Questions You Need to Answer Before You Create a Content Plan
06
OCTOBER 2016

A successful content plan takes a bit more than a couple of topics and a blogging schedule. Maybe you are already aware of that, but you scratch your head when it comes to the full spectrum of things to consider that go into building a quality content plan for your business and site. While hiring quality web content writing services is certainly the way to go, you should have an understanding of what a content plan involves. So, let’s take a look.

Start with the Big Picture

There are a couple of “big picture” questions you should start with. They are the foundation of your content plan and will ensure your plan aligns with your corporate goals. The two most important questions are:

  1. What do you want to achieve in the next 6 – 12 months?

You content has to support your organizational objectives and goals. Otherwise, there’s no point, is there? If you’re making use of a web content writing service, be sure to discuss your goals in-depth.

  1. Who are you trying to reach?

This is probably a no-brainer, but it has to be answered thoroughly. Who are your target customers? Document the big picture of your ideal customers.

Getting to Know Your Audience

I want to go deeper with this one. It is, arguably, the building block for your content plan. You cannot create a plan without knowing who you are addressing.

  1. What are the demographics of your buyer personas?

Demographics include information like level of education, income, age, and so on. These details are vital for determining the kind of content you need, the questions your content should address, and the imagery and language you should use. What resonates with baby boomers isn’t going to resonate with millennials.

  1. What do your target audience read online?

Do your personas spend most of their time watching videos on YouTube? Then you need to be creating video content. If they prefer to seek out articles on industry-related websites, you should be guest posting on those sites, or at the very least curating content on your site and social channels.

  1. What are your persona’s pain points?

Your content plan should always address your target market’s pain points well before they reach out to your sales team, or worse, your competitor’s.

Perform an Audit of Your Content

A content audit can help you better understand which types of content and which distribution channels have been working for you, and which ones need tweaking.

  1. What kind of content is performing best or worst for you?

Take a look at metrics like time on page and bounce rate to evaluate what is and isn’t working for you. This will help to refine your content plan. Ideally, quality content writing services will do this for you.

  1. What’s missing?

What content is missing? Do you have a combination of images, video, and text to capture your persona’s attention? Today, visual content is king – you don’t want to miss out on that.

  1. What’s the competition doing?

What are you competitors doing well? Try to emulate their efforts if it works for you, but remember to make your plan uniquely yours. Try to differentiate your brand via your content.

  1. How’s your SEO doing?

A well-crafted piece of content should be easy to read, but also well-optimized for search. Quality content writing services should ensure all your meta tags are in place, ensure your internal links are appropriate (see our post on the latest Penguin update), and identify guest posting opportunities.

Defining Content Creation and Distribution Workflow

Once you have answered the above questions, you can start putting your content plan in place. Here are a few questions to ask that will help clarify who will get the work done and which procedures should be followed.

  1. What tools are needed?

A few tools can help with your content endeavor’s, including tools for project management, an editorial calendar, and checklists for each type of content. Tools you may want to consider for distribution include email marketing programs (email marketing is very much alive and well!), social media dashboards, and influencer marketing platforms.

  1. Is your content calendar transparent?

If you’re not using quality content writing services, but trying to create content in-house, you need to ensure your content plan is executed correctly. For this to work, you should communicate the plan and make sure certain people are held accountable.

  1. How will you distribute and promote your content?

Every piece of content has a home to go to – be it your blog, website, YouTube channel, or even Snapchat. Each will also have its own distribution and promotion efforts, such as social sharing. Discuss these channels with your web content writing service to determine which will work best for your content plan.

  1. How will evergreen content be dealt with?

Don’t discard evergreen content. Create a schedule for upcycling this content and sharing it appropriately.

“If you’re not using quality content writing services, but trying to create content in-house, you need to ensure your content plan is executed correctly. For this to work, you should communicate the plan and make sure certain people are held accountable.”

Finally: What’s Missing?

Question 14 should be, “what’s missing?” While this is by no means a comprehensive list of questions to answer before creating a content plan, it’s going to set you off on the right path. Do you have any questions you consider before creating a new plan? Let us know!

If you’re at a lost, reach out to Iris Content for quality content writing services and a comprehensive content plan for your business.

Lisa Hack

Copywriting Expert

Lisa has always been a passionate and varied writer. Since the age of 10 she has been writing content that entertains and engages. With 15 year’s professional writing experience and a Bachelor’s degree in English and Linguistics, she has dedicated her writing career to creating creative, relevant content that sells. Lisa is vehemently obsessed with content marketing and SEO.

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