Creating a content plan for social networks is difficult for many, but this task only seems very difficult than it actually is.
What is a content plan?
A content plan is a public resource (a document, if you prefer to use tabular forms) that project participants can use to plan all activity on social networks. This resource should visualize how your content marketing strategy is implemented in the short term (current week) and long term (up to a year).
The most convenient option is a calendar-based format. Creating long and massive post lists is tedious and costly. Each time, adding situational content, you have to make sure that the established order does not turn into chaos.
The purpose of planning in content marketing is to achieve maximum consistency for the work of project participants. Duplication of tasks and unexpected situations when someone from the team is not up to date with current plans cannot be allowed.
Business promotion in social networks should be consistent with the current tasks of the company. Marketers need to understand what they should talk about throughout the year and how this is consistent with sales plans.
The content plan should take into account not only the tasks of the sales department. You need to plan content around key events and important calendar dates.
Are social networks a sales channel or a communication channel?
Of course, it’s nice to receive orders from social networks, but this is not an end in itself. Social media are not direct sales channels, they are communication channels with the target audience. You need to arouse interest in your project, gain the trust of subscribers, and talk about what excites them and causes an emotional reaction. Therefore, we need topics that will become the basis of the content plan.
Content Plan Categories
Categories of the content plan allow you to systematize the planning of publications and control the progress of business promotion. Downtime and gaps in content marketing should not be allowed. If readers trust you, they will wait for useful information on a regular basis. Any gap can lead to a loss of interest. Therefore, the content plan should have the function of informing project participants about the dates for which a new post should be ready.
Consistency is critical to the success of any content project. Creativity and exciting ideas for social networks are important, but without planning and teamwork, it’s hard to move in the right direction. Relying only on sparkling ideas is a bad tactic. Who quickly ignites, it quickly burns out!
Promotion in social networks is based on a constant and regular basis, taking into account headings (main topics). The more marketers plan, the more effective the target audience is, the greater the flow of potential customers.
Key Success Factors for a Content Plan
Regardless of how long you plan to publish (weekly, monthly, or quarterly: it depends on the pace of development of the industry in which the company operates), there are four factors that determine the success of promotion on social networks.
- The content plan should be available to all project participants. And although not everyone will be able to edit the publication calendar, everyone should at least know what topics are planned. Remember, access to the content plan should be open to every project participant.
- A content plan is a living document. It must change and grow in accordance with the important milestones of the business and the world around it.
- There is no standard approach for creating a content plan. There are a huge number of techniques and templates. A company’s marketer can rely on his experience, but we will share our proven approach to promotion on social networks.
- A content plan template should provide an opportunity for collecting creative ideas. You cannot focus only on weaving tasks that can be implemented immediately. Promising ideas should be preserved, so that later at a convenient time to return to them and try to implement them.
The factors that influence the success of promotion in social networks are simple and understandable. Now we need to figure out how to put them into practice.
How to create your own content marketing calendar plan in 3 steps?
Stage 1. Define how to automate content creation and reduce your workload
Continuous work to create new content will be time-consuming. It’s easy to miss important points in this stream of affairs. Therefore, promotion in social networks should be based on existing content. It makes no sense to start from scratch all the time if you have your own corporate blog, which allows you to give more detailed answers to potential customers.
Also Read: Content Optimization Keyword Research Tips
A regularly updated corporate blog is a valuable resource for planning. Pull out important fragments from ready-made articles, and use them as the basis for new posts on social networking pages.
Be creative when choosing a form for presenting information, and such tactics will increase the reach and engagement of the audience.
How can I save more time on creating content?
- Slideshow: Make quotes from blog articles to create consistent slides. They can be used as the basis for video and gif-animation.
- Statistics: Create news and infographics from your statistics or analytical studies. It is always interesting and in demand! But be careful, observe ethical standards and confidentiality (you must selectively publish information relating to the “internal cuisine” of the business).
- Consumer experience: use the feedback of customers who have already used your service and rated it positively. Make it a blitz interview.
- Reports and studies: it makes no sense in social networks to publish large fragments if your subscribers are flipping through a feed on their mobile phone. Make a series of publications, this tactic will reach more people.
- Old posts: collect your notes. This tactic reminds you of the important milestones in your business. Make minor changes or combine several old posts of the same rubric into one new super post.
“Reproduction” of content avoids the situation when there is a constant need to generate millions of new ideas for posts. This approach will help fill in the gaps in the content plan. One unit of useful content can spawn multiple posts. Thus, you automate the creation of useful content.
2 stage. Create your own “TV show”
Impressions of thematic posts in social media feeds should be predictable. Your audience should recognize their benefit and each time count on a portion of valuable information.
Marketers should think like TV people and create a content plan in the image of a television program.
There are three types of content that are required to be used in content marketing. Therefore, they must be present in the content plan and be the basis for promoting a business on social networks.
- Primetime show. These are large-scale, constantly operating content projects that have the same theme and format. They should be focused on a large audience, otherwise it makes no sense to spend your time and extra effort. What formats are suitable for prime time shows? This can be streams, videos, a series of webinars, white papers, reports, etc. How often to use the show in prime time? At least twice a month. They should be the first to get into the content plan.
- Special reporting. These content projects are planned on a quarterly basis. It should be about topics that concern the audience. This can be done in the form of interactive content or in the form of trend analysis, the purpose of which is to increase engagement and get feedback from subscribers.
- Regular topics. This is the basis of communication in social networks. Emotional posts can be very different from the main canvas of promotion and have a situational character. An important criterion for publication is the relevance of the information. It is like a news channel in a television program that maintains a keen interest in a communication channel.
3 stage. Plan, organize, publish, promote, track, and analyze.
Regular meetings with project participants should be included in their calendar plans. Discuss the goals and objectives of the current moment. Each new publication should pursue clear and concise goals. It can be like, repost, comment, or click on the attached link. Collect statistics and compare rubric performance. Analyze the change in the number of subscribers and their interests, compare your advertising campaigns in terms of time: month, quarter, year.
Now you can create your own calendar of publications on social networks. The actual filling of the content plan will happen quickly enough, as soon as you decide on the rubrics and create a TV program template.