Building your 2021 marketing plan - step six: Creating your content
Updated: Dec 17, 2020
As we enter the final months of 2020, it is time to start planning for 2021. Over the next several weeks, I’m going to be taking you step-by-step through building a marketing plan. Feel free to check out the full list of steps we'll be taking.
We now know which marketing channels we’re going to be using and what we’re hoping to achieve with them. What we haven’t yet done is actually decided what content we’re going to create. By content I mean anything tangible – written, visual, spoken or filmed.
For our purposes it’s the same approach whether you’re deciding on a topic for a webinar, or your next Facebook post. I’m going to go through an example with you so you can see how the work you’ve already done pays off.
I’ve started a monthly e-newsletter (sign up at the top of this page if you’d like to get it!)
I’ve started the newsletter for several strategic reasons:
It fits with my audience personas: My target audience of small business owners is on email a lot. I want to help them to get to know me and remind them of my expertise so that when they need my services they know who I am and what I do. Email marketing is a good nurturing tool – by that I mean that it’s unlikely that a prospective client will see an email and immediately call me, unless they have a pressing marketing need. Instead, what is more likely is that they will see my email every month and maybe 6 months later they’ll need my services, or recommend me to a friend who does.
It’s therefore an effective long-term marketing channel, particularly in the current context when people are spending more time than ever in front of their computers.
It fits with my marketing goals: I also find other marketing professionals a good referral source for business if a prospective client comes to them and they can’t help. So I want to remain on their radars, as well as those of my prospects. This enables me to offer them something useful, while reminding them that I'm still around.
If those are my goals with my newsletter, what do I want to put in there?
I want the information to be useful in its own right so that the people I send it to open it and actually get value from it. My readers’ inboxes are very valuable real estate. I need to earn my place there every time I send out an email.
I want to highlight my areas of expertise so I remind people what I do and then show how good I am at it through the content I’ve included in the newsletter.
I want some personal information about me in there so they get to know me and my personality. At the moment I am my business and my company brand is closely aligned to my personality and personal values so clients have to like the look of me if we’re going to work well together.
I want it to be something people like opening so I want it to be an entertaining experience for readers.
What else do I need to think about?
If this is going into their inbox representing my company I need it to be on-brand visually and in tone and fit with my “why”, ie my brand strategy.
I don’t want to make it too long – the people I’m sending it to don’t have time to read loads of text. I want to make it pithy, with more information if they click through. I want it to be highly navigable so people can skim it easily and find what they want.
Let's take a look at one of my newsletters to see how this has played out.
My newsletter probably won't always contain this exact same content as my business evolves and that's fine. But it suits my purposes for now. Hopefully walking you through my thinking process has shown how it becomes easy to decide what to write/film/draw/record when you know who you are; who you're talking to and what you want to achieve. Then you use your context to sense-check that you're on the right track!
As a final step next time, we'll look at how to put together a system for measuring your progress that is easy to keep track of and hassle-free, but that is also meaningful in terms of your goals.
In case you missed it:
Last time I’ll talked you through putting together your marketing strategy using everything you’ve developed so far to help you choose the most important marketing channels for you.