Some would say content planning is a task that comes together over the course of days, if not weeks. Others claim that in a few hours, they can power through their content plan for the month ahead; that leaves us with the question, is there a right or wrong way of how to plan and build a successful content marketing strategy?👇
Without getting lost in the details of what to include in a content marketing plan, it's important to go back to basics and highlight one important fact.
A large part of a successful content marketing strategy has a lot to do with how you plan it out. Of course, the 'What' makes up the rest, but having the right content marketing strategy plan template will set you up for success when deciding which content you need to focus on.
Planning can take hours, or you can spread it out over a period of time; you need to find what works best for you.
Step #1 - Prior to planning your content, create a space where your team can collaborate and discuss content pieces and ideas.
Step #2 - Set up your content planning meeting via an asynchronous discussion. This can be done either async or synchronously; however, with any type of brainstorming and planning style meetings, asynchronous collaboration often works best. This allows individuals time for thoughtful discussion and to contribute when it suits them.
Step #3 - Prepare your content planning meeting agenda. Create one from scratch, or easier yet, use the pre-prepared content marketing plan template which you can add to and modify as you see fit.
Step #4 - Invite your team to the content marketing plan meeting via a calendar invite.
There are many examples of different structures of content marketing plans, but many are often overly complicated, too specific for the needs of most teams, and/or are unable to be modified.
Here's an example of a content marketing plan that covers all the basics and then some. Let's go through the marketing content planning template so you have an idea of what you should cover in your meeting.
Before diving into the strategies and goal setting, take some time to re-iterate and align on the content vision and the company mission. Clarify the target audience and your focus for the month.
This is where you'll reflect on the previous months' goals, the wins, and the losses.
It's also a good practice to evaluate how the previous content has performed and ask yourself, did it generate the expected impact?
Lastly, as part of the strategy review, it's important to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of recent actions towards the goals you've set.
Keeping in mind the goals of the previous month, it's time to set some new goals and objectives for the upcoming month. From within a marketing content plan template, you can create #goals linked to action items so you stay on top of which main actions are linked to the overarching goals you've set.
Running your marketing content planning meeting asynchronously allows attendees to pop in and out as they wish and add thoughtful discussion around proposed content pieces.
Once you've brainstormed the potential content, it's time to wean it down to the ones that will contribute to you meeting your goals and objectives, ie. generate X more qualified leads. This is the content planning stage.
When crafting your content, it's best to focus on two main areas:
Next up, distribution! One of the most underrated and underappreciated, yet highly important aspects of your marketing content planning. Where do you plan on distributing the content you are creating? Who is it targeted towards?
What else would you expect to find in a marketing plan table of contents? Here are a few of the main sections that should appear in a marketing content planning meeting agenda. 👇
Ready to start planning? With a marketing content planning meeting template, you can kick off your content planning meeting in no time!