Content plan – how to prepare one
An appropriate strategy is an integral element of effective content writing. Precise planning of activities significantly reduces the amount of work required to achieve the desired results. We will discuss how to prepare an individual content plan for your company’s needs.
Content plan – what does it depend on?
To formulate the perfect content marketing plan, we must first understand the factors involved.
Let us emphasize right away that there are many variables, so selecting individual actions is neither simple nor quick. The market is a complex and dynamic entity, so people who want ready-made answers and universal solutions may feel disappointed. A dense network of dependencies requires knowledge and commitment, not a blind search for a recipe for success, because it does not even exist.
In theory, the basic elements used to define a content plan are:
- Audience group – depending on the industry, readers will differ in their level of education, expectations and needs. In this regard, the use of professional nomenclature should be adjusted to balance the relationship between clarity and professionalism of expression.
- Industry – this also has a significant impact on the nature of the content. B2B and B2C relationships differ significantly in content creation, and the distinctive features of each profession also have an impact. For example, content for the legal industry will differ significantly from descriptions for a clothing store in tone, factualness, and formal style.
- Brand – the company’s constantly stylized image is also reflected in the formulation of sales messages.
- Marketing resources – existing content is a strong indication of what types of texts to develop next to maintain the right proportions. For example, if the website already has many articles, maybe the development of offer subpages will be a more lucrative direction?
- Competitive actions – the measure of the effectiveness of actions is not only the effort put in, but also the power of the opponent, which must be surpassed to achieve results. This is especially clear in the positioning of phrases, where visible places are strictly limited (TOP10). Strength should be measured against intentions – a small online store fighting for a popular keyword will not only have huge difficulties, but also expenses that could be allocated to more sensible, easier marketing activities.
- Budget – Financial capacity is a direct indicator of how much content can be produced. This, in turn, affects the type of content worth investing in. For example, the above the store should not invest in extensive category descriptions if it does not first take care of sales descriptions of products that will bring business results faster (in the form of higher conversions).
How to create a content plan?
Once we know what to take into account, we move on to practice, i.e. specific activities involving obtaining data that will facilitate the creation of a content plan. These activities can be divided into three categories: internal intelligence, external analysis and work planning.
Before we move on to elegant marketing techniques, let’s focus on a simpler thing – a conversation with the client. Such a consultation will thoroughly explain issues related to the business goal, the characteristics of the industry and company, as well as the available budget. If the company keeps statistics, we will know the details of the target customer group.
This stage is an excellent time to establish priorities and the scope of activities. However, in order to specify the potential effects, it is necessary to conduct a thorough market research.
According to the above-mentioned maxim ‘measure your intentions’, we must determine how marketing resources compare to the competition.
To do this, you should check the current amount of content and the link profile, and then compare these parameters with thematically related pages.
If the priority of a small store is to attract customers, and the competition in this industry is well-established and ranks high in Google, you should skip the open battle (which in our nomenclature is called extensive articles, category descriptions and subpages for popular keyword phrases), and instead to spot market gaps and focus on long-tail texts to efficiently acquire traffic with little effort. If the store starts generating profits and strengthening its position in the search engine, you can move on to more lucrative phrases, adding more and more competitive subpages and articles.
This is an illustration of the correct mechanism in creating content. We do not omit any solutions, but we adapt activities to current possibilities to ensure lasting results without sudden expenses.
The key is timing, which is the essence of a successful content plan.
Once we know what the market situation is like, as well as what the company’s goals and capabilities are, we can proceed to defining specific actions.
The basis is the selection of keywords, based on which further details will be formulated (titles of articles or headings in offer subpages). We can do it manually or using dedicated tools.
The next stage is to select attractive topics that will attract customers’ attention. Here we also have the AnswerThePublic program at our disposal, although of course you can rely on your own creativity.
With such a content plan in place, there is nothing left to do but… take action! We analyzed many factors influencing the selection of optimal actions. Now is the time to do your job well and track the results.
As you can see, content planning is a multi-stage process, but it is an inevitable cost of professionalism that must be incurred for precise and effective content. However, since strategy creation is gaining popularity, it means that the fruits are worth the effort.
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