time and produce an abundance of content for the year.
So let’s get started from beginning to end on how to began producing your 12 month content marketing strategy. This is for newbies who are just starting out or for those who need to make adjustments to your existing strategy. These steps will help you to find out what your audience needs so that you can craft the right type of content best suited to meet their needs.
***NOTE: I will use myself as a content marketer as an example of how I simply gathered information to produce my 12-Month Content Marketing Strategy in the following steps.
Step 1: Conduct Your Branded Content Strategy Needs Assessment
First, conduct a branded content needs assessment to identify what knowledge your niche demographic already have and what knowledge your demographic needs to know. In order to find out such information you would need to conduct surveys and questionnaires. Below are three examples of how you can gather accurate information on what your target demographic already knows and what knowledge they are lacking.
Example 1: Multiple Choice Questions
First, I use the multiple choice question method which is asking one question and giving the respondent multiple answers to choose from to find out what they might need help with the most with their content marketing.
What is the biggest challenge you have with content marketing?
a. Content creation
b. How to create content topic ideas
c. How to conduct research for my content
e. Content Visibility (getting more peoples’ eyes on your content)
f. What social media platforms to share my content to and how often?
Example 2: Yes or No Questions
Yes or No Questions are direct questions that asks the respondent for a simple yes or no answer.
- Are you a content marketer?
- Do you want to learn content marketing as your primary marketing strategy for your business?
Example 3: Open Ended Questions
Open ended questions are questions that require a full response from the respondent in the form of phrases and sentences. Opposite of yes or no questions.
- What do you want to learn about content marketing?
- What are your biggest challenges when it comes to implementing content marketing to increase your brand awareness?
So as you see conducting a branded content needs assessment is not hard and you can choose which method to use (follow the examples) to find out what your audience know, what they don’t know and what they need to know. These methods are designed to get accurate answers about what your audience needs and what their lacking straight from the “horse’s mouth” so to speak.
Step 2: Prepare Your Branded Content Analysis
Prepare a step by step outline of the brand content that describes the specific content curriculum that you will be teaching your niche demographic. Make sure you order from easy to difficult or from most important to least important. Here is an example of my content analysis outline.
A. What is content marketing?
B. How does content marketing work?
C. How to find your target audience?
D. The process of content creation.
E. How to generate attention grabbing content topics.
F. How to create a simple content outline.
G. How to conduct research efficiently and effectively.
H. How to find high quality graphics and stock photos for your content.
I. How to create irresistible call-to-actions.
J. How to schedule your content for days and weeks.
K. How to master content batching.
L. How often to market your content and at what days and times.
M. Content marketing and time management.
This is how you will go about preparing a simple outline about what you want to teach your audience. Think of this as a lesson plan. You can get more detailed and add not only topics but subtopics you want to cover.
Step 3: Prepare Your Branded Content Goals & Objectives
Content goals and objectives is a clear statement that describes what you want your audience to learn and take away; the specific and general objectives and goals that your audience should know and be able to do after consuming and processing your content. An example of my content goals and objectives statement would be:
At the conclusion of this training, newbies should be able to perform the 13 content marketing skills that would improve their ability to create high quality content on a hectic schedule with ease.
4 Criteria Questions To A Well Written Training Content Goals & Objectives
Training goals and objectives are statements that define what trainers want trainees to be able to do as opposed to what they should know and how they should feel in the aftermath of a training session.
The following 4 criteria is how content training objectives and goals should be written and what they mean.
- Are your training content goals and objectives observable? Can you observe whether the trainees are accurately performing the tasks to ensure their mastery of the skill?
- Are your training content goals and objectives measurable? Can you measure how trainees are effectively performing tasks?
- Are your training content goals and objectives attainable? Can your trainees realistically achieve the tasks they are to perform based on their abilities?
- Are your training content goals and objectives clear and specific? Are you clear and specific about what you expect them to be able to do after the training?
Examples of each of the 4 Criteria statements (examples of how you should answer the above questions):
- In the aftermath of the training, the trainee should be able to create and market content more easily and more effectively.
- In the aftermath of the training, the trainees should be able to identify their target market including their target market’s needs and preferences.
- In the aftermath of the training, trainees should be able to generate attention grabbing content topics, create simple and clear content outlines, conduct simple researches and how to create irresistible call to actions.
- In the aftermath of the training, the trainees should be able to batch, schedule, and create a content creation management system.
Step 4: Prepare To Develop Your Branded Content
Identify and find inspiration for content topics, teaching materials, teaching methods, and internal and external sources for branded content development. This also includes your years of learning , studying and obtaining the knowledge and expertise required to be proficient in your niche.
- Read more about Content topic ideas here.
- Training methods-are the processes and procedures that you will use to present information to your audience and demonstrate to them what you want them to learn.
- Tell-your audience what skills you want them to learn.
- Show-demonstrate to your audience what skills that you want them to learn; show them how to do them.
- Do-instruct your audience to perform the skills; allow them a hands on experience.
Content Creation Mediums
If you haven’t already you need to decide on what type medium or tool you will use to create your content. I discuss three choices to aid in content creation below
1. Blog Marketing aka Blogging is defined as the use of written text using a CMS (content management system for example WordPress or Squarespace) to create valuable content to market your products or services and build brand awareness.
2. Video Marketing is defined as the use of video to create valuable content to market your products or services and to build brand awareness.
3. Podcasting aka Podcast is defined according to Margaret Rouse as the use of a audio digital file distributed in audio form to produce content that can be uploaded to multimedia or digital music players using an iPod. Read more about podcasting by Margaret Rouse here.
You may find that at times you may need to do research to substantiate your key talking points in each piece of content. This means using expert information sources such as articles, books, newspapers, periodicals, blog posts, encyclopedias, and peer-reviewed scholarly journals. Check for the following criteria to find out if the sources you want to use are credible by checking for the following:
- Is it Accurate?
Is the source accurate and reliable. Does the author provide documentation of where he or she found the information?
2. Is it accountable?
Does the author provide verifiable links to his or her website, social media and sources in which he or she create and share their information?
3. Is it Objectionable?
Is the information presented within the source unbiased and objective? Is it fair and balanced? The pros and cons? Differences and similarities?
4. Is it Usable?
Do you find it easy to find the sources you need? Are they in an easy and accessible format?
5. Is it Updated?
Is the information you are using recent and up to date? Has the information been recently modified or updated to provide more recent up to date information?
An important source to substantiate the information that you are providing to your audience is YOU yes YOU. The knowledge you have acquired through formal and informal education, your expertise and level of proficiency you have of your niche and the continuing study and education through courses to gain new, recent knowledge and stay up to date concerning your niche is important to creating content and keep your audience informed.
Step 5: Prepare Your Content Distribution Strategy
Identify the social media platform where your demographic audience is most present to get your content seen. This includes scheduling post times & driving traffic to your website and social media platforms to establish a strong online presence.
- Research where your target market is present. Are they on Facebook? Twitter? Instagram? Pinterest? The content marketing limit is building your brand on two platforms; more than 2 can result in overwhelm and burnout. Share new content and re-share your old content at least 3 times per week.
- Hootsuite, Buffer, Social Oomph, Planoly, Tailwind are a few scheduling apps to use to save time on social media posting. Set it and forget it.
There you have the blueprint of creating a 12-Month content marketing strategy so that you will be able to streamline your content creation process for effective and efficient content creation and marketing. If you follow this blueprint content creation and marketing will become less of a hassle for 2019 and beyond.
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Rhonda, Virtu Works Fore U Mompreneur