How to plan your content roadmap and boost your SEO in Vancouver

If you are looking to promote your brand using blogging, content marketing and rank above your competition on search this blog will help you plan accordingly. If you have already been producing content regularly but having a hard time figuring out how it all connects to the overall marketing of your brand, this blog will help you with insights, techniques, mindset and tactics that will guide you to get the most out of your efforts. Where ever you are in your business journey, if you plan to use content marketing to promote your brand this blog is a must read.

I have been running a digital marketing company for almost 2 and a half years. Quite a young company in a competitive landscape. There is one thing that I do so well that has allowed me to cut through the noise and rise above my competition. That ONE thing is what this blog is about. It is not tips, tricks or tactics. It goes way beyond that.

What this blog is really about and why you need to read it?

This blog is about you getting the most out of your content marketing efforts by following a simple but proven strategy. You will get a clear roadmap on how to plan your blogs the right way, how to set goals and execute them. 

Even if you have not started with content marketing but you plan to use this powerful marketing tool to promote your brand this blog will help you get started the right way. From strategies to goal setting, objective setting and implementing a proven formula, you will start to see results quickly. 

This blog is mostly about how to plan, write and execute your content and promote it using search (SEO). Which is to say, search engines will start to pick your content and help it rank high for relevant keywords.

What this blog is not about?

This blog is not about how to install blogging tools and the likes. There are many other blogs out there that will help you out with the right tools and 'how to' steps. We won't go in to the mechanics and technical aspects of where and how to get your blog started, what platforms to use, etc. This post is about strategically planning your content for weeks, months or years in advance. Maintaining the  discipline, being consistent and committing to it. And what results you can expect if you follow the road map.

How to get the most out of this blog? 

There is this key phrase that is common in the entrepreneurship world. "Speed of Implementation". To get the most out of this blog, download all the resources that are available in this blog post and start implementing it. Implement the strategies and tactics immediately. This blog is about you taking time to think, plan, execute measure your progress and repeat the cycle. It is about following a system. Make this system a habit. 

Content planning and execution is is a high income skill. Not many know how to write content properly. Most blogs are sub-par. There are numerous digital marketing companies and yet half of them barely write content properly. Writing content has been a proven and very effective strategy for us at ANTSAND. I assure you, it will work for you too if you follow the right strategy. 

In the first part of the blog we will define what content marketing is. We will then move on to the mindset of a powerful content marketing specialist, their behaviors, lifestyle and ecosystem. From there we move on to strategy and action steps. 

Let us get started!

What is content marketing? 

In a nutshell, 'content' is all about producing 'Information' or educating your audience. Information can be an education material or a news article. You can produce information using different modalities like video, images, infographics, podcast. You then share this piece of information  to the public using different platforms like social media, your website blog, SEO, etc. 

This process of generating information, educating your audience, putting it out there and using platforms to attract readers, bringing in more eyes to you website or brand is the essence of content marketing. The whole idea of writing content is to put your name out there attract prospects and convert those prospects into customers.

For the most part, content creation and sharing is free. Some companies might charge you for reading their content. Mostly news websites. Some might promote their content using paid advertisements just to get more leads and eyes to their website. Depending on your goals and audience, various promotion strategies might work.

Why is content marketing important?

Content marketing is a high income skill. It will be relevant as long as the internet is around. Why? Because all we do on the internet is consume information in different ways, shape or form. Be it video, reading a blog, viewing an infographic, listening to a podcast etc. All of this is a form of producing content. And those who master the art of producing relevant content that people want to read, search engines want to rank and social media loves to share will be very valuable asset or skill-set in the marketpalce. 

Many companies needs content writers and marketers to help them with their brand promotion. Having a great content marketing specialist in your team, is a valuable asset that will keep paying you dividends. So how do you hire or become a specialist? And what qualities does a content marketing specialist entail.  

Content marketing myths

When it comes to content marketing, it is shocking how many companies just do not get it. I see companies that have a mediocre blog or blog that was last updated 4 years ago. Their social media presences is mediocre. Clearly content marketing is not part of their strategy. IT is not their priority. It baffles me, if content marketing is not your priority then what is your priority? 

I will tell you this. Content marketing help you get the attention of the people. And money follows attention.  Success and power follows attention. So, if you are not working on content marketing, it might be because you have a wrong impression about content marketing  or you do not believe in it. Let us clear some myths and move on to the right mindset. 

Content marketing will not work for my company

I am not sure where does this idea come from, but every industry needs content marketing to promote their business. As mentioned above, you need to build attention. If you think content marketing will not help you get more customers for your business, then you are approaching content marketing the wrong way. In the mind set section, we will help change your mindset.

Written content will be irrelevant in the future
Content writing used to work, now it is too saturated

I can see where this is coming from. Most of this debate is because people focus on the technology. Content marketing is not much got to do with technology but a lot got to do with psychology.  Human psychology has been the same for 40,00 years and will be the same for the next 40,00 years. Content marketing is about tapping into your prospects mind and convincing them that you are the authority and have a trusted reputation. People hate to be sold, but love to buy. Your job in producing high value content is to help them convince themselves they need your service or product. This is how you use content marketing.

What ever modality you use to do it, is irrelevant. What is important is to position your brand in the right place in people mind. You do not want them to perceive you as a pushy sales person. Rather you want them to perceive you as the go to person for that service/product. To position your brand accordingly, content marketing will help you.  

Content writing  is a waste of time and money

I hear this all the time. Content marketing is a waste of time. I had one person calculate how much time I spend on writing content and mentioned that is how much money you have wasted. Where is the proof it will work? It is hard for me to convince someone who has a short term thinking strategy. Very hard. The blogs that are giving me return on investment, I have written them 2 years ago. So clearly from a short term perspective it is a waste of time. 

But then the real question is, do you plan to kill your company in 2 years? If not, then why not build assets that will keep giving years after you have produced content. If you think short term, sure it is a waste of time, if you think long term you are building an asset. Yes, it does cost you time, but it will give you an R.O.I that none of your marketing strategies will ever give. 

There are more myths, but I think I have made my point clear. Think about content marketing as building an asset. With that, let us move on to mindsets. 

Mindset and behaviors of a content marketing specialist

Cognitive demand task - Writing content is a cognitive demanding task. I see many people think they can just open their laptops and start writing. You sure can, but you need to do so without any distraction. Content writing demands a lot of mental resources. The reason why most people do not write content is because they underestimate the mental energy required to produce content. It will test your creativity, your mental power and mental stamina. Make sure you are preparing your mind with you write content. Keep it fresh, free of distraction and have a routine when you get into content generating mode

Keep things simple not simpler - The goal of your content writing is to share information with your audience and keep things simple. Do not use complex words, complex sentences and also do not make it too simple. Simplicity sells, complexity frustrates. 

Share what the market wants - Most of us use the internet to find information. Therefore produce information users want to read. Post content people are actively looking for. If no one wants to read what you are writing then your content is not really valuable. So write content that people want to read.

Commitment and consistency - Be consistent and disciplined. You cannot write once and expect your content marketing to work. You need to keep producing great content. You need to be consistent in your message. 

Build authority - When you write content, go with the intention of being an authority in your field. Write content in such a way that positions you as an authority. Which is to say, produce content that satisfies the readers pain points. Describe their pain points better than they can themselves. This shows that you too have gone through the same troubles and have found a way to solve it. Build authority, step by step.

Build likability - When you write content, some people may hate you, some make rave about you. Your job is to focus on the people that rave about you. They are the ones that will share your brand with their friends, family and everyone they come in contact with. Aim to build a fan following. 

Law of reciprocity - The name of the game is content creation is reciprocity or givers gain. Which is to say, the more you give out, the more you will get back. Give more and you shall receive more. Share your best information. Do not worry, no one is going to steal it away. Those who will apply what you are preaching will eventually call you to do the work. Why? They do not have the time or resources and would rather indulge in an expert to get the work done.

Having the above mindset, will help you build your brand. Now that we have a good understanding of how to think, let us focus on how we need to plan our content so that we can position our brand accordingly. 

How to get the most out of your content marketing efforts?

Now that we know how to think like a content marketer, let us bring our ideas to life. The road map and strategy section is about you planning your content calendar and executing on it. But what should we write content on.

Here in lies the strategy. 

Blue ocean vs the red ocean. I wrote briefly about this concept in my previous blog, How to conduct an effective SEO audit for local companies on Vancouver. A step by Step guide. The idea of Red Ocean vs Blue Ocean is to find a market where there is not a lot of competition but yet there is a huge market demand for it. One of the best ways to find a blue ocean is to find competition locally and not globally. 

Which is to say, if I want to rank as a digital marketing expert, ranking globally would be very tough. Further, digital marketing too is very broad. It could encompass social media marketing, facebook advertisements, SEO, instagram, youtube etc. Rather what if we just focus on SEO. So now I can focus my attention on

Vancouver SEO expert, or Vancouver SEO. And this is what we mean by moving from the red ocean to the blue ocean. Now there are still a lot of competition in Vancouver for SEO, but not as much if we were competing globally. I can handle the local competition effectively. 

Similarly for your market, you need to find the blue ocean. Once you find your blue ocean using data, market research and intuition you then need to set proper goals to accomplish this one goal. 

O.K.R - Once we know what we are targeting, which in this case is "Vancouver SEO expert", we now need to focus all our energy focus and creativity to position our brand as an authority. 

O.K.R stands for Objective and Key Results. 

What is our objective? To rank on search and position our brand as Vancouver SEO experts by August 2019. Set a goal and a time line.  
Once we have set the goal and a timeline, we then move on to the key activities we need to do in order to accomplish this one goal.
  • Key Result 1: Create a landing page that helps us position our brand for Vancouver SEO expert. - by July 2019
  • Key Result 2: Create 15 or more blogs that help support our landing page by September 2019 
  • Key Result 3: Create 30 podcast related to Vancouver SEO Experts by September 2019
  • Key Result 4: Create Marketing materials and resources that will support our blogs and podcast- by September 2019
  • Key Result 5: Create 5 Events that will help promote our brand and position us as the expert in Vancouver by December 2019
  • Key Result 6: Create 15 Video blogs and further position our brand as Vancouver SEO Expert by - December 2019
  • Key Result 7: Create courses related to Vancouver SEO expert and further potion our brand as the Vancouver seo expert gurus. By January 2019
In our previous blog  - How to conduct an effective SEO audit, we focused a lot more on Key Result #1. This blog, we will be focusing on the rest of the key results. How should we produce 15+ blogs or 30+ podcast etc. Here in comes the use of the content calendar. 

Content calendar 

A content calendar is a tool to help you plan your content for weeks or months in advance. It give you an idea of what you are trying to achieve and how you plan to achieve it.  

The goal of producing key result 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 is to position your brand for a much wider variety of keywords your original landing page cannot really have. If your original landing page is stuffed with keywords, it will not be human readable. The idea is to use other mediums to rank for a broader set of keywords. This is why we need to have a content calendar. 

Now, for Vancouver SEO expert consultation we might rank very high, but there are keywords and phrases that users might search for and we may not show up. To help with this, we need to look at the data, the search results and intuition to come up with a list of keywords or phrases we believe we need to position our brand for. 

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As you can see, there are so many keywords we need to rank for to help position our brand as an authority. The only way you can position your brand under all these keywords is to write content that focuses on each of those keywords or key phrase in detail. This is why you need a content calendar. It help you see the kind of content you need to produce in the next 10-15 weeks and see your brand come to life. You now have something to work for. 

 Content Calendar

Week 1. The headline or title of my post could be:

Week 2. The headline or title of my post could be

Week 3. The headline or title of my post could be:

Week 4. The headline or title of my post could be:

Week 5. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to plan your content roadmap and boost your SEO in Vancouver

Week 6. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to design and develop a high performing SEO website in Vancouver?

Week 7. The headline or title of my post could be:
What you need to know about technical SEO and how to use it to boost your rankings in Vancouver

Week 8. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to use Email marketing to help you get more visitors to your website and rank higher on search

Week 9. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to use events and offline methods to help you rank higher on search

Week 10. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to use a 'system of constraint approach' in your SEO efforts. Find the bottleneck and maximize your throughput. 

Week 11. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to make you blog post go viral, increase social shares and bring more visitors to your brand in Vancouver 

Week 12. The headline or title of my post could be: 
The right way to focus on your digital marketing and build a valuable asset that keeps giving in Vancouver

Week 13. The headline or title of my post could be: 
Ultimate guide to value proposition. How to communicate your value offering and amazing solution in less than 3 seconds to a prospect?

Week 14. The headline or title of my post could be: 
How to position your brand as the Rolls Roys of your market and demand 10x the price?

Week 15. The headline or title of my post could be: 
Ultimate guide to website maintenance. How to take care of your website the right way and stop it from leaking away tons of money

This is what will help you accomplish key result 2 in our O.K.R method.  Let us now focus on Key result 3.

Content calendar for podcasting

Just has how we have planned our content calendar for blogging, you need to do the same for pdocasting. Write down the 30 podcast you plan to speak on and plan your content accordingly. 

They way I do it is simple. I have a blank note book and I use a pencil to write down what I want to speak on. I just sit and brainstorm on ideas after ideas after ideas. It gets me thinking, my mind working and eventually helps me get stuff done. The best way to get your creative juice flowing is to go out, go for a walk, take a break. 

For me, I like to go camping. It helps me connect with nature. It removes me from all the distractions. It help me focus on my business rather than focus on the daily grind in my business. This is the time I look at my company as a whole and see what we need to implement. 

Writing blogs, focusing on content marketing, figuring how to position your brand are all forms of working on your business. You are strategically trying to plan your business, trying to build your digital assets so that it can it can give you an R.O.I in the future. This is why content planning is such an important activity for business owners. You are literally trying to plan you business future. Do not underestimate the power of  going away from the noise and taking time to plan.

Trying to draw the surrounding scenery. Location:- Stem-winder Provincial Park, Near Manning Park - 4 hour drive from Vancouver

Location:- Stem-winder Provincial Park, Near Manning Park - 4 hour drive from Vancouver

Champion Lake - B.C

I do not know about you, but content planning is difficult. You get writers block, thinking block whatever block you want to call it. You need a place where there is minimum distraction and where you can put a lot of focus. Get out and hike, go out breath the fresh air. This is where you come up with real powerful ideas. 

This is how I come up with a plan. Do not underestimate the power of content planning. If you do not have a plan, you will be executing some rubbish. We want to avoid that. We want to make sure every key result or action you take, is focused on you achieving your objective.  

 Content Calendar for Podcasting - Link

Week 1. The headline or title of my post could be:
Why should you invest in SEO?

Week 2. The headline or title of my post could be
What is the difference between Local SEO and SEO and why you need Local SEO?

Week 3. The headline or title of my post could be:
How do search engines work in 4 simple steps?

Week 4. The headline or title of my post could be:
4 Ways in which you can use SEO

Week 5. The headline or title of my post could be:
5 Elements every business web page must have

Week 6. The headline or title of my post could be:
Why you need to have a content calendar? The importance of having a content plan

Week 7. The headline or title of my post could be:
The power of blogging. Why you need to get on top of it right now if you haven't already started

Week 8. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to use Email marketing to help you get more visitors to your website and rank higher on search

Week 9. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to use events and offline methods to help you rank higher on search

Week 10. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to use a 'system of constraint approach' in your SEO efforts. Find the bottleneck and maximize your throughput. 

Week 11. The headline or title of my post could be:
How to make you blog post go viral, increase social shares and bring more visitors to your brand in Vancouver 

Week 12. The headline or title of my post could be: 
The right way to focus on your digital marketing and build a valuable asset that keeps giving in Vancouver

Week 13. The headline or title of my post could be: 
Ultimate guide to value proposition. How to communicate your value offering and amazing solution in less than 3 seconds to a prospect?

Week 14. The headline or title of my post could be: 
How to position your brand as the Rolls Roys of your market and demand 10x the price?

Week 15. The headline or title of my post could be: 
Ultimate guide to website maintenance. How to take care of your website the right way and stop it from leaking away tons of money

Similarly you can create a content calendar for video blogging, for a course curriculum, for Instagram, for Facebook or for LinkedIn. You can share the same content on different platforms by modifying your content to suite the platform and it's audience.     
 

Content Calendar Checklist

Download this simple content calendar to help you plan your content for months or weeks in advance. It is not written in stone, but it will help give you direction, focus and a goal you can set yourself to accomplish.

This simple tool might seem very trivial, but once you apply it, the results can be monumental. 


Once you have planned out your content, you need to stick to your plan. This can be the most difficult step for many. How should we stick to our plan? 

Content Calendar Rules

Now that you have planned your content calendar there are rules that are attached to it:
  1. You cannot start your next content till you finish your previous content. You can start with any content on the list, but you cannot move forward till you finish the one you started
  2. You are free to change the title of your content anytime. But you are not free to change it's schedule.
  3. If you are currently on week 2 and you have finished weeks 1 content, you are free to choose any content from the list for week 2. You can start with your weeks 10 content if you like. But you still need to finish all the content on that list by its due date.
These are the rules I try to abide by. This will keep you accountable to an extent. 

Content Accountability

In order to bring your content planning to life, you need to execute. Speed of implementation and massive action are the corner stones of success. You have the right strategy, you have the right roadmap but without execution you won't get anywhere. Zero multiplied by 'anything' is Zero. We do not what this. 

Here are a few ways in which you can be more effective in your planning. 

Do not break the chain rule:  

Every day, after I complete an hour or so of bloggin, I circle that date. Over time, this will form a chain and as a result, you would not want to break it. It is like a small game you play with yourself, but it also keeps you accountable. I started doing this when I was practicing the Wim-Hof method.  It is a very effective strategy.


Have a powerful routine

When you get to write content, make sure you have a nice spot to get your creative juices flowing. Even the best writer have a routine.


The desk where J.K. Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

My routine is simple.
1. Wake up at 6:00 am
2. Look at my content calendar
3. Get a glass of water and place it on my desk
4. Take a deep breath and open my ANTSAND Editor
5. I start continuing on my unfinished blog or start writing a new one once my previous blogs are finished.
6. I try to get as much done in 2-3 hours.
7. Keep doing this every day around the same time till I complete my content calendar.

Mental Tools

Create you own metal tools to be successful. I had written a blog on 39+ mental tools I use to make better decisions. Do the same for your self. This will help you be more accountable.

One of the rules is do not start anything till you finish your previous work. Which is to say, do no proceed writing your next content till you finish the content of the previous weeks. You cannot cheat the system. Or else you won't be finishing anything. Read the content calendar rules. 
 

How to maximize your road map?

To get the most out of your roadmap and content planning, focus on an objective where there is a high demand but less competition. Once you find a core objective, focus on writing great blogs around it. Keep generating valuable content. If you want to know more on how to write great blogs, read this article - Blogging made easy - Ultimate guide to writing blogs people want to read and search engines want to rank.

At its core, content marketing is all about giving great value to your readers. You need to help them out. You need to keep giving them value. Produce atleast 10-15 blogs before you even try to measure anything. As you will be disappointed with the immediate results. Content marketing takes time. So pace your self accordingly. Everyday spend a few hour on content writing. Be consistent and commit to it.

After you have written a couple of valuable blogs, you will soon start to build valuable assets. This is your ultimate goal. Building digital marketing assets.  

How to measure you content marketing?

After you write your blog, submit your blog to a search engine for indexing. Measure regularly for what keywords it is showing up. Measure the engagement level of your readers. Keep looking at the data to get more ideas. You can get your data from:

Google search console and Google Ads. Both are free tools that can help you identify valuable keywords you can write on. Combine both, your intuition and data to write content. Just writing content based on keywords is a bad idea. On the contrary just writing content based on your intuition too is not a good idea. Use both. This is what you want to keep measuring. For what keywords does your blog show up for and how to consistently support your objective by writing effective blogs around key areas.

Putting it all together  

This blog post is all about using a content calendar to get the most out of your content marketing. It walks you through the mindset, the goal setting strategies and how to plan your content the right way. The Content Calendar is a very powerful tool. It helps you layout your strategy, your ideas and your key activities on one page. It is simple yet very effective. Use it like a compass. A powerful tool to help you guide you. Be motivated and trust that your content calendar will work for you. There will be times you will not trust the process. But stick to it. You will see light at the end of the tunnel. Use the content calendar effectively. It is the most powerful tool to get things going.

Conclusion 

Please comment below if you have questions, ideas or how you can apply it. At ANTSAND, we apply everything we preach and teach. What we put out is based on our experience, our failures and success. We love to be transparent, as it really brings out the best in us. We will soon be creating a $5 monthly marketing package for our readers. You can pay us for one cup of coffee every month, and in turn we give you strategies, ideas, tactics, mindsets and exercises, you can apply in your business immediately. If you want to know more about it, just type in the comments below, "Coffee with ANTSAND". We would love to hear your feedback. If you want to read other blogs that might interest you, have a look below.



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