In the digital age, it’s impossible to be found on the internet without proper content. However, many people often forget that planning content is much more important than producing content. Without a plan, your success in the digital marketing world will not be a sure thing.
What is Content Planning?
The first step in the planning process is to answer the “Why?” Why do you want content? SEO? Lead? Many businesses we talk to have heard that “content is king” but don’t really know what content is king of. Others have seen their competitors sharing content, so they try to put out some content as well.
Neither of these are a good foundation for content planning. You have to start with with a real why, tied to your business objective. Content can attract, inform and persuade, but not all at once. Start with your primary objective and you will be well on your way to creating content that is memorable and relevant to your customers.
Are you with me so far? Content planning is not to be confused with content strategy. If you use the words “planning” and “strategy” interchangeably, it’s probably time to stop, especially if the word “content” comes before them. A well-constructed content strategy defines your objectives, target audience and metrics. It’s the critical first step to attract customers and grow your brand.
The plan is the road map. It outlines themes and vehicles you will use, along with the types of content you will create. Without a well-organized and structured content plan, the strategy will fail.
Producing great content is challenging enough, but creating great content on a regular basis can be overwhelming. Where are you supposed to begin? The easy answer is to start with things you know, that your customers don’t.
If you’re producing content for your business, you’ll want to find relevant, industry-related information to share with your audience. This could include tips and tricks, industry updates and maybe even examples of your company’s work. Most of these can be found online, but you’ll want to spend some time researching the information you do find online. The information should not only be relevant, but also credible!
Take time to listen to customers, employees and suppliers. What are they talking about? What questions do they have? Good content will answer their questions.
Planning and Producing
Planning and producing content go hand-in-hand. Without a proper plan, it’ll be hard for you to produce solid content. Even when writing a “simple” blog post, it requires brainstorming, drafting, editing and then some social media promotion. The same goes for writing content for clients or for your own company. You have to do some research before you draft anything, then you often have to go back and edit your content.
With so many different elements to consider, content planning can quickly get overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A good plan will help you keep your ideas organized even among the hours of research.
If you’re looking to invest in your content planning, check out our Content Marketing kit. With this kit you’ll be given a blank content calendar, blog basics and even a sample content calendar. You’ll also be able to listen to an episode of More Than a Few Words which details content marketing.