Creating a calendar and a content plan for both your blog and social networks is more than necessary if you want to create a strategy to attract traffic and customers in the medium and long term, and what is more important, it is necessary to correctly optimize said strategy. so if you have a blog grab Excel and a notebook and take notes.
What is a content plan and what is it for?
Definition of content plan
“A content plan is the method by which we create and program our calendar and content strategy on our blog, social networks, email marketing…”
Although in this case, we are going to focus on the calendar and content plan for the blog, this should be a joint strategy for attracting online customers. If you have started a new online blog say in baby product reviews like baby products and etc, you need to make a content plan first with a great strategy. Creating a strategy will allow you to be able to program acquisition actions over time, improve those channels that are giving the worst results or promote those others that are working better.
What is a content plan for?
A content plan adds a lot of value to any brand. Among others, its greatest benefits are:
- Improve brand image: Improve your brand image by spreading valuable content. The reader will take your brand more into account if your content is of quality and will see you as an expert in this field so that in the medium and long term your brand image as a benchmark in the sector will improve. This if you create articles as they occur to you is practically impossible.
- Getting web traffic: Getting traffic is one of the greatest virtues of content since this will be the one that brings customers later. Getting quality and abundant traffic depends on the strategy that we have planned, hence its importance of it in the company’s online marketing strategy.
- Plan times: Sometimes we don’t have time to do everything or we haven’t calculated well. This with a content plan will never happen to you, or if it happens to you it will be the first time, then you will already know the time that each task takes and if you plan realistically it will always give you time for everything.
- Achieve goals: If you don’t set goals, you are more likely to put less effort into tasks because there is no minimum to meet. With a content plan, you will be able to establish minimum objectives to meet that will make you work harder to achieve them.
- Optimize actions: With a content plan, you will have a history of the actions carried out, so you will be able to see which have been the ones that have worked best and why to repeat them and which have been the worst to improve them or stop carrying them out, with what you can carry a constant optimization of your online marketing strategy.
Steps to create a content plan for the blog
Analyze the current situation
A short, concise situation analysis highlighting key points is how we do it at NeoAttack and how I recommend you do it. It is no use making a hyper-extensive analysis since we will have to fine-tune it often, so something concise and to the point in this case will be much better.
Example of situation analysis for the content plan:
- My competition creates content for their blog every week and delivers it in the form of videos and podcasts.
- My competition mainly creates their content in the form of tutorials and practical guides.
- My clients are people and companies looking to improve their online presence.
- Given the technological difficulty of my products, my customers place great importance on branding, product information, and technical support.
- My customers especially demand the cheapest products online and the most expensive ones, they inform themselves and then ask in the store.
- My company has online marketing staff but they don’t know how to create content or how to position it.
- My company has the resources to invest in marketing and advertising so I could take advice from a marketing agency for content marketing tips
- My services can be sold online and do not require transportation. Or my services need transportation and it makes the sale price much more expensive.
- My services do not have seasonality or they do have seasonality (we can see the seasonality of a product in the search trends of Google trends as well as its search history).
- Weaknesses: Low budget, few employees for these functions, and lack of experience in content creation.
- Threats: A large number of companies in the sector investing in online marketing and increasingly lower prices.
- Strengths: Quick learning, experience in the sector, and time to dedicate to the creation of content.
- Opportunities: Free courses in online marketing, free consultancies like those of SEMrush, or high-quality training at good prices like those of our friends at Aula CM.
And from this list with a small SWOT and an analysis of the key points of the company, services, competition, and customers of course focused on the creation of this online strategy (If you have put «My company has 5 carriers who work 8 hours up to date» you can go back and remove it) we can now begin to see possible actions to implement, KPIs and objectives of our plan.
Define Objectives and KPIs for the blog
At this point, what you have to do is see the goals of the blog in the short, medium, and long term, and especially put a lot of care into what you want in the medium and long term because if you treat your blog as it deserves, it will bring massive amounts of traffic and customers to your website.
Returning to the topic of objectives, the ideal is to set a few, to begin with (between 5 and 10), and as the months go by and we have more or less everything under control and we can make a more accurate forecast in the medium and long term, then we will leave more or less closed another 5 more medium objectives and another 5 more long.
And remember that they are not marketing objectives:
- Get more customers next year.
- Sell 20% more.
This says absolutely nothing. Your objectives must be limited in time, with numbers, realistic and so that they are not confusing, write all of them in the infinitive.
- Achieve a subscriber database of 5,000 before 06/1/2016.
- Increase my traffic up to 1,500 visits per day before 09/01/2016.
- Improve engagement on the Twitter company profile by 1.5% before 09/01/2016.
- Increase sales by 15% in my online store compared to the same date last year before 12/30/2016.
I insist: “I want to increase my sales by €5,000” is not a goal because increasing them in 1 month may be fine, but taking 20 years may be too long, so put exact dates and figures.
The target audience of your blog
Knowing who your target audience is is very important when creating and planning blog posts. Content segmented and focused on your target is the best way for them to feel identified and read and browse your website, thus improving your sales.
Remember: many times the target audience of your company does not have to coincide with that of your blog.
One of the problems that I see the most when there is no planning in a blog is the randomness with which the articles are published. Many times they don’t even know which product or service they prefer to sell first, they have many and try to cover them all in each post, which is usually a serious mistake.
If your market is very broad and you have many products or services, you should always start with:
- The one that leaves you the most profit margin: Selling what leaves you the most profitability is something logical. Creating a strategy focused on the sale of the products that provide you with the highest margin is a “must” for any company.
- The one that makes the most sales: If there are products that sell much better online or offline, give them preference even if their margin is lower because they will bring traffic and many of these users will end up buying other products on your website.
Examples of the target audience for the blog
➨ Companies or professionals – Whether they are professionals or consolidated companies, this type of user seeks to adapt their businesses to new technologies and try to attract customers with online marketing. These usually look for very specific content that allows them to enhance their brand and, above all, increases their turnover. They do not usually ask for advice but directly ask for a very specific service.
➨ Individual people – Whether they work for other companies or not, these people usually enter the blog to find out about generic topics about online marketing and are beginning to be interested in this world and thinking about creating their web pages to undertake. They ask for advice because they do not have as much knowledge as the previous ones and they usually ask for very generic services.
Define blogging strategies
The definition of a successful blogging strategy is a very important part of content planning, so we will have to see exactly what strategy we want to carry out so that, subsequently, the actions we carry out are aimed at achieving the said strategy.
➨ Content strategy for blog
As for the most outstanding strategies to carry out in a blog, we can differentiate the following 6:
- Traffic strategy: It is a strategy based more on the volume of searches than on conversions, diffusion in networks, or the quality or relevance of the information that this content transmits. This strategy is the one that we must follow if our main objective is to monetize the web, for example with impressions or we sell very generic products that can easily convert.
- Conversion strategy: It is a strategy that consists of focusing on those keywords that are going to provide you with a greater conversion, either in the form of leads, clicks on your ads, sales, etc. In this strategy, there are also niches with a high volume of searches, but of course, they are always the most difficult to position, so if you have a blog that is not very powerful, start with high-converting longtail keywords.
- Information strategy: This content strategy is based on the dissemination of information. This information can simply be quality information for readers, breaking news, or other information that may be relevant and thus create an audience. It can be combined with the previous strategies, although it is rather temporary content and does not need to be positioned, but spread, consumed, and forgotten.
- Brand strategy: This strategy consists of spreading your content, and focusing on improving your brand. Normally it can be done in the form of courses, training, or by disseminating valuable information for free so that the concept of your image improves.
- Virality strategy: This strategy is based on the creation of content based on its level of diffusion and virality in social networks. This is easy nowadays with tools like Buzzsumo or Moz. It can be combined with the previous strategies, although in most cases it will be difficult to use more than 3 strategies at the same time.
- Guest-blogging: A strategy based on finding content by continually inviting authors to your blog. The difficulty of this strategy lies in finding enough guest authors to fill the blog month after month, but it can also be combined with the previous ones if the guest writer can be adapted to the criteria of our blog’s strategy (difficult in many cases).
Create content for your blog
➨ Type of content you want to publish
The type of content is directly related to the previous point and will enhance the result of our actions. If we hit the right content for each strategy and each channel, the effectiveness of our actions will be multiplied. It should be remembered that the content will depend a lot on the strategy and the brand since not all content is equally valid for all brands or all products or services.
Some content we use for blogging are usually:
- Lists: Lists improve scanning by making it easier for the user to stay and read the entire post. They are also very attractive because they have a number in front of the title and this can increase the CTR if the first search results are all letters.
- Infographics: Infographics are content that in most cases accompany a text. These can attract a large number of links and are recommended in all strategies.
- Video tutorials: Video tutorials help a lot when the article consists of a guide or a manual. They are very good at brand strategies, virality and getting traffic, and increasing the time spent on the web, which in the long run will give you a better SEO position.
- Guides and manuals: They help to improve the brand image, retain users and follow good web traffic. They are very good for affiliate marketing and the promotion of products or services since by including these products as part of the guide, users who read them will use them during their learning.
- Ebooks: Widely used as lead magnets, ebooks are usually very good content to quickly increase your subscription list.
- Webinars: Very good lead magnet. Large companies already use them frequently because of their ease in capturing leads and the little work they entail concerning the creation of an ebook.
- Templates: resources that you can exchange for likes, rt, or subscriptions that will also help to give your content a differential touch, providing them in many cases with a higher rate of interaction and dissemination on social networks.
- News: Entries with last-minute information. One of the most used resources in blogs and news pages to attract traffic and subscribers.
➨ Search, create and position content for your blog
The content that will be in your post will be defined by the strategy you choose.
- Traffic strategy: To search for traffic, find keywords with high search volume. My favorite tools are Semrush, XOVI, and of course Google’s Keywordtoolplanner.
- Conversion strategy: If you are looking for content with a high conversion rate, you must find keywords with a high cost per click (CPC). You can do this with the same 3 tools mentioned above.
If you don’t know how to use these tools, I recommend you visit our blog and YouTube channel. There we explain in detail how to do it in several posts. And if what you want is a course to learn, what better than the SEO positioning courses, both face-to-face and online, from our friends at Aula CM.
- Information strategy: For this strategy, you must look for news and interesting information for your readers.
- Brand strategy: Look for the content of interest, that helps, solves problems, and educates your readers.
- Virality strategy: If you are looking for a viral content strategy, the idea is to publish the type of content that is most widely disseminated on social networks. You can see this with tools like Buzzsumo or Mozz’s Open Site Explorer.
- Guest-blogging: Look for guest bloggers on blogs that use this content creation system a lot. You can also search for competitor blogs and offer them a post exchange.
Define the channels of your Blog
Surely a point in which how you handle yourself in each social network will play a lot, something that should not affect, but the target audience that exists in each network and the benefits that it can bring you.
“I spread my content on all social networks” Error.
Not by covering more, you reach more people. Focus your efforts on those social networks that can provide the greatest benefits for your business, whether it is a blog or corporate, personal or professional. For this, I usually use 4 factors that determine the channels in which I must be.
How to choose the channels to promote my blog
These are the 4 key points when choosing the promotion channels for your personal and/or professional blog.
1) Analyze your direct competition: If there are a large number of competitors in said channel, it is quite likely that you should be in it. Analyze some direct competitors with a good presence on the Internet and you will be right for sure.
2) Evaluate the professionalism of the channel: There are channels focused on companies, others focused on users and others that are mixed. Assess and decide which channels you should and should not be in according to their professionalism.
3) Transmit content with images: For very visual businesses there are visual channels. Some known ones are the social networks Instagram and Pinterest, although there are others to take into account depending on the activity.
4) Importance of traffic: If traffic is an important part of your business, assess which channels can bring more traffic. If the traffic is not so important and you are looking for quality in your visits, try to be only in those that are going to bring you quality traffic.
Plan blog posts
To plan the publications of your blog you must take into account the frequency of publications that you can assume and the objectives that you have set for yourself. Based on these data, try to ensure that the frequency is sufficient to achieve said objectives and program the contents over time, complying with the stipulated calendar without going off the script. With the WooCommerce Bookings and Appointments Plugin by PluginHive, it is very easy to customize the calendar design and color scheme of your booking calendar based on your theme and website.
Keep in mind when publishing the content the strategy you have chosen. It is important to distribute the different types of content over time depending on the approach you want to give to your strategy.
For example, if your strategy is focused on traffic, conversions, and brand image:
- 2 articles a week on our corporate blog neoattack.com (Monday and Thursday).
- Post 1: Search volume keywords.
- Post 2: High CPC keywords.
- 1 infographic per week, one for each post (Monday and Thursday).
- 1 video tutorial per week. (included in one of the 2 posts).
- 1 free ebook every 3 months.
In turn, in your calendar, you should also add a column of special dates to remember in case you decide to create content on relevant dates, important events, goal deadlines, product launches, campaigns of interest, etc.
Execute the content plan
Once we have made our editorial calendar, the next step is to execute our content plan. At this point it is important to remember that it is not serious if you do not hit your goals, the important thing is to correct the plan, and analyze which actions work best to enhance them and which ones do not work so well to stop doing them.
“On many occasions, trial and error is the best way to see what content is suitable or what works best for your brand and to achieve your goals.”
Measure the results obtained
Measuring the results of our content plan is an essential part of the editorial calendar since if the content is not effective or is not making us achieve the expected objectives, we will have to modify the calendar over and over again until it is adjusted to our needs. reviewing it periodically and testing different contents to continue improving the results month after month and thus even manage to exceed the established forecasts.
How do measure the results? What tools can I use?
To measure your blog results, you will first need to establish your KPIs, and then based on the KPIs you have established, you will choose the tools that can measure them. One of the measurement tools par excellence is Google Analytics due to its possibilities and the possibility of using it completely free.
Here it is important to emphasize that sometimes no matter how many analytical tools we have if the results cannot be interpreted, we will never be able to evaluate, correct and improve the chosen content strategy. For this reason, it is best to use an analytics expert or delegate the most important projects to Content Marketing Agencies that can optimize your campaigns to perfection.
And you, do you already know how to create your content plan from scratch?
If so, it would be great if you told me. Four eyes see more than two and together we can improve the plan. Thank you very much for your interest!