Content marketing has become one of the most powerful words in marketing and business strategies today – and with good reason, because more and more people and businesses are creating, distributing and using it to promote their business or hobbies.
If you’re an online creator you NEED to have a content marketing plan in place in order to connect with your audience. I’m going to show you how to create a content marketing plan for your online business AND how to come up with an endless amount of content ideas.
This post is going to focus on content creation for your three major content platforms – blog posts, podcasts and video. You could apply it to your social media content, but the techniques I’ll show you are meant to focus on these big three.
You obviously created your website/blog/business for a reason. What’s the reason for creating content for your audience?
Is it to educate them on a topic? To share your ideas? Just for fun? To grow your audience and promote your business? Figure out what your why is first so you can set a PLAN to place to follow – more on that below!
I know it can seem extremely overwhelming to decide which platform to create content on – blogging, podcasts or videos – and I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to do every single one.
If you love to write or are uncomfortable in front of a camera – choose blogging. If you like to talk and chat with others about a topic – try a podcast. If you love to create and editing photography and videos – do a YouTube channel. Choose the content platform that you are inspired by and what you will enjoy doing the most.
Pick ONE of them to be your main content source. Your e-mail marketing and social media can revolve around that.
You may have heard of the phrase content buckets, content pillars or content types – they’re all the same! The key to creating content is to focus on your niche and pick 2-3 topics in that area. Then take it one step further by listing out ideas you could talk about for each – this should flow naturally because it’s your topic of interest!
Here’s some examples:
If I was a food blogger, I would pick three content topics of “healthy eating”, “recipes” and “cooking how-to’s”. Then I would break each down and list some ideas that I had in each category. So it would look something like this:
banana bread recipes
how to make pizza dough
how to use an Instant Pot
Now we’re going to take your content buckets one step further and I want you to ask your audience in a survey what they would like to hear from you. Make it short and sweet, but find out what things they would like to learn about. You can’t create content based on the things YOU want to talk about – it has to be all about your audience.
Once you’ve got your survey results, write down those ideas into your content buckets.
This is my favourite part – my secret weapon of content creation!
So you asked your audience about what they want to hear from you, and now you’re going to discover even MORE research. Head to Google and Pinterest.
Start typing in key phrases that people would search about your topics into the search bars and see what the text predictor shows below. These are common phrases and search terms that people are looking for – so if you create content on these terms HELLO search engine rankings! Not to mention this is exactly what people want to learn.
Here’s our food blogger example for Google and Pinterest:
Write down all those search terms into your content buckets. You should now have a pretty good chunk of ideas!
Click through some of the websites with those search terms in Google or the Pins in Pinterest to get an idea of what other creators are making. BUT DON’T COPY OTHERS FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! Make your content original and make it your own ideas!
Now the most important part of creating content – having a consistent posting schedule. You always want to remain top of mind for your audience, so you need to decide how often you want to publish. Don’t overwhelm yourself!
I would suggest starting out with twice a month if you’re new to a content platform, and then posting weekly. Some online creators even state to their audience when new content is going to be posted – like a new YouTube video every Sunday. That helps build anticipation!
Write out your schedule on a calendar, and set aside a time and day each week/month that you create your content. If you’re shooting photos or videos outside as well, try to pick a time that works with better weather.
Finally, rotate your content buckets each week on a fresh topic. Go through your list of topic ideas and choose them for the next month. For our food blogger example it might look like this:
My second favourite part of content creation – re-purposing it for future use! Read my 20 ways to re-purpose content and why it’s important in my blog post here.
Once you’ve created that content, you can use it on your social media posts, your e-mail to your subscribers, break it down into bullet points or an infographic for Pinterest, and refresh it as needed as technology moves forward.
Go through your content bucket list on a quarterly basis and look for new search terms popping up on the internet. Do another survey for your audience in 6 months and see if their needs have changed!
Remember to include holidays in your content schedule and prepare for any content on those in advance. Adjust any of your marketing or business goals to align with your content creation goals.