How to build a content marketing plan

So, you've got a company! You are the founder. You are the CEO. You are a partner but you are the one in charge of making this thing work. What are you gonna tell your customers out there? How are you gonna get this thing launched off the ground and get people to buy your product or service?

All right, so you're trying to get either a product or service up off the ground or maybe you've had a service that you offered some years ago and now it's been dormant and you want to move that forward to becoming profitable.

Or you may have a new initiative or you potentially just opened a brand new business and you're trying to penetrate the market.

A couple of things that you are gonna need to keep in mind is that there are a lot of different ways to go about putting together a marketing plan. This particular blog is going to be geared around a business that offers a product or service based on an educative type of process.

What I mean by that is, this is not so much about buying something off the rack requiring customers to know very little about the product. Marketing for what I am talking about is ineffective for those offers. I am going to help show you the breadth and the complexity of trying to explain to people not only what you do but that you're the expert in doing it.

So, we want to show you what stages you can go through, how to simplify the stages, and not only the stages but the process in developing all this content.

You are going to need to develop content on a weekly basis and it needs to go out day to day and for a lot of people that is an overwhelming statement.

However, I can tell you, you CAN get it done as long as you have a good blueprint and that's what I'm gonna show you now.  

Credit to Gary Vaynerchuk

I want to talk a little bit about Gary Vaynerchuk's content marketing plan that we've adopted here in my agency. What we've been able to determine after watching a couple of his videos and a couple of his blogs (if you go over to Gary Vaynerchuk.com you'll be able to find an article there - Gary Vaynerchuk's 86 pages of insanity - that describes what I am going to show in great detail) is by following this blueprint you will be able to provide content and on a weekly basis with less effort than you think.

Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur from New Jersey. He basically spearheaded a wine shop that he grew from 3 to 60 million in sales by developing a website back in the ’90s that was promoted mostly through YouTube.

Gary has created this content model and it's an amazing Google Slide that describes everything in much more detail. The basic premise of content today is that consumers are trying to find ways in order to follow a brand or one that they're familiar with and to build trust and loyalty.

Brands today need more brand audience and one of the best ways to do this is through a content marketing plan and this is how we adopted this for some of our clients.

What we want to do is to develop what's called pillar content. Pillar content can come in various forms. Long-form pillar content is going to be mostly in a video format or it could be an audio or it can definitely be in text.

Once you develop your pillar content, you want to get it into a time frame where you're comfortable producing this amount of content weekly. What happens next in the pillar content phase is to create micro-content.

Micro-content is what was actually gets published to sites like Facebook. You see a lot of micro-content right now that is very popular and well performing. Today, social sites like Instagram or IGTV and Stories through Facebook, YouTube, or Instagram are on fire. LinkedIn also has its place for those that are in the  B2B space.

Day to day, you want to be posting content and that content has to happen through a series of schedules.

This is how we do this for some of our clients. On day one, we're going to create a pillar piece of content. For example, we will actually create an explainer video and getting in front of a camera and talking.

So you do that on day one and you'll go in and create the pillar content. What we do after that is we take that pillar content and create micro-content out of it. This will be things like social images and quotes and things of that nature.

I have been able to follow this model and see that I can bring more value because this isn't anything that's hard to do but it is time-consuming. There are a lot of different pieces that are going to be moving.

I think this will give you the concept and if you're not able to do it you can hire someone like us to help you do the heavy lifting.

I want to explain what this looks like and to give you a better snapshot of the model. On Gary’s blog, you're going to see this Google Slide embedded in the page and this Google Slide describes in great detail a complete content marketing model that is based around a pyramid.

Gary essentially describes that we should be creating a long-form piece of content, in this case a vlog (which is a video blog), you could do a Q&A show (which is where he takes in calls he sets up callers to call in to ask questions), etc.

Pillar content is where we want to create long-form pieces of content and then have micro-content repurposed creating short-form pieces of content - like articles, podcasts, social images, GIFS, memes, etc.

You may want to create a video and transcribe that into a blog. To do that, strip the audio out and transpose that into text into a written format. Then, you create memes or images or image quotes, stories or mashups. Any of these things are very popular pieces of content you see in social that help highlight content and send followers to the pillar content.

Lastly, you need distribution across all social media and this is where you're really going to want to understand the different platforms out there. I think right now IGTV is really a big player in terms of video content.

If you are in the B2B space, I would suggest looking at staying with LinkedIn. Instagram and Facebook are still top for images and video, as well as YouTube.

Also, there is Quora. Not many people have heard of Quora but basically, you ask questions on the platform and the community provides the answer. If you want an idea of what to talk about, go into Quora and put your question into the query and it's going to give you a whole bunch of ideas of what you can start creating content around.

If you feel you're not good in front of a video camera you may want to create a whiteboard video.

You can do things like whiteboard videos like the one I did here.

Once we create pillar content videos, you're going to need specific tools in terms of trying to do some video editing. You'll have to find somebody who's very good at video software. Also, you will need some type of podcast software as well.  We use Anchor to do all of our podcasts.

Also, you will need a blog platform like one that is called Medium. Medium is a blogging platform to keep track of all your blogs or you could just create a Wordpress site. I love square Squarespace sites in particular.  You will also want to have some type of way to create graphics. I recommend Canva. We use Canva or Photoshop.

One of the things that I think is really important is creating your persona or for some, they call them avatars. You want to be able to create this persona profile of who the ideal customer for you is, so you can connect all of their questions and challenges to your content.

Once you have identified what your persona or avatar finds important, you want to eventually have your topics formed around categories so if someone is going to go to your YouTube channel or your blog, you are going to want to list every one of those topics and categories so that people can choose which one they find is valuable.

I hope that it was able to bring you value in your journey to building and promoting your business. A lot of the segments that we have coming up are going to be dealing with these type of issues and these type of challenges that we know every small business owner like you deals with.

I hope that I can be that companion and that guide that's going to be able to help you build your business in the future.