September 22nd, 2022
How to create a content plan
In our last blog post, we discussed the importance of content marketing and how to create emotionally engaging content relevant to your target audiences. In this blog, we are going to focus specifically on content planning. A clear content plan helps you determine what content you should create, across which channels and at what time.
Remember content can be shared across multiple channels and includes website content or landing pages, blogs, news stories, social media posts and newsletter content.
Where to begin?
Remember those SMART goals we discussed in our last blog post? Refer back to those and make sure your goals are aligned with your business plan and marketing strategy. As mentioned in our content planning blog, you need clarity about who your target audiences are and how you will reach them. It is now imperative to understand their issues and what platforms they use to target them in the right place and ‘speak their language’ to engage with them.
Creating content ‘pillars’
Before you dive into writing posts and creating content, take a moment to consider how you can divide your content topics and ideas into themes which will help you to create you want to discuss. These are called ‘content pillars and your company’s values and key messages should feed into these.
Content ‘pillars’ can include themes such as: Knowledge sharing – to position your business as an ‘expert’; People/team – to show the 'human face’ of the business and your culture and help attract new customers or employees; Evidence – providing testimonials and case studies which show how what customers think of the business/your products the difference you or they make.
Decide how many pillars you need, and then use these as a guide to planning different types of posts.
Try and have a brainstorm to think about post ideas that fit with your pillars and are also connected to your marketing goals. Consider what issues your audiences may have and use your posts to help and provide solutions.
What are people looking for?
Creating content that is being searched for on Google, will help your content to be found online. Having popular content on your website will increase your Google and search engine rankings and so make sure you conduct keyword research to identify phrases with high search volumes. Plan your content around these phrases to reach a wider audience and optimise your copy by including these keywords.
How often should you post and when?
Think about how many times a week you want to post and at what time of day. Tools such as SEMrush can tell you what time the majority of your audience is online, allowing you to post on days and times when you will generate higher engagement.
Keep an eye on key dates in the calendar year that are important to your audience. Tailor your content on these days to be relevant and create your own!
You need to understand what platforms your audiences use so that you can target them. Facebook is the largest social network and has a more mature audience, it is also great for reaching consumers. Twitter is often used for organisations to or connecting with each other and within their sector, for example it is a popular platform for politicians and in education. Instagram and TikTok have a younger audience and are much more visual platforms. LinkedIn is a highly focused and efficient tool to target business audiences and attract employees and to share your news and industry updates.
Create a yearly calendar
Now that you have identified your pillars, when, and where you should be posting, it is time to create a calendar so you can get organised! This will keep everything in one place and allow you to easily see any gaps in your posts.
Start with a yearly plan. This can include a year-long theme, quarterly theme, and key events you want to talk about, allowing you to plan ahead and not be reactive.
Create a monthly plan
A monthly content plan is a day-by-day breakdown of your yearly content plan. This will show the days you will be posting, which platforms, and what copy and visuals will be. Ensure your copy is written in your brand tone of voice here!
Consider how you will amend your post copy for each platform and audience! Bear in mind Twitter’s word limit is 280 characters, whereas your posts can be up to 700 characters long on LinkedIn.
Measure, review and improve
Make sure you measure and track how your content performs. Use this to understand what is working well and what can be improved to help plan ahead. See how your content is driving traffic to your website and your social platforms. Your best friends here are Google Analytics, Search engine rankings analysis tools such as SEMrush, and social analytics!
Amend your content plan each month and incorporate ideas from previous content your target audience engages with the most. This will help to create an engaged community of customers which will create more website traffic, leading to new enquiries and greater brand awareness. Overall, an engaged community on social media will lead to a stronger market position for your business, generating more sales!
If you want more advice about creating great content for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us!