The old saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” This sentiment especially applies when it comes to your content marketing plan. There’s more to marketing your business than simply creating a blog post and sharing it to social media every once in a while. Setting a plan in place before you create your first piece of content can save you tons of time, money, and hassle in the long run. Here’s how.
(image from https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/b2b-2021-research-final.pdf)
Set A Clear Path To Your Goals
You’re likely already setting big goals for the future of your business, but do you have a strategy to get there? Everything you do in terms of marketing should work to push your business forward. By creating a content marketing plan, you can get a better idea of your specific goals and their priority levels so you know where to focus first.
You may even discover that your current efforts aren’t moving you toward your goals. Perhaps you’ve been spending too much time posting on Facebook when your audience mostly hangs out on Instagram. Maybe you’re trying to optimize for simple, competitive keywords when more specific and less targeted keywords would actually help you more. Your content plan facilitates the research necessary to discover these holes in your strategy and fill them in.
Get Inspiration for New Content
Finding topics for content can be tough. It’s important to cover both evergreen topics as well as trending news in your industry. When you don’t have a content calendar in place, you may not remember what topics you’ve covered or when, leaving you confused and scrambling when it comes time to create something new.
Your content marketing plan can help you organize your ideas and take them from loose notions into concrete content. You’ll also have an easier time finding new ideas through your research and determining when and where to post your content as it’s made.
Define Your Limits
All marketing tasks have to have limits. You can’t spend countless hours and dollars creating content, but it can often be hard to define those boundaries, especially when you just have one budget number to outline the entire year.
Instead of guessing at how much you should spend, simply integrate that information into your content calendar. Then, your team will know exactly how much time or money should be spent on a particular piece, giving you peace of mind that everything will come in under budget and be produced on time.
Simplify Tasks For Your Employees
When you give a broad assignment like “create a blog post,” there’s more to that seemingly simple task than you might think. You have to come up with a topic, do research, create an outline, write the post, edit, optimize, add images… the list goes on. Without a content calendar or other marketing plan, it’s easy for your team to get overwhelmed and not know where to start.
With a content calendar, though, you can break down your content marketing tasks into smaller steps, helping to push your team into action. This strategy also brings the added benefit of allowing you to ensure everything is on track and moving forward instead of waiting until the last minute for a progress report or a finished product.
Produce Better Content
All of these benefits culminate in this final advantage: you’ll be creating better content overall. Your team won’t be forced to come up with content ideas on the spot or create content too quickly, leading to sloppy content overall. Instead, you’ll be able to take your time and think things through, giving the time that your content truly deserves. Trust us: your audience will be able to tell that you’ve worked hard on your content, and your reputation will improve in the process.
Tips For Creating A Content Marketing Plan
So, now we’ve answered, “Why do you need a content marketing plan?” But the new question is, “How do I actually create one?” You may have to do some trial-and-error to figure out the strategy that works best for your team, but there are a few basic best practices that you can keep in mind.
To look into the future, you’ll need to see where you’ve already been. Take a look back at the content you’ve created in the past before creating your content calendar or re-evaluating your strategy overall. Is there a topic you’ve covered in the past that could use an update? Are there certain pieces of content that are performing well and that you could expand upon? Not only will you get ideas for content this way, but you’ll also see what types of content your audience best responds to.
You’ll also want to ensure you’re delegating tasks throughout your team. With multiple eyes on a single piece of content, small mistakes or improvements are less likely to fall through the cracks. Make sure everyone is on the same page as far as their roles in content production, and delegate responsibilities based on the individual’s strengths. Those who are incredibly detail-oriented, for instance, would likely lend themselves well to editing, while those who enjoy being creative may be best at creating video scripts or writing blog posts.
Finally, once your content is posted, be sure to track your performance and use it as a guideline in the next quarter (or however long your content calendar extends). If a certain topic or format performs well, consider producing more similar content in the future. If something didn’t go over quite so well with your audience, think about how you can tweak your strategy next time.
Create A Content Marketing Plan With WriterArmy
Crafting a content marketing plan might seem complex and time-consuming, but you don’t have to do it alone. The talented and dedicated team here at WriterArmy has over a decade of experience in content marketing and can help you customize a content marketing strategy that meets the needs and goals of your business. Contact us today for more information or for a free quote on any of our services.
(image from https://contentmarketinginstitute.com/2015/09/b2b-content-marketing-research/)