Generating more leads and conversions in order to grow your business online begins with effective content marketing.
Your content marketing should be informed by a strategy that clearly articulates who you’re targeting, through what means, how often, and for what reason.
This strategy will then underpin your daily content creation and distribution so you are continuously attracting prospects to your website to increase leads and sales.
What does a content marketing plan include?
In online marketing, ‘content’ is simply any written, audio, or visual media that you create about your business, products or services.
This content is then used to attract clients with the intention of finding out more about you, engaging with you, or buying from you.
There are different types of content and the format that you use will largely depend on your target audience, where they connect with you online and how they like to receive content.
The most common types of high-converting online content include:
- Social media posts – images and captions
- Email sequences
- Checklists and Guides
- Case studies
Your content marketing is all about planning the creation and distribution of your content to your audience via difference marketing channels.
What does a content marketing plan look like?
Creating content purposefully should always be your main goal for your overall content marketing. You may have specific content marketing plans for individual campaigns – for example, to drive traffic to a new product or service. But you should always have a content plan that supports your day-to-day promotional activities.
Your content marketing strategy sits above your plan and drives your decisions at a strategic level. Your content marketing plan is a deeper dive into your content marketing strategy.
The purpose of having a content marketing plan is to be able to schedule and track your marketing efforts.
Recording data associated with each piece of content will help to determine its effectiveness at driving results. The results you’re seeking will vary and could be linked to the number of website visitors, clicks, sign-ups, and sales.
Your content marketing plan will become a living document that tracks the:
- Types of content you’re going to create (e.g. blog posts, social media posts, emails)
- Purpose of the content (e.g. inform, educate, engage)
- Release dates for each piece of content
- Metrics and measurements associated with each piece of content (e.g. page views, link clicks, opt-in sign-ups, sales)
If you don’t already have one, you can get our content marketing planner here.
Another important element of your content marketing plan will be the type of traffic you’re looking to attract. In online marketing, there are two different types: organic and paid.
Organic vs paid traffic
When you’re focussing on increasing organic traffic to your website, you’re looking to attract visitors who find your site from online searches.
Organic traffic is the opposite of paid traffic, which are those visitors who find your site from paid ads. These ads can appear all over the web, including search results, YouTube recommendations, retargeted banner ads, and social media platforms.
Although both drive traffic to your website, organic traffic is considered to be the most cost-effective in the long run and the most valuable traffic source for businesses.
The most common way to drive organic traffic to your website is via a search engine optimised (SEO) blog.
When your blogs are optimised for search they are likely to be returned higher in the search results, and research from Backlinko tells us that the #1 result in Google’s organic search results has an average click through rate of 31.7%.
When your content is driving all this organic traffic to your website you can then work on increasing leads and conversions for ongoing business growth.
But to get the traffic flowing you need to have a holistic SEO blog plan in place.
How to create an SEO blog plan
Ideally, you will already have the strategy to help guide your blog plan. You’ll know the purpose of your blog posts (e.g. engage, inform, or educate) and you’ll know the timing of your posts and the calls to action you’ll be making for each (e.g. to read more, to sign-up, to buy). So all that’s left to do is create your blog posts.
And we cannot stress this enough: keyword research is imperative to the success of your blog posts.
First, begin with keyword research
When done correctly, researching keywords for your blog plan does two things:
- Gives you a list of search phrases and terms that a lot of people are searching for, and
- Gives you a list of search phrases and terms that your website can legitimately rank for.
Just as there is no point writing about a topic no one is searching for, there is also no point in writing about a topic that is very competitive, which may make it difficult for your website to rank high in search results.
It’s finding this sweet spot – a list of keywords that enough people are searching for that relate to your business, which aren’t hugely competitive – that can make all the difference to your organic traffic and the ROI of your content marketing plan.
Next, structure your blog post for optimal performance
A perfectly optimised blog post is all about knowing the technical side of SEO and knowing how to create connections with your audience to encourage them to take action.
You could say there is a copywriting science to an SEO blog.
Once you know how to structure your blog post correctly, you will then need to SEO the post to ensure that you are covering all the factors that Google considers before they rank your content in search results.
Then, plan your content with plenty of lead-in time
There is one particular downside to organic content marketing – and that is the time it can take to rank in search results.
Paid marketing will get you faster results but once you stop your ads, your traffic drops. Organic marketing takes longer to see results, but once you see them (and you continue your efforts), then your traffic continues and/or increases.
Once you’ve got your keywords and you’ve structured and optimised your blog posts, you will want to plan out the distribution of the content well in advance.
Here at Optimise and Grow Online we advise clients to plan ahead to ensure that they are consistently releasing relevant content.
Consistently releasing new content is great for your marketing because:
- You are staying top of mind with your leads and customers, which creates trust and credibility, and
- Your website is continuously being updated, telling Google that you are relevant and current.
Of course, when you release a new blog post you don’t just ‘post and pray’ for results. You need to actively distribute the post via your other marketing channels, such as social media and email. These distribution activities and associated timelines should also be included in your content marketing plan.
The secret sauce of a content marketing plan that attracts clients organically
The secret sauce to attracting clients organically is to stick to your content marketing plan and stay consistent!
It can take a while (I’m talking months not days) to get the wheels turning and turn your content marketing plan into a well-oiled content marketing machine. Once you start, you most definitely need to keep going!
Master your content marketing with our Content Marketing Toolkit.
Our Content Marketing Toolkit includes the Content Marketing Planner Template we use for planning with our clients and our own content marketing schedule. Get your copy here.