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How to Create Your 2015 Content Marketing Plan

Small business owners: start your engines.

Your writing engines, that is. Content marketing and the writing that goes with it are probably part of your 2015 business goals. But now that the new year is here, how are you going to accomplish that aspect of your marketing?

1. Pick your content marketing “poison.” Sure, you want to do it all. But it’s better to be awesome at one thing than terrible at many. If you start with “all,” you’re going to end up overwhelmed and probably won’t be giving each forum the attention it needs.

The content marketing options include: blog posts, enewsletters, social media, white papers, free downloads, and more. If you’re starting from scratch, consider starting with just one thing: an enewsletter for your current clients, for example. (Yes, technically that’s email marketing. But it’s still content you create each month and can use elsewhere.)

If you prefer to start with social media or a blog, consider starting small by committing to one blog post per month, or one social media account.

Choosing which content marketing avenue to walk is based on several factors:

  • Time – How much time do you have to dedicate to this task each day/week/month?
  • Budget – If you are hiring someone to help, how much content he/she generates depends on rates.
  • Business – A B2B has different content needs than a B2C. But even within those subgroups, different business owners have different goals.
  • Customers – This is the most important. To get the most bang for your content marketing buck, be sure to consider what your customers and potential customers need or want from you in content.

If you’re not starting from the beginning, the new year is an opportunity to add to your plan, expanding on what you do now. If you already blog once per month, try making that two posts per month.

Photo by Robin Hamman/
Photo by Robin Hamman/

2. Create your plan. Now that you’ve figured out what to do, it’s time to think about how.

Doing this means:

  • Choosing a time to write. For many, it’s best to start with a consistent block in your schedule. Otherwise, you’ll forget about it, get busy, and then haphazardly throw something together at the last minute. Choose a time when you feel fresh and ready to tackle the blank page, even if it’s the blank “status update” section of Facebook.
  • Set a deadline – Be sure to choose when your post will appear or enewsletter will go out. Then, work backward to decide when your piece is due. Be sure to include some buffer time. After all, you’re a small business owner and thingsĀ  If you’re working on social media, choose how often you want to post. You can target specific days or times based on your schedule, just to be sure it gets done, and then schedule the posts for peak times.
  • Keep a list of ideas. Whether you use evernote or a pen and paper, keep a list of content somewhere accessible. That way when the thought strikes you at the grocery store, you can write it down to work on later. These ideas might be for blog posts or enewsletters, or even for a great photo to share on Google+.
  • Create a calendar – If you’re writing one enewsletter or blog post per month, create a list or spreadsheet and write down all the months. Each month as you write one, be sure to consider what you will write about next time. Plus, you can use this to see what topics you have covered.
  • Reassess – Be sure to take a look at how things are going after the first quarter. What can you do to improve things, either for yourself or the content?

Related: How to Come Up with 52 Blog Posts for 2015