Are you spraying and praying or do you have a content marketing plan?

I was tidying up some garden beds in my backyard when I had this brilliant idea. Why not take all the seeds that had been collecting dust in a drawer, and scatter them over the dirt to see what came up?

Needless to say, a few days later I caught two canoodling pigeons having a feast in my veggie patch!

You see, the problem with just throwing seeds out there in the hope that they’ll take is that it’s always a long shot.

are you spraying and praying or do you have a content marketing plan?

In content marketing terms, the same is true.

If you distribute content to various social media channels, if you produce content that doesn’t have a clear strategy behind it, you are spraying and praying. The results may be that you don’t get a lot of growth at the end of the day. There is a better way to craft and share your content. Keep reading if you want to find out more.

What is a content marketing plan?

A content plan is simply an actionable plan that looks at your content from a big picture perspective, but then breaks it down into actionable strategies and tactics.

Your plan is your guide when it comes to what you create, what you share, who you share it with, how, when and where you share it. It takes into consideration seasonal promotions and piggybacking opportunities, ie. opportunities where you can leverage another event, collaboration or organisation in your marketing. Your plan is your reference point throughout the marketing year and it should be communicated with all internal stakeholders, including employees and service providers.

How do you create a content marketing plan?

Crafting a content marketing plan means taking a step back from the finer details and looking at the bigger picture. What is it you want to achieve and what path does your content take when it is sent out into the big, wide social world?

One thing that many marketers forget is that everything interrelates. So, when you share something on LinkedIn, if someone likes it, they’ll likely share it on their favourite social platforms and not just on LinkedIn. When you kickstart conversation about a topic on one social platform, the flow on effect is that people who are interested in what you have to say will look for your content on other platforms as well. This was brought home to me recently when I started interacting more in a Google Plus community for entrepreneurs. I noticed that everytime I joined in with the conversation on there, my following on Facebook and mailing list subscriptions grew. The funny thing is, I hardly post on Facebook anymore. Being a business to business consultancy, I felt it wise to invest more time on Google Plus, LinkedIn and Twitter.

At the end of the day, growth in numbers on specific platforms matter little. What matters is that people are coming back to your website for information that can help them with their business. What matters are the relationships and conversations that ensue as a result of interacting on social channels. It’s then a matter of nurturing growth through building relationships.

Here are some questions to get you started on your content plan

  • What is your big picture goal? What are you trying to achieve?
  • What is the key issue your ideal clients have?
  • What social media channels do they hangout on?
  • Where do they share?
  • How are you leading people back to your website when you post?
  • How are you evaluating your performance?

Over to you

If you are spraying and praying, I’d like to encourage you to take a step back and look at the bigger picture and if you need help with developing a content marketing plan, you know where I am.

Do you struggle with how to plan your content marketing? Share your perspective below!

  • SuzieCheel

    Cas I love you post and timely for me as i have been praying and sparyaing and avoiding putting what I know I need to do into action :)

    • Cas McCullough

      Thanks Suzie! Glad you found it helpful!

  • Lisa Murray

    Cas – I hear you! And I am possibly the least consistent person I know… I do have some themes that come together mostly coherently… and I need to get better at the other social media networks. Facebook is too easy – it’s become a bit of a comfort zone!! :)

    • Cas McCullough

      Can’t believe I missed this Lisa! How’s it going?