If you read last month’s article, we laid out the first month’s worth of activities to jumpstart a content marketing campaign – this is especially handy if you’re a small business owner with little time to spend outside of your normal work activities. We’ve done much of the up-front planning so you don’t have to, and we allocate no more than 5-6 hours each week to implement your content marketing campaign.

However, the hours suggestions below are just that: suggestions. They come from a wide range of marketing agency experience here at Dynamics, while taking into account the limited amount of time with which you have to work.

Here is what you’ve (ideally) done so far:

  • Keyword research
  • You’ve set up your blog and customized it
  • You’ve set up an email subscriber service to manage the mountains of subscribers you’re about to have
  • You’ve set up social media profiles on your platforms of choice
  • You’ve established metrics to determine the success of your campaign on an ongoing basis
  • You wrote (or are writing) your first couple pillar articles, with other smaller articles in the mix
  • You’ve published and begun to connect with your audience online

Time to start month two!

Content Marketing Plan Implementation – Month Two

Week One

Set Up Content Calendar (1-2 hours)

An editorial calendar for your blog will help keep you on track and hold you accountable. For now, it’s a good idea to have a content calendar that covers the next 2-3 months. Just understand that this is something you will have to continually keep up to date. We recommend a calendar that designates the following fields:

  • Topic
  • Description
  • Keyword(s)
  • Submission Date (rough draft)
  • Publish Date
  • Target audience
  • Call to action

Examples of content calendars are all over the World Wide Web. Get Googling!

Set Up Landing Pages (3 hours)

This step can be done in either month one or month two, but should absolutely be a priority in your content marketing efforts. Landing pages designed for lead generation are exponentially more effective at capturing emails than simply placing a sign-up form on the blog. We’ll get into split testing in months three and four.

Ideally, a landing page lacks the traditional navigation elements so the only message on display is the targeted copy and the call-to-action, thereby increasing the probability that visitors will sign up to receive your blog posts or newsletters in their inbox. If you don’t work with a web developer who can set up the technical aspects, we recommend a landing page service like LeadPages plugin or Premise. These are WordPress plugins, so hopefully, if you took our advice in the Month One post, you’re using WordPress and can easily integrate these into your site.

Effective copywriting will take up the majority of your time when setting up the landing pages. Make it short, sweet, and direct – explain to the visitor what’s in it for them if they sign up to receive your updates. Need help writing effective landing page copy? Check out Neil Patel’s Definitive Guide to Copywriting.

Keep Writing (as time allows)

Writing is the most difficult piece of any content marketing campaign, simply because it takes the most time and seems to generate (momentarily, anyway) the least amount of return. But we have to remember that writing is the heart of the content marketing campaign, and without good writing and solid articles, all the other work you’re doing is for naught.

Week Two

Set Up Social Media Advertising (3 hours)

Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all offer effective, targeted advertising methods to boost social traffic and, in turn, engagement with your target audience. They also offer wonderful analytics to help you track the effectiveness of your ads. It’s like the sprinter’s starting blocks – social advertising will propel you to an early lead ahead of your competition.

ben-franklin-300Keep Writing (2 hours)

“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Benjamin Franklin, the original content marketer

Week Three

Step Up Networking efforts (2 hours)

Ideally networking has not fallen by the wayside as we discuss other important pieces of the equation along the road that is a great content marketing strategy. But now that you have a few weeks of original content you’ve published on your blog, you have firmer ground on which to stand. Post, tweet and share your articles on social networks and to your email subscribers. But don’t be too self-promotional. Remember: content marketing is about adding value, not simply promoting your own work.

A good rule I heard a while back for how to allocate this time on social media was dubbed the 60/30/10 Rule:

  • 60% of your time – dedicated to posting third-party informational/educational pieces related to your industry, including articles, studies and infographics,
  • 30% of your time – dedicated to networking with your peers on social networks
  • 10% of your time – self-promotional

Ten percent not seem like enough time? Especially because you’re spending so much time writing these articles! How else are people supposed to find them?! ‘Tis the paradox of content marketing, because nobody likes a tweeter who incessantly touts the merit of his own work.

Hemingway-300Keep Writing (4 hours)

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
– Ernest Hemingway, a man I’m sure would hate Twitter, if for no other reason than it’s called Twitter

Week Four

Examine Metrics and Refine Content Calendar (2 hours)

Moving forward, we will be refining the content calendar at the end of each month to reflect the inexorable passage of sand through the hourglass. To ensure this is done effectively, we must spend time:

  • Examining the performance of our past blog posts, seeing where people are coming from, how long they’re staying, and what they’re clicking on
  • Keeping an eye on industry trends and the types of articles achieving success in your industry
  • Editing the content calendar, tacking on another month to the end and refining content within as necessary

Use the tools at your disposal to refine your content: Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and social media analytics inherent to the individual platforms.

Keep Writing (4 hours)

Yep. This is happening. You’re creating this much content. Be excited.

That’s it for month two! Stay tuned for month three and, as always, give us a call if you have any questions or need more details to get started with your own content marketing plan. We’re here to help.

Jeff-G+-ImageJeff Hirz is the Social Media and Content Marketing Manager at Dynamics Online.
You can reach him by calling (216) 292-4410.