Phew! I’ve just finished work on a monster 6 month content plan for a very exciting client. This project is based around a new product launch and Velocity Digital has been tasked with planning the content that will grab the attention of the target audience and drive them to get involved and ultimately make a number of required actions. While your content marketing strategy needs to be fluid and allow for re-active activity (the things in your plan are proactive), it is massively important to have a solid and easy to digest plan in place. Read on to find out why you need a plan and how to create it…
What a Content Plan does for you
1 – It makes sure that everybody involved in the project is reading from the same hymn sheet (or content plan)
2 – It maps out the path your overall strategy will take and helps to identify any times where content may be sparse or you may be overloaded
3 – It keeps you and your team ‘on-theme’ and aiming for the right outcomes
4 – It is essential for resource planning, particularly around content creation
5 – It is a great way to come up with new ideas or develop existing ones
6 – It allows other people to step in and control things in the event of sickness, holidays etc
Who Should be involved in the writing of the plan?
The initial stages have to be a collaborative process, on the current Velocity project, the client and all other agencies were involved in identifying the key areas, themes and main content required before I sat down and wrote the actual plan. It is advisable to have one overall writer and owner of the plan, this aids consistency. Regular communication across all parties is of course essential.
The dynamic nature of the plan
As mentioned earlier, don’t expect to rigidly stick to the plan at all times. While you need ensure that key bases are covered, the response to certain content from the audience should be taken in to account and activity that was perhaps not in the orignal plan should be introduced accordingly.
How do I make the actual plan?
In my experience, the best way is still to use a spreadsheet program. I use a seperate tab for each month and break each tab down by week (even day if required). I then create a column with each platform (Facebook, Twitter, blogs etc etc) and the content that will be used across those on a week by week basis. If your strategy is theme-based, be sure to clearly mark out each theme and apply the content and platforms across those – this will help you to ensure the plan in tightly aligned with the overarching strategy. A final tip – always make sure that you are talking to other areas of marketing, PR etc to ensure that any content creation is not being duplicated and that of course, your messages are consistent.
There you go, a very brief introduction to the content plan! Hopefully you found it useful.
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