The 3 pillars of a great content plan

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Start with a plan, leave an impression.

Like any great piece of work, to create exceptional content you must have a plan. Without a plan, your content will lack direction and fail to deliver to your audience. Conversely, a clear, thought-out plan will be a road map to lead you through what you want to produce, when you want to produce it and most importantly... for whom.

This map will not only be a starting point for your content planning, but also a point of reference to keep you focused throughout your content creation efforts. A content plan also has a wider role, as a subset of your content strategy and ultimately, as part of your overall brand strategy.

A content plan then, is really the ability to focus your content to deliver to your brand and business goals.

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But before you can start this process there are a number of things to consider. You need to define what it is you’re trying to achieve, how to make it applicable to your target personas, and then define the best way to distribute this across your different channels.

We understand it can be overwhelming when faced with so many factors to look at and decisions to make. Below are three concepts that make up the cornerstone of any effective content plan. These will provide a great foundation on which to develop the rest of your plan, and overall content strategy. We are sure you'll agree.

Context vs Content

When creating your plan, first define how your brand value and your audience's interest intersect. What unique content can you produce for your customers and why will they care?

Broadly speaking, there are three main ways to do so: inspire, educate and entertain. Keep these top of mind and at each stage check that you are engaging with your audience in different ways.

Buyer Personas

Who is your audience and why are they visiting your site? Consider the different needs, ideals, experience and beliefs of these people.

A good way to make sure your content will reach your audience in the way you intend is to create a handful of personas that match your reader types. When creating content make sure it will reach each of these personas in different ways.

Once you’ve identified your core audience, you need to understand how they behave. Are they active on social media? If so, which channels? Do they watch videos? How do they use their mobile devices?

You can learn more about buyer personas here

Distribution

This is about getting your content to the right people. As part of your plan, you’ll need to consider how to collate, create and distribute your content for maximum impact. Ideally your content will be accessible to your audience anywhere, at any time: on any device.

When delivering content, you want to ensure a consistent presence throughout the year. Finally, you want to ensure that it will be effectively promoted to your different audiences, across multiple channels and in meaningful ways.

NEXT STEPS

As you work through each of these steps, you’ll start to build a clearer picture of what you’re trying to achieve and how you’ll get there. Armed with this, you can create a strong content plan with which to connect with your audience, in a way that has impact.

Understanding the role of your content and how consumers interact with it is central to the principles of inbound marketing. This is focused on content and interactions with consumers that are relevant and helpful, rather than disruptive. This means your content is tailored to your customers’ needs and they are accessed via channels such as social media, blogs and search engines.

To help you plan out your content; we created this super handy content calendar to keep your content relevant and on track. Click the banner below to get yours now:

70-20-10 Content Calendar