9 x Top Tips for Content planning in SMEs.
Your time is precious; how can you go about planning a Calendar of content that is efficient, actionable and realistic?
First, what is a content plan? It could simply be a document, like a spreadsheet or a table with your timings, type of content & person responsible, an action plan for content development over a period like 3 months is highly recommended, so that deadlines are reasonable and development process is actionable by the right people in your business (or a good reminder for yourself, if you are creating your own content!).
A piece of dedicated content software with inbuilt calendar, planner & designer, where you can manage everything easily from one dashboard.
Things to consider before you start Content Planning.
1. Planning always comes first- this will make content development so much easier!
In the words of Abraham Lincoln “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ― Abraham Lincoln. Zym’s FREE Marketing planner, Calendar & Designer for content will help you turn your content dreams into reality!!
2. Content Topics – Research your topic areas regularly.
What are you going to create Content about? What do you want to stand out for in the marketplace? You are the expert in your business area, so educate your customers with your knowledge, it is a great marketing tactic! Here are some great ways where you can find content topics:
1. Monitor the Competition, if they are using specific content topics, you can also and better!!
2. Check out Google Trends for high volume searches, then create content around them.
3. Keep an eye on social media chatter on your topic of interest and monitor the most popular hashtags on social channels. Content inspiration should appear under the hashtags that you research, if you type #marketing in you will see lots of related information appearing.
3. Types of content – Which types of content will your customers be responsive to?
Is it video, podcasts, blogs, infographics, guides? The list is endless, a bit of research around your sector and customers should point you in the right direction. What works well for businesses like yours? It is a great idea to benchmark your competitors’ content and then aim higher!
4. Consider your customer journey – consider the stages of your buyers’ journey.
Are they researching a solution, actively looking for a product or service like yours, or considering your product alongside your competitors? If your customer is considering your product at a point in time, a buyers’ guide will be more relevant than a blog. Check out the diagram below to think about which content would suit each stage in your customer's journey, then add it to your Marketing Calendar.
(image credits to: https://uxplanet.org/getting-off-the-beaten-path-with-your-customer-journey-mapping-d2210984768b)
5. Timeframes – Be realistic and reasonable about content development times when organising your content plan.
For example an outsourced professional video production will take longer to develop than an in house created blog post. Consider this when creating your content calendar and allow enough time for higher value pieces of content.
6. Content equilibrium – Not all Content is equal.
Remember to balance out your content plan with some high value content assets, which you will most likely have fewer of and some lesser value content assets, which are more easily created and will be more numerous. Think along the lines of creating high value pieces every couple of months or so and smaller pieces of content every week.
7. Quarry your content – Reuse & recycle
Get more value from content by breaking down high value pieces like whitepapers into smaller pieces of content over social media & blogs. Reuse on all the other channels you have, like email campaigns and Digital Ads, make the most of higher value in depth pieces.
8. Inhouse or out of house? – Do you have the necessary time and skills to create all your content inhouse?
Would you consider outsourcing some content creation to a content marketing agency or a freelancer? This could help you expand your content types and would be suitable for higher value content pieces like whitepapers and professional videos.
9. Planning processes – Is there a process in place for you to efficiently carry out your content planning?
A table in a document could suffice in the short term, but dedication to long term content planning will require a more robust planning method. Seeing & planning everything in 1 dashboard will save so much time and allow you more visibility over your content plans and dreams! Good luck with all your content plans!
Click here to try ZYM’s FREE Marketing Calendar, Planner & Designer and much more!
Further learning: Linked In Free Marketing tutorials