The Content Planning Process Template
This template is extracted from the "Effective Content Production & Promotion" course. In the content planning process, we do content research to identify what we should write about, and build a plan and schedule to get the work done.
Templates in this series
Content planning is an area where most content marketing campaigns go wrong. The most common mistakes we see people make are:
- Not planning content to support their magnets. They write content based on how they feel or what they want or think will be cool. There is no coherent strategy around their content production. This is the worst possible scenario: you spend time, energy, and effort and get nothing.
- Not determining if there is room to rank and get traffic for a topic. People do some keyword research and see keywords they try to include in their content because they have search volume. But, they don't check the terms themselves against what's already been published and who has published the content. The reality is that sometimes the topic is saturated and saturated by people bigger and better than you. Building this content, while maybe meaningful to you, won't bring in new perfect buyers. There's nothing worse than writing an article that no one sees.
- Not estimating potential traffic from an article. Ok, you rank #1 for a topic. Feels good. But does it bring traffic? Just because you find a nice keyword with good search volume doesn't mean that it is the right keyword to write an article. It would be best if you also estimated how much traffic an article that matches that topic is likely to get from search engines (which relates to how many other keywords it can rank for). Sometimes, the topic cluster isn't big, and even if you rank #1 for that keyword, it doesn't bring the traffic.
- Not determining if the content works for social media. Attracting people seeking answers through search isn't the only way we use content to attract our perfect buyers. We also attempt to get amplification of our content through social media. When choosing topics to build content, you need to think about social media amplification and how it will be shared. Like topic clusters, sometimes, certain types of content don't have any social uplift.
- Building "SEO content" posts versus actually writing content to solve buyer problems. Search engines and social media sites reward content that is unique, substantial, and covers a topic effectively. Many people believe they can blog their way to success using small, 500-word articles stacked with SEO optimization and keywords. Yes, you'll rank and get some traffic, but will that traffic actually attract your perfect buyer? Will they be at the right place in their job journey to take your offer? There's an old saying translated from German, "even a blind hen gets a kernel from time to time." Don't be a blind hen.
- Not promoting their content. Once you build a piece that substantially moves your perfect buyer along their job journey, you should promote it. If you plan your content and build it from the beginning with content in mind, you can actually schedule and build your promotion when you publish your content.
We do content planning to ensure we don't make these mistakes. By taking a few hours now, you can build a plan that will work for the next quarter and position your company and brand for long-term success.