You might know me from classics such as “The About Us Page on this Website” or cinematic masterpieces such as “The Poofnewsales YouTube channel where I talk about content marketing”. But for those of you who don’t know me yet, I am Cody Marchant, the co-founder of Poofnewsales.com. My mission today is to create a Content Marketing “Roadmap” for you and your business. Did I just come right out and say I’m trying to sell you on something? You’re damn right I did!
Why so forward? The Content Marketing “Roadmap” is essential to being successful in your online business, and I WANT YOU to be successful. So before I can create one for you, let’s talk about what the “Roadmap” even is, who it’s right for, and how it will help you.
What is the “Roadmap?”
The Roadmap is pretty literal. It was named out of a lack of creativity and to be as direct as possible about what it does for a business. I’m very interested in the foundation of companies. I feel very strongly that a company can win or lose based solely on the first step taken as a company.
Does this mean that a company is failed if they take the wrong step right out of the gate? Maybe! I’m not saying that’s you. Let me explain a little bit deeper. I am a huge proponent of “Brand Positioning.” And I don’t mean in the traditional sense, I mean it the way that @AprilDunford talks about brand positioning. This changed my business 100%. April basically explains that a huge portion of amazing marketing work can be wasted by taking a business in the wrong direction. You may have been so focused on a competitor, when that company isn’t even your competition. What do I mean by that?
Positioning, in short, isn’t what you think it is. “Positioning is saying what your core problem(s) your product solves, how, in what market, against which competitors.
You can nail every channel and tactic, but if they take you in the wrong direction, what’s the point?” – Rand Fishkin.
Damn Rand I feel that! As a Content Marketing Agency I work with some of the best companies around and we do some great work together. But why waste time and money on content that might not be best suited for a company’s ideal customer?
That’s why I created the “Roadmap.”
The Roadmap Sets You up for Success
As soon as a company realizes that it’s ready to take the plunge and invest in organic traffic and content marketing, they NEED a “Roadmap” first. No exceptions.
Like Rand just explained in that quote above, we don’t want to waste any time or money into great marketing work, if it isn’t directly in line with serving our ideal customers.
I’ll give you a bit of a walkthrough into how a Roadmap is made, why each step is important, and how it all comes together.
What You Get In the Content Marketing Roadmap
Step 1. Nailing down your brand positioning. This is your North Star of your business for as long as you’ll be around. Get this right and enjoy the rewards. Get this wrong and “enjoy” years of spinning your wheels and some things randomly working well while others don’t, and not really knowing the reason why for either.
I use @AprilDunford’s table for building out the brand positioning hand-in-hand (hand and hand?) with the CEO/owner/CMO of the business. These are the 5 categories and questions we answer together.
Filling this out is huge. Before we ever create a piece of content, when we create the outline for the content, when we publish that content, and when we MEASURE THE SUCCESS of that content, we reference back to this table we filled out. Did we stay on brand with who we’re trying to help? Are we different enough from “competitors” so that we can own our solution in a “Blue Ocean”. (Real quick for anyone who didn’t read Blue Ocean. Blue Ocean is just a marketing book that says most companies compete in a red ocean. Lots of other sharks around fighting for the same food. But if you fight in a blue ocean, there’s less competition because you aren’t the same as the rest of the sharks going for the same food.)
Step 2. Once we nail positioning down 100% we can do a true dive into our competition. This is important because we want to know what everyone else is doing that’s working, but more importantly we use this to find gaps where our customers aren’t getting help from our competitors.
Step 3. Let’s just call this the “Game Plan.” A ton of stuff starts to happen here and I’d like to bundle it all into one step so this article doesn’t take you 15 minutes to read, okay?
Basically this is where a deep dive of a site’s Search Console and Google Analytics is done. If you’re a brand new site, this doesn’t apply to you of course. We’ll just go to step 4 for you.
But if you aren’t a new site, this is where we see what you’re currently doing really well, and where we can improve. We’ll look at where you rank for your money keywords, what pages are getting the most traffic, blah blah blah a lot of technical stuff that basically gives us an idea of Content that needs to be upgraded because there’s a big payoff for it.
Basically in this stage, we’re finding all our “Upgraded Content” opportunities, as well as getting a sense of how your customers currently view your website and if it needs to be optimized based on the Positioning Chart that we filled out, or if you’re already on the right path.
Step 4. This is where we start doing the fun stuff! Buyer Personas. Sure you know who you want to be buying your product or service, but let’s get specific.
Say you’re a plastic surgeon.
First thing I would do is learn about a client’s emotional reasons for plastic surgery. That’s pretty easy to google and find, but I actually CALL clients’ customers and interview them. I ask questions that get to the bottom of why they purchase, what were they afraid of, what eased those fears, what would have made them buy sooner, where they searched for information etc.
Then I build the editorial calendar SPECIFICALLY with that customer in mind the entire time through creation. How would SHE be feeling at this stage knowing what her journey looked like. What emotions is she having? What can we say to her to take action? Everything is built off that
Every piece of content created needs to have your clients in mind. See how in this article I’ve tried not to get too far in depth with the technical things I’d do in a Roadmap? It’s because I KNOW MY CUSTOMERS. My customers are BUSY people but they like to learn and get things done. So I’m explaining the process but respecting your time at the same time.
Know your customer every step of the way.
Step 5. CONTENT CALENDAR BABY! You want new topics to write about that will drive real traffic and leads to your business? Check. You want to find “highest impact”, “lowest competition” “breakthrough” “longtail” content? Check. This is where it all comes together, but can’t be done skipping steps 1-4. This is where the “Roadmap” starts to really get its name. If you just follow the content calendar, you’ll be successful because of all the planning and research that went into every single piece.
Let’s take it one step further though. What if you don’t have a large enough budget to hire Poofnewsales.com to create all the content for you? Of course it’ll be amazing if you do, but the Roadmap was built to support companies of all budgets. That’s why we go a step further and OUTLINE every piece of content on the content calendar. We do keyword research, we put what topics should be covered. I even add the H2’s for every article and which questions to answer to rank higher on Google. The Roadmap comes with all these great topics AND outlines to just have a writer go to town with.
Pardon my French, but the Roadmap is absolutely BADASS. Whether you’re a brand new company that wants to build the foundation for future success, or a successful business trying to take things to the new level, a Roadmap is right for you. This is honestly the most proud I’ve ever been to offer a product or service because I know how insane the value is and how many people I can help with this.