#ContentWritingChat, content marketing plan

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Creating a Strong Content Marketing Plan for 2020

With a brand new year upon us, we need to make sure we’re prepared with an incredible content marketing plan that’ll make our brands stand out and attract the right people.

But wait… How do you do that?!

In the latest #ContentWritingChat, we shared some of the basics of creating a content marketing plan for 2020. And we’ve rounded up some of the advice from this month’s chat in value-packed recap. Get ready to take some notes!

#ContentWritingChat Recap: Creating a Strong Content Marketing Plan for 2020

To start the year off, we decided to forgo a guest and host a community chat where the spotlight is on our incredible chat participants. And they certainly didn’t disappoint! Everyone chimed in to share their amazing advice so all of our content marketing efforts can benefit the year ahead.

Q1: An ideal first step in creating a content marketing plan is to set your goals. What are some common goals you might want to achieve?

Haven’t decided on your content marketing goals for this year? Don’t panic! These suggestions from the chat will give you some ideas of what you should focus on:

Gene mentioned a number of great goals that many brand set out to achieve. You may aim to grow awareness, educate your audience, inspire your audience, serve your existing customers, or introduce a new product or service.

Gaby suggested increased sales, thought leadership, and improving your brand reputation, among other goals that you might want to work toward this year.

Consistency is definitely important if you want to stay top-of-mind for your audience! As Michelle pointed out, people could turn to your competitors if you aren’t working to keep their attention.

Lexie knows that providing valuable content for your readers is always a goal to strive for. You want your readers to feel like they’ve gotten something out of your content.

And remember, don’t worry about vanity metrics such as reach, impressions, and views. Jason feels the metrics that truly matter are things like clicks, conversions, downloads, and comments.

Q2: It’s also important to decide which content channels will be best for your brand. How do you choose? And what’s your go-to: blogs, videos, or podcasts?

These tips will help you decide where you should direct your content creation efforts so you can ensure you’ll be successful:

Gaby shared some great questions you should ask yourself before making a decision. She encourages you to ask things like where your audience spends their time online, what your goals are, and what your strengths are. It’s important to be where your audience is, but you also need to consider which content formats allow you to shine.

Sometimes it takes a little trial and error to figure out what works for you, so don’t be afraid to change your course if needed.

Gene suggests experimenting with other content formats as well. After all, it can’t hurt to try something new and at least you’ll be able to say you tried. If it doesn’t work out, then no harm done!

If you’re already creating a variety of content, look at your analytics to see what’s been working for you so far. This will give you an indication of where you should be directing the majority of your attention.

Jason suggests picking two or three formats and putting your all into those. The key is to share content that’s valuable and to also be consistent with posting.

Julia recommends picking one channel and mastering it first before introducing something else into your strategy.

Q3: Once you’ve chosen your main content channels, you have to think about the topics you’ll cover. How do you decide what to talk about?

It can be challenging to come up with content topics, but it doesn’t have to be stressful when you remember these tips:

As Julia shared, you need to have a strategy first. You need to define your goals, know your audience, and plan out your sales cycle. Once you have a strategy in place, then you can begin brainstorming topics that fit into the bigger picture.

Do some research to figure out what’s relevant to your audience. When creating your content marketing plan, it’s always important that you choose topics that are going to appeal to your audience’s wants and needs.

Make sure you’re paying attention to what your audience is saying. If you really listen, you’ll pick up on various struggles they may be dealing with. And from there, you can create the content that solves their biggest problems.

Maddie suggests using tools like SEMrush or Answer the Public to find topics for your upcoming content. There’s a ton of information there if you look for it!

And of course, it never hurts to just ask your audience what they want to see from you. Ask what they’re struggling with and what they’re interested in. They’ll tell you. You just need to listen to what they have to say and deliver.

Oluwafemi agrees that asking your audience is a great way to go. Create a survey and send it to your audience. You can also find your target audience on other blogs and forums and engage in the conversations they’re having to get to know them better.

You can also scroll through Quora or Reddit to generate new ideas. Or you can check in on your competitors to see what they’re up to. Just make sure you aren’t copying them! You can, however, see if you notice any gaps in their content strategy or if their audience is asking for specific content.

Q4: Do you have any advice for filling up your content marketing plan’s content calendar months in advance?

You’ll always know what to post and when if you follow this advice from the chat:

Lexie suggests looking at some of your past content and figuring out what has been popular before. You can expand on that topic or find a way to put a new spin on it.

When creating your content marketing plan, it helps to consider seasonal content first. This will ensure you’re posting it in a timely manner, instead of scrambling to create it at the last minute. Always give yourself ample time to work on holiday posts!

Gaby suggests consuming content yourself to come up with fresh ideas. It just might help get those creative juices flowing.

Tamara’s advice is to be aware of any changes or trends that come up in your industry. These could be worthwhile content topics to write about.

It’s also important to ensure your content will be relevant by the time you’re due to post it. You don’t want it to already be stale by its publication date!

Focusing on evergreen content is a great way to guarantee your posts, videos, etc. will always be relevant.

Q5: Once your content has been created, how can you distribute it and spread the word to get more eyes on your work?

These tips will help you generate plenty of traction for the content you’ve worked so hard to bring to life:

Julia says to share your content to the social media platforms that your audience is most active on. This is how you increase the likelihood that they’ll see what you’ve created. For her, email and Facebook groups are key.

And if you have quoted or sourced anyone in the content, let them know! They just might share it with their audience.

Other ideas you can use to boost traffic include: creating an infographic for your content, retargeting your audience, or sending an email newsletter.

It’s also beneficial to repurpose/recycle/upcycle! This will help you get the most out of the content you’ve already worked hard to create.

And as Michelle said, don’t be afraid to share your work. Be proud of it. Confidently spread the word to others who need it.

Q6: How often should you check in to see if you’re making progress toward your goals with your content marketing plan?

Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly? What’s the right way to go? Consider this advice:

As Lexie pointed out, you won’t always see immediate results, so don’t get frustrated and throw in the towel too quickly. Make adjustments as needed and keep moving forward.

For Gaby, she has a regular process to track the results of her content marketing plan. She reviews everything monthly, quarterly, and yearly. And she keeps an eye out for patterns and opportunities that appear from year to year.

Julia likes to check SEMrush for stats on a bi-weekly basis for all four of the sites she manages.

Maddie prefers a monthly approach. This gives you plenty of data to review without obsessing over the numbers too much.

Q7: If you aren’t seeing the results you hoped for, how do you turn things around?

First, don’t panic. Next, follow this advice:

Lexie suggests reviewing your content. Is it as clear and as helpful as you initially thought? Are there any technical issues? And if you want, you can even directly ask your audience for their thoughts.

Gaby’s advice is to look for patterns, gaps, and changes in your analytics.

And of course, make sure you’re testing to see what works and what doesn’t!

Just remember Julia’s advice: KEEP GOING.

Q8: Which tools will you be relying on to make your job easier and keep you on track with your content marketing plan?

These tools are definitely worth checking out:

Gaby’s favorites include Buffer, Sprout Social, Slack, and Outlook Calendar.

Maddie’s go-to tools include SEMrush and Answer the Public.

BuzzSumo and Yoast are also must-have tools!

Hootsuite, HubSpot, and Asana are also popular tools.

Ready to join the next #ContentWritingChat? We chat on the first Tuesday of every month at 10 AM Central! Just follow @ExpWriters and @writingchat for all the latest.

4 replies
  1. Ali Gujjar
    Ali Gujjar says:

    This article is very good .This article is very informative.Kindly share more articles with me.I shall be very thankful to you.Thanks for posting such an informative article.

    Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      If you’d like to receive articles directly to your inbox, I highly suggest signing up for our newsletter! All of our new content will be delivered right to you! We are so happy you enjoyed this recap! Thanks for joining us! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply
    • Cassie B.
      Cassie B. says:

      So glad you enjoyed this recap, Rahul! We hope you come back for more! ~Cassie, Content Specialist at Express Writers

      Reply

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