I’ve previously introduced the concept of a scientific content marketing plan, and how it can contribute to a successful scientific inbound marketing plan. But putting these ideas into action, takes some seriously planning and thought. Therefore, having a plan to turn your individual scientific blog posts into a proper content marketing plan is crucial. In this post, I am going to talk about how you can create your own marketing plan; what you need to consider and how you can turn it into long term business success.
Marketing goalsBefore you even think about any content, or long term strategy, you should define the purpose of your content marketing plan. It is rare that two businesses will have exactly the same goals, but there are likely to include on or more of the following:
- Brand awareness
- Improve SEO
- Build an email list
- Lead acquisition
Content auditOnce you’ve identified you goals, it’s time to audit your current content performance. A content audit should look at a few things to assess the performance of the following:
- Existing content
- Keyword gaps
- Competitor strategy
Research your audienceYou can have the best content plans in the world, but if you don’t understand your target audience, your content will not meet meet its desired goals. There are plenty of scientists in different job positions for a range of types of companies. Targeting a R&D scientist compared to a managing director of a life science business, will most likely have different business challenges they are looking to overcome. And they are likely to consume different types of content, and find it differently. Therefore, a good content marketing plan should fully research and understand your target audience. You may have more than one ‘persona’ or ‘archetype’ that you are trying to target – no problem, just create suitable content for each audience!
Determine content intentNot all content has the same intent. When I talk about intent, I mean matching a piece of content to the aspirations of your audience. If somebody is looking to research a topic, you shouldn’t be giving them a sales pitch for your products. Similarly, if somebody is looking to buy your product, don’t send them to blog posts convincing them that your product or service is the best. At the end of the day, content intent comes down to your marketing goals mentioned above. If you are trying to generate brand awareness, improve SEO or capture emails, informative article and blog posts that can target a larger audience make sense. But if you are trying to make more sales, having landing pages that convert your visitors makes much more sense!
Determine your content typesJust like you are matching your content intent to your target audience, you need to ensure that the content you do produce is in the right format. Do you create a blog post, a podcast, infographic, or video for example? So when it comes to finding ideas for a scientific content strategy, a bit of research can be your friend. For example, a search for ‘how to clean laboratory glassware’ in Google, shows YouTube videos in the results page, suggesting a video may be of more use than a blog article or podcast. Alternatively, a search for ‘how to write a lab risk assessment’ returns plenty of PDF documents include templates and examples for users: Once you have a content idea in mind, with known information about the target audience you can research what content types exist and are most prominent. This isn’t particularly difficult, but could determine whether your content is a success or fails!
Create a content calendarOnce you’ve spent time identifying your audience, finding content ideas and matching the intent behind keywords, you just need to ensure you create the content to meet those needs. Having the ideas for new content is one thing, but producing scientific content is another thing. I previously written about different ways to produce scientific content, but planning when new content and produced and published can be achieved with a content calendar. A content calendar allows you to see and plan who creates content and when it is required. This content flow of new content will help benefit your website’s SEO performance, and will demonstrate to your audience that you are active and relevant to solve problems. Content calendars can be as simple as assigning articles to dates. But also allow you to plan for target keywords, draft URLs, create a list of resources to include or reference; the potential is endless!
Content promotion planPlanning and creating content is useless unless you plan to promote it. There are plenty of ways to promote content; optimise it for SEO, share on social media, or even directly via email. Some channels will work better than others for your business, you just need to test and optimise for each. But if you can devise a successful promotion plan, there really are no limits to the size of the audience you can reach.
Measure resultsUnfortunately, a content strategy isn’t something that you can plan, create content and wait for results. A strategy should be a constantly evolving; optimising existing content, finding new opportunities and comparing your results versus you competitors. Regardless of how much work goes into your planning, external factors will always need to be considered and new opportunities
To concludeA content marketing strategy is a proven marketing strategy for almost any industry with an online presence. The good news for science businesses, is that the number of businesses competing with content marketing is slow. This gives you the perfect opportunity to go and dominate your niche industry online before your competitors even think about it.