Planning your content is one thing; but planning a long term content strategy is another.
It’s important to have a long term content strategy that allows your team to see the path planned on taking
Being aware of the overall plan is important as it allows each individual to know where their content comes into play and how it affects the path. This will help you to stay organised and motivated as you know the way forward and it’s as simple as following the plan created.
A long term content strategy is there to benefit you and help your business strive to create as much content as possible for your audience.
Why is Long Term Content Planning Important?
It’s absolutely imperative to have plans for things that are as important as your content. To any business, content is important. Whether this be content in the form of social media, blogs, newsletters, etc. Any form of content is important.
Planning provides a roadmap for content
And it’s just as important to have a plan on when your team are going to create the content, when the content will be going out, and so on. As well as this, a long term content strategy will include what the content is going to be. Planning for all these aspects allows your team to be as organised as possible, being persistent with the workload and reaching goals within the strategy.
Along the way, there may be goals and obstacles that you did not account for. As long as you keep your end goals in mind, it’ll seem much easier to be persistent and continue on through these obstacles. The plan you’ve created enables a much easier path to success, even when struck with obstacles.
It’s important to create a long term content plan as it ensures all the content for a certain time frame is planned. Teams are often busy and it can be easy to forget things; in terms of content it can be quite easy to forget what content needed to go out that week or what the content was actually meant to be. This could be quite detrimental to a business that relies on content for engagement and interactions. Having a long term content plan ensures this never happens to your business as it is all planned out, and, even if the content is not done for some reason, it’s easy enough to look at the plan and complete the necessary content to get back on the path.
Creating a long term content plan is all about staying organised. It’s about the whole team staying organised and understanding what each team member is working on to make sure everything aligns how it should. This alignment ensures the business is running smoothly.
How do you Build a Long Term Content Plan?
There are three generic steps that can be taken to create this plan; setting marketing goals, auditing or assessing your businesses assets, and identifying the buyer’s journey for your buyer personas.
1. Setting marketing goals
As with setting any goals for anything, they provide you with visions and things to work towards. Your marketing goals need to set out what your overall goals are from your marketing efforts. Knowing these goals will assist you in reaching them. You need to create each piece of content with your end goals in mind. Think about how that particular piece of content will help you progress one step closer to the goal.
In terms of the actual goals, they should be SMART goals. This means making them specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timed. Making sure your goals fit these goals will make your job much easier as you have made goals that aren’t too optimistic but aren’t too pessimistic. It’s all about getting the balance right and ensuring you only make goals you think can actually be achieved.
2. Auditing or assessing your organisation’s assets
This audit will consist of two separate parts. First is auditing your content assets and second is auditing your event based initiatives.
A content audit is designed to help you identify any marketing assets you have, seeking out any gaps or opportunities within your content strategy. A content audit will allow you to fully understand what content you’ve already used; noting this down and being sure to not duplicate any content previously created. It’s important to make a note of all the content and the reasoning for the content; designate the content into suitable categories.
3. Identifying your buyer’s journey for your buyer personas
The content you’re going to be creating is there to assist your audience to progress through the buyer’s journey. Each piece of content in the various stages is going to be extremely different. For example, content with the aim of educating someone in the awareness stage isn’t going to be attractive to someone in the decision stage. It’s important to vary the types of content around the audience and where they’re sat.
As well as identifying the different stage of the buyer’s journey, you need to identify your buyer personas. These are, essentially, your target audience. Without knowing your buyer personas, you’re not going to know who your target audience is and how to appeal to this audience.
What Should a Long Term Content Plan look like?
A long term content plan is going to look very different to every business.
It will be unique to your team
It’s important that your long term content plan thoroughly organises the direction in which your content will be following. The SMART goals you previously determined need to be included within the document - whether it be a spreadsheet, a table, etc. - to act as a constant reminder of what you’re reaching for by pursuing the content plan.
Once you’ve included these goals, you can begin to plan the content.
This can start by accumulating a number of themes suitable for your business. These themes may be monthly, weekly, quarterly; anything. Determining themes enables you to create content a lot easier as you have a first initial idea and your task will solely be to expand on that idea.
Keywords and blog post topics
The next step is listing beneficial keywords and potential blog post topics. Being aware of keywords that are used within your industry can be extremely advantageous to you as you can use them to boost your SEO ratings within your content. Having a list of blog post topics allows you to quickly and easily think of titles that match up with the specified topics. Planning one step ahead makes your life a whole lot easier in terms of content.
It’s all well and good planning this content, but you also need to plan how you’re going to share the content. You need to include any form of communications you need to make; whether this be via email, social media, and so on. This part in the planning process may come last, once you have deciphered all the content you’re actually going to make. Either way, this part still plays a major role.
Each and every single business is going to have a different approach to creating their long term content plan. There are various elements that can be included as extras, but may not necessarily be relevant to your business. Whatever elements you include within your plan, it needs to be fully completed with every detail needed. Along the way, you might go back and make some alterations to what you planned. Whatever you do, you need to make sure you’re keeping track and remaining as true to the plan as possible. It’s a good idea to monitor your efforts, just to make sure what you’re doing is achieving the results you want.
Whatever your long term content plan looks like, you always need to ensure that the message you’re trying to convey is prevalent within everything you do. Whether this be in a blog post, a social media post, an email, etc. it must be obvious what your message is. The layout of the content and how you present it may be different depending on the channel, but the overall message needs to be the same.
A long term content plan might not be something your business has ever tried or ever come across. You may be thinking, what’s the point? The list of benefits of a long term content plan is extensive; it can help your business in ways you’d never imagine.
A long term content plan enables you to truly expand your goals and determine what content should assist you in reaching these goals
It allows you to view an extensive plan that you and your team need to focus on to reach goals that will hopefully expand your business. The content you plan on creating needs to go hand-in-hand with the goals you’ve determined.
Be sure to stay on top of all the content you need to create with a long term content plan. It gives you an overview for the month, year, etc. and gives you an idea of the content your business needs to create to get one step closer to its goals.