Focus on the ideal client you want to convert. Your content needs to meet a specific need for a specific person... And be mindful of the purpose of your content. It needs to deliver.
With forward planning, rather than shooting your content from the hip, you get control, you can measure progress, and it’s easier to delegate implementation of the plan to others - like designers, copywriters and social media experts.
But the thought of creating a content plan can be daunting. So here are a few actions you can take right now to make putting a content plan in place easier.
1. Get the big pieces in place.
Avoid overwhelm by identifying the key pieces in your content jigsaw. Take a bird’s eye view of what your content plan will look like before getting into the detail.
what content format best suits your clients?
which social channels do they hang out on?
how often can you realistically produce content?
where are your/your team's particular skills and strengths?
That could look roughly like this: one daily Facebook post, one weekly blog, one monthly webinar, one quarterly podcast, one annual conference.
You decide - just get a clear idea of the big picture.
2. Focus on the ideal client you want to convert.
Your content needs to meet a specific need for a specific person. What are the problems and pain points your content will help them solve?
Ask yourself where your client is on their journey. Are they a prospect you want to sell to for the first time? Or an existing customer you want to sell to again?
You may well have different content plans for different ideal clients.
3. What is the business goal you want your content to help you achieve?
Always be mindful of the purpose of your content. It needs to deliver.
Most likely your goal is to make a sale. But more filtered-down goals will help you plan.
Are you marketing an event?
Do you want to recruit top talent?
Keep customers on board?
Become a thought leader?
Again, it’s likely you’ll want a different content plan for each specific goal.
4. Stay on the content journey with your client.
This is really important. You have to create content that converts. There must be a next step for that client. Otherwise your content is just a pleasant experience, not a lead generator.
Do you want them to subscribe to your newsletter?
Sign up to a webinar?
Download an ebook or factsheet?
Say one of your big content pieces is a twice-yearly webinar. As well as planning for the creation of the content for that webinar, you’ll be planning the emails, social posts, and lead magnets that will move your prospects towards signing up to the webinar. It’s all gotta go in the plan!
5. Use content you’ve already got.
The tyranny of the blank content plan. It can be quite overwhelming.
So check out your back catalogue. You’re bound to have loads of evergreen content you can repurpose in some way.
Either simply republish it; plenty of new followers won’t have seen it before.
Or turn it into another format:
a blog can quickly be turned into a video
a video can be converted into an infographic
a podcast can be clipped up into wisdom soundbites and posted clip by clip on Instagram.
By using what you’ve got, you’ll have fewer slots on your plan to fill with fresh content.
6. Decide the channels that work for you.
A big part of your content planning will be your social media activity. This can really feel like a long, complicated and daunting task.
deciding how often you post
deciding which times of day or night to post
thinking up ideas for what to say in your posts
and, of course, which channels you choose.
Remember this: you don’t have to hit every single channel. That’s a sure recipe for overwhelm. Just have a good think about where your ideal clients are spending most of their time.
If you decide to focus only on Facebook, and ignore LinkedIn and Twitter, that could be what’s right for your business. Plenty of content lies virtually ignored on a platform because the wrong people for that business hang out there. Or they’re engaging with it, but not converting.
So focus on what channels are working for you, and limit yourself to those. The plan just became a lot simpler.
So that’s six tips to help you plan your content.
Get your big content pieces in place.
Focus on the ideal client you want to convert.
Start with your business goal in mind.
Stay on the content journey with your client.
Use content you’ve already got.
Decide the channels that work for you.
Find out a bit more about how to get on top of content planning.