Got a content strategy and content plan but not getting the results you’re after?

You’re not alone.

Many a business owner will diligently, over a cuppa, create their content strategy and content plan and feel good at having created them.

But why when you’ve painstakingly created them are they not working for you?

What can you do to improve them and get better results?

In this blog we’ll chat about:

  • What a content strategy is
  • What a content plan is
  • Common mistakes business owners make when creating their content strategy
  • Common mistakes business owners make when creating their content plan
  • Common metrics used as measure of success and why they’re best avoided
  • How to improve the results of your content strategy
  • How to improve the results of your content plan
  •  And more…

Ready to dive in? Let’s go…

Content Strategy v Content Plan: A simple way to explain the difference

It’s not always easy to get your head around the difference between a content strategy and a content plan and sometimes learning the difference can be enough to make vast improvements for you.

If you’re unsure what the difference is between them let’s explain like this:

Your content strategy = A specific outcome you want your content to achieve for your business.

Your content plan = What content you’re going to create, when you’re going to share it and where you’re putting it.

What do you mean by a more effective content strategy and content plan?

Let’s cut to the chase.

When you say your content strategy and content plan aren’t working, let me ask you:

  • What do you mean when you say ‘It didn’t work for me?’
  • What specifically were you hoping it would achieve for you?
  • How do you measure your effectiveness and success of your content strategy and content plan?

Righty-ho! Let’s get onto why you’re here and discover how to make your content strategy and content plan better.

Common mistakes business owners make when creating their content strategy

When I’m working with clients there are a few common mistakes I notice so I’ll share them with you so you can avoid them.

Your content strategy turns out to be your content plan

Many a time I’ve been shown a client’s content strategy or chatted about their content strategy only to discover they’re getting their strategy and plan mixed up with each other.

It’s easily done.

Here’s some content strategy examples v content plan examples:

Content strategy examples

  • Grow your email list by ‘X’%
  • Convert a certain percentage of your email list to clients
  • Increase leads from a certain social media platform
  • Offer a new lead magnet to promote a new product or service.

Content plan examples

  • Write and publish 35 blogs this year around 10 of my keywords
  • Create a new lead magnet every quarter to promote ‘X’ product or service and share it on selected social media platforms
  • Re-write my nurture emails to improve my conversation rate from 2% to 5%

Your content strategy has no relation to your business goals or objectives

If the aim of your content strategy is to help you achieve specific outcomes for your business your content strategy needs to be very closely linked with your business goals and objectives.

Remember your marketing needs a purpose.

Without purpose it’s just content hoping to get you a good result for your business.

Perhaps you’ve always wondered how to align your marketing with your products and services so you can get more engagement, leads and clients.

Or you’ve never even thought about planning your marketing so it supports your business objectives and goals.

Check out my blog and find out what you need to know and do

Not creating a document for your content strategy

If I had a pound for every time I asked to see a client’s content strategy and they replied, ‘It’s in my head’ I’d be writing this blog on a beach in the Maldives.

Putting together a content strategy takes time and effort. It’s not the sexiest task but the benefits of having a document means you can access it, view it, share it, review it and tweak it.

If it’s in your head does it really exist? Just saying 

Time

Strategies take time to make an impact.

As long as you know what impact you want it to make, of course.

So it may be you need a bit of patience.

As I’ve mentioned, your content strategy stands a better chance of success if it’s aligned to your business goals and objectives.

And if your content strategy is aligned with your content plan.

You need your content to be out there for a wee while so you can then measure your results.

And you need to be measuring the right metrics too.

Common mistakes business owners make when creating their content plan

When I’m working with clients there are a few common mistakes I notice so I’ll share them with you so you can avoid them.

Your content plan turns out to be your content strategy

Yup, it can be easy to confuse which one is which. Plan or strategy?

Your content plan is your map to help you achieve your business goals and objectives and your content strategy.

It outlines the topics you’re going to create content for and the types of content you’re going to create.

Content plan examples

 A few content plan examples:

  • Write and publish 35 blogs this year around 10 of my keywords
  • Create a new lead magnet every quarter to promote ‘X’ product or service and share it on selected social media platforms
  • Re-write my nurture emails to improve my conversation rate from 2% to 5%

Content strategy examples

  • Grow your email list by ‘X’%
  • Convert a certain percentage of your email list to clients
  • Increase leads from a certain social media platform
  • Offer a new lead magnet to promote a new product or service.

 

Not being consistent with your content creation

Just because you have ‘Write a blog today about ‘X’’ does not mean you have an effective content plan.

You need to take action.

One of the reasons I hear clients say they’re not sticking to their content plan is they don’t have enough time.

Your marketing and your content is the lifeblood of your business so prioritise time to work on it and create it.

Block time out in your diary to get it done.

Or outsource it.

Wrong content- Creating content your audience doesn’t want or need

It feels easier creating content you want to create but again your content needs a purpose.

Not knowing who you’re creating your content for or creating the wrong content for where your potential client is in their buying decision process can make you content plan ineffective.

Purpose

The content on your content plan needs a purpose for you and your business

It’s also to help your audience to decide to buy from you – or not.

And so your content plan will need to include content for each part of their journey with you.

What journey?

Well, it starts from them not knowing who you are to finding themselves considering buying your product or service.

This is known as your buyer’s journey and for each part of their journey they’ll want different content.

For an effective content plan you need to take this fact into account.

Find out what the buyer’s journey is and how to create the right content for each stage

Not sticking to your content plan

Could it be you have a plan, and yet you’re not sticking to it and you’re not sharing useful and helpful content consistently?

This makes it harder for you to build that all important know, like and trust with your audience and for them to associate you as the potential solver of their problem.

Avoiding sales based content

You want to become known as the solver of our audience’s problem so we can be inclined to share valuable content. Content that’s useful and helpful

But our content plan needs to include our sales based content.  

A content plan without sales based content can fall short of getting you leads and clients.

Include in your content plan:

Content that:

  • Offers your products or services
  • Answers questions our audience has about our products or service
  • Answers their objections they have about our products or service
  • We can’t assume our audience will get in touch to buy if we don’t talk about what we offer.

Jumping for joy at the wrong metrics

Metrics that can make it look as though our content plan is working when it isn’t are vanity metrics.

What are vanity metrics?

Vanity metrics are metrics that may look good on paper but don’t mean very.

Examples of vanity metrics are:

  • Likes
  • Social media followers
  • Video views

You want to use metrics that will help you make some serious improvements to your marketing.

How to improve the results of your content strategy and content plan

What are your first steps to creating your results driven content strategy and content plan?

Focus on your business plan first.

Know the goals and objectives you want to achieve for your business.

Why?

Because without knowing these how can you create a content strategy and content plan if you don’t know what it is you want your content to help you achieve.

Your content needs to have a purpose.

So if you’re not 100% clear on your business goals and objectives, you may want map out your business plan BEFORE you consider creating your content strategy or content plan.

Timescale

Decide how long your content strategy and content plan will be in place?

90-days or a quarter of a year can be a good timescale to start with and then you can break down your content strategy plan into months, weeks and days.

What can you take into account to help create an effective content strategy and content plan for 90-days?

  • What are the key activities for your business this quarter?
  • Will you be launching a new product or service?
  • Are you focussing on promoting a current product or service?
  • Improving conversation rates on your email list?

For your key activities you can list 2-3 key activities you’re going to do as part of your content strategy.

What are your first steps to creating your results driven content strategy and content plan?

Focus on your business plan first.

Know the goals and objectives you want to achieve for your business.

Why?

Because without knowing these how can you create a content strategy and content plan if you don’t know what it is you want your content to help you achieve.

Your content needs to have a purpose.

So if you’re not 100% clear on your business goals and objectives, you may want map out your business plan BEFORE you consider creating your content strategy or content plan.

How to create your content plan for a quarter of the year

Let’s say a quarter of a year is 12 weeks. (I know it’s really 13 weeks but we all need time off).

Each week, create one piece of really useful, helpful and fab content.

Content ideas could be a:

  • Blog
  • LinkedIn Live
  • YouTube video
  • YouTube Live
  • Podcast
  • Info graphic

And this one piece of really useful, helpful and fab content plays it part in helping you achieve your business objectives and goals for this quarter.

The useful and helpful content you create in this quarter can be used time and time again.

Repurposing is such an underused strategy

What type of content can you include in your content plan?

Your audience is looking for two types of content.

  1. Content that answers questions to problems they have
  2. Content that answers their questions about your product or service

How to repurpose your one big piece of content from a week’s worth of content

Once you’ve created your content plan that aligns with your content strategy you can start to plan your content weekly and daily.

Use your one piece of useful and helpful content.

And repurpose it.

How to repurpose one piece of content so you have weekly and daily content

Creating your one big piece of content takes times so make the most of it.

What you can do is repurpose your key piece of content and create smaller pieces of content that you can share across 7 days.

What content can you repurpose?

Let’s say you’ve written a Blog.

You can:

  • Take snippets from your blog and turn them into individual posts for your social media
  • Turn parts of your Blogs into images for social media
  • Turn your Blog into an info graphic (Canva has some great info graphic templates)
  • Republish your Blog on LinkedIn as an article or newsletter
  • Record yourself reading the Blog for those that like to listen
  • Record a video on the topic of your Blog
  • Share your Blog with your email list

Daily content plan

Map out the content you are going to share on each platform and on what day.

Use measureable results

After 90-days you can then measure your results against your business goals and objectives, content strategy and content plan.

Here are some questions to help you.

  • What were your business goals and objectives?
  • Did your content strategy and content plan help or hinder you?
  • What did you achieve?
  • What’s working?
  • What isn’t?
  • What can you keep?
  • What can you ditch?
  • What can you tweak?
  • What can you start doing differently?
  • Who can help you identify where you can improve?

 

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