10 Steps to Creating a Content Planner to Boost Your Online Presence
Content is, and will always be, king. Only if you understand the right way to use it, though.
You could have the best content in the world, but if you’re not releasing it strategically, you’re going to miss the mark. If you don’t want to end up wasting all of that valuable content by throwing it aimlessly into the ether, you need to develop a content planner.
Today, we’re going to tell you the 10 steps to creating a great content plan so you can boost that online presence and become the content machine you were always destined to be. At the end of the day, if you really believe in the content that you’re producing, you’ve got to give it the promo that it deserves.
1. Have Goals
Before you start producing content or re-configuring your current content strategy, lay out the goals that you want your content to achieve. Here are a few common goals that most companies want out of their content:
- Driving traffic to your website
- Building brand awareness
- Lead generation and conversion
This is a good starting point for your content planner because it gives the entire process direction.
2. Understand How to Measure Performance
When you put out a new piece of content, do you just release it and move on to the next piece of content?
You need to be able to measure the effectiveness of each post/video/etc. if you’re going to improve your content strategy. Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) allow you to measure your content against the goals you’ve set out.
With KPI’s, you’re able to set specific numbers that you want to hit within a given time period. It might be hitting a specific revenue number, getting more subscriptions on your site, or improving your search ranking. Having specific measurables will help tell you if your content is performing or not.
3. Finding and Getting to Your Target Audience
Consider who you’ve been aiming your content at so far and whether or not it’s actually paying off. You have to get to know your audience so that you can produce content that’s specifically tailored to their interests.
To do this, collect demographic data about the people that buy your products and visit your website. Various analytics tools will be able to get you their age, gender, education, and income information, which will be valuable for understanding how to target the right people instead of just people.
4. Performing a Content Audit
Chances are, you’ve had a blog up for a while and you’re reading this because you aren’t satisfied with your current content strategy. There’s still going to be some value in what you’ve put out so far, even if it’s unsatisfactory.
Perform a content audit on yourself. In doing this, you’ll review all of your content marketing for the last year or more and what resulted. You can use this information to guide you on what worked, what didn’t, and what you need to change in order to perform better moving forward.
5. Understanding Content Formats
There are dozens of different ways to create content. Most people associate the word “content” with blog posts and social media, but there’s so much more you can and should do to make your website a well-oiled content creation machine.
For instance, the rise of video content has been one of the notable things to come to the forefront of digital advertising in the last few years. Because it’s so easy to watch videos on any number of devices, that’s how people prefer to receive their information. Now, companies are pouring loads of money into video creation.
It’s important to be versatile with your content, but understand what you’re good at and what your readers want. And, it’s not the end of the world if you try something new and it doesn’t work out because you’ll learn and adjust.
6. Idea Generation
A lot of businesses struggle with the creative aspect of content creation. Not everyone is idea-oriented, so it becomes difficult to conceptualize videos and posts.
Take what you know about the different content formats, get your most creative people in a room, and start throwing ideas at the wall. Sometimes you’ll go through dozens of bad ideas before you find a good one, but the time spent doing this is worth it in the end.
7. Allocating Resources
If you believe in your content, you’ve got to give it it’s due. Allocate some of your marketing resources to figuring out who’s going to be in charge of this content, what tools you can use (physical or digital) to create and manage the content, and what your content schedule will be.
For instance, you might need to hire a content manager to handle all of this. Once you get going, you’ll realize that content creation and management is a full-time endeavor. There are also content management programs that help you measure the effectiveness of social media and blog posts.
8. Create a Calendar of Content
Making a content calendar will help you organize everything so your strategy can be implemented for optimal effect. There are lots of ways to manage your content calendar.
Set up a Google Calendar with all of your content publication dates in it, so your content team knows when certain things are going up. This is a simple approach that will give you a chance to set due dates and promote your content when it’s published.
9. Release & Promote
As you’ve probably learned, a content creation team works kind of like a machine. The idea is that content is constantly being created and strategically released to your followers, then promoted in a cycle that repeats every day.
When you release a video, blog post, social media post, promote it with every tool that you’ve got so all of your followers know that it exists. Link to it frequently and wait for the public to consume it.
10. Measure Your Results
After it does, you’ll be able to measure the results. After a certain period of time, go back to those KPI’s from the beginning and assess the performance of your content.
If you’re hitting your goals, then set harder ones. If you haven’t quite met the mark, then start digging into the numbers to find out what your audience liked and disliked, adjust your approach, and come back with better content next time.
A Content Planner Is a Must
With a solid content planner at the helm, you can create content with a purpose. When you’re producing highly successful content, the effects will trickle into every other part of your business.
To get help with your content strategy, contact us at MAD Group. We’re one of Southern California’s top digital advertising companies, specializing in social media, video production, brand building, and several other types of content creation.
Check out our portfolio to view our past successes and come back and visit our blog to read more about how to create, manage, and promote your content.