Seven Steps to Create an Excellent Content Plan

Articles, audio clips or podcasts, videos, photos, graphics, and more are all valuable editorial assets used to build a strong content plan or strategy for your website. These pieces attract customers, provide important information about your business and products or services, and can ultimately help you make a sale. A stellar content plan is foundational to the successful marketing of your business. And, when done right, it will draw your target audience in at every point of the sales process—and continue to engage them, even after they’ve made a purchase.

So, how do you put a successful content plan to work? There are several key steps to employ:

  1. Identify and chart your objective.
  2. Get to know your target audience.
  3. Audit your existing content and closely examine your competition.
  4. Consider using a content management system (CMS) to get organised.
  5. Think about the content you want to produce.
  6. Don’t forget to develop content for lead generation.
  7. Optimise, track, and learn from what’s working (and what’s not!).

To learn what a successful content plan looks like in action, let’s assume that one of your business objectives is to raise brand recognition. You might employ a search engine optimised or SEO-focused content strategy to improve your website’s visibility, boost rank in the search engine results page (SERP), and increase traffic to your goods and services.

Creating high-quality content can win new customers and help your business prosper long-term. But pairing that content with a good strategy builds an even stronger foundation for attracting new clients. It can also align you with your buyers’ journeys, build a solid marketing structure, expand sales, increase customer happiness, and draw more business prospects. 

Let’s look at the essential considerations to help you start crafting your plan—and dive more deeply into the steps you can employ to build a winning content strategy.

Know Your Target Audience: Who Will Read Your Content?  

As you think about your content plan, consider the following two questions: Who is your content’s primary audience? And, for how many different audiences are you producing content? Tailor your content strategy to appeal to different user types, and keep in mind that your company may have different kinds of customers with various goals or problems to solve.

Strive to customise your content for each potential buyer persona. You can do this by utilising and optimising multiple mediums, like online articles, social media, videos, and more. 

To what audience(s) are you providing solutions? 

The ideal solution for your audience’s problem is one that your product or service addresses. Similarly, your content guides and instructs your audience as they start to recognize and solve this issue.

People who are still identifying their fundamental difficulties and already utilising your solution to tackle them can benefit from a strong content strategy. In addition, your content helps you establish credibility with your target audience and supports the answers you’re offering.

Identify Your Differentiators: What Elevates You Above the Competition?

Your potential clients must understand how your products or services differ from your competitors. What sets you apart from similar businesses in your area or online niche? 

What makes you unique and different from your competitors?

If your business has been around for many years, that can be a great asset. Specialised expertise, distinctive services, and a large regional following are all examples of what can help you differentiate your business.

Whatever your specialty may be, use it as a central marketing focus and an anchor in your content strategy. A distinctive brand voice can help to distinguish you from your rivals.

What types of content should you create?

It would be best to adapt your content presentation to your audience’s needs to decide which forms to emphasise. For example, while you might be tempted to start a podcast or YouTube channel, two content formats that have become popular recently, there’s no point if your niche audience doesn’t visit those platforms.

Carefully research what content your buyers frequently view and what interests them most. Then, once you’ve chosen the correct formats, start mapping out a budget to determine how much money you can set aside to execute your plan.

Outline Where Your Content Will Live: Where and Will You Publish It?

You can publish to several channels, including your website and social media. Consider creating a mix of content in various formats, like images, articles, videos, audio, and more. 

Before getting started, consider the following:

On which platforms will you publish your content?

For example, you might publish your content on YouTube if your target audience enjoys long-form video content. On the other hand, TikTok and Instagram may be the best options if your target audience is younger and hungry for short, snappy content pieces. TikTok might be an excellent platform for you if you target a younger audience, but if your customers skew older, Facebook may be a better platform to utilise.

How will you oversee the creation and distribution of content?

Planning how you’ll produce and distribute your content can take time. So, it’s critical to establish answers to the following key questions before you get started:

  • Who is producing what type of content?
  • What are your goals for the content?
  • Where is it going to be published?
  • How is the response to published content?

Although you may start small with just yourself or a single content freelancer, you may need to expand your team as your site grows. It can be helpful to work with various content teams to help you develop an efficient procedure as your business expands. 

How will you organise your content calendar?

By organising content according to topics, today’s content strategies reduce clutter. You can quickly describe your company’s message and goals and establish yourself as an expert in your market by organising your content editorial schedule around topics your audiences enjoy.

Understanding Why Content Marketing Strategies Are Important for Marketers

Many businesses use content marketing to generate meaningful website traffic and generate leads. For example, an embedded link to an e-book or free utility will continue to generate leads long after you press “Publish” if you can write just one blog post that attracts consistent organic traffic.

Your evergreen content will consistently supply traffic and leads, allowing you to experiment with different marketing strategies to create income, such as sponsored content, social media advertising, and distributed content. Additionally, your content will educate your prospects and raise awareness for your business, aiding in better lead generation.

Seven Steps to Help You Build an Excellent Content Strategy

Here are seven critical steps to building a solid content strategy:

  1. Set clear goals and objectives.
  2. Investigate potential buyer personas.
  3. Audit your content.
  4. Select a content management program.
  5. Choose the kind of content you wish to produce.
  6. Create content for lead generation.
  7. Track, measure, and optimise to build success. 

1. Establish your goals and objectives

Ask yourself what you hope to achieve by creating a content marketing strategy. And consider why you want to develop a content marketing strategy and produce content.

Knowing your objectives before planning a strategy will make choosing the appropriate course of action more straightforward and easier to implement. 

2. Investigate your buyer personas

To create a successful content plan, you must identify and target the appropriate audience for your content (often referenced as your buyer personas). This is crucial for people who are just starting or are new to marketing. Knowing your target market can help you create more pertinent, and worthwhile content users want to read and use.

Remember understanding your niche and what products might help the client accomplish their goals with your products is your key goal.

At your level of marketing expertise, you will have to alter your strategy based on your personas. For example, do you wish to broaden your current target market or focus on a new demographic? Or will you stick with the same target market? Growing your audience requires periodically reviewing the demographics of your target market through market research.

3. Conduct a content analysis

Most brands begin with blog postings to improve their businesses in the early stages. If you wish to branch out into new formats, you can do a content audit to find out your best and worst performing content. Then, use those findings to determine your next actions. 

If your company has been around for a while, you should evaluate your content marketing efforts and the outcomes from the previous years. Then, set new goals after determining what you can accomplish differently in the future year. Aligning your team’s goals with the rest of your company is a terrific approach.

No matter what stage your business is at, a content audit will assist you in identifying the topics that connect most strongly with your audience, finding gaps in your subject clusters, and developing new content ideas.

4. Use a CMS system

Content development, publication, and analytics are essential components of content management. You should invest in a CMS to efficiently and sustainably develop, manage, and track your content. You can plan, generate, publish, and monitor your results all in one place. 

WordPress is a well-known CMS that can be enhanced with other plugins to improve your experience further. 

5. Choose the kind of content you wish to produce

You have various content creation choices, including written content like e-books and blog posts and audio content like podcasts. 

To decide which channels you should focus on, consider the content types that would be popular with your target audiences. And you don’t have to use just one channel—diversifying the types of content you use and the channels you leverage can be incredibly advantageous. In addition, you can often use the same content with slight tweaks across various forms. For example, text or captions you post to Instagram could be condensed and used on Twitter. 

Where to go for content-creation inspiration? Consider the following content and distribution channels:

  • Testimonials are beneficial for social media platforms because they allow users to connect.
  • Articles are great for both blogs and newsletters.
  • Case Studies and White Papers documents are adequate as the first follow-up in an email process.
  • Infographics can cross-pollinate between a blog and social platforms and be featured in a newsletter.
  • E-books should accompany a blog post, newsletter content, and social media posts.
  • Checklists complement blog posts effectively and provide free resources through email subscriptions.
  • Video interviews with employees or satisfied clients can be excellent for social media posts.

6. Develop content for lead generation

Identifying the most effective way to generate leads is complex but attainable when using the right deployment channels. The following three avenues are great places to explore:

  • Blogs on websites may have the most extensive readership, with readers ranging from casual browsers to potential consumers evaluating the value of your goods and services.
  • Newsletters and email lists are great ways to generate lists and leads and regularly communicate with customers interested in your company or services.
  • Social media channels, like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, are for general surfers and potential leads who want to stay updated on promotions and corporate activities. It is an excellent demonstration of your brand’s “human” side. Instagram accounts are ideal for target audiences drawn to your brand’s aesthetics.

7. Measure and optimise the content you publish

Once you have published your content, tracking its performance and adjusting as needed is essential. This includes analysing metrics such as website traffic and engagement, reviewing times of the day or week to post content, which platforms are most effective, and conducting surveys or focus groups to gather feedback from your audience. 

By measuring and optimising your content, you’ll identify what works and what doesn’t—so you can adjust your content strategy as needed. 

Keeping Content Fresh: Establish and Regularly Maintain Your Calendar 

Creating a successful content plan requires strategy, research, and creativity. And as a top priority for building success and advancing sales, a content plan should be central to your marketing strategy. 

We hope this action plan sets you on the right track and helps you learn more about your audience and the content that interests them.