You’ve got a great looking website. Your service or products are the best in the biz and you even have one of those blog thingies. Rad. But do you have a plan for that blog thingy? Or, as it’s better known: a content plan?
Your blog is a crucial part of your marketing mix. And when we say crucial, we mean really flipping important. But you know this.
Have a look at our content marketing blog just to bolster that know-how of yours. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
Creating, posting and sharing regular content on your website is one of the single most important marketing activities you can do in the current digital ecosystem.
Content informs your audience, builds trust and – when the time comes – hands you a lead who understands your products or services and is ready to buy from you and only you.
Great content cuts down on lead times and increases close rates because when you’ve answered all their questions with great content there’s no need to demonstrate your value by lowering your prices.
Now that it’s crystal clear your blog-thingy is actually a super important part of your business, you’ll be chomping at the bit to head off, bash out a few great write ups and fire them into your blog.
Woooah boy. Wait a moment. It is not enough to just create great content.
Content without a plan in place is like a broken pencil: pointless. Here’s why.
Google likes a plan
“But we just blog when we feel like”
I hear this far too often. It’s time to face the music, people: Intermittent blogging will only take you so far.
Google likes new, shiny content. Regularly updated websites are Google’s jam. The ones that get updated often are crawled more regularly which pushes them up the search rankings.
However, new content alone is no longer enough to come out on top in a crowded market place, because Google asks more of us than just slinging the odd blog at the wall and hoping it sticks.
The reason for this is really simple:
Your content needs to be relevant, engaging and highly focused on addressing your customer’s questions.
Think of it this way: imagine if every customer you could potentially work with all took to Google (other search engines are available) at the same time and each typed in a search query.
They wouldn’t all type in the same thing, even if some of them were asking the same question.
If I wanted to know what flowers I should plant in my garden during Spring (I do love my gardening), I might type in “best flowers to plant in spring”. Other flower-power hobbyists might type in “what should I plant in spring?” or “tips for Spring gardening” or “how to know what flowers to plant in spring”.
We all have individual approaches to how we ask Google the same question. The more relevant your content is to answer those questions, the more likely it is that Google will show your content to potential customers.
And don’t forget: Blogging is not a fire and forget marketing method
The odd blog here and there means that you’re only serving a small proportion of your potential audience because you’re only answering one question out of a hundred.
Answer all of the questions and two awesome things happen.
- You will occupy a greater piece of real estate on Google – meaning more pages on your website are being served as relevant search results.
- Your customers – potential or otherwise – will trust you.
So how do you create a bevvy of great, relevant content that will get Google and your customers hot under the collar?
You need a content plan.
I love it when a (content) plan comes together
For your blogging to have meaningful results both in terms of beneficial SEO and building a loyal and trusting readership, you need to plan your content and plan it well.
Plans allow you to really get under the skin of your industry and answer all those important questions. They also stop you from getting overwhelmed by the size of the task in front of you.
Firmly wearing our positive hats however, lots of blog topics means lots of lovely content that your audience are crying out for.
An effective content plan is based on two things: research analysis and clear objectives. This last part is especially important as unless you lay out what the measures of success are – X number of good quality leads for example – then it’s impossible to determine if what you’re writing about is working.
The good news is that there are lots of very groovy tools that can help you figure these out.
Combining tools like answerthepublic.com, Moz.com and Google Analytics you can identify the keywords your site currently ranks for – this can be a little sobering at times, looking at the search volume against the keywords you want to rank for and the kind of questions that your audience is asking around them.
It’s a monster job but gathering this information into a living, breathing document that you can add to and improve over time, will make for stronger content. At a glance of your content plan, you will know what questions you’ve covered, what gaps still need to be filled with content and exactly what your next steps are.
How we can help with your content plan
Your industry knowledge is mighty. But with Google expecting businesses to create regular, highly focused, relevant content – and down ranking those who don’t – it’s never been more important to approach content in a structured and measurable way.
Our Marketing Automation Academy provides an abundance of information on creating content. We also host challenges every three weeks that push members to really action strategic level changes to their marketing. One of these challenges is totally focused on creating a data-driven content plan.
We could just do it for you. And if that's something you'd be interested in, please do get in touch.
But if you're someone who enjoys learning the expertise for themselves and managing your marketing in-house, the academy is the perfect place for you to get the support and know-how you need.
Find out more about the academy and how to sign up by hitting the button below.