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.
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!