Content marketing can be a powerful tool. If you do it well, producing great content can lead to more website views, more leads, and—ultimately—more sales for your business.
If you want to stand out from all the brands that are already producing content, however, you’ll need a plan.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to the basics of creating a content marketing plan. We’ve also produced a handy content marketing plan template that goes into further detail on all these points that you can download here.
What is a Content Marketing Plan and Why Should I Use One?
A content marketing plan is a roadmap to guide your content marketing strategy. It ensures all the content you produce is helping push your business towards its goals.
Perhaps you’re a new brand looking to build authority in your industry. Alternatively, you may be an established company looking for a new way to generate leads or increase your exposure on search engines.
Either way, achieving your goal will require a specific type of content, published in the optimal way, and aimed at a pre-defined target audience.
By having a set plan, you’ll be more likely to create effective content and less likely to waste resources on unimpactful one-off pieces.
A content marketing plan also helps those in charge of strategy keep everything organised.
Unless you are competent in many different disciplines, you’ll likely have multiple people working on multiple pieces of content, all with different deadlines.
This means things can get confusing. A content plan allows managers to see what needs to be done by who and allows those who create content to see what they need to do and when they need to do it by.
What to Include in Content Marketing Plan?
Your content marketing plan should take into consideration the following five steps.
1. Why You Are Creating Content?
First, you should define your goals. I.e. what exactly do you want your content marketing to achieve? As well as this, you’ll need to define the metrics you will use to measure whether you are on the path towards reaching your goals.
As well as the aim of the overall strategy, you’ll also need to define specific goals and metrics for each piece of content you produce.
While your content marketing strategy may be to increase leads, not every piece of content you generate will specifically deal with lead generation. Some may be designed to increase website visits or to increase your social media following.
2. Who Are You Making Content For?
Everybody has specific needs and is facing their own unique challenges. As such, people will react in different ways to different types of content. Because of this, it is important that you define who your content strategy is aimed at, as well as who each piece of content you produce will target.
One of the best ways to organise this is by creating buyer personas for each of your customer segments. Our content marketing plan template includes buyer persona templates for both B2B and B2C buyers.
3. What Topics Will Your Content Cover?
Your content marketing plan will contain all the topics you produce content about. Each topic should be something that both your buyer persona finds interesting and that will help you achieve your content marketing goals.
Once you have your overarching topics, you can begin to think of specific types of content for each topic.
4. Where Will You Publish your Content?
Where you publish content has a massive effect on how effective it is. Your content marketing plan will detail where you plan to publish each piece of content you create.
Generally, you should release it in the places your buyer persona is most likely to see it. This could be your website or blog, or a third-party platform like YouTube or Medium.
5. Create an Editorial Calendar
The final piece of your content marketing plan is your editorial calendar. This will help you manage all the content you produce. Click here for our in-depth guide to using an editorial calendar.
That’s the end of our introduction to creating a content marketing plan. Head over to this link for more information about each of the above steps and to download your free content marketing plan template.