Creating a content marketing plan can be a daunting task for many marketers. Often the question is asked, “how do you plan your content?” The first place to start with planning content is to set up the framework. Instead of brainstorming ideas and writing blog posts or newsletters right off the bat, you should create your content marketing plan. This will help you create pieces that are effective and focused on your goals. Think of the content marketing plan as the big picture - you wouldn’t start with the tiny details before you’ve painted the background!
How do you write a content marketing plan?
Your content marketing plan doesn’t have to be long or convoluted. If you’re just starting out, try focusing on these simple pieces:
Create an executive summary - describing your business and what you do best.
Write down objectives/goals - keep them focused and attainable. Creating specific goals like “grow our email list by 10% by the end of the quarter” are great because you can actually track that. A goal that is vague, like “improve brand awareness” isn’t measurable so you won’t know if you have succeeded or not.
Describe your audience - who is your current audience? Look at who you are currently reaching and see if you can identify any commonalities between them. Who would you like to reach? Figure out your target audience and your ideal customer(s). You may have ideal customers in different demographic segments, so be sure to consider that while doing this step.
Identify what makes your business unique - what are the solutions or products that you offer that set you apart from the competition?
Research, research, research! - take an inventory of your competition both in terms of their products and solutions and their marketing efforts. Additionally, look up current trends to see if you can incorporate any into your content to boost your reach.
Brainstorm content - here’s where you start the process of writing the actual content. Figure out your list of topics and posts that you want to create, keeping in mind the elements of the marketing plan that you’ve written before this.
Make a calendar for content creation and distribution - be sure to think about marketing mix and pay attention to the types of content that you schedule next to each other. You don’t want to be posting six blog posts back-to-back with a big drought for weeks following, so pay attention to the types of content as you are scheduling.
Your content marketing plan doesn’t have to be a fancy PowerPoint or PDF, you can literally write one using a word processing program and a desk calendar. However, if you want all the bells and whistles, be sure to check out the content templates that are available online.
Where do I find content marketing plan templates?
There are a lot of free content marketing plan templates out there, but they don’t help by showing you what content to create and in what order to take traffic share from your competition.
Ready to outline your content plan but not sure where to start? DemandJump's Insights for Content product will tell you specific questions to answer on any topic you choose gain coverage and take traffic share, automating the strategy and research in content creation. Try it for free today!
What’s the next step?
Once you’ve selected your template, now it is time to actually write your content marketing plan and fill in the blanks. While much of this can be done using your own instincts and skills, your content marketing plan also needs hard data and customer behavior insights in order to be effective. That’s where DemandJump can help.
Our content marketing solutions include everything from how to reach your customers (by providing you with what your target audience cares about or our automated customer journey mapping that shows what they are asking in each stage of the buying process) to how to keep them (by showing what content pieces are most effective, and quickly and easily giving you feedback on your different campaigns and promotional materials). Get the data to create your content marketing plan today and sign up for a free trial of DemandJump.