How to Create a Content Plan
A content plan helps you answer the what, who, how and where questions that are essential to effective content creation. It also helps you determine the type of content that your audience needs and the best way to get it across to them. Having a great content plan is crucial to your content strategy, just as a battle plan is central to the overall strategy used in a war.
Goals, Goals, Goals
What do you hope to achieve with your content? What is your goal? This is the first question you should ask yourself as you generate your content plan. After you must have answered that question, determine how you expect to achieve this goal of yours. You should also measure your efforts at achieving said goals in order to ascertain if what you’re doing is helping you get closer to reaching them. You can measure your goals by gathering all the content that is currently produced by your organization, then use a content inventory spreadsheet to chart how successful each type of content has been with regard to your goals. You could also use Google Analytics or any other tool of your choice.
Identify Your Target Readers
This helps you understand your readers’ needs and ensures that you are creating the right content for the right people. You need to identify the personality; attitudes, values, interests, hobbies, lifestyle, and the social behavior of your readers in order to truly understand them. How long do they spend on the internet? What sites do they visit? What do they like to share, tweet, pin, and like and vice versa?
Based on the base of the topics and keywords you’re going to target, identify the type of content that meets their needs. Aim to generate content that improves other content and has great SEO rankings. It is also important that you determine and choose the best format for dissemination; audio, video, e-book blog post, infographic, or podcast?
Create a Content Calendar
Now that you know and have measured your goals; are familiar with the needs of your target audience and have plenty of ideas for content, the next step is creating an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar is essentially the working document that plans your content by providing everyone involved in your content team with the information they need to produce, deliver and promote the content strategy plan.
While it defines individual duties, your content calendar also describes the targets of the content: customers, prospects, or the larger market? It should also determine the “contents” of your content and, the format and channel for disseminating and promoting your content. The editorial calendar is also a good place to keep the URLs that show where your content has been posted.