How to Break Down Your Content Marketing Creation Process
Not everyone has social media managers at their disposal, and creating your own small business social media content strategy is no small task. It requires research, time, and a lot of thought and effort to connect with your customers online. Nevertheless, it is crucial, as content marketing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads and retain customers.
The easiest way to tackle the content mountain is with a plan. I always resort to breaking down a big task into small bites, and any content marketing plan, big or small, gets the same treatment. By creating a project, you spend time building a foundation for success and help steer the way as you go. Like most social media marketing efforts, your plan starts with a few key steps.
Content Creation Process
1. Do your research
Learn about your target audience and what they need from you. Ask yourself questions like, who are they? What do they care about? Where will I find them online? A tool to use at this point is a buyer persona, which will help you define your ideal customer. A buyer persona will help determine your target audience's personality traits, where they live, what they do, their interests, and behaviors. This will tremendously help create content that resonates with your target audience on social platforms.
Learn about your industry/company/competitors online through social listening. Look at what social posts are working with your target audience and which are not. Pay attention to any content gaps you or your competitor might have, trending topics, and formats that resonate with your target market.
2. Set Your Goals
Before you design your content goals, consider your overall business goals and how your content strategy will align with those. Are you trying to increase sales? Do you want to position yourself, your team, or your brand as experts in the field through thought leadership? Do you want to build awareness of your business in your region? Answering these questions will help you create a strategy in sync with your business goals.
From there, draft SMART goals to ensure your content goal is specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based. This goal(s) will address where you want to go, how far, if it's achievable, what you want your audience to do, and when you want them to do it.
3. Get Creative with your Content Planning
By now, you likely have a good list of search terms you know your audience is using to find businesses like yours. This SEO research is invaluable when planning as it can help you set a direction for your content aligned with your digital marketing goals.
I also like to take this time to be creative with a brain dump. I want to build a topic map of more significant to minor topic "branches," which helps me visualize the broader topics. Between this and my SEO research, I am seldom out of content ideas.
This is the perfect time to start working on your social media content calendar - which can be as simple as a printable calendar to an intricate spreadsheet.
4. Draft & Publish Your Digital Content
Pulling it together in a draft is fun and a bit exhausting. Again, breaking this down into smaller bites helps when I feel overwhelmed with the process.
Keep in mind that you have a few assets already at your disposal.
You know your audience, so keeping them in mind while creating content can help when you feel like it's a little much.
You understand you should be authentic. I like to imagine I'm telling someone (whatever the content is about) over a cup of coffee. Write your blog post or social media post in that frame of mind.
You know to make your content is clear and easily understood. People are overwhelmed with content coming at them all day long. That means you're lucky if yours gets a glance. Making sure it's easy to digest with crystal clear messaging will help you connect.
You can schedule posts in advance using (free) content creation and scheduling tools like Canva or Meta Business Suite's planner.
5. Promote Your Content
Your draft is perfect, and you've scheduled your content to go live. Now what? It's time to promote. Did you write a blog post about an upcoming event in your niche? Include a link in your newsletter. About to drop a new podcast with a well-known guest from your industry? Blast it on your social media platforms. Promoting your content is crucial to getting interaction from your target market.
6. Use Social Media Analytics to Measure Your Progress
Nope, the job is not over. Analyzing how your content performed is critical to doing it better next time. Look at what went well, what didn't, what types of content those were, and what times and days worked best. Track these social analytics and look for trends that you can use to guide your next plan.
Research your audience and search terms, identifying what they would find high-quality content to be
Set goals to point your way
Using your Search Engine Optimization research and brainstorm topics
Develop your content plan integrating your research
Dive into the content creation process by drafting and scheduling your posts
Schedule your content in advance using social media marketing tools and apps
Promote your content on your social networks and other digital marketing channels
Analyze your content for insights into your strategy