What's in this article?
There’s no exact science to creating a marketing plan for your content.
What works for you and your brand may not work for the next person or company, and vice versa.
However, if you’re going to get involved with content marketing — and you should — it’s important to remember this: it’s better to have a plan than to “wing it” and hope for the best.
Today, we’ll go over how to create a marketing plan, what it consists of, and who can help you put it in motion.
What is a content marketing plan?
A marketing plan is a strategic layout of your content, so that you can keep track of what to focus on and how to make it happen.
Content Marketing Institute dives into the finer details in this passage:
A content plan is very tactical. It documents the specifics of how you will execute your strategy, and who on your team will be handling each task. It’s important to understand that you need a content marketing strategy BEFORE you build your content plan. Think of it as a marketing plan that specifically relates to content; thus, it should include details such as the key topic areas you will cover, what content you will create, when and how to share your content, and specific calls to action you will include.
What matters most is that you understand what a plan for marketing is and how it can help you reach your marketing goals and engage your target audience.
What to include in your plan
As we mentioned, there are many aspects to consider when you’re planning out your content. Every one of these is equally important. If you’re not organized and just “wing it” you’ll reduce the likelihood of achieving the intended result.
Think about your business objectives, and target market, and build your overall marketing strategy based on them. You’ll also want to factor in how you’ll measure your progress, known in the marketing world as key performance indicators.
With all of that in mind, let’s check out the five details that every plan should include.
1. Topic areas
This sounds simple enough. However, there should be some thought into what you write about.
Take for example a loan officer in the process of creating a plan. Your overarching subject matter can be defined in one word: mortgage.
But this can be broken down into sub-categories including:
- Mortgage financing
- Refinance options
- How to get a mortgage
- Mortgage terms and conditions
- Closing costs
- The list could go on and on
Remember, you’re under no obligation to cover every subject associated with your industry. It’s best to focus on the topic areas where you have the greatest chance of moving the needle.
For example, if you don’t offer refinancing products, don’t talk about them just to rank in Google. Find out what your target audience is actually searching for out of your existing products and services.
Think about what kind of questions your existing customers often ask you and then answer those questions in your content.
In addition to personal knowledge, there are two other ways to unearth topic areas:
- Competitor review — See what your competitors are targeting and decide which areas you should focus on, too
- Keyword research — Use a keyword research tool, such as Surfer SEO, to find new topics by learning what your target audience is searching for
If you choose to cover the wrong topic areas, you’ll find that your content is targeting the wrong audience. And that will harm your conversion rate.
2. The type of content you will create
Once you have a list of defined topic areas, turn your attention to the type of content you will create.
Consider where you feel most comfortable. Some people love being in front of a camera but aren’t as good at writing. Thankfully, there are many different mediums to market your brand.
Types of content to consider include:
- Blog content
- Social media posts
- Marketing videos
- Case studies
- Email newsletter
- White papers
It’s okay to include all these types of content in your plan, but you must be selective regarding how you spend your resources. Prioritize your list.
A podcast might be fun, but will require professional equipment and a dedicated audience. Whereas email marketing is relatively cheap and is an easy way to get in front of prospective clients.
3. When to share your content
Creating high-quality, relevant content is a good start but you also need a schedule where and when you’ll share it.
We recommend creating an editorial calendar. This can be as simple as a spread sheet or actual calendar that keeps track of what you’re sharing and when.
This depends largely on the type of content you’re creating. Let’s look at some examples.
- Blog content: When does your audience generally visit your blog? What time of day? What day of the week? Are weekends typically quiet?
- Social media marketing: If you’ve been active on social media, review your content on each platform to see when engagement is highest. Also, research the best times to post on social media.
- Social media pages: Tik Tok might be all the rage right now but your target audience is probably not hanging out there, which makes it not worth it to post there
- Email newsletter: Experiment with sending your email newsletter at different times of the day and on different days of the week. When do you get the highest open rate? How about the highest click-through rate?
Sharing your content at the right time, and in the right place, can increase visibility and engagement.
4. How to share your content
Now that you know when to share your content, you can decide how to share your content. For some types — such as social media updates — there’s not much of a decision to make. If you have a tweet to share, you’ll do so on Twitter.
For other types of content — such as videos — there are additional opportunities. Let’s take a look at how you should share video content.
- Upload it to YouTube: This is where your video lives, but that’s just the start of its life. Don’t rely solely on YouTube searches to generate views.
- Embed it in a blog post: You may not do this right away, but you should always be looking for ways to embed videos into your blog content. Not only does it enhance the post, but it also drives your audience to take in more of your content.
- Share it on social media: This is an easy one. Once a video is published, share it on all your social media channels. Your audience will watch the video, engage with the video, and hopefully take the intended action.
- Share it in an email newsletter: Forget about the size of your email list. Even if only a few people see your video, you never know when it’ll turn into a new connection or even a sale.
Also, make it a habit to ask your existing customers to subscribe to your YouTube channel. Doing so improves the odds of them viewing all new videos in the future.
5. Specific calls to action
Don’t leave any gray area regarding what you want your audience to do. Make a list of specific calls to action (CTA) that you’ll use for each type of content.
These calls will depend on your marketing goals, which should be outlined as you plan. What you’re trying to achieve can affect your content strategy.
CTAs could include:
- A line at the end of each video asking viewers to subscribe to your YouTube channel
- A paragraph at the end of blog posts asking readers to sign up for your email newsletter
- A button in your email newsletter that readers can click to request more information
Above all, always make sure your contact information is prominently displayed and easy to find in all of your content.
It’s also helpful to reiterate your mission statement in your CTA. Reminder your audience why you’re the solution to their problems.
Lead generation is the primary goal of marketing. The right call to action can help with this.
Who can assist you?
As you create a business marketing plan and framework, you may come to realize that you need help. Rather than fight this feeling and hope for the best, take a step back to assess your situation.
There are many people who can assist you including:
- Marketing agency (such as Kaleidico)
- Marketing consultant
- Internal team members
- People in your professional network
Where you turn depends largely on the type of help you’re seeking.
For example, if you’re in need of a full-scale solution, it’s best to consult with a marketing agency or independent consultant. Conversely, if you have questions or concerns about topic areas, an internal team member may be able to assist you.
The point here is simple—there’s help to be had.
Don’t let a lack of knowledge or experience stop you. Instead, do what you can and then fill in the holes with help from others.
Find someone to review your plan
You’ve gone through the entire process of creating a marketing plan.
In your mind, everything checks out. You took the time to address the details above. You may have even brought in another person or people to help you.
While you may have a solid plan in place, you’ll never know for sure until you get another set of eyes on it. And if you really want to be safe, ask for two or three people to review it and make suggestions.
Some questions you can ask during review include:
- Does my plan include everything that it should?
- Are there any areas that are lacking?
- Are there any areas that don’t make sense for my company, industry, and/or short and long-term goals?
- Is there anything you would remove?
- Are there any inaccuracies that could cause problems down the road?
This is one of the most important steps once you learn how to create a marketing plan. And when you do that upfront, there’s less cause for concern in the future.
There’s a lot that goes into creating a marketing plan for content, so you should expect to run into roadblocks along the way. Some are easy to overcome on the spot, while others take more time and thought.
Set your business up for marketing success by anticipating potential issues before you execute your plan.
You never know what will stand in your way, but the ability to plan in advance can help.
1. Lack of expertise
You don’t have to be an expert to create a marketing plan. It’s okay if it’s not one of your company’s strengths.
A reasonable level of knowledge and effort will help you make informed and confident decisions. Going at it yourself isn’t impossible — there’s a wealth of knowledge available for free with a little research and time.
But we know, as a business owner, the last thing you have is time.
Solution: hire a marketing firm or consultant to assist you with everything from creation to implementation to tracking results.
2. Lack of manpower
By this point, you see just how many ways to tackle content. And with that, you realize that it could take a lot of manpower to reach your goals.
Trying to do everything on your own could impact other areas of your business.
Solution: hire more internal talent or contract the work out to an agency or consultant. Either way, you need more hands on deck or even an entire team.
3. Pulled in too many directions
You want to launch a blog. You want to post several times per day across varying social media platforms. You want to create videos in-house.
That’s a lot on your plate. If you’re pulled in too many directions, you’ll never place the proper attention on the tactics that can move the needle.
Avoid overwhelming your marketing team by figuring out what can be done now and how to implement this strategy in the future.
Solution: prioritize your marketing efforts as to use your time, money, and manpower at the appropriate levels.
4. Limited budget
Some forms of content don’t cost a dime. You can create social media posts yourself. You can write an ebook in your spare time.
Other forms, such as video production and infographics, are likely to pull from your marketing budget. Not to mention, if you’re thinking of hiring a content marketing manager, you’ll have to account for their salary and benefits.
A limited budget doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of content marketing. It just means you have to be creative with what’s available to you. Not only does this mean prioritizing, but measuring what’s really worth it as well.
Solution: track your return on investment (ROI) so that you can spend confidently in the future. With this data, you can then put the majority — if not all — of your budget toward ideas that have proven effective in the past.
Create a successful marketing plan with Kaleidico
At Kaleidico, we have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you create a comprehensive marketing plan that yields results.
We’re a full scale digital marketing agency, offering content marketing, SEO strategy, web design, and more.
From your first consultation through the implementation of your plan, we’re available to provide you with professional guidance and help you implement the best marketing strategies.
Contact us online or via phone at (313) 488-5625 to kick off the process.