"Get Off To A Good Start With Your Content Planning"
Get off to a good start with your content planning
A good content marketing strategy requires different pieces of content for different purposes. A content plan makes it easy and manageable to plan your content for the entire year. The plan provides an overview of who, what and why each piece of content should be produced, so you can avoid excluding certain channels and segments. The content plan thus ensures that you cater to your target audience wherever they are.
The purpose of a content plan is to coordinate content, leaving you with an overview of each release in relation to content, production and segments. It is therefore a good tool for teams, as the content plan ensures that everyone in the team knows what content they are responsible for, as well as when their deadline is due.
What is a content plan?
As the word implies, it is a plan for your content. The content plan should be seen as a tool that helps you plan all the content you want to publish. A good plan ensures that you plan well in advance, to avoid any last-minute ideas. In addition, the content calendar can be used to structure ideas so that you regularly and continuously communicate your messages.
The content plan can differ in the way it looks. It can be a simple plan of your upcoming blog posts or a more detailed overview for the entire year.
The most important thing though is that the content calendar fits your needs, otherwise there is a big chance that you will never use it. Further down in the article we have some specific suggestions on how and where you can create your own content plan.
Why should you create a content calendar?
Rome wasn't built in a day. It takes time and planning to produce and publish content on a regularly basis. It is often a good idea to have a clear goal of how many articles needs to be published within a specific time period. If there is no specific plan for how to reach your goal, it can be difficult to complete it. According to an analysis by Brandmovers, the lack of a concrete strategy is one of the primary reasons why success with content marketing is not achieved.
A big part of content marketing is about prioritizing time and resources in the most optimal way. The content plan is a great tool for creating an overview of what content to produce and when. The content calendar minimizes the time-consuming ad hoc production that occurs when you have no specific idea of what content marketing activities to run. A content plan provides you with a better opportunity to make the right choices and manage your resources the best way.
The Four Main Arguments
There is a lot of great arguments saying why it is a good idea to create a content plan. In our opinion, these are the four main arguments.
1. Plan Ahead
A content calendar gives you the opportunity to plan ahead of time, with you knowing when to publish what. This will make it easier for you to start the writing process.
2. Keep Track of the Important Days
The content plan provides you with an overview of all the important and relevant days/events, for you to create content about.
3. Get an Overview
When you have a good overview of future assignments, it is easier for you to structure your content and time. This ensures that you can more easily distribute your content between different channels and segments, like posts on your blog, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.
4. Better Teamwork
A content calendar is an effective tool not only for you, but your entire team. The content plan ensures that you in advance decides which content you want to create, which makes it easier to delegate the work within your team.
6 Elements Your Content Plan Should Include
A content calendar should include some essential elements to create the best possible overview:
- Type of content
- Deadlines and release dates
- The person who is responsible for the assignment (author)
- Channels where the content should be published (blog, SoMe, etc...)
- KPI's for the content
The above points should be seen as indicative. You can always select between the different elements. The most important thing is that the plan is adapted to your needs.
Choose The Right Tool To Create Your Content Plan
As mentioned, there is a lot of different ways to create a content plan. There is a lot of different tools to choose from, which can help you with this. We recommend that you choose a tool that is comfortable for you to use. However, be aware that the tool must be able to support your work and processes, otherwise it can be difficult to use in the future. As a rule of thumb, the time you spend setting up and updating your content plan, should be less time consuming than not having a content plan. The overall goal is to save time in the long run.
Here are three tools that can help you.
Excel is one of the most commonly used tools for creating content plans, because it is easy to use. Each column in Excel can represent the person who is responsible, type of content, deadlines etc. On the negative side, excel is not very user-friendly when the team must work in the content plan at the same time.
Dyce is a collaborative tool that is very agile when it comes to content planning. Dyce provides you with a simple overview of the entire month. Insert Channels that are relevant for your content. From here on, you can create posts for each channel with a description of what the content should contain. Within the post itself, it is possible to add photos, videos, etc., to make sure you have all your content within the same platform. Within Dyce, you can easily invite your team, to make sure everyone has an overview of what content to produce and publish.
Trello is a project management tool that can be used individual or by your entire team. In Trello you can create different boards, that suits your different purposes. On each board it is possible to add lists and cards. For example, a list can correspond to a month, and each card covers a piece of content that you need to produce. You can also add a release date on the cards, as well as which channel the content should be published on. When this is done, it leaves you with a good overview and plan for your content.
The Most Important Part of Your Content Calendar is The Content
Once the content plan template is in place, the next step is to gain control over the content. If it seems like an everlasting job to start with one year, you can easily start with a quarter or six months at a time. Select an overall focus for the period. This will make it easier for you to break your topic into small chunks that you can put into your content plan. This will leave you with an overview of what content should be produced when, and where it should be published.
Get Ideas For Your Content
The content needs to be relevant and provide true value for your users. It is therefore a good idea to look at the target group's search habits, which can provide you with specific insights of which topics they are interested in.
You can use the following methods to generate new ideas for content:
- Brainstorm on which events and dates that are relevant to your business, such as Christmas holidays or Black Friday sales. You can create blogposts aimed at these events and dates.
- Keyword research can provide insights into the demand and trends that are valuable to the users. For instance, you can look at the frequently asked questions from your customers and make a plan for how to answer these on your blog.
- Create series of content that can educate the target group within specific topics. This could be done with guides or an e-book.
Extra Advice: Optimize Your Old Content
If you already have published content on your site, it is a good idea to re-optimize it. This strategy can be just as effective as new content production can be.
Here are 3 good reasons why optimizing existing content is a good thing:
- Gain better rankings on Google and more organic traffic.
- Reduce your Google Ads price
- Republish your content on social media
Existing content on your site has already gained page authority and rankings on Google. A re-optimization of the content can cause the page to gain a better ranking and increase the traffic.
By optimizing your content towards specific keywords that you also bid on in Google Ads, you will be able to increase your quality score and reduce the CPC.
If you republish a blog post or optimize an existing page, it gives you the opportunity to republish it on your social media profiles. We recommend that you incorporate both new and already published content into your content calendar.
We wish you good luck with your content plan and further planning of the many pieces of content to be created.