When you’re using the internet as a key part of your business growth, these content planning tips can play a major role in shaping your strategy. Not only will it save you time, but it can also help you ensure you’re showing up consistently across the internet overall.
Whether you’re working on content for SEO and organic search purposes or creating posts to be published on social media, having a plan and a strategy for all of your content is incredibly important. But just saying “content planning” can feel overwhelming and confusing. Let’s take a closer look at content planning for organic search and social media and how you can incorporate each into your marketing strategy.
What Is Content Planning?
Content planning is the process of strategizing and planning your content in advance. This includes everything from your web copy to your blog posts to your social media posts, and also podcasts, YouTube videos, or pre-planned emails. When you plan your content in advance, you can make sure your messaging is consistent across the board so your audience can recognize your brand on any platform.
It also helps you with content creation intentionally, rather than just throwing something together at the last minute or posting just for the sake of posting.
Content planning can be as detailed or as high-level as you want. Some people will look at a calendar and decide what topics they’ll talk about each month, week or day, and call that planning. Others want to create their social media posts a week or a month at a time. Many people do a hybrid of the two.
They plan at a high level for their overall content ideas so their website and social media match, and then they plan their day-by-day posts as the time gets closer.
You might still be wondering why a content marketing strategy is important. Well, it can actually save you time. By planning everything in advance, you can know exactly what you’re going to publish on any given day. We said earlier that it helps your content look consistent to your audience, and that’s important for you to establish authority.
When you’re consistent in what you’re posting, you’re showing the world that you’re an expert in your particular industry. This leads your audience to trust you and potentially convert you into customers.
Does Social Media Content Help SEO?
Yes, social can help with SEO. But that shouldn’t give you a free pass to over-post and spam people’s feeds. If you do that, you risk annoying followers. And then they might ignore your posts, or worse, stop following you entirely.
Quality Of Posts—Not Quantity—Is Key.
Yes, regular posting is important, but if you’re not offering your audience value there’s no point.
Remember, it might only take one new backlink to significantly improve the search rank of a URL (depending on how competitive the keyword is and how authoritative the site is that links to your own). If you impress the right person enough to share your content on their website, you’ll see a boost in search rank and search visibility.
Social marketers should also take note of the implications of paid promotion on SEO. Indeed, our findings show that paid promotion has nearly double the SEO benefit of organic promotion.
SEO should be thoughtfully integrated into your broader social marketing strategy, but it should not be the driving force. If you focus on creating and sharing quality content, you’ll be in good shape. Quality is, after all, the number one ranking factor in Google.
Decide On A Marketing Strategy
Deciding which marketing strategy is the best or most profitable in today’s crowded space, my short answer is there isn’t just one. The best way to create a marketing strategy is to use more than one that works well together. When you stop to think about it, each strategy will actually help the other grow, this means the most profitable strategy your company can take is to use multiple strategies at once. Making sure they are working together. We ask and answer the question does social media help my SEO and what are social signals.
Have you ever tried Facebook marketing for getting leads? I want to talk about how social media helps SEO. Of course, there is a third strategy that you cannot ignore, Content Marketing. But, I feel content marketing and SEO are so tied into each other I want to focus more on how social media should be the center of all strategies. Social Media is the most fluid and for most companies, it is also the hardest and most frustrating to achieve success.
It directly affects SEO and Content Marketing, but again I am going to treat SEO and Content Marketing as one strategy that is affected by Social Media. Social media can affect your efforts in direct and indirect ways, but either way, it affects your strategy by enhancing it. Here is how you can leverage Social Media to your benefit.
This study pretty much confirms what we here at Matchbox Design Group already knew about Social Media helping SEO. – – End of Update***
So Does Social Media Help My SEO — Common Question
OK, so you have probably heard that Social Media has a direct effect on your SEO, but that is simply not true. It’s true that some social sites are crawled by search engines such as Google. Your posts can even be indexed, you could possibly see a Yelp post, a directory listing, or even a Twitter or Pinterest post show up in the SERPs. But, these have no direct impact on your search rankings. However, from time to time you will see tweets show up if you are doing a branded search. Social media posts do play an indirect part in your SEO, known as social signals.
If you have a good social media post and one of your users shares it, or if someone shares a blog post onto social media, the likelihood of other people seeing the page and sharing it as well goes up. If your content is good and enough people start to share it, this could lead to backlinks and more mentions on social media. These two things are known to have a direct impact on rankings. It is true that shares do carry some weight in the different search engine algorithms (more on that later).
Google still will not admit this, 1 of hundreds of things they won’t admit. However, there have been several different studies that show a correlation to suggest otherwise. However, this is only shares that come from your site, when someone retweets or shares the material from the social media platforms there doesn’t seem to be as strong of an impact. The reason for that is retweeting or sharing from Facebook doesn’t mean someone actually read your article.
Visibility And Traffic
This should be a pretty obvious benefit from your social media channels. The overall goal of any campaign you do in marketing is to get more people to your site. When people like your content or are familiar with it, they will keep coming back for more. When it’s shared on social media such as Facebook your reach is carried to new audiences.
Your reach won’t come overnight, you will need to spend time on social media (possibly a lot of time). Your social media accounts will need to contribute a lot of content, always reach out to new followers, be sure to engage with influencers and you will be well on your way to gaining your following. When you have engaged followers like that on your social media channels they will happily share your content and more and more people will be aware of you. This leads to more visibility and you get more traffic.
Optimize Posts For Searches
This is a strategy that will require you to have a good layout and content on your website, so make sure to hire a reputed SEO company that can help you with the optimization of your site to improve its quality and rank. Make sure to always have good content on your website anyways. Allowing you to have a secondary and in some instances more than that, channel for search.
As you probably know Google will add news articles and other knowledge graph information to the top of their search results. But, what you might not know is that Google will also favor social media updates or posts in their search results. Of course, these will only remain at the top of Google for a temporary amount of time, but it’s a key position. Be sure to optimize your social media posts for that exact opportunity.
It Won’t Be Easy
These aren’t easy positions to obtain, so make sure you have strong content to back up your post. A good article, a detailed video or even a good infographic is usually enough as long as it’s strong content. Be sure you have an accurate and descriptive title, optimize the text you post with it for a specific type of search. Let’s say your article is how to change the oil in your car.
You would want to frame your post something like this “Have you ever wondered how to change your oil at home and save money”? Of course, if your content is season-specific, be sure to get as specific as possible in order to maximize your chances of showing up in the SERPs.
Increase Brand Awareness
Getting a good branding advantage is a significant SEO advantage. If you are looking for an increased online brand presence and let’s face it who isn’t. Then increasing your reputation on social media channels, by doing some of the things we have already discussed, such as increased engagement and other high-quality content syndication will lead to improved brand presence.
The next logical step is more branded searches on Google. Did you know that the more branded searches you receive, you are more likely to rank higher for non-branded keywords? Having a strong brand presence on social media can help your SEO with broader search visibility across the search engines. It really all comes down to giving your audience a strong, quality user experience. That’s the beginning and you can use what we have discussed earlier to run with your increased brand awareness.
What Does Bing Say
Bing has said and still does say that they look at the social authority of a user. They pay attention to how many people each person follows and how many follow you back. This actually does add some weight to a listing in their regular search results. Bing is the second most used search engine, unfortunately, they are a very distant second, to Google. But, they have been very clear that their algorithm does incorporate social signals into their search results. Bing has been steadfast on this issue, where Google has flip-flopped a couple of times. Come on it’s Google, are you surprised? The good news is that Bing’s market share is growing, although slow. So companies would be smart if Bing is included in their overall SEO Strategy.
What Google Has To Say
Google has said and more importantly, Matt Cutt has said, that Google’s algorithm does, in fact, ignore social signals, however that should not be a reason for digital marketers to completely dismiss social media’s impact on SEO when it comes to Google. Google’s outlook on the topic is that marketers should expand their concept of what search and SEO are.
Marketers should take into account the many ways users actually find content on the web. He has also said that marketers should think about the positive effects a website will see from increased traffic from Social media. Also how that can potentially have a positive effect on search rankings. Cutt’s does also talks about the prominence of having your brand’s social profiles on the first page in the search resul
How To Plan Content For Organic Search
So now that you know what relevant content planning is and why it’s important, let’s dig into the nuts and bolts of planning for organic search. Anything you put on your website is related to organic search. From your typical web pages to landing pages to blog posts, search engines will crawl your pages and use the information they gather to decide where you should rank on their results page. There are four simple steps you can follow to plan your piece of content for organic search.
1. Perform Keyword Research
The first thing you’ll want to do is keyword research. It’s easiest to use a third-party tool to pull the best-performing keywords related to your products, services, or topics. These should be related to whatever it is you sell so you can capture the right people. For example, if you sell shampoo, you probably don’t want to create a blog or webpage that ranks for the keyword “organic dog food.”
Even if it’s a very well-written page, you’re not going to be talking to the right people. Keyword research helps you find the right terms to include in your posts to rank well for your desired outcome.
2. Analyze Keyword Intent-Based On Top Search Results
Once you’ve done your basic research, it’s time to look for keyword intent. You can do this simply by searching for your keywords on Google. (It’s a good idea to do this in an incognito window so the algorithm doesn’t use your past search history to impact your results.) See what posts are coming up already.
Are they shopping posts or pages with a “buy now” call to action? Are they informative blog posts? Are they something else entirely? Then you can decide if you want to create similar content or something that will stand out.
3. Prepare Topics & Populate Your Content Calendar
Once you know your keywords, you can choose the topics you’ll write about for the next weeks, months, or year – however far ahead you want to plan. Choose topics that you can create good content around so you can establish yourself as an authority and a thought leader. Once you’ve chosen your topics, you can add them to your content calendar so you know what you’re talking about and when.
4. Create An Outline
Finally, it’s time to write an outline for your posts. You can create outlines as far in advance as you want. You could outline your blog posts for the next six months, or you can just outline the next one. It’s up to you.
The more detailed your outline is, the easier it will be when it’s time actually to write the post.
Creating a strong outline also helps you know that you’re talking about what you intended to talk about when you created that topic.
How To Plan Content For Social Media
Now that you have your blog and web content planned, it’s time to look at social media. Again, you can plan this as in-depth or as high-level as you want. Content planning is designed to help you save time and create content consistently. These Instagram tips can help your business.
1. Identify The Social Media Channels You Will Be Using To Increase Brand Awareness
The very first step is to decide where you want your brand to be on social media platforms. Just because you already have accounts on certain platforms doesn’t mean you have to stay there. Where is your audience online? Do you know you can easily get Instagram followers?
Do you have a popular Facebook page? Are you loving the fun that you can have on TikTok? We can’t tell you which social media channels are right for you, but this is the first decision to make.
2. List Down Content Ideas
Once you know where you want to be, start brainstorming the content you want to share. It’s a good idea to create a mix of educational, fun, branded and trending content, depending on the platform and how you want your brand to come across online.
While it’s great to share posts about your products or services, you don’t want to post about that all the time, or your followers will likely get tired of seeing it. Instead, add some fun posts or posts that teach your audience why your product or service is important.
3. Prepare Creative Assets
Set yourself up for success by preparing your photos, videos, or graphics in advance. There might be some assets that you can’t pull together yet. For example, if you know you’ll be at an event in a few weeks and you want to post about it, you don’t have photos from that event yet.
However, you can make a note that you want to post about it and need to get an image while you’re there. The more images and videos you can prepare in advance, the easier it’ll be to show up consistently on social media.
4. Finalize Your Content
Your social media content is more than just imagery. You also need to write the copy that’ll go with your photos or videos. By writing your posts in advance, you can save yourself so much time when you go to post on social media. This can also help you stay consistent because you’ll have no excuse not to post.
5. Determine The Best Time To Post
Not all posting times are created equal. Different platforms, audiences, and industries all have different ideal times to post. Your ideal Instagram posting times will be different from your competitor’s best Facebook posting times. Do some research, look at your own personal analytics, and see what is best for your accounts.
6. Load Them To Your Prefered Social Media Scheduling & Management Tool
This final step is optional, but it’ll save you so much time and ensure you’re posting consistently. Once you have your creative assets and your copy ready to go, you can pre-schedule them into your favorite social media management tool. There are so many on the internet today that you’ll want to take some time to compare their features if you don’t already have one you’re using. When you schedule your posts in advance, you never have to worry about forgetting to post again.
Time To Start Planning
Content planning is a big job, but it can save you time and energy down the road. It’s important to remember that your plan isn’t set in stone, and you can always change it depending on what’s happening in your business and in the world.
If you choose to schedule your social posts in advance, ensure you’re aware of what’s happening in society so you can stop or change your posts if needed. Now, what are you waiting for? Start planning your content today!