What do you think of when you hear the term, “content plan?” Does it send shivers down your spine because you’ve tried to implement one once and it was a complete disaster, or maybe you’re not sure what to think because you’ve never created one?
Of course, those two words could be music to your ears. There is no shame in that or any answer.
But, the truth is, the term "content plan" can mean something different to everyone. It can also get mixed up with the terms "content strategy" and "content calendar," which only adds to the confusion.
So for our purposes, we’ll use it in this context:
just like you would follow a meal plan when you’re following a certain diet, or follow a running plan when training for marathon, a content plan is something you follow when implementing content.
It’s a tool to help you know what kind of content you’re creating, for whom and what you want it to do for you.
What is your company looking to achieve over the next year? What goals do and initiatives do you have, including sales and marketing? Why are they in place now, and what does it mean for your company to reach them?
Who are your competitors and why do customers pick you over them? Why do they pick them over you? What are their biggest threats to you?
Who is it and what are their challenges? What are the signs they display that they need what you provide, and why do they want to hear from you. Where do they consume their content and what content do they like?
What content are you currently creating and where are you distributing it? What are you measuring and how is your content’s performance?
Just as it sounds, this details what types of content you’ll create, be it blogs, social media posts, email newsletters, case studies, etc. It also includes the distribution channels you’ll use to reach your audience.
That’s it. It doesn’t need to be more complex than that, especially if you want to implement your content plan.
The content plan is the overall guide you’ll follow as you implement content, but it doesn’t lay out the day-to-day, week-to-week or month-to-month tactics. It’s high level. The content calendar, which is altogether something else, is where you get into the weeds.
Ans, when it comes to collecting all the information for your content plan, it’s best to capture and format it in a Word document. That way, it’s easy to create and easy to follow. Of course, that’s simply my recommendation which you can take or leave.
Your content calendar, on the other hand, is a different beast and can be formatted in a number of different ways. One is in Excel or Google Sheets like this one; download it for free and play around with it.
Do you have a content plan? If not why not and what are you waiting for?