An easy four-step formula for creating a content marketing plan

Need to create a content marketing plan but no idea where to start? Follow this simple, four-step formula.

Do you dread the beginning of each month when you start to think about content for your social media posts, email marketing and newsletters? Do you suffer from writer’s block? Or worry you have nothing of interest to say, or that no one will read your content?

If you do, then don’t panic! Just follow this simple, four-step formula by Nicole Martin from Pinpoint Marketing to create a content marketing plan that will show off your expertise and provide a healthy mix of engaging content for your followers.

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1) Find ideas for content

The first step in the content marketing plan formula is to generate ideas for content. This is much easier than you may think. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Events – industry or your own.
  • Key dates – e.g. order by 20 December for Christmas delivery, or your birthday or anniversary.
  • Company news – recruitment or award wins/nominations.
  • Product developments – launches, changes or discontinuations.
  • Industry developments and commentary – draw attention to news in the industry press that is relevant.
  • Educational information – draw attention to resources available to them, such as an installation guide for a current product, or a brochure on applications for your product.
  • Opinion – show that you really know your stuff!
  • Testimonials – if you have received them, then tell others. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

2) Re-use your content

We’re familiar now with the idea of recycling household waste. And the same principle can be applied to your marketing and messaging.

Some content can be reused on a monthly basis without coming across as repetitive. Often events evolve over a period of time, so keep people up to date by revisiting it in your posts.

Example 1:

  • ‘We are pleased to announce that we will be working with XYZ on their ABC project…’
  • ‘Have a look at the competed project for XYZ, our products were used to…’

Example 2:

  • ‘We have been shortlisted for the VWX awards for the Best New Business category – well done to the team!’
  • ‘The VWX Awards are tonight and we are eagerly awaiting the results…’

If this is a method you can use, then you must keep track of the content that you have posted previously to assess whether it continues to be relevant, or highlight if it’s something you will want to promote again in future.

You may also have what is known as ‘evergreen content’ – content that is as relevant today as it was two years ago. Often this content is things like informative blog posts and how to articles and videos.

Don’t be afraid to keep re-sharing this content on social media and in your newsletters if it’s still relevant, enough time has lapsed since your last share, and/or you have new followers or sign ups.

3) Gather content

While one person could be responsible for actually writing and posting on social media or creating your newsletters or emails or monthly minutes, the responsibility for generating content ideas should come from across your business.

Everyone working alongside you can add something as they will have a slightly different perspective of the activities going on. So make it part of the culture that everybody is a source of potential content.

You may, for example, start a central shared spreadsheet in which people can add ideas or share links to content they find, as they find it. Then have one or two people responsible for regularly reviewing ideas and writing and uploading content.

This avoids any crossovers or misunderstandings, and ensures you have a consistent tone of voice.

4) Make a plan

To ensure that your content actually happens and is consistent, it’s important to have a plan. This means deciding how often content will be shared, and how frequently you’re going to set aside time to find, create and schedule that content.

If you’r not already doing this, we do recommend it. Content marketing (especially online) is a great way of giving your business a personality, and reaching a wider audience.

More importantly, it may be a persuading factor in getting someone to conduct business with you. So don’t underestimate its value, and always have a plan!

Now read four things you MUST do when creating or sharing content.

Pinpoint Marketing offers packages covering planning, email marketing and social media. Find out how they can help.