How Do You Write a Content Marketing Plan?
From starting with the verbal brand identity to creating evergreen content, here are eight answers to the question, “What are the most helpful items to include in a content marketing plan?”
- Start With the Verbal Brand Identity
- Provide a Clear Distribution Plan
- Align Customer Pain Points With Popular Search Terms
- Max Out Your Distribution
- Choose the Right Project Management Software
- Know Business Goals and Work With Product and CS Team
- Create a Solid Content or Editorial Calendar
- Include Evergreen Content
Start With the Verbal Brand Identity
Before you dive into content strategy, make sure your plan includes clear guidelines on the brand voice, personality, and tone. To create a dialogue, your audience needs to get to know your brand’s unique persona, and that verbal brand identity needs to be consistent throughout all your content.
Your values, your beliefs, and what you stand for start with your verbal brand guidelines. In the crowded digital landscape, your brand voice will help you cut through the chatter.
Joan Daidone, Creative Director & Brand Voice, Brand Storyteller NYC
Provide a Clear Distribution Plan
Whenever producing a piece of content, there should be a clear distribution plan that shows where and in what form will the content be published. Think about reusing the content by splitting it into multiple social media posts, videos, answers to questions in Quora/Reddit, etc.[a]
Also, think about the promotion—what channels should you use, what audience to target, what will be the ad spend, and, most importantly, how will you measure the efficiency. This should be clear before you even start thinking about the first draft.
Align Customer Pain Points With Popular Search Terms
If I had to describe the essence of a good content marketing plan in a sentence, it would be one that focuses on aligning customer pain points with high-ranking search terms.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is now a fairly well-known term in the business world, and many organizations recognize the importance of developing content that performs well in Google search results.
But to develop a truly effective content marketing plan, you have to also think about the customers who will benefit from your product, and the challenges or pain points they currently face that will prompt them to seek your services.
It’s only by aligning both components together that you’ll develop a content marketing plan that works for search engines while also resonating on a human level.
Max Out Your Distribution
The 60/40 content distribution rule is the stone age now! If you want your content marketing plan to get successful, you need to max out distribution. That means even before you write a content piece, how and where you are going to distribute that content piece should be planned out.
To stay ahead of your competition, analyze what content type your audience consumes the most and on which platform! And you have it all sorted—repurpose, re-create, distribute and never forget to link back to the original source!
Choose the Right Project Management Software
Once your content marketing plan is approved by leadership or your team, it’s now time to execute. The next steps will consist of planning your deliverables, delegating the right tasks to the right people, ensuring the work stays on schedule and measuring the performance.[b]
For this, I recommend a solid project management tool that fits within your project’s scope of work. For SEOs focusing on content and other optimization tactics, it makes sense to select a project management software designed for tracking productivity.
Know Business Goals and Work With Product and CS Team
Think of the business and marketing goals first and consider the stage and resources of the company. For a series A SaaS startup with a small content team, you can leverage customer marketing by doing video interviews of your first clients and turning testimonials into social proof quotes for landing pages, 30 sec cut down videos on social media or customer case studies on your website.
Think creatively and collaboratively when you have a limited budget of time and people producing content. Lean into your customer success and product teams to understand which customers are fanatics, which features are perceived as most valuable to customers, and what new features are in the product roadmap. That will uncover the pain points and benefits you want to focus your keyword strategy and topic clusters on.[c]
Create a Solid Content or Editorial Calendar
It’s not just important to include a content calendar in your content marketing plan for the year—it should serve as the framework you’re building it on. A well-thought-out calendar helps you first nail down and then organize the content you’ll publish and establish the cadence you promote it to once it’s live. You’ll use it to establish what you’re cooking up and who you’ll serve it to, and including it in your yearly plan can help you articulate the scope and sequence of the year’s content to the rest of your team. Ideally, you’ll be able to refer to your content calendar throughout the year to stay on track. Still, it should be modular enough that you can make adjustments throughout the year without needing to rework the whole calendar.
Include Evergreen Content
The key to a successful long-term content strategy is having several elements of evergreen content. While it may be difficult to think past the current goal or theme for the week, having an eye for what someone could repurpose will help build out your content marketing plan.
For instance, if you are filming a short-form video with the latest music trend for Instagram Reels or TikTok with all the “Pink” products or items you have, remember that you could reuse that same content later on. It would also be good content for a springtime story or even something related to Breast Cancer Awareness Month. By transforming your content into multiple representations, your content marketing strategy will ultimately save you time.
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