How to Put All Your Content Ideas into a Plan You’ll Use
We’ve been talking a lot recently about content marketing and how to generate quality content ideas quickly and easily. And that’s great – it’s so important to have a creative brainstorm and think of lots of content ideas, no matter how crazy, before you refine them down into ones you’ll actually use.
But that’s just it – what do you do with those ideas? How do you get them into a cohesive, simple plan that’s easy to follow and easy to track? In this article, you’ll find out how we put all our content ideas into a plan we use, but first, let’s recap what happens to get you to the point where you start building your content plan.
Find your content focus
All your content must have a focus or angle that will help you tell your story. This focus will provide the theme and direction for a particular piece of content, and can include:
- History – a focus on information from the past about a person, organization, place, etc., this type of content is evergreen
- Data – numbers, trends, statistics, facts, and figures that are crafted into easy-to-understand content
- People – stories about people can be inspiring, success stories, achievements, or any newsworthy event
- The basics – 101 content that provides a general overview or background, this is foundational content you can build from
- The details – use your basic content and dive deeper into a particular topic
- Opinion – a personal view or perspective which might give your audience a different point of view
- Processes – help your readers understand how something happens. This could take the form of a guide or set of instructions
- Curation – a collection of things that meet certain criteria, pre-identified data points or have similar characteristics
- Product or service – mid-funnel content that helps you provide answers to potential questions your audience may have
- Examples – a two-part story where a specific example reflects a wider trend or experience your audience is familiar with
The Content Marketing Framework
At this point, I’d like to give a shout out to Melanie Deziel and her brilliant book, The Content Fuel Framework. This book is what inspired me to create our own framework for both our content ideas and how to put everything into a plan. Using Melanie’s book, I’ve been using her thoughts and ideas and tailoring them to our needs, including our own ideas, tips, and recommendations. We’ve also created a webinar about this that you can watch any time:
Create great content ideas
You can use the different focus areas above to guide you in creating content ideas, but there are other ways you can come up with new ideas, too. Don’t miss our practical tips for generating great content ideas, which include using your data, social listening, and learning from your competitors.
How to put your content ideas into a plan
Once you’ve refined all your ideas, they then need to go into a plan. My top content planning tip? It’s always best to keep your plan simple because you will have to keep coming back and using it. If it’s overly complicated, it won’t get used and all your great ideas will be wasted. You should also try and keep your plan SMART – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound.
Characteristics of a good content marketing plan are that they:
- Keep you on track
- Let you know where you’re up to
- Help you measure how you’re doing
- Make it easier to spot areas for improvement and new opportunities
It’s also important to keep your content strategy in mind when you’re creating your tactical execution plan. If your plan doesn’t deliver on your strategy, i.e. your business goals, content marketing goals or your audience needs, it may need a tweak.
What does a content marketing plan look like? Well, it can be as simple as this:
Your content plan should include the key objectives of your content, include who you’re creating it for, what stage of the customer journey they’re in, and what their needs are. Obviously, it should include the content topic and format, e.g. blog post, video, social media, podcast, etc. It’s also important to include a call to action – what do you want your audience to do once they’ve consumed your content? And finally, how are you going to measure the success of your content?
Measurement can take the form of page views, time on your website, how many impressions you gained, but more telling metrics are ones which show engagement because that tells you how open your audience is to receiving your content. Engagement metrics include comments, likes, shares, how long someone watched one of your videos for, and how far down a web page someone scrolls.
We also think it’s important to have an overview of your content marketing strategy in your content plan. This helps you keep the bigger picture in mind and ensure that everything you do, every piece of content you create, works towards achieving your goals.
Need support for your content marketing? Let’s chat.