In Part 1 of our planning series we looked at how to create an annual content cadence that supports your overall business goals. Once that’s in place, it’s time to bang out the weekly content plan that your team can implement during the year. I’m currently teaching webinar on content strategy for MarketingProfs University, and here’s a little sneak preview of what that covers.
I use a simple Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet to set up my annual content plan, and I’ll break it down for you here. First, let’s look at the spreadsheet outline:
Let’s start with the Y axis, on the left. I like to divide my plan into eight-week chunks, with each week highlighting a piece of core content. For example, our annual cadence for this plan is divided into quarters, so this is Q2, divided by week.
For the X axis, along the top, I divide it into channels. Each channel has its own business goals, and we want to goal-set and measure that as fully as possible.
In this sample plan, our core research is focused on “millennial online shopping habits.” This could of course include any content you want to create, via any channel.
Now we fill in the details:
Here I’ve filled in the weekly plan with a mix of proposed blog topics, web content, newsletters and other publishing outlets that all tie back to the core content. So in Week 3 for example, we are featuring a client white paper - this company partnered with their own clients to create content for them.
We would upload the white paper to our web site and put it behind a pay wall to capture sales lead information. Then we would create a blog post that mentions the brand profiled in the white paper, and links to our web site for the full story; and finally we would publish the blog or maybe a chart or graph from the white paper to LinkedIn. We would also tag the brand wherever possible, while their marketing team also shares the link and tags us.
It’s a simple plan, but one that will save your team a lot of time and headache, and can be built upon during the coming year. Spend a little time up front mapping out a strategy that the entire team can support.