In today’s world of influencers and social media stardom, it’s easy for us to get fooled into thinking that becoming famous on the gram is the best method to work your way into customers’ hearts (and pockets!)
While being active on social media is a great idea for small businesses, having a well-put-together content marketing strategy for your ecommerce website is how you’ll win the hearts of the customers you want!
Luckily, the guardian angels of all-things-content related have developed a solution to help us navigate the overwhelming depths of content marketing: a content plan.
What is a Content Plan?
A content plan outlines the content you should create and how you should actually go about it. Think of your content plan as a tool that supports your marketing strategy and helps you attract customers no matter where they are in the buyer’s journey.
To top it off, content plans are amazing at streamlining content creation processes, leaving little room for those “tiny hiccups” that inevitably crop up every now and then.
Building a successful online presence that converts followers, viewers or readers into customers would be pretty much impossible if your content is haphazard, inconsistent, and just not valuable to your target audience.
Therefore, content plans should focus on:
- the purpose of the content.
- how the content will impact your business’s overall marketing strategy.
- who will be responsible for creating each piece of content.
Points to Consider When Creating a Content Plan
Before we get into how to create an eCommerce content plan, let’s first go over some of the main factors you need to think about to make sure your content plan delivers results:
Do You Understand Your Target Audience?
In order to create valuable content, you need to know who the content is going to be directed at. Once you understand your target audience, you’ll be able to figure out what kind of content they’d want to see and interact with.
Need help understanding your audience? Get our Top 10 Market Research Tools
Which Platform Will You Be Using To Deliver Your Content?
The goal is to publish your work on the platform/s that members of your target audience frequently use. I mean, all your efforts would be in vain if you post content on Facebook when all your potential customers are hanging out on Instagram or TikTok. If you’re aiming for eCommerce success, you can never go wrong with a consistent blog!
Does Your Content Convey the Benefits of Your Products or Services to Your Target Audience?
Ultimately, the whole point of creating content is to inspire customers to take action. To lead them to that stage, you need to focus on letting them know how they will benefit from what you have to offer.
How Does Your Brand Stand Out From Its Competitors?
Nowadays, the market is saturated with tons of products and services in each industry. A key factor that influences how your business performs is what makes it different from the rest. Your unique selling proposition conveys the value of your products or services to customers.
Looking for branding tips? Check out our Guide to Branding
What Format Will You Use to Deliver Your Content?
Take a look at which content forms have performed well previously in terms of engagement. Does your target audience prefer videos over blog posts? Or maybe blog posts over infographics?
Remember that content can be used in several formats and shared to suit multiple platforms. Repurposing content is a highly valuable technique that’ll save you time while generating improved brand visibility.
An example of repurposing content could be extracting a couple of bullet points from a blog post on your website and sharing them as a story or feed post on Instagram. So, even if you’re using multiple platforms to engage your target audience, your content can still be useful on them all!
How Should You Create Your Content?
This last point of consideration basically covers who will be responsible for creating the content, how they will do it, and finally, who’s in charge of publishing it.
Creating a Content Plan in Just 7 Steps
Now let’s get to the fun stuff and go through how to actually create a content plan. These 7 steps cover everything you need to know from research to ideation and publishing.
1. Define Your Goal
What would you like to achieve by sharing content? Define your goal using the SMART concept. Make sure it is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.
2. Understand Your Target Audience
Who are you writing for? Who does your content need to appeal to in order to generate results? There are several factors to consider when trying to understand your target audience, but the most useful ones are demographic profiles, consumer habits, pain points and the type of content they consume.
3. Brainstorm Topics
Consider what information will be valuable and inspiring to your target audience. You can brainstorm general concepts and then break them down further into individual content topics.
Prioritise ideas for evergreen content on core topics because you will constantly reap the value of it.
Evergreen content will always be relevant to your target audience and will continue to rank on search engines.
Think of content such as How-To guides and glossaries: it’s often the case that these types of content won’t change much for years. For sure, you might need to make some slight adjustments in some cases, but the crux of your content will remain relevant and valuable for years to come.
4. Conduct Keyword Research
Using keyword research is one of the best ways to boost your online traffic.
In a nutshell, the results of your keyword research will let you know which keywords you need to include in your content so that they’re visible to search engines. Where do search engines fit into the picture, you ask? Well, they direct users to the online content they’re looking for, so if your content has the right keywords, get ready for more traffic coming your way!
5. Choose a Channel to Share Your Content
Choosing a content channel can get a little tricky because there are just so many to choose from. Focus on the ones that most of your target audience use. It’s not a good idea to attempt being active on multiple channels if your target audience will only come across it on just a few of them.
Remember, consistency is key to successful content, so focus on providing quality content on the most important ones instead of trying to be active on a bunch of them and dropping the ball on consistency and quality. By maintaining a relevant and consistent blog on your eCommerce site, you’ll be well on your way to making your content marketing strategy a success!
6. Promote Your Content
Make the most out of your content creation efforts by making sure that it reaches as many people in your target audience as possible. Having a subscription-based newsletter or mailer is one of the most common ways to promote content. Content sharing platforms also offer tools to promote content such as paid ads.
7. Measure and Analyse How Your Content Performs
In this step, you’ll need to focus on whether your content has delivered the results you envisioned when you defined your goals in the first step. Measuring and analysing content performance is the key to developing and improving your content marketing strategy.
Up Your Game With Our Content Plan Template!
We know that it can sometimes be quite overwhelming to navigate the ins and outs of these intricate processes, so we’ve developed this content plan template to help turn your content woes into wins!
Download your FREE Content Plan template
Still making your way through your online business journey? Check out our Hitchhiker’s Guide to Making Money Online where we spill the tea on everything you need to know about making your online business a success!
Looking for the latest business content? Follow us on LinkedIn for news, job opportunities and more.