As the year comes to an end, it’s time to start thinking about next year’s content marketing plan. 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.
Review the objectives you set in place this past year and decide which ones should stay as they are, which ones need to be revisited, and which ones are missing. Look at the following three areas:
1. Goals: What qualitative results must you accomplish in 2021?
2. Metrics: How will you quantitatively measure progress towards your goals?
3. Strategies: How will you reach your goals, generally speaking?
You may already have customer or audience personas built out from previous marketing strategies. If so, revisit them when creating your 2021 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:
This is the step to evaluate the strategies you had in place for 2019, 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.
Ask yourself: who are we competing against for customers? Then, identify similarities, strengths and weaknesses in a bullet pointed list for each competitor.
Take a look at your 2019 content and ask yourself: what worked and didn’t work with your current marketing strategy? List out the highlights from 2019 for “what’s working” and another list for “what didn’t work.”
Drill down those highlights and make specific lists for:
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:
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 2021. 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.