In 2019, content marketing is not a choice anymore – it’s a necessity.
According to HubSpot, about 90% of B2B buyers have stated that online content greatly influences their purchasing decisions.
A well-thought-out content strategy is critical for growing your brand and attracting new customers. To execute one, it is necessary to create a structured and organized content plan. The key to successful content marketing is all in the planning.
If you think that content planning is energy-draining and time-consuming process, you’re not exactly right. What if I told you, it’s possible to plan out a year’s worth of content in just one day?
Continue reading this article to learn how!
3 Reasons for Planning Out your Content in Advance
Planning out your content is not an easy task. One might think that creating content spontaneously is less demanding than planning (spoiler: It’s not).
So, is it really worth it?
Yes, it is. And, here’s why:
- It keeps your content organized and consistent. Consistency is key to the success of your content marketing campaign. Planning out your content in advance is a great way to keep your online presence on track and be consistent in posting no matter what.
- It gives you more time to interact with your audience. That’s no secret – communicating with your audience is highly important. However, when you have to constantly come up with new content ideas it becomes a real challenge. A content plan can free up time for you to interact with the audience.
- It helps to keep track of the posted content. Our memory is not flawless. You can’t guarantee to keep track of every single piece of content that you make. A well-structured content plan can.
How to Plan Out a Year’s Worth of Content in 1 Day
Step 1. Set goals
The first step of planning your content is setting relevant, measurable, and realistic goals.
Think about what you want to achieve with your content this year. Are you looking for more engagement on social media and blog? Are you wishing to increase brand awareness? Are you interested in generating more leads and customers? Are you trying to build trust with your audience?
The content you make should help you achieve these goals – keep this in mind when planning out your marketing activities. This approach will help you to create the exact type of content that you need to accomplish your goals.
Here are a few helpful tips on setting goals for the content you are planning to make:
- Be as specific as possible;
- Make sure these goals are measurable;
- Divide big goals into smaller ones and give time frames in which these goals should be achieved;
- Make sure your goals are actually realistic and attainable;
Step 2. Think of your audience
Creating content just for the sake of keeping up with marketing trends is a total waste of time. Your content must be relevant, helpful, and valuable for your audience. Once you know the preferences and problems of your target audience, you can make content that they need and want.
- Who are your ideal customers?
- How old are they, where do they live?
- What devices do they use and platforms?
- What kind of content can make the biggest impact on your audience?
- What pain points do they have?
- What potential questions can they have about your product or service?
- What triggers your audience’ emotions?
Knowing the answers to these questions can give you some initial direction and help you avoid creating content that doesn’t resonate with your target market. If you can’t answer these questions with confidence, consider conducting market research, Doing it is the most effective way to understand what kind of content you should create to get the most out of it.
Step 3. Brainstorm content ideas
To plan out your content for a year, you have to decide what exactly it is you’ll be creating. While there are plenty of options available, from blog posts to webinars, it makes sense to pick types of content that you’re capable of producing in terms of your budget, man-hours and other resources.
Generally speaking, types of content can be categorized into three main groups: Video, Written, and Visual content.
- Video content
- product demonstrations
- reviews & testimonials
- how-to tutorials
- webinars & live videos
- interviews, etc.
- Written content
- blog posts
- white papers
- case studies, etc.
- Visual content
- memes & GIFs
- screenshots, etc.
The most effective strategy is to experiment with different types of content and figure out what works best for your audience.
When you’ve made the decision regarding content types, brainstorm some ideas from different categories that you’ll be able to actually put into action. This will help you to form a vision of your content strategy for a year and come up with actual ideas on what you can create.
Step 4. Start building an editorial calendar
Editorial calendars are real lifesavers for content creators. They help to organize and categorize the content you plan to publish in the future. As a result, editorial calendars allow keeping your online presence on track and ensuring that all your platforms are covered every day of the year.
To start building your own editorial calendar, you first need to determine your optimal posting schedule. Focus specifically on when is the best time for your brand to post and what is the ideal posting frequency that your audience prefers.
- Where is your target audience located?
- When and how often does your audience go online?
- What posting time is most relevant to them?
Step 5. Start scheduling your posts
While it does not seem possible to create posts for the whole year in a day, it’s a good idea to schedule a few most important ones.
For instance, research relevant events in your industry and prepare short posts for social about them. This way you’ll be sure not to miss out significant dates even if their existence slips your mind during the year. Use a tool like Wave Social Calendar to search for trending holidays, observances, and events for your industry.
To schedule your social media posts in advance, use a publishing calendar like Smart Posting by PromoRepublic.
Planning out your content is no less important than actually creating it.
When done right, a content plan can enhance your marketing efforts dramatically. Follow our guide to plan out a year’s worth of content – in just one day.
What’s your biggest struggle when planning out content? Feel free to share in the comments!