What are your content marketing goals?
What are your content marketing goals? In other words: How are you leveraging your blog, vlog, or podcast (your content) to build your audience, raving fans, and client list (your marketing goals)?
Whatever content you publish online, it should grow your audience, email list, and sales 24/7.
That’s the whole point.
But, it’s not always that easy. Amirite?
If you ever get stuck on what to write (or record) about, or what the purpose even is, this is for you.
If you’re the kind of entrepreneur who spends time publishing content to market your business, how do you ensure it’s aligned with your business goals?
Imagine how much stress disappears when you have vision and a plan. No staring at a blank screen. No searching for inspiration. No grasping at straws.
What if you already mapped out your launches, special dates, and topics in advance so you can just publish the content to make sure everyone knows?
Maybe all you need is a simple step-by-step plan to reach your business goals.
Let’s create your content strategy and plan!
Quick overview: Content strategy vs. editorial calendar
These are two different things–and they’re both amazing for massive productivity and focus to reach your business goals.
First, think about your vision for your business. What do you want it to accomplish? Who do you want it to help? What is your main message? How do you want your business to support your life?
As the CEO, your business vision should drive everything you do.
Once you have that, you need to market your business in a way that feels right for you. One of the best ways to market your online business is by publishing great content on your website–through your blog, vlog, or podcast.
You can strategically publish content that will help you attract your ideal clients and help them to get to know, like, and trust you. In other words, you create content marketing goals to help you achieve your business vision.
Your content marketing goals are essentially your “why.” It’s your business direction and goals and how your amazing content is going to help you reach them.
These content marketing goals are your content strategy.
The next step once you have your goals is: How are you going to reach them? What are you going to publish and when and what reason are you going to give that reader to join your email list or buy something from you?
This is where your editorial calendar comes in.
Your editorial calendar is your content plan. It’s where you figure out how to make your content marketing goals come to life.Your editorial calendar is your content plan. It's where you figure out how to make your content marketing goals come to life. #ContentMarketingGoals #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
According to Jon Morrow of Smartblogger,
The purpose of content is to create influence.
The purpose of marketing is to convert influence into action.(ref)
Hence, “content marketing.”
Content marketing institute defines content marketing” as:
Creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience — with the objective of driving profitable customer action.
For example, by consistently creating high-quality niche-specific content you are increasing:
- Your brand’s authority and credibility, so you stand out and become a thought leader and the “go-to” expert
- Your “know, like, and trust” factor with your targeted audience
- The number of audience members that subscribe to your email list
- The number of subscribers that purchase from you by nurturing them and “warming” them up to your upcoming launches
None of these happen quite as quickly if your content is low quality or generic.
HOT TIP: Ditch the low-quality generic content friends–that ship has sailed! Now, it’s all about showing the world how awesome you really are, and making sure that everything you publish reflects that awesomeness (even if you publish half as often)! High-quality, niche-specific content is more important now than ever. When there is so much noise online, excellence is the only way to stand out!When there is so much noise online, excellence is the only way to stand out. #ContentMarketing #DigitalMarketing Click To Tweet
Before you start planning your editorial calendar, you need a strategy. Your editorial calendar is your “how.” How are you going to execute your strategy?
So, you need a strategy first.
In other words, your content strategy is your direction and goals, and your editorial calendar contains the steps you’re going to take to reach those goals.What's a content strategy vs. an editorial calendar? #ContentStrategy #ContentMarketing #EditorialCalendar Click To Tweet
And the best part?
When we talk about planning your content, you really only neeed to focus on your blog/vlog/podcast. That’s because your blog really is the foundation for your entire digital strategy–the rest of your content flows from what you publish on your website. That includes: your newsletter, social media, advertising, etc. They all come after you publish your newest piece on your website (and there is a super simple way to make your email newsletter and social media happen).
Yes, it’s that simple!
Let’s go through an analogy:
Your content marketing goals are just like your clients’ health goals
Let’s say you have a new client and her goal is to fit back into last year’s skinny jeans before her vacation booked in two months. And she wants to do this the healthy, sustainable way by eating more whole foods, fewer desserts, and incorporating exercise. She’s not interested in “too good to be true” supplements (and neither are we!).
Health goals are like the content strategy
These are her vision & goals… her health strategy.
- Fit into last year’s skinny jeans
- In two months
- By eating more whole foods and fewer desserts
- And incorporating exercise
These are achievement/outcome goals. What she wants, and when she wants it. They’re high-level goals without the nitty-gritty of the daily work that will have to go into achieving them… that comes next.
These goals are also how success will be measured. At the end of two months, will she fit into her skinny jeans and have solid exercise habits? Will her goals be achieved?
Goals = Strategy
As the professional, how do you help her execute her strategy?
With a plan.
Health plan is like an editorial calendar
Here’s where you come in as her wellness practitioner.
Your first question when helping to create a plan is to understand the parameters:
- What’s her budget in terms of time, money, and motivation?
The answer to this one question will help you advise whether her strategy and goals are realistic, and which path to take to reach them. Then, you create a plan to help her achieve her goals within these parameters.
What daily actions does she need to take to reach her goals? What foods should she eat more/less of? How often? Which recipes and exercises?
These are how her goals will be achieved with a plan of actionable recommendations, for example:
- Eat # servings of vegetables using recommended recipes and/or meal plans, three-five times per day
- Eat # g of protein chosen from your list with every meal, three times per day
- Make homemade desserts using recommended recipes and recommended serving sizes, only eat once every other day
- Do your recommended exercises for 20 minutes, every other day
These are her actionable goals. The specific steps you recommend for your client to take to achieve her health strategy.
All of these steps put together in a logical time frame are like the editorial calendar.Before you start planning your editorial calendar, you need a strategy. #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
How to create your content marketing goals (strategy)
Your content strategy is based on your goals. To create your content strategy, write down your answers to these questions:
- Who is your ideal client? Who do you want to help?
- What are their pain points and goals?
- How do you help them (e.g., expertise/modalities, coaching/programs/products)?
- What makes you different from your competitors? What’s your brand position and perspective? What niche do you want to be the credible go-to expert in?
- What type of content do they want and care about (e.g., educational, how-to’s, inspirational, entertaining, etc.)?
- What format will you use (i.e., long/short, written/video/audio, etc.)?
- How do you want to categorize your content? Do you have/want specific categories?
- In the next 3 months:
- What are your achievement/outcome goals? For example, traffic/views, likes/shares, email subscribers, or sales?
- Do you want to be featured in or contribute to other magazines, blogs/vlogs/podcasts?
- How will you know if it’s working? How will you measure success?
NOTE: I said “achievement” goals, not “actionable” goals. This means that you’re strategizing achievements/outcomes, not planning step-by-step how to achieve these just yet. Don’t worry, in the editorial calendar, we’ll plug in the actionable steps that will help you achieve these goals.
I like to summarize a content strategy into a mission statement like this:
“The health content I publish helps (my business) accomplish (mission) by providing (frequency) (length) (type) (format) content in (categories) that helps (audience) feel (emotion) and (do action) so they can (eliminate pain point).”
Once you have your strategy, you can create your editorial calendar to execute that strategy.Here's how to create your content strategy #ContentStrategy #ContentMarketing Click To Tweet
By having a content strategy, you are visualizing and documenting the direction you want to take your business and marketing. These will help you to keep on-track to where you want to go, and not get side-tracked when something new comes up.
How to create your content marketing plan (editorial calendar)
Now it’s time to get real and see how to make your vision come to life. We will plan how things are going to get done, when they’re going to get done by, and who is going to do them.
Here are things to consider when creating your editorial calendar to support your content strategy.
Just as in the health plan example above, your first editorial calendar question is:
- What’s your budget in terms of time, money, and motivation?
How much time, money, and motivation do you have to create your main content (i.e., your blog/vlog/podcast)? Don’t forget your newsletter and social media are so simple once your main content is published.
Now, to create your editorial calendar, you need to answer:
- What days will you publish content on your own blog and other blogs (i.e., guest posting, being interviewed)?
- How will you balance out content for your different categories? Different formats? Different types?
- What “calls to action” will you use to achieve your strategic goals (e.g., email opt-in incentives, promotions within posts, purely promotional posts, etc.)?
- What topics will support your upcoming important days? E.g., birthday/anniversary, holidays, heath/food themed days, new product/service launches? Remember to nurture along the buyer’s journey, i.e., “warm” up your audience to upcoming offerings.
- What are your most/least popular posts? How can you maximize them? What’s trending on Google and social media?
- What content do you already have that you can update, re-publish in another format, or repurpose into a new piece?
- How are you going to find your audience, and how are they going to find you (e.g., guest posting, interviews, social media, advertising, SEO, etc.)?
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For example some actionable goals to include in an editorial calendar are:
- Blogging/podcasting/vlogging weekly
- Pitching interviews and guest posts weekly
- Creating a new opt-in incentive monthly
- Getting interviewed and/or guest posting monthly
You’ll notice that these goals are things you have full control over and can tick off your list. That’s what makes them actionable as part of your editorial calendar. You literally schedule them in.
Once you have your editorial calendar planned out, it just needs to get done.
And the best news is that you don’t have to do it all yourself! For example, do you want to accept guest posts? Do you want to outsource to a professional content manager and ghostwriter? Do you want to use and customize “done for you” content?
And, when you’ve decided which pieces you’re creating yourself, it’s SO SIMPLE to batch them together and create them all at once because you have a plan!
Plan = CalendarHere's how to create your editorial calendar based on you #contentstrategy - #editorialcalendar Click To Tweet
NOTE: Your editorial calendar is NEVER carved in stone! There may be a number of things that are non-negotiable and must be done on a certain date. For example special dates like your birthday/business anniversary, your launch dates, seasonal dates, or established heath/food dates. However, the rest will have some flexibility and you may be able to move them around if a new or exciting opportunity or viral health article that you HAVE to comment on comes up unexpectedly. Your editorial calendar is as flexible as you want it to be, and will help you meet your content strategy goals as much as you want to.
With all of these in mind, go ahead and download my content strategy editorial calendar template here:
Your strategic vision for your business drives all that you do. With high-quality, niche-specific content on your blog/vlog/podcast you will build a targeted audience, email subscribers, and ultimately, customers and clients.
Your content marketing goals (strategy) is the foundation for your editorial calendar. It’s the goals you want to achieve.
Your editorial calendar (plan) is your plan to achieve those goals. This is via your blog, vlog, or podcast, as well as how you share these to reach your audience via your newsletter, social media, advertising, etc.
Signing off and toasting: To having solid content marketing goals that grow your biz.
Over to you
What do you think? Do you have a content strategy? Do you have an up-to-date editorial calendar that supports your strategy? Do you want them?
I’d love to know (in the comments below)!
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I'm Leesa Klich, MSc., R.H.N.
Health writer – Blogging expert – Research nerd.
I help health and wellness professionals build their authority with scientific health content. They want to stand out in the crowded, often unqualified, market of entrepreneurs. I help them establish trust with their audiences, add credibility to their services, and save them a ton of time so they don’t have to do the research or writing themselves. To work with me, click here.