If you have been reading digital marketing blogs, undoubtedly, you must have come across terms like content marketing, engaging users, providing value and so on.
While all that is good, I have seen a lot of people getting confused at some point.
Maybe they are consuming too much information and doing very little to test and see if it’s working for them. Or, they are getting information from the wrong sources.
The easiest way to move forward and achieve content marketing success is when you have a proper road-map planned.
How To Create A Content Marketing Roadmap?
In this post, I’d like to lay out some of the basic steps you can take to create a stellar content marketing road-map.
#1: Write Down Your Content Marketing Goals
Say you are driving a car. What purpose does a car serve if you do not have a destination in mind?
Similarly, when you embrace content marketing, you have to know what you are trying to achieve. It’s always easier to try and achieve something when you know what you are trying to achieve.
So fire up your word processing software or take the plain old approach of pen and paper. Now sit down, grab a cup of your favorite drink and then start thinking about what you are trying to achieve via content marketing.
Is it more leads? Maybe you want to increase revenue by increasing sales numbers? Or you might want to build trust and build your brand.
Whatever it is that you need to achieve, note it down as and when the idea comes to your mind.
#2: Set Milestones
Once you have the ideas, it’s time to refine your ideas and structure your content marketing roadmap.
You should attach milestones to each metric. Instead of saying “I want to increase sales revenue”, say “I want to increase sales revenue by 25000 $”.
When setting milestones make sure it’s achievable as well. Maybe you want to increase the number of people who come to your business website. However if you just started your website and your budget is limited, you can’t expect to get a million visits the first month.
So set achievable targets for each metrics that is important to you or your business.
You must also put a timeframe to each metric you wish to track. Want to hit 1000$ revenue per day? When do you think you can achieve it? Put it down in the roadmap.
#3: How Are You Going To Achieve Your Goals?
It’s easy to say “I want to more money from my business”; but, how?
Are you going to make more money by increasing sales? Or do you want to improve conversion rates without trying to get more number of visitors to your site?
You should have a clear idea as to how you are going to achieve your goals.
When you prepare your content marketing roadmap, make sure you include what type of content you’ll want to create to engage your audience and build trust.
Are you going to write insightful and actionable articles for your readers? Or do you prefer generating video content? How about creating email newsletters, white papers, downloadable e-books, short reports, free tools, or just about anything your audience might find useful.
#4: Hold People Accountable
If you have a team, then the best advice I can give you about bettering your marketing is to hold people accountable.
It’s human nature not to want to accept a lot of responsibilities. But when people are held accountable, usually their productivity goes up. They think out of the box and come up with solutions to your most pressing problems.
For each goal you have, assign a person who will be responsible for achieving the milestone.
#5: Figure out the Bottlenecks
Not everyone might like thinking about what might go wrong. After all, isn’t success all about thinking and acting positively?
I don’t want to argue with the personality gurus. But from a marketing point of view, if you know what the bottlenecks are or where your biggest challenge lies, you can be better prepared. It will be much easier to achieve your goals as well.
#6: Prioritize Everything
As a content marketer or a business owner, we might have hundreds of ideas to better market our business. However, what we should realize is that there is only so many hours and budget we have and it’s almost impossible to do everything standing within our limitations.
When you prepare your content marketing roadmap, you must prioritize each task. It will help you get done with tasks which will help positively impact your business at the earliest. If you still have time, you can start with other minor tasks.
Time management is important not only during competitive exams, but while doing actual marketing as well. Your goal should be to make maximum use of whatever is available and achieve your goals staying within your limitations.
#7: Measure Everything
What is the point of doing something if you do not know how much impact it has on your business?
One advantage we have using digital marketing is the amount of data we have from our marketing campaigns which will quickly help us decide what works and what doesn’t.
Set up campaigns and measure everything. You should know how much impact even the smallest change you made to your marketing had on your business.
With so many tools out there that is free; you should really have no excuse for not tracking something.
Here are some great tools that can help you track marketing campaigns
- Google Analytics (Free)- Enterprise level analytics software from Google which you can use to track visitors and their actions, set goals, set and track campaigns, and do much more.
- Google URL builder (Free)- Don’t know how to set up campaigns via URL parameters? Use this free tool, fill in details, click generate and you have your URL with campaign parameters all set up and ready for you to use.
- Google Drive (Free)- Cloud based business solution where you can create spreadsheets, word documents, upload documents, easily collaborate with peers and so on.
- Moz (Paid)- Although it’s a bit pricey at 99$, it’s still the best SEO tracking tool for small businesses and content marketers. Read my in-depth SEOmoz review here.
- Social mention and Topsy (Free)- Want to know what people are talking about on social media about your brand? Do a quick search on these sites to come up with an overview.
#8: Make Plan B
How many times have you seen in movies where soldiers have plan B? Ok maybe not so much if you are not a fan of action movies.
But let me give you an idea- it’s a lot!
When you plan a content marketing roadmap, it’s absolutely essential that you have a plan B, just in case your road-map doesn’t work out that well.
Make your road-map flexible and be open to changes. That’s the secret sauce to content marketing success.
Over to You:
How does your content marketing road-map look like? Do you have any other suggestions for making the roadmap better? Let me know in the comments.