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How to Create a Content Plan

Content is vital to your success. The more stories you have to tell that lift your business, the more opportunities you have to reach new customers.

But how do you make someone want to engage with your marketing when they see more than 4,000 ads each day? You tell a story. You turn it into content.

With content-focused marketing, every element of a campaign — from SEO and web experiences to media and creative executions — works seamlessly together to tell a cohesive and compelling story.

Content cuts through the clutter of everyday advertising to make meaningful connections between people and brands.

Here’s what you need to know to create a successful content plan.

 

Know Your Goals

Before you start, you need to know what you want your content to do. For example: do you want more than views and reach? What conversions or actions do you want your users to take after they have seen your content?

Pardot.com has a great list of 14 content KPIs if you need a little help to pick which is the best to start with:

1. Unique page visits
2. Downloads
3. Time on page
4. Inbound links
5. Shares
6. Comments and interactions
7. Cost per click (cpc)
8. Cost per lead (cpl)
9. Lead generation
10. Annual contract value (acv)
11. Influence
12. Conversion rates
13. Followers and/or subscribers
14. Growth

Once you know how you are going to define success, you’ll need to create content topics your audience wants to see from you. If you’re a start-up and don’t have any Google Analytics to show your site’s best content, you’ll need to use a couple basic tools:

Now that you know what to track and what you want to create, it’s time to develop a calendar.

 

Create a Content Calendar

The content calendar is an important tool that creates structure and accountability in your content plan.

Three Key Reasons To Create a Content Calendar 

  • Putting it on paper holds you accountable — deadlines matter and give you a goal to work toward
  • Creates your topics — seeing the topics on the calendar show how the content can be interconnected and built from topic to topic
  • Creates consistency — keeping a regular cadence is important to your audience and to the Google Bots that will crawl your site

Download a Free content Calendar Template From Hubspot

 

Measure for Success

Once you’ve launched your first round of content, you’ll be in measurement mode. When matching results to your goal KPIs, you can determine what content performed the best. Did you hit your conversion goals? Capture emails for signups? Have a record-breaking day for new visitors to your site?

Sometimes content misses the mark and you’ll need to assess why. Don’t get discouraged. Stick to the plan and keep creating until you find your winning combination of content and audience expectations.

 

“When we create something, we think, ‘Will our customers thank us for this?’ I think it’s important for all of us to be thinking about whatever marketing we’re creating; is it really useful to our customers? Will they thank us for it? I think if you think of things through that lens, it just clarifies what you’re doing in such a simple, elegant way.”
Ann Handley

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