Do you ever feel like your content isn’t delivering the results you want? Like you’re churning out piece after piece but not seeing the needle move? If so, it might be time to revisit your content strategy.
Content planning is one of the best ways to ensure that your content is aligned with your business goals and resonates with your target audience. It can also help you save time and resources by ensuring that you’re only spending time producing content that is truly valuable to your company.
So, how do you create a content plan? Our content creators have outlined 5 easy steps that you can follow to get started.
Step One: Define Your Objectives
Defining success is a crucial first step to content planning. What do you want your content to achieve? Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, or generate leads? Do you want to improve customer retention or increase sales? Once you’ve decided on your content objectives, you can start to develop a strategy for achieving them.
Once you have a clear understanding of your objectives, you can begin to develop content that will help you achieve those goals.
Step Two: Know Your Target Audience
Creating content without understanding your audience is like shooting an arrow in the dark – you might get lucky and hit the target, but more likely, you’ll miss completely.
Before you can start creating content or even content planning, you need to understand who you’re creating it for. What are their pain points? What are they interested in? What content will resonate with them and compel them to take action? To gain a deep understanding of what makes your audience tick, you will need to gather data from a variety of sources. This data can come from things like surveys, customer interviews, social media listening, website analytics, and more.
Once you have a sound grasp of who your target audience is, you can start to create content that gets them to click and keep clicking.
Related Reading: Create a Customer Avatar in 5 Easy Steps
Step Three: Develop a Content Mix
Now that you know your audience, it’s time to start thinking about the different types of content you will use to achieve your objectives. A content mix is defined as a collection of content formats you can use to reach and engage your target audience. When content planning, the content mix you ultimately choose will depend on your audience, objectives, and resources.
Some common content formats include:
- Blog posts. A well-researched and well-written blog is a classic for a reason. Blogs are a great way to build thought leadership and establish your brand as a trusted resource. Blogs are likely to appeal to a wide audience, but you can also use them to target specific buyer personas with more focused content.
- Case studies. A case study is a great way to show off your product or service in action and demonstrate how you’ve helped other customers achieve their goals. Case studies are usually used to target specific buyer personas at the bottom of the funnel – aka, those who are ready to buy.
- Ebooks. An ebook is a long-form piece of content that can be used to educate your audience on a particular topic. Ebooks are often used to target specific buyer personas at the top of the funnel – aka, those who are just beginning to research a problem or solution.
- Infographics. An infographic is a visual way to present information in an easy-to-digest format. Infographics can be used to target a wide range of buyer personas and are often used to drive awareness or educate an audience.
- Podcasts. Podcasting has blown up in recent years, and for good reason. A podcast is a great way to build a rapport with your audience. Plus, you don’t need to be a pro or purchase expensive equipment to get started. All you need is a decent microphone, an engaging script (or just a few talking points), and some free time.
- Videos. Video content is perhaps the most versatile content type out there. You can use video to educate, entertain, or build camaraderie with your audience. Video content is also great for social media, as it’s highly shareable. TikTok and Youtube aren’t just for younger audiences either – video content is popular across all age groups.
- Webinars. A webinar is a great way to get prospects and customers engaged with your brand. You can use webinars to educate your audience, build relationships, and even close deals.
Not sure which content formats will work best for your business? Try using a content matrix in your content planning strategy to help you decide. A content matrix is simply a chart that helps you map out the relationship between different content types and stages in the buyer’s journey. This will ensure that you’re creating content that is not only relevant to your audience but also timely and helpful.
Step Four: Create a Content Calendar
Now that you know what content you’re going to create, it’s time to start content planning when and where you’ll publish it. This is where a content calendar comes in. A content calendar is a tool that helps you plan, organize, and track your content. It’s essentially a roadmap for your content strategy.
Creating a content calendar may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you’re not sure where to start, try using a template. Google Calendar and Trello both offer free content calendar templates that you can customize to fit your needs.
Once you have a general idea of what content you want to create and when you want to publish it, you can start filling in the details. For each piece of content, be sure to include:
- The title of the piece
- A brief description
- The target audience
- The stage in the buyer’s journey
- The content format
- The due date
- The publication date
- The distribution channels
- Any other relevant details
If you’re struggling to come up with content ideas, try using a content generation tool like Ubersuggest. This tool helps you generate content ideas based on your target keywords.
Step Five: Promote Your Content
Now that you have a plan for your content, it’s time to start promoting it. After all, what good is great content if no one sees it?
There are a number of ways to promote your content, but not all of them will be right for your business. The best way to promote your content is through a mix of paid and organic methods. Paid promotion is a great way to reach new audiences, but it can be expensive. Organic promotion, on the other hand, is free but can be time-consuming.
To get started, try promoting your content through social media, email marketing, and content syndication. You can also boost your content’s reach by optimizing it for search engines and using content amplification techniques.
No matter how you choose to promote your content, be sure to track your results. This will help you determine what’s working and what isn’t so that you can adjust your approach accordingly.
Related Reading: Your Step-By-Step Guide to Ranking #1 on Google
And there you have it! Five easy steps to help you create a content strategy that will take your business to the next level. Make sure to regularly evaluate and update your content strategy to ensure that it’s always relevant and engaging.
Do you have any content marketing tips that have worked well for your business? Share them in the comments below!
Talk to Our Content Marketing Pros Today
At D-Kode, we have an inside view of what it takes to make a website successful – one that drives more visitors to your business, converts leads into customers, and provides the ideal user experience. Want to know more content planning secrets? Let’s talk. Give us a call at (925) 477-5012 to schedule your free marketing consultation.