I’ve been in marketing, one way or another, since 2005 (a time when the term “content marketing” was barely used!). In the ensuing years, I’ve written my fair share of marketing plans – often (at the beginning at least) as lengthy Word documents. Thankfully, they’re now much shorter. Nobody wants to read your marketing plan – they just want to know it works.
In the middle of last year, I found a beautiful digital marketing strategy template by Blake Emal. It was so clear and so simple. I loved it and saved it. Since then, I’ve used the same template for every marketing plan I’ve worked on, and I’ve used it again for DQventures. Sadly, I’ve never made one quite as elegant as Blake’s, but as a visual person I still find it a great way to organise my thoughts.
Here’s the marketing plan we created for DQ:
The thinking behind this plan is what every content marketing plan should be: producing content that the target audience will want to see. In our case, we’re aiming to reach wannabe entrepreneurs who have almost, but not quite, left their highly paid job to start their own business. So, we produce content that we think these people will find interesting and useful. We’re not trying to partner with them all (DQ was founded to help people to achieve great things and, in doing so, to change the world). Instead, we’re writing for every entrepreneur that’s trapped inside the body of an employee.
A content marketing plan should focus on producing content that the target audience will want to see, or even better ONLY the target audience will want to see. That way, you know you're reaching the right audience, and can use remarketing to keep your brand in view.
If we can play a part in helping more people start their own business, we’ve achieved our mission. What’s more, the more people like this we reach, the greater our chances of finding future DQventures founders.
How do I create a startup content marketing plan?
The honest answer to this question is that these days I ask people smarter than me. In this case, as well as borrowing Blake’s template, above, I enlisted the help of my good friend, and former business partner, Matt Tulett. Matt is annoyingly clever. Before I ask him to explain something, I remind him to speak slowly and imagine I’m a 7-year-old child. He is also a self-made man. He spent some time consulting for the likes of Goldman Sachs, but got bored with that and now makes a living investing in stocks, property, ideas, and – my favourite – startups.
When describing how to design a content marketing strategy, Matt’s advice was as follows:
“Start by creating a user persona or two. Who are your ideal customers? Be specific, with names, ages, interests, etc. Once you’ve done that, have a brainstorm around what these personas are going to want to see. Come up with a bunch of ideas, and try to think as laterally as possible. After that, go out and do the keyword research to build out your content plan.
“But don’t just focus on your audience’s interests. For example, I had a chat with RevLifter [an e-commerce business Matt and I both invested in] about doing articles on Google Shopping. RevLifter doesn’t offer anything connected with Google Shopping, but if someone is reading their articles about Google Shopping, it’s likely they’re involved in e-commerce and are therefore someone RevLifter might want to reach.
“Likewise with Tailster [another portfolio company, which started as a community of dog owners and dog walkers, but has grown into much more]. Indy [Tailster’s founder and a great human] could easily create lots of cute, fluffy dog and cat videos, but all that would tell him is that the audience likes cute cat videos. However, if he writes about pug dog encephalitis, then he can be pretty darn sure that his readers are going to be pug owners (or prospective owners, which also works!).”
Love it, thanks Matt!
So, my job is to work out what people who are still employed but want to launch a startup might want to read about. I then need to produce some relevant content, in video or words, or both, and then I need to promote that content across the various DQventures channels. Once that is done, once again in the inimitable words of Matt:
“You can then use remarketing wotnots to chase them around your content and warm them up, and then lead them to your products and services.”
Sounds easy. I’ll report back on the progress we make. It shouldn’t be too hard to track. Our website is brand new, so aside from the users we generated with our first news update, we have virtually no traffic at present (see below). Watch this space...
Feature image: Marketing Strategy by Kaboompics .com.