How many things have you got on your to do list right now for your business? And now add in everything for the rest of your life (family, home, car etc..)?
So when I say it is really important to make time for your content planning I understand why you want to tell me to get lost (or something stronger *@*!). But having a content plan is key to your online marketing success and below are 3 reasons why.
Let me explain what I mean by Content Plan as it means different things to different people. My explanation may not exactly fit the text book definition (but then it does depend which book you’re reading).
When I talk about having a Content Plan this could be one or a few documents that support your content planning process; this is the ongoing process that supports your Content Strategy.
My content planning process includes:
- Generating content ideas based on your Content Pillars
- Setting out your Content Pattern – setting some routine or pattern to your content, with regular & repeatable items
- Planning out your content calendar – what content you want to share where and when
- Reviewing your performance – checking your analytics and looking at what is (& isn’t) working
So it’s not just about having a calendar (although this is the fundamental step), there are other aspects involved which all combined together makes the time you invest in doing it really worthwhile.
Here’s 3 reasons why you should be content planning…
#1 Your Content Helps Drive Your Sales
If you’re using social media for your business, your ultimate reason for being there is to generate leads and sales.
And your content is there to help achieve that aim.
You are already planning your sales activity; when you’re going to have sale, when your next new service or product will launch, etc. So your content should be planned along with this to help drive the sale.
For example, let’s say you’re a photographer.
You have a new newborn shoot offer launching in 2 weeks time. To help attract the right client to this offer, you could plan content that focuses specifically on your newborn photography services, eg: tips for getting the best out of your shoot, examples of previous work and client testimonials from previous newborn shoots. Warming your audience up so when your offer launches they’re ready to buy.
Your content planning shouldn’t be an afterthought to your sales plans; it should be a critical part.
#2 Build long lasting connection with your audience
Your content is how you connect with your audience online; it’s what will initially attract them to you and keep them interested. But having no consistency around what & when you are posting may lead to confusion, or posting too much of the same thing can lead to boredom; either way they’re likely to end the connection (unfollow, unsubscribe, etc.)
Having a content plan that’s based on defined content pillars helps you to deliver consistent content that will inspire, educate and/or entertain your audience and continue to build & maintain that connection. This ultimately increases your engagement and generates leads & sales.
#3 Saves You Time (& Stress)
I know it seems like a big job, and just another thing you need to add on to that endless list of to do’s. But how often do you think about what to post?
How much time do you spend scrolling through your phone looking for the right image to use for a post, or reading back over past blogs / articles for a nugget of inspiration because you think you should be sharing something?
How much time are you wasting thinking about, worrying about, what to post next?
Imagine releasing this mental load, and the time wasted, just by spending some focussed time each month on your content plan. It will save you time in the long run.
You will learn what works well (& what doesn’t) so you can focus your efforts on the right sort of content.
You will have a continuous list of content ideas so you don’t need to go scrabbling at the last minute for something.
You will set out a pattern to your content so you know when you next need to share a customer review, or a reminder about what you sell.
I hope these reasons have convinced you to give your content planning some focus; I recommend reserving some regular time every month to do your planning; you can even start creating your content at the same time if you really want or leave that to another time.
If you need help with your content planning, check out my Content Planner download. With templates for your content brainstorm, content pattern & analytics plus a monthly sheet for each month from January to June 2022 packed with awareness dates and daily content prompts. Get it here.