How to Create a Content Marketing Plan for 2021 (9+ Ideas)

Content marketers from all around the world have been using content marketing as their main weapon to reach audiences and eventually profits. If you are failing to reach your audiences through your content marketing strategy, then it’s time to restructure your plan.

And, to help you to create a perfect content marketing plan, today, here we are with our 9 steps proven hacks that we have designed with our years of experiences.

So, if you’re struggling with your plan or you don’t even have one yet, keep reading this article to get your job done. Let’s get started right away!

Why Content Marketing Planning is Important

How to create a content marketing plan

Your content marketing success solely depends on how you plan your content marketing strategy. If you can’t be able to create, manage, and execute a content marketing plan, your company growth rate will be at stake.

A research from SEMrush shows that having a bulletproof content marketing plan can help you to get;

  • 97% more backlinks
  • 434% more indexed pages on search engines
  • 55% more traffic
  • 5x more leads
  • 13x ROI

It’s also proved that a successful content marketing campaign can generate more revenue than paid marketing.

A solid content marketing strategy can generate three times more leads than paid advertising

Julia McCoy

So, we can say that content marketing planning is undeniable if you’re serious at your business.

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan (9 Proven Hacks)

How to create a content marketing plan

It’s true that the content marketing industry has become fiercer than ever before and this competition is not gonna be easier soon. So, you need to follow a proven content marketing strategy to keep fighting with your competitors. Here is our content marketing plan to help you out from this situation;

  1. Set Your Content Goal that Conveys Your Business Purpose
  2. Study Your Audience to Know Their Urgency
  3. Research Your Top-Matched Keyword that Aligns with Your Niche
  4. Conduct a Content Audit on Your Site to Know the Current Position
  5. Keep an Eye on Your Competitors to Track What’s They’re up to
  6. Create Top-Notch Contents that will be Referred as Resource 
  7. Make a Content Publishing Calendar to Keep Consistency
  8. Set Content Promotional Plans to Outreach Your Audience
  9. Measure Your Content Performance to Find out Where to Improve

This is the plan that we have been following for years while creating a content marketing plan for our sites.

Step 01 – Set Your Content Goal that Conveys Your Business Purpose

Set your content goal

You might be wondering what could be a content goal other than dragging visitors to your site. Yeah, that’s our ultimate goal. However, there are some more options to focus on. Like,

  • Brand awareness
  • Lead generation
  • Build relationship
  • Improve customer experience
  • High conversion rate

Your content marketing plan should be created according to your content goal. For instance, if you want to monetize your blog, then an approach for lead generation won’t be working here. Whatever goal you have, you need to set that goal properly.

Step 02 – Study Your Audience to Know Their Urgency

Know your audience

If there is any secret behind the success of a content marketing plan, then it is the audience study for sure. You can’t expect a fruitful content marketing plan unless you know exactly who you’re targeting with your content.

Do research your audience and find out what type of content they are liking most and what type of problems your content can solve for them.

For researching your audience you can use Google Analytics on your site. It will help you to find out who your audiences are, where they are coming from, their activities on your site, how long they are staying, and many more things.

After having these extensive data of your customers, you should be able to find out your customer persona so that you can create contents that they are craving for.

Step 03 – Research Your Top-Matched Keyword that Aligns with Your Niche

When you’re on content marketing planning, then you must have a chosen niche to publish your article, right?

If so, now your task is to find out top keywords with a healthy search volume that will perfectly match your niche. Suppose you’re running a soccer site, publishing blogs on rugby will not be a good practice.

And, you don’t want to rely exclusively on a single keyword. To help Google understand your content, mix in related keywords.

To find out your top-matched keywords, you can have a growth hack session or brainstorming session with your team on a chosen day per week or month. It will help you to find out contemporary keywords along with topics.

Related Blog: Top 10 Tools for Finding Long-Tail Keywords in 2021

Step 04 – Conduct a Content Audit on Your Site to Know the Current Position

Conduct a content audit on your site

If your site isn’t newborn and you have already published some blogs, then you must audit your own blogs to learn how they are performing. It will help you to determine which types and styles of blogs you should focus on.

Make such a category list that should reflect your top and low performing blogs, ranked and unranked keywords, top and low conversion blogs, impression and bounce rate, average time on blogs, and such kind of information so that you can identify either a track to choose or leave.

Apart from these, your content audit should also carry the output of how your visitors feel about the content you’re currently producing and how you can address their problems with your content.

This information will help you to understand your readers’ and subscribers’ priorities to create a successful content marketing plan.

Step 05 – Keep an Eye on Your Competitors to Track What’s They’re up to

Competitor analysis

Competitor analysis has always been a proven way to create and execute a content marketing plan succesfully.

Let’s face the bitter truth! You can’t be the master of all things as it’s quite impossible to follow and cover all the trends of the WordPress industry. Moreover, it’s an ever-changing industry.

Following your top competitors and analyzing them can be a solution to get rid of this scenario. Try to track what kind of content they are producing and how they are marketing that content.

Spying on your competitors will let you become just as good at content marketing plans as they are. Soon, with time, practice, and patience, you can surpass them in the race.

Step 06 – Create Top-Notch Contents that will be Referred as Resource

This is the point where you can’t compromise with quality. Okay, be honest! The marketing plan that we’re talking about can be followed by anyone. Literally, anyone can make a marketing plan according to their niche.

But producing quality content following the plan makes the difference between a noob and an expert.

So, never compromise with the quality of your content to get the ball in your court. When you’re creating content, make sure you have a clear idea of what problem your content will be solving for your audience and what makes your content unique. That’s the way you can create top-notch content.

Step 07 – Make a Content Publishing Calendar to Keep Consistency

Make a Content Publishing Calendar

Consistency matters more than frequency! Yep, you have heard it right.

Let’s assume, you have published a top-quality blog that earned a good ranking in search engine results. Then you have taken an eternity to publish another blog. What might be happened? Well, your readers will leave your site and there is less chance to get back them on your site again. Apart from it, Google will mark your site as deceptive.

So, you must publish blogs following a calendar. Like, if you publish two blogs per week, then fix two separate days per week to publish that blogs. And, try to follow the same schedule to publish blogs continuously.

60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day

eMarketer

You can maintain a newsletter to send your published blogs to your readers so that they won’t miss your blogs and realize when they suppose to get your new blogs every week.

Step 08 – Set Content Promotional Plans to Outreach Your Audience

How to Create a Content Marketing Plan for 2021 (9+ Ideas) 1

You won’t get satisfying organic traffic unless you are an established and renowned marketer. Having said that everyone follows a content promotional plan though they are already managed to establish themselves as market influencers like Seth Godin and Neil Patel.

So as a startup and small company you must follow a content promotional plan. Your content promotional plan should consist of the following things;

Guest Posting: Allow guest posts in your niche on your site and make guest posting to other’s sites for creating your brand awareness.

Link Building: Build powerful links in your keywords to grow more audiences on your site.

Use Social Channels: Create and manage your company’s social channels to share your blogs regularly there. You should not only be using Facebook but you should also be using Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, and YouTube to promote your articles.

The most common content marketing delivery mechanism is social media, used by 87% of marketers

CMI

Email Marketing: It’s considered the easiest and cheapest way to promote content. Follow the right way to promote your blogs using the email marketing strategy.

Forums: Forums like Quora is a great place to promote your blogs.

Paid Marketing: Lat, but definitely not least, you can use the paid marketing strategy to promote your articles.

Step 09 – Measure Your Content Performance to Find out Where to Improve

Content marketing metrics

Content marketing is valueless unless you monitor the progress of it. Let’s assume, you have just finished your content marketing campaign. After finishing the campaign, you are ready to start another campaign without checking the output of the previous campaign.

So, where are your insights? How do you know whether your campaign was successful or not? Do you even have any idea where to improve next time? How do you identify what type of content you should create?

To measure your content marketing progress, you need to set some metrics like page views, unique visitors, average time on page, ROI, bounce rate, engagements, and some other things.

Measure your content performance and identify where to imporve next time.

Related Post: 15+ Content Marketing Metrics to Measure Your Content Performance

Bonus: Content Marketing Types for Beginners

Types of content marketing

For a startup owner or blogger, there are quite a few ways for content marketing. You can offer these 6 types of content marketing for your readers.

01 – Blog Post

Blog post is a common way for content marketing. Try to create your niche-based blog posts that will cover every related keyword of your niche and solve the problem of your readers. SEO optimized blog will also help you to get the top search engine results.

02 – eBook

eBooks are written for lead generation. You can offer well-written eBooks to your readers if they sign up to your site. After signing up to your site, they will be able to download that eBook and keep it for later use. eBooks are typically longer, more in-depth, and published less frequently than blog posts, which are written to attract visitors to a website.

03 – Infographic

An image can say thousands of words. So, you can realize the power of an image or infographic. And, the human brain loves to remember images longer than words. Moreover, data can be represented in a more appealing way in an infographic.

It’s a great content format to use if you’re trying to share a lot of data in a way that is clear and easy to understand.

04 – Video

Hubspot claims that videos are 40x more likely to get shared on social media than any other type of content. It’s true, indeed! You can easily attract your visitors’ attention with videos though it takes a bit more time to create a video. But investing time in creating videos is worthy, it is proved.

Fitness got a 60% returning customer rate with video content marketing.

You can take this video as a source of inspiration to create videos for your contents.

05 – Podcast

Let’s accept the reality. Not everyone is interested in or has time to read your blogs. Having said that you can take an alternative way to engage them with your brand. Podcasting is a proven alternative way to do that job. Invite interesting and renowned people to interview so that your listener enjoy your podcasts. Surprisingly, the number of podcast listeners is going crazy day by day.

06 – Success Story

A success story is how your users solve their problems using your products or following your blogs. Success stories can take the form of a blog post, ebook, podcast, and even an infographic. It’s a proven way to touch the reader’s feelings. Before publishing a success story, take your user’s consent whom you want to highlight. And, if possible take testimony from that user.

Create Your Content Marketing Plan Now and Start Growing Fast

Grow fast

After reading this article, you must have realized that content marketing planning is not a daunting task. Even you can do it properly as a beginner if you follow a strategic way.

And remember, it’s not an overnight task. Getting success in content marketing may take some more time than others. So, stick to your plan and keep working hard unless you get the ball on your court.

Now, if you already have a content marketing plan, let us know which strategy you’re following.

How to Create a Content Marketing Funnel that Converts

If you don’t have a successful content marketing funnel, you can’t effectively guide people from simply being aware of your existing brand to finally making a purchase.

A marketing funnel is a smart way to move people from one stage of your content to another and ultimately create leads. It’s a multi-wise process where you first create a buzz of your product, consider and evaluate that the product can solve their needs, finally convince them to buy.

Let’s clear up the entire process step by step. Before that, you must understand the functions of a marketing funnel that drives sales.

What is a Content Marketing Funnel and How it Works

What is a Content Marketing Funnel and How it Works

A content marketing funnel is a process of generating high-quality leads to your product or services through different stages of content.

In other words, it is a system that helps to get more potential customers and guide them through a content flow and finally converts them into paying customers.

How to Create a Content Marketing Funnel that Converts 2
Source:Semrush

While working on it, marketers separate each piece of content for different purposes. In a content funnel, you find three main content stages like the top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel.

Why Should You Create a Content Marketing Funnel

Why Should You Create a Content Marketing Funnel

Why create a content funnel? First, you should understand this.

Your main motto when producing content is to search for potential customers who can pay for your product or services. Make sure that you always create high-quality content for your business that has to go through an effective marketing funnel. Without it, you can’t survive in this competitive web world.

Content marketing generates 3x more leads than traditional marketing.

Source

Moreover, well-designed content marketing helps you to get more backlinks, page indexing, higher search results and saves valuable time.

Here is a list below that shows why you should use a marketing funnel for your content.

  • Generate organic search traffic
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Drive higher conversion rates
  • Spend less money on paid ads

Build a Content Marketing Funnel That Converts

Build a Content Marketing Funnel

Building a content marketing funnel is a smart way to engage new customers and get more leads. When you think about a marketing funnel, you need to focus on the TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU the three stages of your content. You should work on each part of your content individually so that you can produce high-quality content.

Now, it’s time to show how to create a content marketing funnel that converts.

Top of The Funnel (TOFU)

The top of the funnel is the primary stage of the customer journey. Most of your clients do not know your company and are not prepared to take up your product. In this part of the content, your responsibility is to attract their attention and present your brand wisely.

To create awareness, you answer the queries of your customers, talk about their problem, and finally, create possibilities to solve their problem.

You prepare content like below to grab users’ interest.

  • Blog Posts: At the top of the funnel of your content, you put a blog post and try to inform your customers about your business. A smart blog post also helps to create leads.
  • Comprehensive Guides: People love guideline posts or tutorials. It helps to learn a matter properly. And you can design your top of the funnel with comprehensive guides.
  • Infographics: Photo & infographic tells the visual story of your content. By using infographics, you can catch your customer’s attention.
  • Podcasts: The podcast is an important topic that you may add to your content marketing funnel. Using a podcast, you able to tell a story of your services, promote business, give a recommendation to your customers.

Remember that your users only move on to the next part of your content if you accurately attract them. Try your best to do this, but you can’t force them to buy your product here at the top of the funnel.

Middle of The Funnel (MOFU)

After creating awareness at the top of the funnel, your next job is to focus on the middle part of your content. In the middle of the funnel, you speak directly to the users to tell how your business can help them.

Here, you highlight your product or services to your customers and convince them that you can solve all the problems. Besides, you also compare your business with others to show why other people engage with your business.

You may add some of the below things in your content.

  • How-to Articles: In the middle of the funnel, you can teach your customers about your product by writing a how-to article or tutorial. It’ll create a positive impact on the customer’s mind and provoke them toward the next stage of your content.
  • Demo Videos: You provide a useful demo video for your product. For example, you may add a video about how to use your products, its functions, benefits, and more.
  • White Papers: A white paper report is an authoritative report or guide that helps readers understand a problem, solve an issue, or make a decision. If you add this to your content, your customers get a better knowledge of your products.
  • Case Studies: Case studies very useful and always makes a smash on the users’ mind. It also proves that your products can solve other customers’ problems. And new customers freely use your product.
  • eBooks: You can write an eBook regarding your products or services.

MOFU is the evaluation and consideration stage of your content. You need to give the necessary information about your business and try to educate the customers and earn their trust.

Bottom of The Funnel (BOFU)

It is the final stage of your content where customers decide to buy your product or services. The content at the bottom of the funnel must be personal and to the point. Besides, you need to answer specific questions about your product if your customers ask.

Furthermore, you also show the difference between the free and premium features of your products so that customers can understand the importance of that.

In addition, you must follow the list below so that you can add these in your content.

  • Add Testimonials to Other Customers: At the bottom of the funnel, you should tell the audience the products you offer are being used already by other people. To do this, you need to add testimonials of your satisfied customers. If you do, it’ll create an impact on your new customers’ minds and helps for conversion.
  • Put Success Stories: Success story is another way to move your customers towards the lead. Try to put some problem-solving success stories of your clients solve in the last part of your content funnel.
  • Add Positive Review: Most customers are looking for positive feedback on your products. If you have positive reviews from other customers, you should place this in content to generate more leads.
  • Offer Free Discount: Most of the customers look for a discount and offer. If you offer a discount on your products, your chances of conversion may increase. So try this strategy in your content.
  • Allow Free Trails: You also can allow free trials of your product or services. And customers are like to use free trials. If they are happy with these trails, they will purchase your products.
  • Use the CTA Button: CTA (call to action) is one of the vital parts of the bottom of the funnel. Because customers use the CTA button to start the conversion process. You should always use a CTA at the bottom of your content funnel.

At this point in BOFU, you need to be selfish towards your competitors and just write only a perfect sales copy for your products.

Conclusion

Creating a content marketing funnel is not easy. You need to work hard and spend many hours to produce an effective funnel.

You should remember that only 1-3% of customers move into the bottom of the funnel from the top of the funnel. So you have to focus on the content structure and work on each stage of content.

Besides, you also need to do market research, understand your audience, make content interactive, and focus on SEO optimization, and more. Most importantly, you have to test your content before publishing.

If you do the above things correctly, you will be able to create a content funnel with great ease.