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Planning Your Content: Steps, Strategy & Tools


A calendar on a desk

December 19, 2023/in Marketing, Business


Watch the video below for additional tips.


You’ve probably heard that content marketing is a great way to connect with potential customers and boost your search engine rankings.


We asked Monica Tuck, owner of branding agency UStudio, to share the basics of content marketing, the steps to plan out your content and helpful tools to use.


Start with Strategy

Before getting into content creation, it’s important to start with branding strategy. This includes a thorough look at all of your branding. Your logo, color scheme, graphics, photography and messaging should all align with the content that you are putting out to the public.

 

Your mission, vision, purpose and value should be easy to understand when communicated through the different components of your brand.


Clarify Your Brand Voice

What’s your “why,” the reason behind what you do? People love to know who you are and why you are interested in the field you’ve chosen. People are attracted to YOU. Get out of your own way and feel comfortable being your authentic self on your social media and in the other content you share.


Additional Brand Strategy Homework

In addition to the look and voice of your brand, here are some other things to consider as you refine your branding strategy:

·       Identify your audience: what types of people are you trying to reach?

·       Identify the type of presence you have: what are you already known for?

·       Do competitor research: who else is doing what you do?


Content Pillars

Once you’ve solidified your branding strategy, it’s time to create content pillars for planning. Content pillars will:

·       Help you organize your content plan

·       Help speed up the content ideation process

·       Promote consistency in your social media channels

·       Make it easy for the audience to find out what they seek

 

The four pillar types Monica often uses are:

·       Promotional: content that is selling a specific product or service

·       Entertainment: content that is fun to watch or read

·       Educational: content that teaches something relevant to your audience

·       Conversational: content that starts a conversation with your audience and encourages them to respond


Your plan will include regular content that aligns with one or more of your pillars. For example, an interior designer could post photos of a completed project and include a link to an inquiry form. This post would fall under the promotional pillar. A video of a project before and after would be an entertainment post.

 

For an educational post, the interior designer might share ways to determine whether a piece of furniture is worth reupholstering. A conversational post might ask followers for their opinions or feedback. See examples like these by watching the video below.


Where to Post

Monica says that blogs are for thought leadership and education-style content. Social media is great for promotional, conversational and entertainment posts, in addition to education. Use newsletters to share educational and promotional content.


Content Execution Plan

Creating a plan is half the battle. Many business owners are not experts in creating content and maintaining a consistent posting schedule. However, you are the voice of your brand, and you create your own brand identity. You may need to delegate the task of executing your content strategy to a paid employee or contractor. If you decide to DIY it, at least until you have a larger budget, adding time to your calendar or scheduling a post through various apps, planning ahead will help you achieve your goals.

 

Recommended Tool

 For keyword search, try Google. Enter a topic you are considering for a blog post (or other educational content) to see the questions that it automatically suggests. These are typically questions that are frequently searched and may therefore be a good topic for your content.

 

Scheduling apps include: Hootsuite, Later, Blis and Buffer, among others.

 

Benefits of Content Planning

You know you should be posting on social media and writing blog articles, but it’s hard to be creative and come up with ideas while you’re feeling pressure to post. Planning ahead with content pillars and specific aligned topics makes it much easier to batch your content creation. At the very least, it helps you know what to talk about when it comes time to hit “post.”





Written by Kourtney Terry, Dayton Program Manager at Aviatra Acclerators



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