3 Steps to Creating a Content Plan (And Applying It Successfully)

content marketing strategy

Why is applying a content content generation strategy such an important task? For starters, all the content on your site tells a story. Do you want it to be sloppy and inconsistent? Or, a statement of your mission and the things you—and your business—stand for? So then, how to develop a content marketing strategy?

Start by understanding that attracting and retaining visitors relies heavily on the content you provide. Even when potential customers want to find out more about your business, your website can also serve as so much more.

Having relevant, up-to-date content gives your visitors a reason to come back more regularly.

Content marketing strategies are an obvious choice to improve the online presence of your business. Then, why do some organisations refuse to do it?

The seemingly obvious answers are that they take a lot of money or effort.

It is a common misconception that these long-term strategies are strict and inflexible. Also, that by following them, you are cutting yourself off from other opportunities. However, the truth is that with good planning, you will be able to implement a solid and effective strategy.


1- What is included in a marketing strategy plan?

At the heart of every marketing strategy is a plan. A solid plan should consist of three branches.

  1. The first represents the issues you want to address with your content strategy.
  2. The second gives you an idea of how you will approach content creation.
  3. And the final branch is the particular list of tasks that you will use to implement your strategy.

In its entirety, your plan should be able to illustrate the main ideas of your strategy.

Before you get to the specifics of a content marketing strategy, make sure the foundation is solid.

Consider the types of content that are relevant to your industry. How would these appeal to current and potential customers? At this point, it’s important to think about how you will achieve your specific goals. Whether that includes your authority online or building a loyal audience. Look at the marketplace you will be addressing and figure out what information will strike your target audience effectively.

Once you have a solid content plan, begin drafting ideas for the specifics if you are looking to implement your strategy in-house. An outstanding content marketing strategy is the result of collaborative efforts. Everyone involved will need a job to make sure that this plan moves forward effectively.

Consider having writers for content, IT staff for the coding, designers to create the graphics and marketing people to ensure that the message intended is being sent.


2- Create a streamlined plan to implement a content generation strategy

Your next step is to get the ‘okay’ from your boss. A buy-in from your executives will require you to include a complete diagnosis and explanation of the plan and how to implement it.

How you approach this meeting is up to you. Consider though, you will need to create clarification more than anything else.

A large number of executives have had no true training in marketing and may be thrown off by jargon and complicated graphs. Ensure that your plan and presentation can be easily understood.

content marketing planning - content generation strategy

Photo: CC BY SA Lars Plougmann 2008

After the buy-in, the hard work begins. Once you are set in a course of action, it is time to make sure all participants on board know their roles, duties, and where they can get the necessary information from.

Clarity of organisation will determine how quickly your strategy jumps off of the planning paper. Ensure that you have a system that effectively organises the methods you want to implement and also works well with your team.

Google Drive and other online sharing tools are great for collecting and distributing information while making sure that everyone knows what to do. There are also many options to present information in different formats so that your team can accurately convey their ideas.

Your virtual workspace should hold the details of everything you need. All of your specific information should be set out here to show your plans and progress. Everyone who reads it should envision the overall goal, their role in it, and when tasks should be undertaken.

Timelines of different phases are great for making deadlines obvious.


3- Plan to be flexible

We are all aware of how things can change within a few days. A shipment might come in late. An email could slip through the cracks. Maybe someone in charge of running an event may come down with a nasty cold. Problems like these might force you to refocus the project momentarily and you will need a way to communicate that to the entire team.

content marketing digital - content generation strategy

Just as digital information sharing is strong at the planning stage, it is equally effective at alerting team members to changes. Use an online sharing resource in which you can post changes instantly, and get people to see them right away.

Writing the plan with alternatives in mind can also help you adapt to problems. Writing up all of these alternatives may be exhausting, but when the success of a campaign is on the line you will want every name, number and idea handy.


Effective communication and simplicity

The best way to overcome the hurdles of developing a content marketing strategy can be summed up with one word: simplicity.

Problems of communicating the plan to executives, keeping people informed and dictating how the plan will be run can all be cleared up by having a logical plan that can be shared and easily accessed.

As long as you have set out all the right plans and ensured to keep your team in the loop, you’ll be able to run your content marketing strategy effortlessly.

How would you approach creating your own content strategy plan? Tell us in the comments below.


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