Why we talking about Planning a Long-Term Content Strategy:
- If you run out of content ideas.
- Creating content for a long time but not getting results.
- Creating content but not getting customers or engagement.
- If you don’t have a content strategy it is like You are shooting in the dark, in the hope that everything will work out as you work hard.
A long-term content strategy provides a roadmap for your content.
By investing in your long-term content marketing plan, you’re investing in the future of your business.
Data shared by Hubspot:
- 1/3 of B2B teams don’t have a dedicated content team.
- 52% of B2C companies have a content department party-of-one.
- 69% of top-performing B2B content teams have a documented strategy.
How you can create a long-term content marketing strategy for your business?
In 5 steps you will get your long-term content strategy.
Identify your DESIRED Outcomes: Step 1
“The trouble with not having a goal is that you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.” — Bill Copeland
Goat setting is the first step in any field whether it is marketing or starting a new business.
Just think for a second you don’t have a goal, and you don’t know what you want from your actions/work it means you only going to waste your time, effort, energy, and money.
So how to create a goal for your content?
Ask these questions you will get:
- Why I am creating content?
- What do I want from my content?
- What are your overall business goals?
- Why was there a need to look towards content creation?
Most answers you will get like:
- For sales
- Raising brand awareness
- To earn money(this is not a goal)
- Creating loyal customers for your business
- Letting people know you exist
- Everyone creating(trending)
- Increasing online sale
and many more…
If you sit with pen and paper for 10 minutes and question yourself you will get your goal on the paper(this is important don’t miss please).
Now you have a goal.
You are ready for content creation but before entering the battlefield we need to who is our competitor, what is his strategy, what is he doing, and what is he not doing a complete birth chart.
Spy on your COMPETITOR and get ahead: Step 2
If you’re a true warrior, competition doesn’t scare you. It makes you better. Andrew Whitworth
Why competitor analysis is important:
- From this, you will able to find a market gap and your market that your competitor is not paying attention to.
- You can able to take advantage of your competitor’s failure.
- You will know what is their content strategy and what should you make.
SWOT analysis we talk about in some seconds.
Before that, you can also do this stuff for competitor analysis.
- List three players that you consider to be your main rivals when it comes to content creation.
- See their last 3 months' content strategy.
- See what their audience talks about.
- Which type of tools is your competitor using?
- Their content length, observing each piece of content.
Let’s talk about SWOT analysis:
If you are a marketing or MBA person then you must know this very well.
S — Strength
W — Weakness
O — Opportunites
T — Threats
On SWOT analysis you will find many courses, hours of videos, and 10,000-word articles but I will touch only as much as you need.
You must have come to know from the word itself what it is.
What is your strength? This is your unfair advantage.
In this, you are very good.
As a business any type of content that you put online And on that you have the most engagement you need to double down it.
This is your strength, you need to find it because everyone is different.
Weakness in simple words:
If anything takes a long time,
you don’t like,
you want to do but you not doing,
or lack in something where you want to improve
or anything you want to change all these come in the weakness section.
If you find your weakness you will get your strength.
If you find your weakness then work on it.
Double your strength (strength = result) because of this people love you.
In weakness see where you are lacking and where else you can improve.
For this, you need to keep an eye on:
trending social media stuff,
what things are in demand,
what people want,
and what new emerging stuff people like all these are opportunities for you.
“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” — Albert Einstein
As a business, you should have your weapon ready for opportunities.
If you miss you miss it’s not coming again.
In simple words what does your competition do very well?
Because of this threat, you book less profit or you get fewer customers, and you spend more money on marketing all these things happen.
For this, you need to observe your competition, market, and economic trend where money is flowing, and your customers to overcome this threat.
But I think if you working on quality plus when You see the customer’s pain as your own pain then this threat doesn’t matter that much to you.
But always keep your eyes.
Your strength is also for someone their threats.
We completed our SWOT analysis, and now turn our analysis into action.
A detailed article on SWOT analysis
Your Customer AVATAR: Step 3
In the first steps, we define our goal and what we want, plus also get to know about competitors this thing helps us to see more clearly who is our customers and for whom we are going to create our content by putting a lot of time, and effort.
The Buyer Journey happens in 3 stages:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Decision stage
And content marketing serves every journey of a buyer very well.
The Awareness Stage means your prospect is experiencing and expressing symptoms of a problem or opportunity by talking on social media OR by searching starting stage problems or by commenting on your content.
In the Consideration Stage, it is like your buyer came to an intermediate position where your prospect clearly knows his problem or opportunity doing intense research and searching for some product that will help him to achieve his goals but not in buying posting.
The Decision Stage means now that all effort that you put in your content going to give you the best ROI here you actually make money.
And for all these stages you need a long-term content strategy that helps your future buyer bring to your door.
As a content team or if you creating content for your business you need to consider all 3 stages if any stage you miss you lose tons of customers.
How to create a Customer Avatar?
Avtar means your customer whom you will be going to address and sell your stuff.
Here is 11 question that help you to create your Buyer Persona or Avatar:
- What is their age, gender, education, and occupation?
- What do they do all day?
- Who else is involved in the decision-making process (e.g., spouse, manager)?
- What are their pain points and challenges?
- Where are they hanging out most?
- What do they care about?
- What are your customer's hobbies and interests?
- What are their goals and objectives?
- What would they feel when clicking on your content?
- What obstacles do they face in achieving their goals?
- What motivates them to make a purchase? their financial situation.
In simple words, your customer’s goal is your goal and your customer’s pain is your pain.
Now you have a buyer persona just give it a name.
e.g. John's age is 18 and he wants to earn money but he doesn’t have money which means he wants to earn money without any investment, he has free time, and his favorite social media platform is YouTube where he whole day watching earning-related videos.
The above example that you read is a sample of a buyer persona you also have to create something similar.
Now you have a goal, you know who is your competitor, and you also know for whom you want to create content because of buyer persona But on which topic to create content?
How to select a content topic: Step 4
Now you know who your customers are.
In simple words, you need to cover their all problem, pain points, and also educate them so that they can achieve their goal through your content.
Always keep content ideas docs or a folder where you dump your all ideas.
Address your buyer journey— your content needs to revolve around the buyer journey but how?
Ask some questions:
- What format of content are you going to create web content, videos, or infographics?
- On which platform are you going to create?
- Your content post times(if you have a content team put 7x/week)
When you creating content for the long term you need to have a monthly OR quarterly and if possible then mark a yearly content plan with holidays/occasions/important days.
What type of content will you post in which month or week?
A content calendar gives you a clear picture of your content strategy.
If you are a team then a content calendar will make your process of content creation very easy, every member knows what type of content need to create and easily they can collaborate and contribute.
You don’t need to think of 1-year content topics but when you have your content calendar you can measure results, you know about upcoming opportunities, where you need to focus, and where you losing and this also helps you to never run out of content ideas.
Planning for Scheduling and Distribution
There are so many CMS that help you to automate your posting but I watched Neil Patel's interview he says — when I schedule content on Facebook I get less reach but when I post stuff manually then I get more reach.
But as an agency or business maybe this is not possible to post everything manually. So you can choose a CMS I love HubSpot you do some research and choose according to your needs.
Repurposing of content is also important in the content creation world there is a rule for content distribution called an inverted pyramid.
In the above, you created very deep research long-form content then you repurpose that content in medium then small, and at the end you reach where your content becomes a small piece of that long-form content(narrowing down).
It is like
Your created Newsletter -> then Blogpost -> LinkedIn post -> Tweets also you can extend to YouTube videos -> Reels -> Shorts.
No matter how good content you create if distribution is not good then you not going to succeed.
Essential Content Style Guide: Step 5
A brand isn’t built in one day but one day brand becomes.
So you need to have some SOP some principles that you going to follow, and communicate through in your content.
Decide all these things first, and write and paste them on your wall so that you don’t miss anything.
- Brand Identity: Brand voice, brand values, and mission statement.
- Communicating and Writing Style: Voice and tone of your communication, sentence, and content structure.
- Formatting and Presentation: Logo, color, typography, layout, design, images, and graphic storyline.
- Content-Type: blog, social media post, videos, etc.
- SEO and Editorial Guidelines: Instruction, the editing process, fact-checking, attribution, etc.
I didn’t share more about content style because I didn’t want to bore you and this stuff is enough as far as you need to start your long-term content creation journey.
Having a Long-term content strategy not only helps you in creating content but this helps you in consistency, maintaining a strong online presence, and engaging your audience to help in branding trust.
The process of creating content becomes easy and efficient and easy to adapt if any fresher joins you also you can track Key Performance Indicators(KPIs) over time and make informed decisions based on the data and achieving your business or personal goal becomes very easy.
After reading this article you get:
- Goal setting
- Finding competitors and analysis
- Finding Gap
- SWOT analysis
- Buyer persona
- Buyer stages
- Content strategy
- Content calendar
- Distribution and scheduling of content
- Ideas for content creation
- Content style
PS:) After creating every piece of content always see its analytics this helps you to identify where to need to improve or which type of content need to publish more.
This is the best article that I have written so far took 8 days and 35+ hours.
My new article for a new writer — https://medium.com/@ranjanmishramed/how-to-create-a-writing-portfolio-df32967407eb
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