Strategic Content Planning for Marketing Success

We have already explained in detail in another article that content is king. But even the best content is of little help if you don’t have a strategy and a plan. The sheer volume of posts, content, articles, and blogs quickly ensures that your content, even if it is excellent, gets diluted in the sea of data on the Internet.

The better your content planning, the more likely you are to stand out from all the other content on the World Wide Web and succeed in drawing attention to your site. Quality and thoughtful topics are at the top of the list of things that play a crucial role in this.

In our article, we’ll show you what a content plan is, why you need one, what the benefits of marketing planning are, and how you can optimize your content planning. We’ll also explain what you need to keep in mind when it comes to social media planning and how we can help you as your SEO-Partner.

What Does Content Planning Mean?

Content planning is about translating the goals defined in the content strategy into concrete actions and activities. In particular, it is important to set key topics and fill them with life. Here, finding the right topics is actually the hard work because there is almost nothing that hasn’t already been written about.

Subsequently, all characteristics are entered into an editorial calendar and subsequently into an editorial plan. Based on this plan, the content is then published according to the established rules and time intervals.

However, you have to be aware that you can only plan certain things to a certain extent. In the end, many uninfluenceable factors will get in the way and the excellent planning will be gone. These factors include absences of authors due to illness, layoffs, competitor activities, crises or current developments.

Content planning therefore always means being prepared to adapt and having a contingency plan up your sleeve. Good content planning always includes a contingency plan. You can do this, for example, with a blog post that you have kept up your sleeve. This way, some publication dates can be bridged even without new content.

Why Is Content Planning Important?

To survive in the giant shark tank called the Internet, you need to be stronger than all the other sharks. Creating a content plan or creating a blog for your business is one way to do that. Good marketing planning is your immune system, so to speak. The stronger it is, the less vulnerable you are. Lousy content from competitors will be gobbled up by your T-cells (your own well-researched, value-added content) while good content will be forcefully fought by your competition. This allows you to move to the top of Google search results in the best-case scenario.

What Are the Benefits and Goals of Content Planning?

Creating your content planning and editorial plan has many goals and brings a whole host of benefits. First, the ultimate goal of all marketing efforts is basically a satisfied customer.

Then, of course, there are the company’s goals, visions, and missions. In general, content is about increasing awareness and image, customer loyalty, gaining leads, and ultimately profit. The advantages of good content planning are:

You Keep the Overview

The editorial plan in particular helps you to use your resources optimally. Here you have an overview of dates, content writers, deadlines, topics and the current status of all activities. Depending on how comprehensive you design the plan, you can also provide information on costs or priorities.

In the long term, you can mark all important dates that may require your special attention. For a restaurant’s content plan, dates like Christmas or Valentine’s Day will be such relevant days. For a bank, it’s more likely to be the end of the year, interest due dates, or a company anniversary.

You Ensure Continuity

In addition to the best quality of your content, you should also ensure regular publication. Appropriate pre-planning helps you to maintain the continuity that your readers appreciate. Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, for example, you’ll post a new post on your social media channels, while every Monday they can look forward to a new and interesting blog post.

Better Planning = Cost Savings

If you know today that you want to release a series of podcasts over the next 6 weeks, you could record them all in one day and save significantly on the cost of hiring more equipment and a speaker.

Align Content

Through targeted content and editorial planning, you’ll be able to create thematic blocks or series on a larger topic. You can align all the articles that go with it and also integrate social media marketing into your themed blocks. In the week around the American Independence Day, for example, you could publish USA-relevant topics from your field.

Optimize Sources and Research

Throughout the course of a day, you’ll stumble across interesting websites, scientific sources, good images or other resources from time to time. With a structured editorial plan, you can attach such sources etc. to the appropriate article. When it comes to writing the article, a lot of research time can be saved.

Planning Is Good, Control Is Better

To be able to track the success of your planning in the long term, you can also define and manage key figures in the content planning at the same time. Set goals and targets for the number of hits on a post, the number of comments, likes, or sign-ups for the newsletter. This way, you’ll know exactly which topics, channels, and types of posts are most popular, and you may be able to plan for more in that direction in the near future.

When Does It Make Sense to Create a Content Plan?

Anytime you’re a business that runs a website and wants to attract and engage customers, good content, a content plan, and an overarching marketing and content strategy are essential. Whether you’re running a small restaurant, an internet retailer selling sustainable products, speakers, or services, you can’t avoid planning good content if you want to be successful in the long run.

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What Does Content Planning Involve?

Content planning consists of different disciplines, areas, and tasks. In the editorial plan, all this data is compiled and clearly managed. This includes:

Topics

When finding topics and later structuring them, you should answer a few questions and note them down in a grid that is always the same:

  • Which topic is interesting for my target group?
  • Does the topic fit our strategic objective?
  • At which point in the customer journey is the topic appropriate?
  • How have competitors dealt with the topic?
  • Which keywords are relevant to rank the topic best?
  • Which CTA (call-to-action) should be used in the text?

Deadlines and Appointments

In the content planner, you can also keep track of all important dates, deadlines and special dates. Enter special holidays, relevant dates for your industry, deadlines for content writers and editors, lead times and other critical dates so that nothing slips through your fingers.

Channels

When it comes to channels, you need to distinguish between your own and third-party channels. Your internal channels include, in particular, your website and/or Facebook page or your newsletter. If, on the other hand, you do paid advertising on Facebook, use industry portals, other websites or Google for sponsored content, these are referred to as external channels.

On your internal channels, you are more likely to address existing customers, engage in customer care and strengthen the brand internally, while on external channels you prefer to look for new customers. The important thing here is to find the right balance between the different channels.

In the end, the channel also determines the format of the content. A text post, for example, cannot possibly be posted on YouTube. A blog post only makes sense on the blog or as a teaser in the newsletter, but perhaps less so on Instagram.

Formats

It’s easy to lose track of the formats, as the possibilities are so wide-ranging. It doesn’t always have to be a blog post — you can also do a customer survey or a competition.

All these formats can be divided into four groups — text-based content, visual content, audiovisual content and engaging content. These include individual formats such as blogs, interactive content, webinars, podcasts, surveys, and competitions.

Each format has its justification and its purpose, depending on the goals you are pursuing and the type of content you want to get across to people. Especially in social media planning, different formats are important to keep the readership interested. Let’s take a closer look at some formats:

Text-based Content

Text-based content is probably the most common form of content. However, this includes not only simple blog posts, but also, in particular, guides, instructions, tips, checklists, and reports on studies.

A guidebook gives readers a very high added value. People like to use good guides on specific topics without having to buy a book for it right away. As a company, you can use a guidebook to back up your expertise, provide assistance, and also achieve excellent results in SEO.

Visual Content

Depending on the channel, visual content is also suitable, either with text-based content or all by itself. Here we would like to highlight mainly infographics. Infographics have experienced a boom, especially recently, as they combine graphic elements and information in an easy-to-digest form.

An infographic is perfect for branding. Often boring data is presented understandably, and a good infographic has the potential to go viral and be used in many places.

Audiovisual Content

This type of content engages all the senses. It is about seeing, reading, and hearing. Certainly, the best known representative in this group is videos. With a video, special attention can be generated. Videos are suitable for a variety of channels — from your own website to Facebook to TikTok. They can present a product, project the company’s image to the outside world, or be entertaining or educational. The possibilities are limitless.

The advantages of a video lie in the high degree of individuality, the positive linking of different, dramaturgical elements, the added value offered by tutorials and much more. Especially, the much-appointed storytelling can be raised to a new level through videos.

Of course, one must also be aware that the production of a professional video is cost-intensive and time-consuming. In the end, however, you are usually rewarded with a successful campaign.

Engaging Content

Content that requires customer or reader interaction has a special appeal and gives companies a chance to connect with their followers in some way. Engaging content could be question games, a quiz, a sweepstake, an interactive advent calendar with attractive prizes, or even a mortgage calculator.

Engaging Content Planning

Content Writers and Editors

The coordination of all activities of editors and writers can also be clearly arranged in an editorial plan. Deadlines, submission dates, editorial deadlines and many other dates can be managed here. Depending on how large a team is, this ensures the best possible workflow.

How Is a Content Plan Created?

The creation of a content plan — whether in marketing planning or as social media planning — should ideally be done in four steps:

Step 1: Analysis of the Current State

First, take a look at what content and topics already exist on your channels. Find out what the specific content strategy has been in the past. Conduct a detailed analysis of the metrics related to the content. It is essential to know how the posts have performed. This includes access numbers and likes.

Furthermore, look at the topics where readers spent the longest time on your page and where the bounces were the highest. Look at the search results of your keywords and where you made it to the first page in Google search.

After such an analysis, you will have a better picture of what your readers and customers like and what they don’t like. You can also use this data to improve your existing content.

Step 2: Target Group Analysis

Only if you succeed in addressing your target group(s) correctly will your content plan be successful. You have to pick up your target group and communicate with them at eye level. You need to know what drives them and where their wishes and problems lie. Many find personas to be very helpful in this regard.

Overall, it’s about aligning all your efforts with your target group and your customers. In earlier times, it was common to introduce your customers to your services and products. Today, it’s more about knitting your offerings to please the customer. Everything must be viewed and executed from the customer’s perspective. Think about this: If you want to sell your products in another country, you might need an SEO-Translation of your Website or your Blog.

Stage 3: Target Analysis

Once you know where you stand, and you know your customers and target audiences, it’s a matter of determining what you want to achieve with your content planning. Where do you want to go? What content can help you achieve this, on which channels and in which formats?

Stage 4: Finding Suitable Topics

Only after the three upper stages have been completed it is a matter of finding suitable topics that fill the gaps that have emerged in the ACTUAL analysis, that fit the desired target group and that follow your goals. Each channel must (almost always) be served differently, even within the social media group.

Let’s take two extreme examples: LinkedIn and Instagram. While a good infographic on a specific business topic will certainly hit the right target audience on LinkedIn, Instagram is more about lighter fare and entertaining topics.

What Is Important to Keep in Mind When Planning Content for Social Media?

Planning content for social media differs in some ways from planning other content. In any case, here too, the content plan is a crucial factor for a successful social media strategy in general. It has long since ceased to be enough to write a little meaningless text and post a pretty picture. Today, you have to come up with something more to get customers out from behind the stove.

The right content and, above all, the right content planning is of enormous importance for a promising social media strategy. The clear difference to your own website or even a newsletter is the many different formats that can be used with social media. Here it is the mix that determines whether you are successful or not. As a rule of thumb, the more varied and engaging, the better.

You can work with live videos and reels here, conduct live polls, post a job opening, post an Instagram story, and more. Get busy with the many possibilities and find new ways to use your content profitably.

Our 3 Top Tips for Creating the Best Possible Editorial Plan for Social Media

  1. Plan your content in thematic packages.
  2. Use a campaign to achieve maximum impact within these packages across many different channels and formats.
  3. Always remember all the other important points when creating the plan, set deadlines and coordinate all the people involved in time.

Blogtec — Your Expert for Optimal Content Planning

Maybe all of this sounds very coherent and reasonable to you so far, but perhaps you neither have the background knowledge nor the human or professional resources to implement all of this for your company. But that doesn’t mean your company can’t benefit from the many advantages of a content plan. And that’s where we at Blogtec come in.

Blogtec supports you in all phases — from creating a content plan to writing well-researched articles to SEO. With a content subscription, you ensure a continuous flow of relevant content that is tailored to the needs of your business and your target audience(s).

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