Creating a Content Plan for Your Business

Top View Of A Desk With A Laptop And Phone With The Words Content Marketing next to them

Having a content plan in place for your business is crucial. It will help your business get more brand exposure, leads, and more. That’s why to help you create one, our team has put together this handy guide that shows you how to create a content plan in 10 easy steps.

What is Content Marketing Anyway?

Before we dive right in, it’s important that you understand what Content marketing is. A content plan forms part of your content marketing for your business. Content marketing is a form of indirect marketing that’s aimed at creating and distributing content for targeted audiences online. It usually involves a combination of different content types like videos, blogs, and social media posts.

With the definition of the term content broadening all the time as it now incorporates online events, memes, gifs, and more, we are witnessing a real content explosion that can sometimes be somewhat hard to keep up. But content has become a vital part of a business’s success in this day and age.

That’s why WORD EMPIRE® says “Content is Emperor.” Some still say that “Content is King” but with the content explosion, this no longer rings true at least for us. Businesses are now using content to drive brand awareness to sell products and services and more.  A business especially online must be visible to grow, stand out, and prosper. Content makes you visible.

Step 1: Know Your Business Goals for Your Content Plan

Any effective CP (content plan) must be tied to your business goals. Aside from just getting more business, which is vague anyway you need to drill down and get crystal clear and set and often reset your business goals. A great place to start is your business plan. What goals did you outline? If you don’t have a business plan, get one! There are many free templates online to guide you.

If based in Australia check out Business Victoria’s Business Plan template. It is simple and straightforward as it should be. Avoid complicated business plans that are like War & Peace. These will just put you off your own business! If you work with a business coach or mentor, get their guidance on creating a business plan.  A good business plan must incorporate content marketing. 

In addition to a business plan talk to your existing customers/clients for feedback on your business and how it can better serve them. If you have a team talk to them and get their input to formulate goals. Consider the following for your content plan which you then bring back to your business goals:

  • expansion into other markets and countries
  • brand growth by 55% in three months, ten months, etc
  • get 10 new customers in three months
  • Increased local exposure for your business by 30% in three months

Pro tip — from here you can create content that's specific to these goals so your content marketing won‘t be a scattergun approach!

Step 2: Know Your Audience for Content Marketing

You might have the best content plan in the world but if you don’t truly know your audience or make the mistake of just targeting everyone and anyone, then it’s pointless. We see a lot of business owners who still don’t fully understand who their target market is despite being in business for a while now!

Every single piece of content you produce like even an infographic must be created with a target audience in mind. You need to be able to visualise them. That’s how intimate you must get. Know them inside out from information like age, gender, education level, and income. This is just the tip of the iceberg.

You then need to dive deeper and understand their pain points, struggles, and establish how your products or services can solve their problems. Remember consumers are always searching for solutions and are more likely to engage and buy from a brand they can identify with.

Pro tip — create an amazing offer whether giveaway, consultation, etc that helps solve your customers and clients’ problems.

Step 3: Different Content Types for Your Content Plan

Just like there are "different strokes for different people" as the old saying goes there are now different content types for different people. Once you know your audience and what they resonate with you have a much better understanding of the types of content they will engage with.

Ideally, you want to create a mix of content to match different consumption tastes but if your audience is more interested in your weekly blog, more than in your industry paper then naturally focus your attention more on blog posts.

You need to test out a few content types especially in the beginning to see what works and what doesn’t. These days you face no shortage of content, with the definition constantly expanding to incorporate things like:

  • Infographics
  • online events like webinars
  • Podcasts
  • YouTube videos
  • White papers
  • eBooks
  • Case studies
  • Email newsletters
  • Social media posts
  • E-courses
  • Facebook Ads
  • And much more

Step 4: Choose the Right Platform for Your Content Plan

Many businesses take the shotgun approach (everything and anything) when choosing a platform to put content on. This is the worst thing you can do. Be strategic and place your content on the platforms that your customers are on. LinkedIn? Facebook? Twitter? Pinterest? Different customers look for online content in different places. So, you need a targeted approach. It’s a well-established fact that many B2B businesses do well with creating content on LinkedIn.

Again, it comes back to knowing and understanding your audience and then aligning your content efforts with this. It can be tempting to be on every single platform as you want to spread your message far and wide.

But it's best to take a targeted approach and stick to a few platforms that your customers and clients are on. Then look at repurposing content to further spread your brand message.

Pro tip — one blog post can be repurposed into social media posts, a newsletter, a checklist, a video, a podcast, and more.

Step 5: Incorporate SEO into your Content Plan

We all know how important SEO is and in today’s digital age, you need SEO for just about every type of content. Even podcasts need SEO. It’s no longer enough just to put keywords on your website and then voila you get traffic! That was fine even five years ago, but the SEO landscape has changed so much especially now with AI.

Now you need to think about the user experience, original and helpful content, AI and so much more for your search engine optimisation efforts along with the right usage of keywords and related keywords that your audience is searching for. SEO has many moving parts so you either need to invest time and money in learning it properly or hire someone skilled in it to do it for you.

Step 6: Establish Brand Tone of Voice

All brands have a ‘personality’ that their audience can recognize and identify with. Essentially it is your brand’s overall essence and personality. Successful brands that stand the test of time inject their personality into every single piece of content they produce. Your brand tone of voice could be fun and quirky, professional, and friendly, or corporate and dry.

It doesn’t matter what it is. What matters is that you know what it is and that it is incorporated in every single piece of content you produce as this ensures consistency. If you are not sure about your brand tone of voice start with your own personality and core values.

List some traits and things that matter to you and then link these back to your brand. Then look at your audience. What sort of brand tone of voice will they identify with? Which voice will they not identify with? It’s important to figure these out before you start producing content.

Pro tip — play a bit of a fun game and answer the following to get clear on your brand’s personality: If your brand was a person what are five traits it would have? What song would your brand be? What perfume would it be?

Step 7: Create Content Consistently & Persistently

Consistency and persistence are two of the keys to success in life. Burn that in your brain! It’s no different with your content plan. Customers want consistency with brands and are likely to go elsewhere (to your competitor) if you fail to give it to them. So, it is important to implement a content schedule that’s consistent and persistent.

You need discipline and dedication for this.  This ensures that you are publishing content regularly and publishing on relevant platforms. Your content should be structured (not random) and ideally should be planned for: daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Doing a LinkedIn post once a month isn’t going to get you far. Aim at least 2-3 times a week. There are many great online tools to help you create your content schedule.

Pro tip — WORD EMPIRE® publishes a weekly blog post every single Wednesday at 8. 30 am Australian time rain or shine! That’s consistency and persistence for you!

Step 8: Review, Revise, Repeat

This is all about studying the data to track results. This way you can see what worked and what didn’t. In an age of unlimited consumer insights, you are split for choice as data is available at your fingertips. Tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics help you do this. You can view what pages are performing well, click-through rates, bounce rates, website visitors, and so much more.

Not to mention social media platforms have built-in analytics. SEO tools like SEMrush, and email newsletter platforms like Mailchimp all have built-in analytics to show you data.

These provide you with invaluable insights that you can put to good use in your content strategy. By reviewing the results, you can revise and improve your strategy. You should be reviewing ideally every week. If this is too much, check in once a month.

If you are running a marketing campaign, then you may need to check even every few days. Never be lax with tracking results. It must be a common occurrence. Or else you run the risk of just putting out content that gets you no ROI.

Step 9: Keep Innovating (Try New Things)

Many businesses run the risk of being stagnant by staying in their comfort zone. In an age of such rapid changes, you’ll get left behind. It’s a guarantee! So, you have to keep constantly innovating by staying on top of trends and trying out new things. This could be new technologies, new content trends, new platforms, etc.

The best businesses tend to innovate at the quarter mark (every three months). Doesn’t have to be huge. Consider adding a new product, service, a giveaway of some sort, etc to stay relevant and appealing to your audience.

Also, consider reaching out to your audience and asking them either through a short survey or a quick phone chat what they like to see when it comes to content. Remember they know what they want! Don’t be shy and ask away. Then just continue tracking results, refining, and reworking your strategy.

Pro tip — check out Google Trends a useful tool for keeping on top of consumer trends worldwide.

Step 10: Competitor Analysis

Long before the digital age, businesses studied their competition to see what they were doing better, worse, or just the same as them. Often, they would send people undercover to spy on the competition. This was common with the big department stores in London like Selfridges and Harrods.

They would send in people disguised to see what the other was doing. Now times have changed, but we are still spying on the competition but it's all done digitally thankfully.

Along with checking out your competitor’s online presence, there are a host of digital tools from your SEO tools like SEMRUSH and Afhres that give you competitive analysis to  SpyFu and Similarweb. These give you more in-depth information about your competition.

Spying has been taken to a whole new level. When it comes to content a competitor analysis is invaluable for helping you plan out a content strategy.

Pro tip — don’t spend too much time though on competitor analysis. Rather be aware of your competition but just focus on getting better. Amazon leaves an empty seat in each of its meetings. Guess who the empty seat is for? the customer, not the competitor.

By implementing these 10 steps you’ll have a highly practical and actionable content plan that will yield results for your business. To find out more great content advice or have a content plan custom-made for your business Contact WORD EMPIRE.