2019 is just a few short hours away from most of us (and for some, the new year has already swung past!). If you haven’t already, this is a great time of year to start looking at your content marketing strategy in 2019. Now is the time to start outlining a killer content marketing plan that will help you to achieve your goals, whether that’s more sales, better brand recognition, or just doubling down on your organic SEO.
If you’re already thinking about this, the good news is that you are way ahead of most businesses. This puts you in a great spot, as having a content marketing plan lets you plot out the entire year while mapping out a content strategy that propels you ahead of the competition.
Here are five quick tips to help you start making an awesome content marketing plan that will help you put your best foot forward in 2019.
1. Don’t Create Content for Content Marketing’s Sake Only!
You’ve likely heard the saying: “Quality, not quantity.” You may be a little surprised to hear that coming from a copywriter, but that doesn’t change the fundamental truth of this message. Content marketing is becoming one of the fundamental cornerstones of just about everyone’s strategy – which means in 2019, it’s not raining men so much as it is a biblical deluge of fluff.
That might sound scary – how will anyone notice your little raindrop of content in the great flood? – but that’s where quantity comes in. People are looking for high-quality content that delivers value and information. Before writing anything, you need to think about what your target market is looking for, and how you can deliver on that need.
What works really well here is a good old-fashioned brainstorm. No need to agonize over headlines or content just yet – simply throw all your ideas onto a piece of paper. While you’re doing this, make sure to think of the objectives you want to achieve this year:
- What are your business goals in 2019 – and how might this article fit in?
- What value might this article deliver to your target market?
- Will your article give readers something new to chew over – or is it regurgitated?
Content marketing in 2019 is only going to get more competitive, so focusing more on your target market’s needs and the quality of your writing is paramount here.
2. Niches are a Content Marketing Strategist’s Best Friend
OK, OK, it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue like Marilyn Monroe’s iconic song and dance extravaganza, but you get the idea! Niches are essentially little sub-areas in your overall marketplace. To take an example, health and wellness is a $4.2 trillion juggernaut of global industry (or 5.3% of the entire global economic output!) that is packed with evergreen niches.
Now, there’s no point covering all of them – you’ll never get anywhere, as there are simply too many competitors. Worse for you, many of them have bigger budgets, better brand recognition, and a library’s worth of high-ranking SEO content. All of this conspires to sink your puny efforts below the waves, forever.
Going niche helps to make that problem go away. Perhaps you’re looking at the weight loss industry. It’s a good choice because people are always looking to lose weight. However, this is still a huge niche, so you’ll want to dial it down even further.
How? By focusing on one or two sub-niches. Perhaps you want to focus on losing belly fat, or you have an exciting new weight loss exercise program. The key here is drilling down on a small part of your niche so that you attract people who are very specifically interested in that niche; in this case, losing that post-Christmas belly flab.
You don’t need to be sophisticated here. You don’t need to spend a fortune on market segmentation and targeting; you just need to be able to write content that strikes a chord with your target market. In January, they want to lose the disgusting evidence of their seasonal cheer – by March, they will be looking to prepare for beach season by getting rid of the eternally unfashionable “beached whale” look.
TOP TIP: Unless you’re chartering new, unexplored niches (which is very unlikely in 2019), you can find plenty of ideas from competitors to help you brainstorm your own. See what works and what doesn’t and build your own better library of content to start building your brand presence!
3. Revisit Your Content’s Greatest Hits and Revitalize Them
There’s no denying that developing, writing, and sticking to a content marketing strategy is an exhausting endeavor at the best of times, so here’s a slightly cheaty but highly effective way to inject your content marketing plan with new articles – without having to go the whole fresh content hog.
This strategy simply involves looking at your best performers in the past and seeing what really works out in the wild. Hopefully, you already have your Google Analytics (or other, similar software) to help you easily determine this. Between your social media and website hits, you should get a pretty good idea of which articles worked best for you in the past.
When you’ve got that list down, it’s time to ask yourself a question: Can you update this content with fresh, new, and updated information? Do you have a new idea or angle on the subject matter? Are readers even begging you for more?
Looking over your old content with a content strategist’s eye can give you some serious ideas as well as showing you what your audience is really interested in. Why wander up a garden path with low engagement rates when you can easily write a series that your public is clamoring for?
Give the people what they want ? – and be sure that the data from your analytics supports this decision! Remember, what you think people want doesn’t always necessarily align with what they truly thirst for.
4. Create Your Content Marketing Plan for 2019
At this point in the process, you should have a pretty clear idea of what you need to do in the upcoming year. You should have a brainstormed list of articles, a niche or sub-niche that you’re geared up for, old articles or series that you can revisit, and even a new idea for a new series of powerful articles that your readers may just sell their grannies for.
A lot of people think that making a content marketing plan is scary. It involves planning, timetables, spreadsheets, and military precision to make sure everything goes off without a hitch.
Well, now you put it like that, it does sound off-putting…
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way (unless you love it that way). Something as simple as a list of topics, headlines, and dates can work for you. It’s a good idea to map this all out on a planner so you can quickly see what you need to do each month, too.
TIP: Make the most of seasonal holidays! These are peppered all over the calendar and give you easy content to write about, simply by slotting niche-related articles that fit with the season onto those dates – such as weight loss after a heavy festive season of fun.
5. Sharing is Caring When it Comes to Content Marketing in 2019
Content marketing is all about putting yourself out there; why else would you spend so much time agonizing over articles, keywords, and other metrics to ensure that you’re feeding your target market with delicious and valuable information?
It’s not just enough to create a simple content marketing plan – you also need a content sharing strategy, particularly on social media. Remember, your website is likely one of the hundreds in your niche, and it’s unlikely that people will find you as easily as they can Amazon (for now…).
Distributing your content via social media is one of the easiest ways to share your content and get noticed, but don’t stop there. If you’ve been working on other aspects of marketing your business, you can also distribute your content through newsletters, press releases, and even your professional network.
Get Help with Your Content Marketing Plan for 2019
These are just a few small ideas that can help to give you more brand visibility and attract new customers. Creating a content marketing plan is one of the most important things you can do for your brand in 2019, so don’t neglect it.
If you’re feeling faint at the idea of all this extra work – not to mention the piles of writing involved! – investing in an experienced content writer or talented copywriter could be the answer for you. Copywriters write content every day and have the know-how and experience to create content that delivers your message effectively.
Happy new year, everyone – here’s to a successful 2019 for all of us!