Higher domain authority. Improved brand visibility. Increased traffic and conversion rates. You understand the benefits of a WordPress content marketing plan, but where do you start?
You could just create whatever content you feel like without a strategy, but that’s a dangerous playing field. To create a content marketing program that’s truly successful, it’s important to have a strategic plan. Devising this plan starts by knowing about the features, tools, and plugins designed specifically to help people like you excel at content marketing.
Follow these four steps to plan, execute, and track a successful content strategy, plus learn the best tools, tips, and tricks for generating more leads through your content.
1. Determine your Content Marketing Goals
The first step in creating a successful content marketing campaign is determining what you want to accomplish. The topics you cover and the types of content you create will all be determined by your end goal. If you want to capture more email leads, for example, you’ll want to create more long form content that you can gate behind an email opt-in page. If you want to simply generate more shares and increase brand awareness, you might test catchy blog headlines and focus more on visual content that’s easily shareable on social media.
To show you how to set and achieve a business goal through WordPress content marketing, we’re going to choose one of the most common business goals as an example. Since all businesses require more sales to survive, we’re going to focus our example on attracting prospective customers, or qualified leads.
To attract potential customers to our site, we’ll need to create informative, SEO-optimized blog posts, plus drive interest using social media. Once we attract potential customers, we’ll want to capture contact information for potential leads. To do this, you need to create an opt-in form, or squeeze page, that entices people to provide their contact information.
Now that we understand our main goals — and how we’ll achieve them through specific types of content — it’s time for some research.
2. Conduct Keyword Research
When you’re creating a WordPress content marketing strategy, it’s important to use keyword research both for post ideation and content theme creation. WordPress makes it easy to create categories, which help organize content for the reader and diversify your blog’s content.
To create categories and content that attract people’s attention, you need to learn which topics, ideas, and questions are most prevalent in your industry. What terms are potential customers searching for? What questions are your target market asking?
To answer these questions, you need to develop a keyword research strategy. We’ve already written about how to conduct keyword research using Google Keyword Planner and Market Samurai.
You can also conduct keyword research without leaving WordPress at all. RB keyword research is a plugin that leverages Google’s autocomplete functionality. This plugin shows you which phrases are most commonly typed into Google using a given keyword, so you can discover new keywords related to the ones that are already on your radar.
Once you’ve installed and tested a combination of keyword tools, it’s a good idea to set up at least 4-6 categories for each post to be filed under (remember: you can always add more later).
3. Devise Content Ideas
Brainstorming content can be a daunting and inefficient process. Refer to the content brainstorming key, or try using Buzzsumo, one of the best tools for understanding which topics are gaining the most traction at any given time. Simply search for a topic and you’ll see what was most shared, who shared it, and what medium they shared it on.
Another handy ideation tool comes from CoSchedule — we’ll go into more detail about CoSchedule’s content scheduling tool below — but for now let’s take a look at the headline analyzer. This free headline analyzer for WordPress provides a succinct analysis of your proposed headline’s structure, grammar, and readability. It shows you exactly how to improve your headline for greater click-throughs, and it can be a great way to tweak new content ideas to improve their success rate.
If your WordPress content marketing strategy is going to involve an opt-in form for long form content, brainstorm eBook and whitepaper ideas that might entice your audience, based on the keyword research you’ve already conducted. If you’re not going to include long form content but you’re still focused on generating new leads, try brainstorming email newsletter ideas based on the topics your target audience is interested in. It’s a smart idea to install an opt-in plugin before you start publishing, so you can capture all potential leads from the very start. SumoMe and Optinmonster are two of the most popular WordPress plugins for opt-in boxes, and both can be customized to meet your needs.
4. Schedule and Track
Once you’ve developed at least a dozen content ideas, you need to determine when they’ll be posted. This may require some guesswork at first, and it’s a good idea to test out different posting times on different days of the week to see which times your audience prefers. To keep your content consistent and well-varied, use CoSchedule’s editorial calendar. The tool allows multiple teams to collaborate in the same calendar, and it also has capabilities for social sharing, so you can manage all of your publishing and social sharing directly from the WordPress platform.
While scheduling your content and planning its promotion, remember to maximize the ROI of a single content piece through strategic repurposing. This is a great way to drive revenue with the resources you have available, especially when you’re just starting out in the world of content marketing.
After your posts have been written and scheduled, the last thing you need to do is track your content. The free version of Google analytics is perhaps the best place to start for tracking events, analyzing your content, and assessing specific areas of improvement in your content marketing plan.