How to make a content plan without mistakes?
February 01, 2023
Table of Contents:
Regularity is the most important principle of blogging. Updating content on your corporate site allows you to be a constant reminder of yourself. Reviews, instructions and news of interest to your target audience will turn ordinary readers into customers. But to do this, you need to follow a few rules. One of them is a competent content plan.
Why do we need a corporate blog?
Maintaining a corporate blog helps in achieving certain goals of an already formed strategy. Experienced marketers have identified several important tasks that a blog helps to solve:
- Establishing an informal contact with clients. Customers like the expression of the author's position and communication through the blog. They are more likely to ask questions, inquire about the specifics of production, leave feedback and in any other way show their attention to the company.
- Demonstrating Expertise. Materials from the blog characterize you as a professional in your field. Tell customers how their problem will be solved, and their trust in you will increase.
- Help with product selection. You will be able to solve a potential customer's problem by providing useful advice.
- Building customer loyalty. The benevolent attitude of the blog's readers will allow you to increase your customer base, attract new customers and interested parties.
- Search for new customers. SEO articles allow you to attract new customers. Internet users looking for certain information on the web can solve their problems through interaction with your company. And a "bridge" to this will be some of the articles on the blog.
Acorporate blog is a great way to attract new clients and retain old ones. But for this, the blog must be "alive", that is, regularly updated. A content plan will allow you to keep the content published periodically.
What is a content plan?
A content plan is an approximate list of ideas and topics that will be published on the blog over certain time periods. A plan can be made for a week, a month, or even a year. It greatly simplifies the work with the blog, because all the necessary topics have already been selected and fixed. A plan has a number of advantages:
- Saving time. The content plan specifies which materials should be prepared in advance. For example, some articles require a long lead time. You need to prepare interviews, take pictures, or draw infographics. Each stage of the work is already written in the plan, so that the material will be completed by the required date.
- Variety of content. Different content groups are listed in the table. This can be articles, video reviews, instructions, news, and more. The necessary topics are also determined in advance: training, entertainment, advertising, etc. Such a distribution will allow you to fill the blog with a variety of material that will be of interest to different users.
- The ability to keep important dates in mind. Your company's five-year anniversary is coming up, and you don't have material ready for the event? This problem is probably due to the lack of a content plan. In the table, you need to record important dates and the content associated with them in advance.
The basic principles of a content plan
When creating a content plan, you need to rely on four important principles.
The first is the focus on the target audience. The content of your resource should match the preferences of potential customers. Otherwise, even the most intelligent and meaningful plan simply will not work.
To find out the preferences of future readers, it is necessary to analyze the sphere of their interests. It is necessary to start from the peculiarities of the company's work. For example, if you offer construction services, you should study the main problems in this area. In articles and reviews, you need to answer topical questions and offer your own solutions.
It is necessary to form a portrait of the target subscriber. To do this, the following criteria stand out:
- sex, age and place of residence;
- marital status;
- education, occupation and approximate income;
- interests and possible problems;
- the average duration of a single stay on the Internet.
An accurate portrait is difficult enough. But it is a necessary work, otherwise your blog will be simply useless.
The second principle is variety. Users will not view long "sheets" of text. Articles should include images, infographics, various audio and video materials. All types of content should be spelled out in the plan in advance.
Accessibility and simplicity of presentation is the third principle. The language of presentation should be understandable to any user. Even the most serious site should be designed in such a style that none of the customers do not have difficulty in studying the information.
Finally, the last principle is to have a unique feature. Your blog should have something that makes it stand out. For example, you can be the only one in your field who does podcasts, organizes live events, or records a video blog. Such an approach will attract more users.
Instructions for creating a content plan for a corporate blog
There are several areas of work when creating a content plan for a company blog. To begin with, it is necessary to decide on the forms of content presentation. The main directions here are text, video, audio, photo and infographics. Having allocated these groups in the content plan, you should turn to the main types of content. These include:
- information articles;
- selling texts;
- video blogs and video tutorials;
- compilations, dictionaries, and manuals;
- cases and interviews;
- and other things.
When choosing types of content, you should be guided by the interests and peculiarities of your target audience. For example, podcasts are unlikely to be suitable for selling furniture, but articles and video instructions would be the best option. At the same time, for the blog of an educational company, podcasts may be quite useful.
The next area of work is topic selection. There are several ways to choose topics:
After a while, it is advisable to review all the collected topics once again and evaluate your capabilities. In this case, one and the same topic can be arranged in several headings: for example, in the format of an article and a podcast.
Designing a content plan
After selecting and structuring the collected topics, you can begin to form the final content plan. To do this, you need to decide on a formatting site. The best option is Google Excel, where you can entrust the formatting to several people at once.
All topics should be distributed by week, month, and quarter. The publication schedule is based on the needs and capabilities of the content manager and copywriters. Content in the table can be divided by rubrics or by types of posts. It is important to follow the division by topic, which will regularly replenish each of the rubrics. This is the only way to keep different groups of readers interested.
In this example, you can see how the key categories are spelled out. The first column is the subject of the article. Next to it are the main queries for the page, on the basis of which you can compose subheadings. In the remaining columns is written technical information that will help in the publication of content. This number of keys, page URL, meta tags, the number of competitive pages, and so on.
In order to make the material as simple as possible, the table should be prescribed:
- topic of the material;
- subheadings and keywords for search engine optimization;
- description of the text - so that the performer can better understand the task at hand;
- publication date;
- amount of text.
If the plan is to make videos or podcasts, the columns can indicate the recommended duration, main topics, and publication date.
The following tools are used to design the plan:
- Google Spreadsheets or Excel. The "classic" programs used by most content managers. Google Spreadsheets allows multiple users to access a document at once.
- Trello. A scheduling application for publishing. Each article can be assigned a card with a deadline and a person in charge.
- Google Calendar. This is where you can set reminders about your publications.
- Pinterest. An idea generation board with the ability to connect other users. Useful for writing down ideas and sharing them. Not suitable for keeping a content plan.
- Google Trends. Here you can track trends and current news.
- Serpstat. A tool for SEO specialists to select key phrases.
The main mistakes when making a content plan
The table will bring good results only if it is made correctly. Owners of corporate blogs need to be aware of the main mistakes that should never be made. They include:
- Setting vague goals. The owner of the company must understand why he promotes the blog on his site. If it is to increase the number of applications and sales, then the goal is to write sales texts. If the goal is to increase brand awareness, then the focus should be on informational content. There should be clear criteria for evaluating texts, setting goals and deadlines.
- Lack of analytics. A big mistake will be thoughtlessly filling your blog. So you'll just lose time and money by attracting untargeted visitors.
- Lack of financial planning. The employees who will be working on your blog should be paid throughout their working period. For a blog to fill up regularly, you need to set a budget in advance.
- The use of low quality content. Bad texts not only do not help to promote the company, but also have a negative impact on reputation. The main shortcomings of texts include low uniqueness, lack of usefulness, overspamming with keywords, the use of complex vocabulary, unstructured and a number of other criteria.
There should also be a balance between long articles and short posts. Too long articles can bore the reader, so they can be broken up into several shorter ones. It is also necessary to remember about the balance, in which the material will be well accepted by search engines and at the same time useful to readers. This requires high-quality SEO-processing of each text.
How to plan writing articles?
Articles take up a large part of the content plan. That is why it is necessary to pay special attention to them. Proper material planning and following a certain algorithm will save a lot of time and effort.
First, you need to prepare the facts. All important theses are written out in the same document where the article will be written. It is important not to save money: the more facts will be collected, the better. Later, some of the information can be reduced or discarded.
The second stage is systematization. Based on the collected ideas, it is necessary to form the structure of the article. To do this, all theses are arranged in a logical order. It is necessary to designate the introduction, the course of the narrative and the conclusion. There are many ready-made templates for writing material, for example:
- Advantages and disadvantages...
- The best ways to...
- 20 basic mistakes in...
- The history of creation...
- Step by step instructions on...
It is important that the reader understands the structure and logic of the text. A big mistake would be to provide separate blocks of information that are not connected in any way. Therefore, the text should be divided into logical chapters and subheadings, so that the reader can trace a specific idea and supplement it with different facts.
After preparing the structure of the text, it is necessary to specify the sources. So, if the author of the article is not very well versed in the subject, you should study similar materials. If the text will be SEO-optimized, it is worth scattering the keys in different subheadings in advance. By doing this, the semantic core will be evenly distributed throughout the text, and the keys will not be visible to the reader.
After writing the text, you should read it several times. Unnecessary blocks of information should be cut out, inaccuracies and errors corrected. All that remains is to check the uniqueness of the article and properly embed it in the blog.
Good luck with the content plan!
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