How to create a content marketing plan for 2023

Next year is going to be tough for a lot of business owners. Standing out from the crowd is going to be crucial. So how are you going to weather the storm and stay on top?

Having a clear and consistent content strategy will ensure you are not only being visible, but saying and doing the right things to play to your strengths and attract the absolute ideal niche client for you.

I love to bring clarity and a-ha moments to my clients that helps them understand what strengths they should be playing on, and how to create a structure to their marketing to stay consistent.

As we head into November, now is the time to start thinking about next year. If you want to hit the ground running or start planning for a launch early next year, then now is the time to plan.

Here are my tips for creating a plan and getting ahead next year.

Set realistic goals

If you don’t have a huge ad budget how are you going to get those 10k followers and once you have them how are you going to keep them engaged if you don’t have the time to be online every hour of every damn day?

Be realistic with the resources you have.

You don’t actually need 10k followers if you only need five high paying clients this year.

Set yourself a vision for the end of the year. Visualise it and make it real in your mind.

Then work backwards.

What goals do you need to set for each quarter to get to that end vision, and then each month what are the specific actions you need to take.

Get super specific and niche down

As a coach you will likely be delivering your services online and therefore you have a huge audience to work with. 

So, niching down on a specific sub-set of society or a specific skill you have will help you find clients faster, because they will be more attracted to what you have to offer if you can solve their specific need.

Once you know who you are looking to work with and attract you will be able to do the research to really understand what their innermost ambitions are. The more specific you can get the better.

Remember it’s not about you, so the more you can focus on your audience’s needs the better.

Choose channels and formats that bring you joy 

BUT don’t forget it’s not just about you. You must enjoy creating content but if you enjoy writing and your ideal client doesn’t have the time to sit and read a long blog then you won’t reach them. Although there is merit in blogs to get traffic onto your site, you can then use other snackable content on the page to take the reader on a journey.

If you are attracting young professionals that work in offices, then yeah they might sit and read a blog on the way to work. 

If you are attracting mums who work for themselves then snackable content is better. You get the gist.

Also, it’s important to weigh up the types of content creation you absolutely hate or if it’s just bringing you out of your comfort zone. I’m a firm believer that with time and practice we can get over our discomforts. Fear on the other hand will likely take some therapy to get through so pick your battles.

Create a publishing plan and a content calendar

This is my favourite bit.

Once you have figured out all the content you need to:

  • Sell your business
  • Communicate your values and show off your personality
  • Answer those burning client questions

Map it all out on a calendar for the next 12 months. I say 12 months because there may be seasonality to your business and there will be specific events and awareness days that are important. 

For each month pick a theme and create mini campaigns around these themes.

You’ll soon be able to see where the gaps are in terms of where you might be selling too much or too little or showing your values well in one period but need to boost it in others.

Create authentic content

To create authentic content that has the most impact consider this three-step content marketing process from George Kao, author of Authentic Content Marketing.

  1. Create informal bitesize content – quick videos or posts on specific ideas or topics
  2. From the posts that generate the most engagement – work these into longer form content – blogs, videos, podcasts etc
  3. For the well performing pieces bring these together into a book or course

Consider creating videos and podcasts

It’s worth mentioning that video and podcasting is still generating a lot of momentum and is thought to be an ongoing trend as we move into 2023. 

The content marketing world has been banging on about video content for years now. All the social platforms prioritise video above all else, especially Live. And Reels get a much higher reach than anything else on Instagram.

There are ways of doing video without being in front of the camera but my advice is always, get in front of that camera and build connections and trust with your audience.

A video can do so much more for your brand than any other content online.

The jury is still out for me on podcasts, although I love them and they are another great visibility tool, and EVERYONE listens to podcasts. 

But the platforms don’t offer great searchability options and it’s hard to link people to other places and take them on a journey. 

However, if you are doing a good job at linking your content and platforms together if people love what they hear they will seek you out.

Build a community

Community is going to be huge as we go into a turbulent year. People are looking for connection more than ever. Create safe spaces for people to come together and nurture your relationships.

This can be done on or offline with networking groups, Facebook Groups, Mighty Networks or a Slack channel.

I would say that relying on another platform is risky. Platforms can disappear over night or go down for long periods of time and the likes of Facebook and Instagram are making it more difficult for YOUR audience to find your content. Not to mention the face that you have no control over the data.

Building an email list is a safe way to create and nurture a community. More on that here.

Measure your progress

As part of your plan consider how you are going to measure success based on your goals from the beginning.

Keep listening to your customers, measure and refine as you go.

I LOVE to help clients through this process and get super specific on helping them create a solid and clear plan for the year. My Kickstart package is a 90-minute session, workbook, accountability and follow up to get you off to a great start. Find out more here.