The saying “… if you don’t plan, you’re planning to fail” is very true when it comes to content marketing. The foundation of any good content marketing strategy is the content marketing plan. Your content marketing plan lays out the framework and goals for your content marketing, including what content you will publish, who your target audience is, where you will distribute the content, and how you will track your success.
Your content marketing plan should be the first thing you create before you start typing out any other content, and here’s why:
1. Easier content creation
Content creation can be tasking and time-consuming, especially when you have to create content for multiple platforms. It’s easier to create content when you know exactly what you need to do reach your goals. A content marketing plan can boost your productivity and make the content creation process easier. This is because you will see what posts you need to create, when and where they’ll be published, and the aim of each post. It will then be a lot easier for you to plan ahead, create your content in batches, repurpose them and schedule them for posting.
2. Create cohesive content
All the content that you publish, whether on your blog or on social media, needs to be cohesive. Each piece should play a part in achieving your business goal. Your content pieces should work together, share the same voice, and talk to the same audience. A content marketing plan helps you to work out the sequence of your content and how each one will build towards your final goal. This doesn’t mean that every piece should be promoting or selling something, but each one should have a purpose, eg. educating your audience, getting them trust you, to understand your products or services, or to finally make that purchase.
3. Incorporate your brand identity
Your content is an essential part of your brand identity. The type of content you create, your writing style, how or when you present your content… A content marketing plan helps you to incorporate your brand identity within your content. When you plan your content in advance, it’s easier to keep things similar- your fonts, writing voice, colors, images etc.
4. Track and improve performance
How do you know whether your content is performing, if you don’t know what you want it to achieve? Every piece of content should have a purpose and a goal. It could be engagement, conversion etc. Your content plan should contain the goals for the different kinds of content you will create, and the metrics you will track.
When you know why you’re publishing a piece of content, you’ll be able to check analytics to find out if it’s working as intended. You’ll also be able to trace what’s working and what’s not working so that you can keep improving your strategy.
5. Increase your return-on-investment
You might be putting in the work and pushing out content steadily, but still not achieving much in terms of results. This usually happens when you don’t have a content marketing plan. Because your content isn’t streamlined, properly tracked, or hitting the right targets, you may get very little returns on your efforts and investments. When properly created and implemented, a content marketing plan boosts your return on investment, and consequently, you earn more.
Content marketing is all about creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience. It’s not enough to just throw stuff up on a blog and call it a day. You have to follow a plan, otherwise your content marketing will seem haphazard and inconsistent. With a content marketing plan, your work is easier and more rewarding.