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Creating a content marketing plan

6 Essential steps to create a content marketing plan

Last Friday, Stephen Bateman took us through his 6 Steps to creating a content marketing plan in the latest Smart Insights-BrightTALK  Digital Marketing Priorities 2013 webcast. At the end of this post we share the deck and recording as requested.

We again had some really interesting questions on the webcast - thanks for those! We covered the majority of them at the time, but Stephen has picked out 3 questions where we thought his answers would be of general interest.

Resourcing content marketing - should we use content curation?

Question: If we don't have enough content experts in-house to create well-rounded content, do you suggest we link to other sources from our site, or should we pay outside sources to create content for us?

Answer: Yes, linking to other sources is known as curating content and is a widely used approach to present yourself as an authority and so become more valuable to your audience. Content curation can help with SEO too.

I see content curation as a key component of content marketing success which needs to integrate with your content creation strategy. I suggest you identify external experts who will write expert content for you in exchange for you can putting them in front of larger audiences they’re able to reach themselves. This can be through a combination of eyeballs to your blog (optimised for content verticals you’re in), your social media promotion with far reaching reach in the appropriate channels + your eNewsletter mailing (assuming you have decent sized list, open and click-though rates) This is a win win partnership, which benefits each party mutually. Paying should only be used as a last resort when you’re sure the benefit will outweigh the cost.

If you're looking for specific ideas on what to curate, I recommend Dan's post on 23 content curation ideas.

How to get the most from existing PDF resources

Question: We've got a huge amount of content, largely trapped in PDF downloads. How can we work out what to prioritise?

Answer: Auditing existing content is tedious detailed work if there is a lot of it. The diagram on slide 29 is your best friend. There are no shortcuts! Once you know what your customers are searching for, and the information, content types they need, and you need to provide to keep them engaged at each stage of their journey, go through your PDFs with a tooth comb and a spreadsheet with labeled columns to track the content, the purpose, epic value of the content and decide how to repurpose the content, in what format for what stage, with which key words, title etc...

The best methods for content distribution

Question: What's the best way to push content externally? Which channels work best?

Answer: Your best channels or outposts for content promotion are those that most closely match the places your audiences like to hang out. It’s in the channels your audiences like to converse and where they actively seek information that you ought to play a role. Remember, do not “push” your content out. Place it tactically, sensitively.

Using social outposts for broadcast will abuse social media protocol and turn people away. Engage, engage, engage. That means listen, converse, and restrain from using sales and marketing messages. Even in your direct outposts like Email newsletters. Social media content promotion is a skill that requires time and patience to master. It’s like learning a new language. Studying a phrasebook won’t get you in. You need to live and immerse yourself in the channels.

See these 14 simple steps + tools to help find relevant influencers

Content planning slide deck and webcast

Sharpen Your Content Marketing In 6 Clear Steps from Stephen Bateman

By Dave Chaffey

Dave is CEO and co-founder of Smart Insights. He is editor of the 100 templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources used by our Expert members in more than 80 countries to Map, Plan and Manage their digital marketing. For my full profile, or to connect on LinkedIn or other social networks, see the About Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights.

Dave is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Emarketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.

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