5 steps to planning content

Sharing high-quality and valuable content will attract potential customers to your business. It will also provide an opportunity for you to demonstrate your expertise and differentiate your offering from the competition.

But, content sharing will only be successful if the material you produce is relevant and beneficial. Planning content is often the hardest part, so here are our five recommended steps.

5 steps to planning content

Step 1: Identify the main topics

Start by listing your main service or product areas. At this stage, keep the topics quite broad.

For example, if I was doing this for Straight Marketing, some of the topics could be:

Step 2: Break down the main topics

Now break down your main topics into mini topics – more specific themes that fit under each subject heading.

So, taking “digital marketing” as an example I could break this down into:

  • Social media
  • Email marketing
  • Website
  • Ecommerce
  • Digital advertising

Step 3: Divide the mini topics

In this final step, it’s time to get down to detail and narrow your focus. Divide each of your mini topics into single pieces of relevant content that will be interesting and helpful to your potential customers.

If I take “social media” as an example, potential single content pieces could be:

  • What social media platform would be best for my business?
  • Ten tips on using LinkedIn for success
  • A review of social media scheduling tools
  • How Business X increased revenue by 50% through Facebook advertising

There are several methods to help you hone your content titles – think about questions that your customers often ask you, type relevant search terms in the Google search bar and see what auto-suggestions come up, and use the Google Keyword Planner.

Step 4: Decide how you will share your content

You can share your content in a variety of ways, for example, via a video, blog article, social media post, e-book, infographic, or white paper.

For each single topic item, decide on the most appropriate medium to disseminate it. For example, a longer piece of content such as an expert advisory piece might be best as a white paper whereas a sort hint or tip would suit a social media post.

Don’t forget to factor in the preferences of your target audience and which form is preferable to them. And don’t feel that your content needs to encompass all of the methods outlined above. We mainly stick to sharing content via our blog, social media accounts and email.

Step 5: Schedule your content

When you’ve got your list of content, it’s time to plan and diarise when to share each piece. Frequency of content should be proportionate to the importance of each main service area or product.

For example, if you have four equally important main service areas aim to post one blog per key topic each month.

If some areas of your offering are more important than others, then share more content relevant to these topics than the less important subjects.

When planning your content, factor in seasonal trends, annual events etc. and diarise accordingly. For example, it’s usual for businesses to update their marketing plans at the start of the new calendar or financial year. January or March is, therefore, a good time for me to post a blog relevant to marketing planning.

If planning content all seems a little overwhelming, please get in touch. We work with lots of small businesses to help them successfully plan, produce and share content. We’d love to help you too.

Image credit: Pixabay

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