Four Components of an Effective Content Marketing Strategy and Plan

Sep 20, 2022
content marketing plan

An effective content marketing strategy is foundational for strong B2B marketing. Content assets drive so many of the marketing efforts of an organization. But, what makes content effective? What are a few things organizations can focus on to create more impactful content? While answers to these questions matter, it all starts with putting a content marketing plan in place. This plan helps guide what content is created and why. What makes up an effective content marketing strategy and plan? We cover a few of the most important components that form a content marketing strategy and plan to help kick-start your B2B marketing.

Conduct a Content Audit

Before formalizing a content marketing plan, it is important to understand where content efforts currently are. A content audit helps form a list of what has been created and outlines everything one needs to know about current content marketing efforts. Assessing content using the 4 R’s is a great way to perform a successful content audit.

  • Remain: A content asset should “remain” if it is still relevant to target audiences and is part of an organization’s content marketing goals.
  • Refresh: Content should be refreshed if the information is still important, but in need of updated stats or sources.
  • Repurpose: If a content asset has substantial, relevant information, it poses a perfect opportunity to repurpose the content. For example, an article can be turned into a white paper or an eBook can be turned into a series of infographics.
  • Retire: If an asset has outdated information, is no longer relevant to target audiences and does not meet content goals, it is best to retire it. While this is the last option in a content audit process, sometimes it is best.

Focus on Characteristics of Target Audiences

Content should always speak to target audiences. One way to do this is to be focused on all characteristics of those audiences. From demographics, firmographics, behavior and psychographics, each brings a valuable set of data points that tell exactly what content will speak to them and why. Consider these key data points to drive your content marketing plan.

  • Demographics: Age, gender, job title and geographical location
  • Firmographics: A company’s number of employees, annual revenue and number of locations.
  • Behavioral: Types of marketing materials they engage with and what products they purchase.
  • Psychographics: Values, pain points and viewpoints on certain topics.

Create a Content Calendar

A content marketing plan is best supported by a content calendar. Without clear planning, content goals can easily be forgotten or not aligned, derailing marketing success. A content calendar helps answer the five “W” questions, who, what, when, where and which.

  • What: What is the type of content being published? Is it a blog or article or a gated asset? What is the topic of the asset?
  • When: When is the content going to be published? When should it be started, reviewed and scheduled?
  • Who: Who is going to develop the content? Who is responsible for reviewing? Who will publish it on the appropriate platforms?
  • Which: Which audiences or personas is the content intended for?
  • Where: Where is the content going to be published?

Establish How to Track Content Success

A content marketing plan would not be complete without defining content marketing metrics and tracking success. While creating and distributing content is a large part of a content marketing plan, it is just as important to know how the content is performing and resonating with audiences. One way to do this is to look at certain website analytics.

  • Pageviews: This metric is a great way to see what content is getting the most traffic. Content assets like blogs, articles and infographics are typically not gated, and pageviews can show which are receiving the most traffic.
  • Acquisition: While acquisition is not a singular quantitative metric, it is crucial to know where traffic to specific content is coming from. Is it via organic search? What about a referral? What source is bringing in the most traffic? This indicates how users are getting to your content and can reveal areas of opportunity to improve on.
  • Form Conversions. Assets such as eBooks and white papers are most often gated and require a form completion to access them. While pageviews help track ungated asset performance, form conversions help track gated asset performance. The more form conversions, the more assets are downloaded, which can be indicative of good performance.

Create a Content Marketing Plan Tailored to Business Goals

A content marketing plan is an important part of all B2B marketing strategies and should be carefully put together to maximize content and overall marketing and business success. The components above will surely put your team on the pathway to achieving all content, marketing and business goals. Looking to put together a content marketing plan for your organization? Marketing Pro Series is here to help. Check out our Content Strategy and Plan Course, designed to help you create a content strategy and plan aimed to generate more leads and revenue.

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