If you want to succeed with anything in life, you’ve got to have a plan. Most people will agree.
The same holds true for content marketing. If you want your content marketing strategy to achieve desired outcomes and be effective for your business, you have to plan it that way.
Content planning will help you implement your content marketing strategy to your specifications. This guide will help you start planning the right content for your brand. It includes the best content planning calendars, tools, and resources to streamline your efforts so that you can accomplish more in less time, with better, cost-effective results.
What should my content marketing strategy do?
Your content marketing strategy is more than a list of blog topics. It’s actually a process that should be:
The content you create should:
- Be original and engaging.
- Delight your ideal audiences across a variety of platforms.
- Help your brand get found on search engines.
- Inspire prospects, generate leads, and garner customers.
Why should I plan my content?
Planning helps you decide what you want from your content marketing in advance. When it’s time to create your content, you’ll have a better idea of the type of blogs, videos, social media posts, email campaigns, or other content that will help achieve your goals.
Planning builds consistency throughout your entire content library. Every piece of content supports your business with the same brand voice and the same raison d'être, no matter what channel it’s used for. Consistency will help you build a following.
Once you map out a content schedule, you’ll be able to tell at a glance whether the content you planned will achieve all your business goals. The gaps will be more obvious. You can fill them before it’s too late.
Your content plan will help you stay on track – with the task of content creation as well as strategy implementation. You’ll know who needs to do what to get it all done according to your marketing goals.
What should be in my content plan?
A good content plan often includes:
- Marketing assets, i.e., the content you’re creating
- Data-gathering functionality
- Research used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Ways to track audience engagement and measure results
What is a content planner?
It’s a resource you can use to help you determine things like:
- The type of content to create.
- Where your content is being published.
- A schedule for posting content.
Different content planners are capable of doing different things. To choose the best fit, decide what functions are important to you and your team for reaching your marketing goals. Do you want a tool that just schedules and posts social media messages? Or do you need a resource that manages an entire content marketing campaign from start to finish?
What are examples of planning tools?
Planning tools can be as simple or as high-tech as you need them to be:
- Organizational timelines
- Action item checklists
- To-do lists
- Sample meeting agendas
- Editorial calendars
- Cloud-based software
- Whole company operating systems
All of these resources can work for planning content marketing. If you’re looking for software to help content creators plan their work and implement your content marketing strategy, here’s a list of the most powerful software that will help you get the most from your content marketing.
- HubSpot Content Marketing Planning Templates - free template for brainstorming content and populating a publishing calendar.
- SEMrush - all-in-one toolkit designed to boost your online and search engine visibility.
- Asana - project management tool that can organize, track, and manage team content calendars.
- Basecamp - project management tool with communication features like task-based comments, chat, announcements, and other collaboration tools. Connect Basecamp to Google Calendar to create a content calendar.
- Hootsuite Planner - draft, preview, schedule, and publish all posts directly from an interactive calendar.
- Monday.com - project management tool that includes a calendar and other templates to manage content. Integrates with other project and communication tools like Trello, Slack, Excel, Google Apps, and Dropbox.
- Loomly - built to manage social media content.
- ContentCal - easy-to-use content planning and mapping software that makes it easy to work across teams with custom approvals, visualization tools, automatic posting, and workflows.
- MarketMuse - AI-powered content research, intelligence, and writing.
- Trello - a visual planning tool to manage any type of project, workflow, or task tracking.
- DYNO Mapper - comprehensive content planning tool for website content development and execution.
- Wistia - video marketing platform to create, host, market, and analyze video content.
Here are a few more:
- Content Snare
- Upland Kapost
- Canva Content Planner