One of the biggest reasons people fall off the content marketing bandwagon is because it feels so dang overwhelming. How do you have time to write, share, and create?
What I’ve found in my years of doing this isn’t that the creative part is hard – it’s coming up with a plan that will move the needle toward your end goals and then sticking to it. It’s seeing the value in the work. When you sporadically post new stuff, it’s easy to feel like you’re wasting your time.
But when you see how each piece of content plays into a bigger strategy, creating great work suddenly feels purposeful and productive. Enter: The bullet journal.
If you’re not familiar with the bullet journal, do yourself a favor and check it out. Here’s a video by the makers of the bullet journal to give you an idea of why it was created and what all the hype is about.
I fell in love with it recently because of how simple it makes everything. I use it to track my running miles, my financial goals, and, of course, my content marketing strategy.
Elements of a Bullet Journal Content Marketing Strategy
Most bullet journal pages shared online are beautiful with color and flare. I have a few of those in my bullet journal, but for the most part, I like to keep it basic. Color comes in when I fill it in. For the sake of this post, the template I’m presenting is basic. Make it your own by adding imagery (I give you ideas of where to do that below), using colored pens, or making your fonts come to life with calligraphy. That part is up to you. For now, let’s look at how to get your one-page content marketing strategy bullet journal style all set up for maximum productivity.
Here’s the template I use.
This section only gets one or two bullet points. It’s your reason for having a content marketing strategy in the first place. For example:
- Increase sales of product X
- Position our business as a leader in the market
- Expand into market Y
It’s big picture, so avoid getting too specific here. The point is to remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Your goals section is the time when you can (and should) get more specific as to what exactly you want to achieve through your efforts. This is where you drill down into numbers. Remember to keep these goals S.M.A.R.T. – specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. A few examples include:
- Increase revenue to $X in Q1
- Grow sales of Product Y by X%
- Increase traffic to website by X% in 6 months
I kept this in a small section because you should really only have one or two goals at a time to stay on track.
Want to beef up your bullet journal? Try adding a goal tracker on the next page. There’s something invigorating about tracking your progress and celebrating small milestones along your path to a big goal.
Who We Serve:
I like to keep the reader front and center. Knowing who I’m talking to is fundamental if I’m going to write anything that’ll resonate, so it was a natural addition to this bullet journal style content marketing strategy.
But it’s important to note that this isn’t enough. These are capsule versions of my buyer personas. I’ve already gone through the legwork of defining each of my target readers (and yes, I have a few varieties) elsewhere. I’ve created my empathy maps and I’ve mapped out their journeys. This section is only meant to trigger my memory of these folks, so when I go to create a new piece of content, I have them in mind.
Bullet journals are meant to inspire quick thinking and maximum productivity. So, in this section, you can make it visually appealing and more effective by adding a picture of your buyers. I like to use actual pictures of clients I know well and engage with regularly. This deepens that instant connection, so instead of feeling like you’re writing to a floating head, you instantly feel like you’re creating something for a living, breathing human. Powerful, right?
You know you’re different and you know you have something unique to offer, but have you pinpointed why you’re different. Have you pinpointed exactly what makes you unique in your market?
Again, this is a capsule version of what makes you, YOU. It’s a quick glimpse of your brand and a fast reminder of why people are choosing your content over your competition’s.
In this box, you can list your differentiators in several formats:
- Quotes from clients about why they chose you;
- One word triggers to remind you of how you want to stand out;
- A quote of what people are saying about your brand when you’re not around (or what you want them to say).
The goal here is to serve up a small reminder of what makes you unique, so you can keep that in mind when creating content. It helps you avoid the comparison game and fall victim to regurgitating the same old stuff that’s floating around online already. It’s your key to showing up and standing out, so it deserves a spot in your bullet journal strategy.
Here’s where things start to get fun. The strategy section is where you get to outline exactly how you’re going to achieve your objectives and goals, and reach the people you want to reach. We aren’t getting into the nitty-gritty here. This section is about defining what you’ll do to make your goals a reality. Here are a few ideas to kickstart your thinking:
- Become a go-to expert in my city about topic XYZ
- Produce educational content
- Deliver snippets of thought-provoking insights
The strategies you choose to implement will serve as your guide to decision making. Are you creating content that falls in line with this strategy? If not, you’re about to veer away from your progress toward your objectives and goals. It’s a good measure to keep you on track.
Content marketing tends to get ignored because many people don’t know how to measure it’s impact. But, the ROI of content marketing is very real when you know what metrics to monitor – and that’s exactly what this section is intended to show you.
The metrics you monitor depend on your end goals. Here are a few examples of common and valuable metrics to track:
- Website traffic
- Conversions on your website from visitors into email subscribers/leads/webinar signups, etc.
- Leads generated from your website
- Social shares
- Referral traffic
- Revenues (!!!)
You get the idea. Put a number on your content marketing success, so you can track exactly how effective your strategies are over the long run. This again is another great page to add into your bullet journal too – a page to track your key metrics.
Topics We Cover:
You’re an expert in what you do, so it’s tempting to scatter your thoughts and talk about everything under the sun in your industry. I know because I’m guilty of it too.
Having a list of topics you cover is valuable for two reasons. First, it keeps you on track to producing content that’s relevant and meaningful. But second, it helps you come up with ideas when you get stuck – because you will get stuck. Having this list of topics eliminates excuses and inspires you in a frozen moment.
What It Looks Like In Action:
This is my favorite part! This is where you get to see your ideas come together and create a quick plan for yourself. I love putting this in the bullet journal style because it makes a daunting strategy feel achievable.
I’ve broken out this section into three columns – media, size, and frequency.
Media is the platform you’ll use. For example, your blog, a webinar, an email blast, or a social network.
Size is how big the content must be. You might choose short blog posts over long. Or you might choose to offer a half hour webinar over an hour. The size is up to you but it’s a good idea to keep it consistent so your consumers know what to expect.
Frequency is exactly what it sounds like. How often will you deliver this type of content?
Make a list and then schedule it. This is what your plan will look like going forward. Exciting, right?
Your Bullet Journal Content Marketing Plan
That’s it! It’s a bite-sized glimpse at your content marketing strategy in bullet journal format to keep you productive and creative. I’d love to see your bullet journals as they come together – specifically your content marketing plan like this one. Share it and tag Savvy Copywriters so I can cheer you on!