Leadership and strategic management teams develop strategic plans for the growth of the organization. These strategic plans could relate to various aspects of the organization, communication being a key aspect. Communication strategy is important for both external and internal communication.
All kinds of communication going out from the strategic department, whether externally or internally, is termed as content. It is any piece of media or information going out into the public – written, visual or downloadable. Content creation is usually part of the marketing plan of the organisation. With more than 70% surveyed marketers saying that they have created more content in 2017 than in 2016, it means content creation is on an upward trend and strategists must focus on it.
Why is the Content Plan Needed?
The foremost reason is to be a step ahead of the competition. A solid content plan will not only give you more eyeballs, but it will also get your brand better retention in the customer’s mind. A content plan helps you to stay ahead of your marketing challenges, as it pre-decides an important aspect of the marketing plan. It categorizes what sort of content you will create, when and for whom.
What is Content Strategy?
Content strategy or content plan is a plan that details the kind of media to be produced for implementing the marketing plan. Hence, it is this plan which decides whether you will produce written, visual or audio content. Each content plan is created with a purpose or a specific objective. While creating a content plan the following things must be carefully considered:
- Who’s the Audience – Having expertise in a field is great but useless unless there are buyers for the expertise. Hence, when you create content for a specific purpose, you have to know who would peruse that content and where.
- What Unique Problem does it Solve – Is the content plan or strategy going to benefit the consumer in some way?
- How will the Plan be Unique – What are the new elements the content plan espouses which will make it different and more beneficial for the consumer.
- What Formats will be Key – Depending on the unique need of the consumer, the content plan might be focussed on a specific formats such as videos, podcasts or ebooks.
- Publishing Channels – Once the content is ready, it must be published to reach the target consumer. The content plan must decide the channels where the content will be published.
- Scheduling and Management – The next important aspect is the scheduling and management of the content created.
What is the Role of Leaders in Content Planning
Leaders have an important role in content planning. They decide what kind of content gets produced and finally published. Content is a key tool for reaching audiences and creating leads for website traffic in a cost-effective and reliable way. Leaders have the key responsibility of deciding the best content format, content topic and publishing platform. Leaders also focus on the need for creating evergreen content. Such content once produced creates backlinks for web traffic for a very long time. With such content marketers and leaders get the opportunity to try out different revenue sources such as sponsored content and social media advertising.
Steps for Creating a Content Plan
- Set the Goal: The goal as to why the content plan is being created must be clearly defined. Once the goal is known, it is easier to determine the strategy to follow for the development of a content plan.
- Deduce Buyer Persona: What will be the exact buyer profile? Who are you creating this content plan for. By knowing the buyer persona, more personalized and relevant content can be produced. As a marketer or leader, you’d know if your target audience is changed and whether you need to re-conduct research to know the new buyer segment.
- Do a Content Audit: Going through all the content that has already been produced allows leaders and marketers to decide what information or format they have not covered. For example, if only blog posts were created in the preceding year, an ebook with the most viewed or shared blog posts can be created. Thus, it would be a new format and provide all information in one place.
- Decide a Content Management Method: A content management system must be in place for regular content planning and creation activities. Typically, content creation, publication and analytics are important aspects of the content management system. There is specialist software that helps you achieve the same, such as – Hubspot, CoSchedule and WordPress.
- Generating Content Ideas: This is easier said than done. Coming up with content ideas that are unique is not always possible. Several online tools such as website grader, what to write, blog topic generators, etc. are available for helping with brainstorm sessions.
- Decide the Content-Type: There has to be clarity with regard to the kind of format being used for content creation. These could be anything such as blog posts, ebooks, templates, infographics, videos and podcasts.
- Publishing and Managing Content: This requires a leader or marketer to make the final decision as to which content being produced will be published where and how.
The above points summarize what a content plan is and how it is created through strategy and leadership. Professionals looking build their career in business management can choose from a range of business strategy certification.