Blogging Basics: Content Marketing Strategy – It’s All in The Prep

I presented at Biz Mums in Oswestry at Baby Bird Cafe about how a bit of strategy planning can do wonders for your content marketing success and so I’m taking a section of it for this post.

Oswestry Biz Mums

I’d suggest you read my other blogging posts which shows you the benefits of blogging, the idea of customer profiling and the power of storytelling before you read on, if you’re new to the blogging game.

Let’s start the prep!

The next stage before you put finger to keyboard is to have a think about what you’re going to say online and this is known as a part of your marketing strategy. Like I’ve mentioned so many times if you a) know who you are and b) know who your customers are, then you’ll likely to have a good idea as to what to say online. 

When I’m strategy planning for clients I break down my story ideas into categories:

  1. Over all story – back story of the business, what motivates, inspires, encourages and drives the business.

As an example let’s take a family owned restaurant who was set up by a great grandfather in Italy and who moved to the UK, to share his, fresh, home-made and real Italian food. Now his son owns it and he wants to carry on his legacy of real Italian food. They’re big supporters of local produce, seasonal tastes with a classic Italian feel.

  1.  Seasonal stories –  topics that are on trend, relevant to the brand, creative, fun and informative.

The Italian restaurant knows that food pictures are on trend and are relevant, as well as talking about the benefits of fresh food for physical and mental health, they provide recipe tips and tricks from the chef to make sure their content is helpful, useful, fun and practical.

  1. Promotional stories –  good, services, offers, special events and news.

The restaurant offers 2 for 1 cocktails on Wednesday, a Tuesday night special, room hire for weddings and not forgetting the array of special occasions such as Valentine’s Day, Easter, Christmas and so on.
Goal

It’s All About Balance in Content Marketing

The above should slot into one another nicely and help you to:

  • Define who you are and what you believe in
  • Keep your customers up to date and entertained
  • Drive traffic and sales to your business

Too much of number 1 can look as though you’re a bit selfish and like to go on about yourself. And too little off it, means people don’t really get to know who you are as a brand and so you become faceless.

Too much of number two can make people forget why they’re there and who you are – you just become another information giving site (there’s plenty of them)!

Too much  of number 3 can turn your customers off because you’re over selling which content marketing is not about!

The planning…

Once you’ve figured out what kind of things you want to say online , you’ll need to think about how often you can say them and where.

It’s wise to not over commit or under commit and to find a happy medium.  When I first started blogging I was so excited that I made a commitment to blog every day. After a week, I ran out of steam. I actually wasn’t that interesting and it reflected in my copy.
To get around this I decided to figure less is more and quality over quantity.  I draw up a rough monthly strategy plans for myself which look something like this:

February 

Newsletter: Introduce my audience to my blogging theme.

Blog: Post once a week on the subject of blogging.

LinkedIn: Transfer my newsletter to give people an idea of what they’re getting, to attract signups.

Twitter: (main social network)

Overall Theme: Blogging
Month 1:

  • Get involved  with one Twitter chat a week in some way relating to blogging  
  • Find 1-2 new people to chat with every week
  • Post a blog update about blogging on Mondays & and re-post Thursdays.
  •  Find other resources which talk about blogging and other helpful things and tweet throughout the week.  

Linkedin: (Secondary network)

  • Share my blog posts on there
  • Share images I’ve made for my posts
  • Publish examples of newsletters

You may be thinking wow Chelsea you’re lazy or  that’s too much for me! But there’s no right or wrong. The idea is to find something that’s comfortable for you.  Set yourself small but attainable goals and then go from there. You may find you need to make them smaller or much bigger.  

Turn to-do in to ta-da!

I always invite my clients to go as small as possible because as soon as they see an ounce of success, this  motivates them to do more. Too many times do we set huge goals only to not achieve them and feel disappointed which can demotivate us further.

And what you use to plan is up to you. For me, an Excel sheet is good enough. But a colleague of mine loves to use a colourful planner and another uses a whiteboard.  Blog planner printables are useful also. 

I invite you to block 15 minutes a day for the next week to see how much you can plan for the next month. Be sure to check back and let me know how you get on.

Content strategy planning is one of my area of expertise, it’s something I’ve had chance to refine over the years and I’m more than happy to help.  Send me an email now.

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