Yes, campers, it’s that time of year again. Now that we’ve put away the beach towels and pool noodles, and before the holiday madness sets in, it’s time to sharpen our pencils and get our content marketing strategies ready to rock the coming year.

Yes, “strategy” is one of those words that can strike fear and trepidation in the hearts of marketers — especially if you’re new to the game — yet it’s really quite simple. Not necessarily easy, but simple.

If you want the complete 411 on building a winning content marketing strategy, I suggest you snag your copy of The Content Marketing Coach. For now, check out these excerpts where I map out the three parts that make up the anatomy of a killer plan:

Over the next few pages, we’ll help you put together the three parts of an effective content marketing strategy:

  1. Background: Get down in writing all the research you’ve done and decisions you’ve made in Chapters 9 through 12.
  2. Action Plan: This will be the day-to-day, week-to-week, month- to-month plan of what will get done, when it will get done, who will do it, and how you’ll get from first draft to finished product.
  3. Goals and Measurement: This is where you’ll determine how to track your progress.

Your Strategy, Part 1: Background

As you assemble the background for your strategy, be sure to include answers to the following questions:

  • Who is our target audience? (Remember to include your personas.)
  • What are their interests, their values, their problems, their hopes and dreams for the future?
  • Where are our content ideas going to come from? Which sources, internal and external?
  • Which media will we use (text, audio, video, visuals, interactive), and in what proportion?
  • Which delivery methods will we use (e-newsletters, blogs, social media, etc.), and in what proportion?

Your Strategy, Part 2: Action Plan

In Part 1 of your strategy, you documented the “why” behind your plan. Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty, also known as the who, the what, the when, and the how.

  • Who: Specify the team members who will be involved in the creation of your content.
  • What: Designate the array of topics you will cover in your content.
  • When: What will your posting schedule be for each delivery method, and how will you build in time for research, content creation, editing, proofreading, and approval?
  • How: Specify the processes and procedures behind the creation, approval, publication of your gems of wisdom.

Your Strategy, Part 3: Goals and Measurement

As content marketers, we constantly need to know [to borrow the words of Ed Koch] “how we’re doin’” — how we’re measuring up to the goals we’ve set for ourselves. First we need to determine what those goals are; then we need a plan for measuring our performance and adjusting our course as needed.

The book goes into much more detail, but you get the idea of the basic framework. Like I said, it’s simple, though not necessarily easy — nor is it quick, which is why we’re starting now, right?

Your turn: What are your biggest challenges in creating a winning content marketing strategy for the coming year? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see if I can help!


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