Content Marketing Strategic Planning

Your success comes from a content marketing planning process that produces a go-to-market action plan complete with a well-defined target audience that includes an understanding of their wants and needs as well as buying process and criteria, a deep understanding of your competitors strengths and weaknesses so you can uniquely position your business with your target audience and an editorial calendar, production schedule, and process including tasks and owners that walk you through how you can successfully execute the plan.

Here’s the typical content marketing strategy development process – it can be customized for your unique needs.

Step 1: Kick-Off

To get our content marketing planning off on the right foot, we focus on the following during our initial meeting:

  • Historical performance: What has been done? What have been the results?
  • Goals and objectives: What would be considered success?
  • Strengths and weaknesses: What resources exist? What can be leveraged to succeed? What needs to be downplayed or strengthened?
  • Target audience: Who are they? What do they like? Dislike? Why? Where are they located? What are their needs, wants, expectation, perceptions?
  • Competition: Who are they? Who do they target? What do they offer and how does it compare? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  • Market Factors: What’s going on in the following areas that might help or hinder your ability to achieve your goals – government/politics? Environment? Economy? Society? Technology?
  • Budget: What are the financial resources that will be dedicated to the implementation of the content marketing plan?
  • Other critical factors: This varies from client to client but typically addresses expectations and assumptions.

Step 2: Target Audience

Though Target Audience is addressed in Part 1 of content marketing planning, this Step is focused on gathering what is not currently known but has been identified as important to know.  This varies from client to client but the goal is to have the following questions answered as best as possible so that segments/personas can be identified.

  • Demographics: Age, gender, education level, marital status, household income, etc.
  • Psychographics: Hobbies and interests
  • Behavioral: What is their purchasing behavior? Are they loyal? The usage rate of the products/services you offer?
  • Geographic: Where are they located – within 10 miles? 50 miles? 100 miles? In-state? Out-of-state? International?
  • What are their pain points? Wants? Needs? Expectations? Perceptions?
  • What are their goals and how can we help them achieve those goals?
  • What are their greatest challenges and how can we help them overcome those challenges?
  • What media channels are they most likely to engage with?
  • What are their preferences in regard to the products/services you offer?
  • What is their buying process – from realization they have a problem/need to purchase?
  • What is their selection criteria at each step of the buying process for the products/services you offer?

Step 3: Content Audit

The purpose of the audit is to identify all content – offline and online – that is shared with your audience as part of your lead generation and nurturing efforts, new customer onboarding, customer retention, and customer loyalty efforts so that it can be evaluated and determined if it can be used as is or with modification.

Additionally, the digital content is evaluated for search engine optimization – keywords, word counts, optimized images and other factors.  This will help improve organic search performance and site traffic.

Step 4: Competitive Scan

Part of this is addressed in Step 1 –  but this Step is focused on gathering what is not currently known but has been identified as important to know.  This varies from client to client but the goal is to have the following questions answered as best as possible so that we can identify opportunities to position your business in a unique, valuable way for your audience – so that you address unmet and/or under-served wants and needs.

Step 5: The Action Plan

This includes what we know, what we need to learn and how we will gather the information so we have a deeper understanding of our audience and segments.

This includes what we have in terms of content, modifications that are required for existing content and new content that needs to be created.

And this includes a plan that lays out what content will be created when it will be created, the tasks involved, owners as well as budgets, projected results and a process for gathering and analyzing performance to determine impact.

My Editorial Calendar and Production Schedule will be used and, if necessary, modified for your unique situation.

Time Frame & Costs

The Content Marketing Strategic Planning service, as described above, is typically completed in 30-days. However, this may vary due to the amount of information that is at hand versus must be gathered and analyzed.

Pricing for this service starts at $4,999.

If you would like more specifics on timing and pricing based on your situation, please contact me for a personal quote.  

Optional Quarterly Campaign Analysis & Improvement

On a quarterly basis, I analyze campaign performance data, recommend if certain efforts should be discontinued or modified and if changes in the market (audience, competition, government/politics, society, economy, etc.) warrant new content/efforts be developed.   This can be a service that I perform for you or a process that I facilitate with your team.  For details, contact me.