For Content That Delivers, Plan Before You Write

The Smarter Message for Better Business and SalesWhat’s going on with your company site, your Facebook Page, your Twitter account? (Even know?) Do visitors see high value posts, useful news, helpful links—even periodically updated copy on your website’s static pages? Or, is your content languishing in the pre-development stage? Either way, you’ll want to read this.

Whether you’re 1) busy creating content for your company site (and other online real estate), 2) you don’t yet get the benefits of content, or 3) you simply haven’t started creating content that attracts those you wish to reach and engage, listen up.

 

A key to the best results from the content you create and deploy is: planning.

Many companies waste time, effort and energy posting content that falls short for a variety of reasons. Here are just some of them:

• The focus isn’t your target audience, but you

• It isn’t relevant to the viewers you need to act

• It doesn’t engage

• It isn’t tied to your business goals and site objectives

(This isn’t new. Before we ever enjoyed today’s online opportunities, many companies produced collateral, advertising and more that missed the mark for the same reasons.)

As businesspeople, most of us know how essential planning is. But too many forego the planning process where their content and copywriting efforts are concerned.

Think of it this way. When you have a full understanding of where you want to go, and why, you can select the best steps to get you there. When you don’t, you can’t. Which leaves you going nowhere.

 

Today, content comes in lots of forms and is used in a variety of ways.

And that’s exciting. How to make the most of your opportunities to communicate online? Start the process with a plan.

Your Content Marketing Plan is one of the most valuable business tools you’ll ever have. Here’s a taste of what I address when I’m creating a Content Marketing Plan that I hope my clients will use to focus marketing efforts, stay on track, stay motivated and get specific results.

1. Your specific business goal and channel objective.
2. Your target audience.
3. The action you need from prospects and/or customers to reach that objective, that goal.
4. The message you should convey.
5. When and how you should you convey it—and where it should appear.
6. The resources you can allot to content marketing.
7. The ways you’ll follow up.
8. How you measure success.

Your plan may also address your competition, analysis and measurement, benefits and costs. It can include whatever you feel needs to be there to provide content marketing guidance going forward. The more carefully you consider these and other topics, the more efficient and powerful your content marketing can be. Which can mean results that, combined with other sales efforts, will make you very happy.

 

Content can play an important role in a company’s ongoing viability.

To ensure yours is most effective, insist on the planning stage before you start writing, select images, shoot that video or record your podcast.

And, just as importantly, be sure to review and adjust your plan at regular intervals, based on events and changes to your business over time.

 

Contact Liz Manning at liz@thesmartermessage.com