Formulating a marketing strategy, especially content marketing strategy begins with a long-term content plan. When it comes to creating a long-term content plan, you want to keep your eyes open and utilize most of your time. Having a plan will keep you well-informed, active, and organized to manage any sudden content changes in marketing tasks.
Think of any long-term plan you have, like health insurance. Your intention here is to get financial benefits when there is any health-related issue. It’s the same with a long-term content plan. With a long-term content plan, you aim to reach marketing goals in a more stable manner.
Planning will show you where your strategy is heading and how relevant is your content to your buyer persona in the buyer’s journey. Are you familiar with the word buyer persona and buyer’s journey?
If not, let’s start by defining the buyer persona and buyer’s journey before jumping on to the core topic.
Buyer persona: A buyer persona is your target customers based on the research conducted on your audience. The motive to define the ideal customers is to create a targeted marketing strategy on them.
Buyer’s journey: The buyer’s journey is the research process your potential customer goes through before they get involved with your business. It’s a journey where your potential customers become aware, consider various solutions, and finally make a decision.
So now you got a brief idea about buyer persona and how they move through the buyer’s journey, you can easily understand the context of this article. This article is entirely based on creating a long-term content plan with respect to buyer persona in different stages of the buyer’s journey.
Three stages to create a long-term content plan
Well, when you build a long-term content plan, you will need to bring some modifications to the ongoing plan to stay relevant. But that doesn’t mean you change everything in your plan. A little tweak in the plan is an on-going process.
The discussed three stages would help you stay consistent and build a long-term content plan.
1. Set a marketing goal
No business plan is complete with a goal, so likewise, the content plan is also incomplete with a goal. When you set a goal, it helps you stay focused. Ensure that you’re setting a content goal with regard to your buyer persona.
Additionally, when you set a goal, each piece of content created for marketing should be tied to a goal that is directly related to the overall goal of the organization. The major objective of setting a goal is to generate guidelines that explain what you want to achieve for your organization. The goal must be strategically formulated, which should also define every step in it.
In order to have a well-directed and focused goal, you need to set a SMART goal. Your goal should SMART- Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
Let’s know these elements one by one.
To have a specific goal, you need to consider 5″W” Questions- Who, What, Where, When, and Why.
- Who– Who is your target customer in your goal? You have to define the people involved in your goal.
- What– What you want to accomplish? You need to identify what you want to achieve.
- Where– Where the goal is to be achieved? You need to finalize the place or platform where you should set a goal.
- When– When you want to achieve the goal? You need to look for the right time to achieve a goal so that you can get more from it.
- Why– Why do you want to achieve a goal? You also need to clearly define the purpose of the goal.
Your goal needs to be measurable to determine the progress of your task and to be able to track each step of your goal. To make your goal measurable, you need to have an answer for the following question
- What is the progress indicator?
- How much have you achieved?
The goal needs to be challenging, but it should be achievable too. To check whether your goal is achievable or not, you need to be answerable for the following question:
- Do you have resources to achieve the goal? If not, what is the alternative?
- Have other people done it successfully before?
The goal should be realistically achievable with the available resources at a given time. The relevancy of the goal should answer the following question
- Can you commit to achieving the goal?
- Is the set goal realistic and within reach?
The goal must have a start and finish date. If the goal doesn’t have a proper time frame, people involved in the goal will not have a sense of urgency. Hence, there is no motivation to achieve the goal. You should have an answer to the following question to set a timely goal.
- Does the goal have a deadline?
- By when do you want to achieve a goal?
Your SMART goal can be to increase the number of traffic to your website from 2000 to 2500 at the end of this month by publishing a blog post.
2. Audit content
Auditing is the best way when you’re working to build a long-term content plan. It will help you find out an opportunity to create content for your buyer persona in the buyer’s journey. You can categorize auditing in two categories- Content audit and Even- based audit.
In a content audit, you need to identify all the resources your business is using to attract and engage the customers. Organize the content audit, which includes Content Title, Buyer’s journey stage, Lifecycle stage, content format, targeted buyer persona, topic, and note that provide value to the content.
Have a look at the image of the worksheet below to get an idea about the content audit.
To perform even- based audit, you need to take up-coming projects or events that involve content. It’ll give you an opportunity to figure out how you can connect the content with the buyer persona in the buyer’s journey.
For instance, the image below is the worksheet of the event-based audit.
In this way, you can organize your blogs to create good content for your buyer persona.
3. Identify buyer persona in the buyer journey
Knowing your buyer persona is important to create a long-term content plan. This is a crucial step because you’re creating content to attract and engage buyer persona so that they can move from one stage to another stage in the buyer’s journey.
At the very beginning of this article, we’ve discussed buyer persona and buyer’s journey. Now let’s learn about it to get more insight.
Identifying an ideal buyer persona will help you create relevancy and tailor the blog to build a long-term content plan. If you are having trouble identifying your ideal buyer persona, you can discuss it with your team, or else you can divide your audience on the base of demographic, geographic, background, and match categories with the goal. See which category matches your goal in the best way.
The buyer’s journey has three stages- awareness stage, consideration stage, and decision stage.
This is the first stage of the buyer journey where people have a problem and are looking for the solution. In this stage, they’re trying to learn to solve the problem. You can attract the persona by publishing blogs, social media posts, educational videos, etc. The main intention should be to give information to educate your prospects.
In this stage, you’re helping your persona to take a decision. You can talk about the product or services that are offered by your business. You can encourage people to take the next step by conducting webinars and live events, podcasts, etc. The goal in the consideration stage is to address the question and solve the problem.
In the decision stage, people are likely to buy your product. They would like to know more about the product or service you offer before they make the final decision. You can convince people by offering free trials, live demo, product comparison, etc. The objective here is to help prospects take an informal decisions.
Now you can create a content plan for buyer persona in the different stages of the buyer’s journey. Make sure, whenever you’re creating content, you’re addressing the persona’s question and you’re giving complete solution to their problem.
Following these steps will definitely help you build a long-term content plan. But what you also need to know is, the long-term content plan is an evolving process. At some point, you might have to bring some changes in your plan by using some tactics to reach the goal. A good plan will always have a definite goal and gives direction to your marketing efforts.