Content Marketing Step 1: Planning Goals, Types & Platforms
Updated: Oct 15, 2021
If you read our previous article, you already know the basics: what content marketing is about, why people do it, and so on.
Now it's time to get your toes wet by getting started on your very content marketing campaign!
We'll guide you through it in this series of articles, beginning here. This is the first step to executing your content marketing strategy - and it's all about planning!
Establishing Goals & Objectives
You can't start any sort of marketing campaign without an idea of what you're going to achieve.
So, begin by outlining what you want to achieve. These are your campaign goals and they can be anything from boosting awareness of your brand to increasing revenue.
Now, say your goal is to build your brand (one of the most popular goals).
You need to quantify that so you can measure the results of your content marketing efforts for that goal later.
Otherwise, you won't really know how well what you're doing is working… or if it's working at all!
In any case, let’s go with building a brand - we picked that goal for a reason. It's not exactly easy to quantify.
However, you can use a broad mix of objectives (the measurable version of the goal) to "assess" it. Here are a few of them:
Increased customer retention rate
Increased social mentions & engagement
Increased search volume
As you can see, these measure various aspects of the brand's strength. But all are generally accepted good indicators for our campaign goal.
Choosing the Methods & Platforms
Once you have an idea of what you want to achieve, you need to figure out how to achieve it. Ask yourself this: what tools or platforms can you use here?
Fortunately, there are a lot of options available now, from blogs to newsletters and even videos.
But to decide which of those you should use, you need to answer this query first: Which types of content are preferred by your audience?
It's not hard to see why this matters.
Say you launch a content marketing campaign that makes use of TikTok videos, for example. If your audience is mostly composed of people who don't use TikTok, what's the point?
That's why it pays to do audience demographics first. That means figuring out for whom you’re making the content.
For Whom Is the Content?
At this stage, you have to get to know your audience and find out more about them.
How old are they? Where do they live? What's their socioeconomic status? Their educational level?
What content do they like? What social media platforms do they frequent?
What do they need help with? What topics interest them most?
Getting answers to these can help you choose the right content types and platforms for your campaign.
That will help you deliver your content more effectively. It will also help you find good topics for your material.
Matching Demographics to Content Type
This part is fairly logical once you have a sense of your audience. As stated earlier, you just need to choose the content types and platforms your target audience consumes most.
A great example of this is what toy companies regularly do to market their products.
For instance, Mattel's target users for Barbie dolls are little girls who also like cartoons about princess-like girls and similar characters.
So, they did content marketing by producing animated series and films that gave Barbie doll characters rich backstories.
These heightened awareness of and interest in the characters (if not the actual toys), and ensured the continuing popularity of the Barbie brand.
Hasbro did the same thing years ago with Marvel, promoting its GI Joe figures by putting the characters in comic books.
Again, they chose that medium because their target audience (young boys in the 80's) were avid comic book readers.
And again, it paid off. GI Joe action figure sales went up in response.
As you can see, different audiences may prefer different media. That being said, you don't have to pick just one: Barbie also has a blog and music videos on YouTube, for example.
A multi-pronged campaign may work best for most, actually. Of course, since this is just your first attempt, you may want to stick to just one at first.
Some Common Content Marketing Formats/Platforms
It has to be said first that there are a lot of types of content. We couldn't possibly cover them all here!
Instead, we'll give you some examples of popular options, followed by the major social media platforms and the usual demographics for which those platforms are best.
Here are the most popular content formats:
Whitepapers and case studies
And here are the most popular social media platforms:
Facebook - Still the most widely used social media platform in the world. That said, the latest algorithm changes to the way content is distributed to its users may no longer favour content marketers, as ads seem to get more visibility now.
Twitter - Tends to be more popular among younger adults, but it isn't as popular in Singapore as in other countries. Twitter is often used for digital marketing and reputation management.
Instagram - Particularly popular with millennials, the fashion and arts industries, and the sports and pop music industries. Used by many consumers for product discovery.
Pinterest - Similar to Instagram. Drives 33% more referral traffic than Facebook itself. Also very popular with travellers.
LinkedIn - Given its nature, it's best for professional content marketing, like B2B posts or articles.
TikTok - Best for reaching Gen Z audiences and for brands that want to present themselves as hip and young.
YouTube - Used by nearly everyone, like Facebook. Unlike Facebook, friendlier to content marketing in its algorithm.
You can use the lists and descriptions above to get a sense for which options are open to you and what content channels you may consider using.
Once you've chosen a format or platform, you can start developing content as well as actually publishing it. We'll cover that in our next article and even provide advice on how to really make the most of that content.
That being said, it’s perfectly fine if you can’t wait for the next guide or just don’t want to do your content marketing by yourself. You can contact us if you want help with it or want us to handle it for you.
We can come up with a customised plan for content marketing that can hit your business goals. Reach out to us now so we can discuss your aims and needs!