What we will cover
What’s the difference between a business, marketing and content strategy
While there is likely to be some overlap, it is useful to separate your business strategy from your marketing plan from your content strategy because each have a different purpose.
First, the job of your business strategy is to help your company grow by ensuring you can continue to turn a profit while exploring avenues for growth. Once a target market has been established, the business must allocate a marketing budget and then measure return on marketing investment.
The goal of your marketing plan is to assess and maximise demand for the company’s products and services, and for that, it needs to be focused on understanding the customer.
Your content strategy supports your marketing plan by setting out the type of content you will need to produce, the channels you will be using and the timing of your campaigns.
Before focusing on how to create a content strategy, we will look at what needs to go into your marketing plan
How to create a marketing plan
Your marketing plan will help you set your marketing budget for the year while ensuring you are targeting the right audience in the right way.
To begin with, you need to get yourself into the mindset of your target customer. Creating a marketing plan involves a fair amount of role play. You will be constantly asking yourself and your team to step into your customers’ shoes.
If you find this difficult (and many business owners and marketing managers do) involving a third party, like Vu, can help. Since they are not invested in your products or services, they will find it more natural to adopt a customer-centric approach.
The first practical task for your marketing team is to create a set of customer personas. A handy tool for helping you with this is to consider your most recent sales. What job role did the customer have? How old were they? What was their gender? What can you say about their personality type?
From there, you can start to draw up broad groups of customer types from which you will develop your customer personas.
Your second practical task is to set a marketing budget. For this, calculate the average amount a customer from each persona spends with you (including upsells, repeat purchases, etc.). Multiply this by the number of sales to get a turnover figure.
This can help you to decide which personas are more valuable to your business so you can focus your marketing on them.
Next, calculate your current customer conversion rate and set a desired turnover target, based on a realistic uplift in conversion rate (we can help you with that).
You can then set a percentage of this aside as your marketing budget. With this budget in place, you’re ready to focus on how to create a content strategy.
How to create a content strategy
The type of content you create as a business has to be aligned to the content consumption behaviour of your customers.
Now that you have some customer persona sketches, you can start fleshing them out with some important questions:
- Would Persona Alice prefer to read a magazine article or watch a TikTok video?
- Is Persona Bill likely to be an Instagram user or subscribe to YouTube?
- Will Persona Keeley read a blog post on her mobile device or on her laptop at home?
From your conclusions, you can work out the type of content you should be creating (blog posts, explainer videos, Instagram stories, etc.), the platforms you should be using and the times when your audience will be most receptive to content.
An essential tool to support your content strategy is a content calendar. This can be as simple as an online calendar on to which you map your content to critical dates in your business year. This should include business and industry-specific events as well as wider social occasions (e.g., public holidays, awareness days, etc.).
A content calendar enables you to plan the deliverables of your content campaigns ahead of time (instead of rushing to get everything together at the last minute).
Ultimately, by serving the right type of content to the right people at the right time, you can increase your conversion rate to meet your target return on marketing investment.
How Vu can support your marketing team
For more detailed advice and practical support in how to create a content strategy and marketing plan, we invite you to bring your team to one of our strategic marketing plan workshops.
We will demystify the process through hands-on exercises and examples tailored to your specific business. For more information on exactly what to expect, visit our dedicated marketing plan workshop page. We look forward to meeting you.
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