Goals for Content Marketing Planning

Imagine preparing food without knowing what dish you were serving at dinner or sleeping in a house built without architectural drawings. 

Having a goal is a good thing, and that’s no different for content marketing. So gather your team to plan for content marketing before creating materials to put your objectives and team on a path to success. 

It doesn’t need to be an intense closed-door strategy session that takes a week. You just need at least one goal to steer content. This allows you to measure success and land resources from around the business when needed. 

Content marketing can be used to support or directly drive just about any business goal. For example, we recently did a deep-dive of Lulu Press’s content marketing and found very close ties between its brand mission and content marketing strategy. But, don’t boil the ocean. Start simple. 

If you’re not sure where to start, we put together examples of content marketing goals we see over and over again to give your planning a head start. 

1. Demonstrate brand values with content marketing

We mentioned how Lulu Press makes good on its brand promise through content marketing. Take a look for deeper insights as our breakdown goes into how the self-publishing company executes on its content strategy, alignment to business goals, and connection to audience challenges with the power of content.

Take a look at our breakdown of Lulu Press’s content marketing in our What is Good Content? series …

Content Strategy Best Practices Here!

Sometimes, marketing isn’t just about sales and leads. Yes, those are highly important. But, brand is everything. Planning content marketing materials that build your brand helps connect your business with the larger community. Putting resources on brand development or community development might seem fluffy up front, but it’s how Nike became Nike. It’s a great way to break your business apart from the pack.

Why would you pick this strategy:

  • Your business has deep connections to values and wants to raise awareness
  • There’s a passionate community you can tap into as a market-penetration strategy

Specific goals:

  • Website traffic
  • Social media engagement
  • Leads or closed sales
  • Brand authority scoring

Considerations when planning:

  • Be committed. A single blog post that shows your values won’t cut it. 
  • Be creative. Showing your brand values can be a series of checkboxes or a differentiator. The choice is yours, but your community and customers will know the difference. 

2. Grow website traffic with content marketing

The number of online shoppers is projected to grow from 1.52 in 2015 to 2.14 billion people in 2021. With growth like that, it’s hard to ignore the importance of drawing more people to your website. Growing the amount of website visitors, also known as inbound traffic, creates more opportunities to make a sale. 

Why would you pick this strategy:

  • To be more competitive online in a crowded market
  • Bring in more prospective customers that you can nurture into high-quality leads and buyers
  • Get in the door earlier on sales conversations

Specific goals:

  • Website page views
  • New users per session
  • Domain authority ranking
  • Keyword rankings

Considerations when planning:

  • Be wary of putting a specific website traffic number down or committing to growth percentages over time. A 10% month-over-month traffic growth is very achievable early, but gets very difficult over time. 
  • Look closely at how competitive keywords are in your industry. This essentially sets the “pitch” of the mountain you need to climb. Some industries are easier than others. 
  • Website traffic does not guarantee revenue or new business. Make sure your website is geared to convert visitors into customers. 

3. Support marketing campaigns with content marketing

Content marketing can become a revenue and lead-generation powerhouse, but it takes time. Fortunately, many other marketing strategies need fresh content. You can “double-dip” and use your materials in emails, newsletters, social media, tradeshows, webinars, PR, and more. 

Why would you pick this strategy:

  • You have other marketing tactics that work and need support
  • There are short-term goals you need to support while you gain traction in search engines

Specific goals:

  • Clickthrough rate for emails / newsletters
  • Social media engagement (followers, shares, etc.)
  • Form fills (for gated content)
  • Customer acquisition; customer retention
  • Cost of customer acquisition

Considerations when planning:

  • Synchronize planned marketing activity (e.g., tradeshows, sales, or product launches) with content marketing plans.
  • Fit materials for your audience and platforms. Find out what people click on and engage with so you’re delivering the right materials, in the right place, and at the right time.

4. Support sales and purchases with content marketing

Content marketing is a great way to “sink the hook deeper.” That could mean giving sales staff tools they need on prospecting calls or for timely follow-ups with leads. Or, it could mean closing sales by solving customer challenges with relevant content that helps people acquire exactly what they need the first time they complete an order. 

Why would you pick this strategy:

  • You have long sales cycles where sales reps may benefit from additional resources
  • There’s complexity to your product or industry that calls for research

Specific goals:

  • Qualified leads; lead scoring
  • Sales cycle timeframes
  • Closed won/lost percentages
  • Completed orders (eCommerce)
  • Basket size (eCommerce)

Considerations when planning:

  • Talk to sales and customer-facing teams (such as customer service and support) to look for recurring challenges you can address in content marketing materials.

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