How to Develop Your Content Marketing Strategy in 2018

Content marketing strategy is certainly an ongoing and evolving project. But when it comes down to it, there are 5 basic steps that I apply:

  • Here’s our high-level strategy
  • Goals
  • Topical niche
  • Workflows
  • Tools

The best content marketing strategies are high level and then broken out into tactical pieces for a specified time period. This could be six months, rolling 90 days, and oftentimes calendar (or fiscal) years. It will vary by organization. I’ve seen some focus on a year-long, high level plan because it’s necessary for budgetary purposes.

So if you are running on a calendar year fiscal year, or October through September, or July to June, or something else entirely, it really doesn’t matter. Having an idea of what we want to accomplish in the next budget year is what’s necessary to establish to make sure we ask for the correct budget in time.

For example, a new year might prompt a content marketing leader to decide on the following priorities:

  • focus more on email marketing
  • update workflows through better technology solutions
  • cut back on social media channels
  • blog more (or less)
  • add more video

Of course, the options in digital marketing and content marketing are endless, which is why strategy planning and periodical evaluation are so important to success.

Personally, I prefer to have a rolling strategy that is tied to my budget year, and use a technology solution like ScribbleLive’s Plan product to keep my strategy in one place. It allows content creators to always align their content creation with a stated goal.

If software like this one isn’t an option, I recommend Google Docs as a single source of truth. The main point is to have one central place where your strategy can be communicated to and referenced by your team, and tactical updates can easily be made as necessary.

Either way, writing a strategy down and keeping it top of mind helps us implement and measure it. When we see our goals, tactics and ultimately the outcomes, it helps us be more successful content marketers.

And while we’ve now overpassed the halfway mark of 2017, it’s never too late to start planning and adjusting our plans.

Fortunately, some plans can be put together quickly (think even a matter of days) with the right mindset, and implementation can start pretty much right after. But while that’s possible, there’s still a certain process to follow:

  • Complete buy-in
  • Can-do attitude
  • Finding ways to get started
  • Using the right tools
  • Cutting inefficient workflows relentlessly

And when it comes to blogging, which should be a big part of any content marketing strategy, there are seven steps that I will discuss at WordCamp Pittsburgh on Sept. 9, 2017. So if you’re in the Pittsburgh area, feel free to drop me a note to connect. I’ll share the video of the talk once it’s up on WordPress TV, but for now the seven steps are:

  1. Commit (Seriously!)
  2. Determine the schedule for your editorial calendar! (I would recommend at least weekly)
  3. Document ideas – constantly!
  4. Pick the right tools!
  5. Start writing (at least four weeks out)!
  6. Start measuring to see what works and what doesn’t
  7. Relentless distribution

 


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