How to Build Your 2019 Content Marketing Plan

18th, 2018
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Marketing Strategy
18th, 2018
Keyhole - Digital Marketing Agency - Joe Dudeck
Joe Dudeck
President + Founder
Categories: Marketing Strategy

As 2018 comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about your content marketing plan for 2019. A good content marketing plan helps you set your marketing strategies on the right course to achieve your company’s business goals and objectives. It serves as a high-level plan that guides the direction of your team’s campaigns, goals, and growth throughout the year.

This annual planning process can be overwhelming and time consuming — we know because we do it every year for ourselves and our clients — and so we put together a framework to help you build your content marketing plan.

Create Content Marketing Objectives

Review the objectives you set in place for 2018 and decide which ones should stay as they are, which ones need to be revisited, and which ones are missing for 2019. Look at the following three areas:

1. Goals: What qualitative results must you accomplish in 2019?

2. Metrics: How will you quantitatively measure progress towards your goals?

3. Strategies: How will you reach your goals, generally speaking?

Develop Audience Personas

You may already have customer or audience personas built out from previous marketing strategies. If so, revisit them when creating your 2019 plan. If you don’t already have audience personas, then ask yourself: who are we trying to reach with your marketing messages? Be as specific as possible, and even consider developing 3-4 “characters” that embody the answers to the following questions:

  1. What is their demographic information (age, location, gender, ethnicity, etc.)?
  2. What are their education and income levels?
  3. What do they do for a living?
  4. What does a day in their life look like?
  5. What are their pain points? What do you help them solve?
  6. What do they value most? What are their goals?
  7. Where do they go for information?
  8. What experience are they looking for when seeking out your products or services?
  9. What are their most common objections to your product or service?

Strategize Solutions

This is the step to evaluate the strategies you had in place for 2018, and keep what’s working and reimagine what isn’t working. Ask yourself: how do your services match the needs of your target audience?

1. Develop a unique value proposition: What’s the primary reason someone should buy from us and not the competitor? You may already have a unique value proposition, in which case, use the new year to evaluate whether it still holds true, or if your company has changed and therefore warrants a change in your value proposition.

2. How do your services solve problems or improve situations for your customers?

3. What specific benefits can customers expect?

4. What is something the competition cannot or does not offer?

Once you’ve answered these questions, create a list of the following categories for your company: pain points, goals + desires, features, benefits. This information will help guide inspiration for future content creation.

Identifying Your Customers' Pain Points
How to stand in your customers' shoes.

Research Your Competitors

Ask yourself: who are we competing against for customers? Then, identify similarities, strengths and weaknesses in a bullet pointed list for each competitor.

Evaluate Your Content

Take a look at your 2018 content and ask yourself: what’s working and not working with your current marketing strategy? List out the highlights from 2017 for “what’s working” and another list for “what didn’t work.”

Drill down those highlights and make specific lists for:

  • Blog content
  • Social Media
  • Website
  • SEO
  • Public relations + Advertising
  • Any other marketing strategies you had in place for 2018.

Ask yourself:

  • What sticks?
  • What should you fix?
  • What should you add to the mix?
  • And what should you nix?

Generate New Content Creation Ideas

Once you’ve analyzed your content strategy from last year, brainstorm and research new content creation ideas for next year. Ask yourself: What new things can we explore this year to find new customers?

1. Identify new customer goals → sales, site visits, social media followers, etc.
2. Develop new customer strategies → consider the following:

  • Facebook Advertising
  • Instagram Contests
  • Google Adwords
  • Content Pillars
  • Videos

Solidify Your Budget

Create a spreadsheet, play with numbers and get really clear to determine which strategy ideas are realistic, and which ones may need to wait.

It can be very exciting to think about how you can elevate your business with your content marketing strategy in 2019. Give yourself the time and space to create a thorough marketing plan that you feel confident presenting to your team. At Keyhole Marketing, we exist to help you tell the very best version of your story. We’d be happy to help in the creation of your marketing plan or assist in putting that plan into action. Don’t hesitate to reach out, we do our best strategizing over coffee or beer.

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