As an online business owner, you know that content is one of the best tools you have. It drives traffic, provides your audience with the value and information they seek, and helps you market your business. Content is essential for online marketing success. So you can’t publish randomly. You’ll achieve greater success if you take the time to plan your content. Here are some content planning tips.
What Is Content Planning?
Content planning is simply the process of taking a look at your calendar and deciding what to write and where to publish it. Content planning involves a few primary criteria:
* When will you publish the content?
* Where will you publish it?
* What will you write about?
* What’s the purpose of the content?
* What are your keywords?
* How can you repurpose the content?
You’ll also want to consider how far ahead you want to plan your content for. Many online business owners take a tiered approach. They plan large content projects for the entire year. For example, they may publish a report each month. They also take a look at their content on a quarterly or monthly level.
If you don’t plan your content or are struggling to plan it effectively, here are some content planning tips:
Start with a Big Paper Calendar
Use a calendar that gives you a big picture and you can write on. A paper desk calendar is a great planning tool. You can write your content ideas in pencil for easy modifications. Then, if you prefer electronic organization, you can transfer the paper plan to your Outlook or e-calendar.
Integrate Your Content Planning with Your Marketing Strategy
Plan how you’ll integrate your content into your marketing strategy. This is one of the most fundamental content planning tips. After all, the purpose of your content should always be to promote your business. For example, you could decide that in March you’re going to publish ten articles on article directories. Your plan should tie this content into any season or holiday.
You’ll also want to ensure it supports any new products or services. You want to make sure your content has a purpose. It may be simply to drive traffic to your website. Or it may be to drive traffic to a sales page or increase your opt-ins.
Leave Room for Change
Leave room for change. The best content plans leave room for inspiration. The greatest ideas often come out of the blue. There could also be news in your field that you want to comment on. Or there could be trends that pop that you want to reflect in your comment. If you’re a stickler for your plan and don’t allow room to add your content inspiration into the mix, then you’re missing out.
Once Is Not Enough — Repurpose Your Content
Finally, don’t forget to take a look at how you can repurpose your content. It’s not only a great way to get the most return on investment, it can help fill content gaps.
What is repurposing content? Well, you take a piece of content, give it a few tweaks, and use it in a different format. For example, you may take a post that you’ve published on your blog, record it, enhance it appropriately for audio, then re-publish it as a podcast. Or take a series of blog posts on the same topic and re-edit them to form a short report. You then use the short report as a lead magnet for opt-ins, send it to your list of subscribers as a thank-you gift for being on your list, or add it to a paid product as a bonus.
Big Picture and Little Picture
When you plan your content, make sure you’re looking at both the macro and micro picture. Make sure you look ahead and take the entire year into consideration. At the same time, plan your content right down to the keywords and topics.
Planning your content for the entire year may take a day or two to accomplish but it’ll save you tons of time down the road. Instead of wondering what you’re going to write on, you’ll have the answers all worked out. Best of all, your content will fit with your other marketing efforts to create a comprehensive business growth plan.
Do you have any content planning tips you can share with us? Let us know in the comments below.
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