How To Use Your Digital Content Marketing Plan To Boost Sales
If you been exploring content marketing for any length of time, you’ve probably heard/read statements like these:
- Content marketing generates 3x more leads at a 62% lower cost than traditional marketing.
- Marketers who plan their digital content marketing campaigns are 356% more likely to achieve success.
And when success is defined as increasing sales, that should grab every small business owner’s attention. To understand how your digital content marketing plan can boost sales for you, we must first know what content marketing is and what makes a good plan.
Digital content marketing is about creating a more organic experience of your brand/products for your ideal customers. It’s different from boosting posts or buying ads which interrupt online experiences.
Digital content marketing is providing information about your products and brand through interesting blog posts, videos, podcasts, infographics, memes, etc. that people really want to read/watch/listen to.
What is a digital content marketing plan & what should be included in it?
Although great plan will be based on strategy which will take things like seasonality, current events, and planned promotions into account, it is tactical.
The purpose of a digital content marketing plan is to let everyone know what happens when and who’s responsible for each task. The easiest way to create one is to break it up into parts depending on the content being created and then roll it up into a comprehensive plan.
If you’re creating videos and/or podcasts, you’ll want to put together a production calendar. Your production calendar will include tasks such as researching and developing program ideas, booking guests, shooting/recording, editing, and posting. And with each task, you’ll assign a responsible party and due date.
If you’re creating blogs, infographics, memes, special reports, templates, etc., you’ll want to put together an editorial calendar. As with a production calendar, you’ll breakdown the various steps required to produce each piece of content. Then, you’ll place each task into the calendar along with the responsible party and due date.
Knowing when you’ll share or reshare each piece of content on which social media platform is what you capture in a social media calendar. Again, you’ll want to assign a responsible party and due date for each entry in this calendar too.
The final piece of your digital content marketing plan is evaluation. You need to examine how each piece of content is performing so you can adjust things to improve performance. Some things to consider looking at include:
- Number of website/landing page visitors delivered
- Direct sales
- Direct inquiries
- Number of leads
It’s this part of your plan that will help you home in on how your plan is boosting sales for your business and how you need to adjust it to further increase sales.
It might seem that a digital content marketing plan is only for businesses with multiple departments or at least tens of employees. However, it’s necessary for businesses of every size. It helps keep all the content marketing activities organized, cuts down on procrastination, and virtually eliminates forgotten tasks. (When I was a solopreneur, my digital content marketing plan really helped me stay on track.)
What if your content marketing efforts aren’t boosting sales?
A well-executed online marketing plan will boost sales. However, if yours isn’t, it’s time to carefully evaluate your content by asking these six questions:
Is your content unique to your brand?
You might be one of a million widget brokers. This might make you erroneously assume there’s nothing unique about your business because each of the other 999,999 widget brokers sells exactly the same thing you sell. However, it’s simply not true. The way you do business, the way you treat your customers and even the personality of each employee makes your business different. Infuse your content with these defining characteristics of your business and your content will be unique to your brand.
Are you optimizing your traffic for search engines?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for drawing people to your content. It helps you to know exactly how people are searching for the things you offer and then use that information to create content that people want to consume. And when you provide quality content people want, you’re more likely to generate leads and sales.
Is your content sharable?
When your content is easily sharable and you specifically ask people to share it, you have extended the reach of each piece of content and created brand ambassadors. Do you have social share buttons on your website? If not, put them there now. Do you directly ask people to share your content? If not, start asking today.
Is your content targeted at driving sales?
People consume information for various reasons. Sometimes it’s just idle curiosity. Sometimes it’s to understand more about the options available to them. And sometimes it’s because they’re ready to make a purchase.
You’ll want to evaluate each piece of content to see which type of consumption intent it meets. While you need to have content that meets each type of intent, if you don’t have any that directly serves a purchase intent, you’ve got some new content to create.
Are you encouraging reviews?
Before making a purchase, 70% of today’s consumers want to know what at least four other consumers think about a product/service. If you’re not encouraging people to review your wares, it’s time to start doing so.
And when you receive reviews or comments, are you responding to them? Whether you receive a positive or negative comment/review, how you respond will tell everyone a whole lot about your business. Make sure you’re using these opportunities to increase the perceived value of your brand.
Are you posting your content on the correct platforms to reach your customers?
The various social media platforms cater to different audiences and have different goals. If your business serves other businesses, do the platforms you share your content on serve businesses too? If not, you may want to reconsider your social media strategy.
(This article can help you fine-tune your social media platform selection: How To Increase Traffic To Your Website Using Social Media)
When you put in the effort to create a comprehensive digital content marketing plan, you’re well ahead of the majority of businesses online today. Only 37% of businesses have any type of documented plan at all.
Yet those with plans are more likely to feel that their content marketing is successful. And when you measure content marketing success by the bottom line, you don’t just feel successful, you are.