In our latest BG Summit, Agency Marketing Coordinator Barbara Bebis and Sr. Creative Specialist Peter Bates walked us through the process of creating and executing a successful content plan. Whether you’re a seasoned content marketer or just getting started, you’ll find valuable insights and practical tips to help you get the most out of your content marketing efforts.
What is content planning?
Content planning is a plan in which you use content to achieve your business goals and is a part of a large picture of content marketing. It is also a blueprint that identifies objectives when it comes to content production.
Why is it important?
Content planning helps businesses to attract website traffic, find new leads, and build engagement. A successful content strategy will attract your target audience at every stage of the marketing funnel and keep them engaged.
How to get started with content planning.
- Follow or create content guidelines
- To stay organized and consistent with posting and making sure you’re posting high-quality content every month, we recommend either creating or following brand content guidelines. This will help to narrow your content’s focus and drive results.
- Determine the services or products you’ll want to highlight throughout the month
- You want to be able to shed light on every area of your business. Making sure content is being produced that speaks to every area your business covers will help to increase awareness of your products or services as well as aid your SEO and positioning.
- Do your research
- Keeping up with current events and trends can help you stay ahead of your competitors and ultimately give you leverage when it comes to creating content that helps to position your team and business as experts.
- Add relevant social media holidays to your content calendar
- These often light-hearted holidays can be a great opportunity humanize your business and brand. You can use these to highlight company culture, clients, products, or services. However, be strategic with how you use them as over saturating your content plan with them can lessen the quality of your content.
- Content coordination – Set deadlines and communicate those deadlines
- Getting content on time is very important when it comes to content planning. Make sure you have all the necessary assets you need far in advance and coordinate with other team members to receive that content on time.
What to Keep in Mind
All Content needs a purpose.
What is the end goal or action you want someone to take? Do you want more email subscribers, do you want them to submit a form or download something? Keeping this in mind will help ensure that your message stays clear.
Are the actions you want to be taken clear and simple? You want to ensure that there are as minimal barriers between your audience and the action. So, make sure the things you want your audience to do are highly visible, easy to find, and simple to do.
What other purposes might this content serve? Content can have a far greater impact than just a social post. Is it something that you could include in a sales sheet or whitepaper? Or are there other channels you can utilize to disseminate your content?
Does it relate to your business goals.
And are your business goals being represented? You want to make sure that the end goal of your content that you’re driving your audience to is benefiting your business as a whole. If you’re looking to grow a community around your business, then goals of following or subscribing etc. are going to be more relevant.
Who is the target audience? Just as important is to keep in mind who your audience is. This is going to significantly impact what your content looks and sounds like. What are their favorite media channels and types? What’s their level of familiarity with your industry? All of this is going to affect the content you ultimately produce.
Incorporating SEO into your content, especially written content, is vital.
Are you incorporating relevant keywords? Keeping your content up to date with keywords that are relevant to your industry/product etc. is going to help your content rank better in search engines. These can also be key phrases or questions which you can incorporate not just into your content but all of your marketing.
Does it answer questions that your audience is searching for? Providing answers to these commonly asked questions will help drive relevant traffic through your content and also help to establish your business as an expert and thought leader in the space.
Always have backup content.
All the best laid plans fail. Are you prepared for that to happen? Creating content can be one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. All content plans at some point will fail. You’ll miss a deadline, forget to make a graphic or not get that interview scheduled in time. It’s important to remember that it’s okay and it’s a normal part of content planning.
Do you have a backlog of evergreen content to pull from? The key to a good content plan is to be prepared for it to fail. Having a backlog of content that is relevant and yet time agnostic will ensure that when planned content falls short, you have something to replace it with and maintain a consistent publishing schedule.
What are ways to minimize content loss? A part of preparing for content plan failure, minimizing loss can be done in a few ways. As content is created it will become obvious as to what’s an easier lift and achievable on a regular basis, make that content a staple of your plan. It is also important when planning content to require as little involvement from outside sources as possible. This will help to prevent missed deadlines or schedule conflicts that can lead to content loss, but it also requires more work in the actual stage of content creation. Another way to minimize content loss is multi-use content.
Create multi-use content.
Multi-use content is the process of taking a piece of content and re-formatting or restructuring it to fit a wider variety of channels and mediums. In order to create multi-use content, you first need to identify what forms of content you use to reach your audience. Is it blog posts? videos? podcasts? All of the above? Once you’ve identified all the content mediums you can create a content flow and identify what content is your staple piece. Doing that will allow you to put the majority of you effort into capturing or creating your staple piece which can then be taken apart to create the remaining content. In this example, Video interviews are the staple content which can then be broken down into a blog post and podcast episode. The blog post can then be further used to create a social media infographic. And the video can be repurposed as short clips for reels or tik toks.
How to Create Strong Content
- Develop a social media strategy with clear goals, objectives, and KPIs
- Speak to your audience
- Design eye catching/appealing visuals that are consistent with your brand
- Diversify the type of content you post
- Post with consistency
- Post quality over quantity
- Post with intention