5 business benefits of having a content plan
When there are hundreds of things to do, making time for planning can seem impossible and difficult to justify. However, when you plan it really does bring long-term benefits. A few hours now could make a real difference to your business in 2023.
Let me paint you a picture of a prosperous and exciting future, thanks to life with a content plan!
When you have a content plan, your marketing will:
1 Help you reach your business and sales goals
Many business owners will plan their year…will set goals. However, not many sit down and work out how this should directly influence their marketing and the content created to make this effective and bring their goals to fruition…but they should go side-by-side. This is being strategic!
Consider your different marketing tactics and types of content in light of your goals and align what you plan to do in your marketing with the steps you need to take to achieve your goals and sales targets.
For example, if you have set a goal of selling X number of a products in Q1, putting up a social media post once in a while to advertise it is not going to get you there. However, having a plan in place to attract and engage with the right audience and ideal buyers of that product, followed by ways to nurture those who are interested, as well as having content that directly sells to those who are willing to buy, will have more of an impact overall.
2. Be more consistent, engaging and effective
When you try to wing it, it is likely that you have peaks and trough of content creation and marketing activity. Now, I am all for batch creating content, but the scheduling, publishing and sharing of it should be consistent.
Consistency is key to visibility and familiarity, which should lead to more engagement and warm leads.
If you are inconsistent or sporadic, your audience can soon become ‘uneasy’. So, keep them interested and give them a reason to continue to follow, as well as to buy from you.
In terms of keeping your audience interested, a plan can also help you to come up with a number of ideas so that you can offer varied and interesting content month-on-month, rather than reverting to the same thing again and again, which can quickly get boring to an audience with an ever-diminishing attention span
3. Will take up less headspace
I know you think making time for a plan (and perhaps a bit of reflection on last year’s marketing and content) is something you can’t afford to do right now…but be honest…how much headspace has coming up with marketing ideas taken up for you this year, without a plan?
When you have a plan, you only have to do the ‘big thinking’ once. You know what you want to achieve and what is going to help you get there.
4. Be quicker to outsource
Talking of time and headspace, do you dream about outsourcing your marketing or elements of it? It will be so much easier to do if you have an overall plan. Why?
- A) you will know how much marketing or content you need, which enables you to get more accurate quotes
- B) you can clearly explain what you are trying to achieve, which makes it easier to keep who you are outsourcing to accountable with their progress and how well the marketing activity is helping you reach your goals.
- C) any marketeer will love you (!), because they will see that you are clear about what you want and what is expected, which makes you a great client to work with – they will want to help you to achieve everything in your plan (or their specialism, at the very least), alongside the goals you are trying to achieve with it.
5. Be easier to analyse and improve
A plan helps you to know exactly what you need to do when. It helps you to assess whether you are trying to commit to too much (i.e. you don’t manage to achieve most of what you planned) or whether you are not planning enough (i.e. your marketing activity is not having the effect or helping you to reach your goals, as you wished). It’s ok not to get your marketing “right” all of the time but without a plan you have nothing to compare with.
A plan can act like a forecast. It’s a statement of what you are aiming to do, by when and for when. You can then measure your success by it. After following the plan, you can ask:
- Did you do what you planned?
- Was it effective?
- Did you digress from your initial plans as the year progressed? Why?
- What can you learn for next year?
- What can you reuse and repurpose?
These are all excellent questions to ask in business and, specifically, for improving your marketing.
Back up your plan with a strategy
I mentioned business goals at the beginning, after setting those, the next step, before a plan, is ideally a strategy.
Learn more about the difference between a content strategy and a plan here:
When you have a clear strategic view which underpins your marketing and content – which only needs to be done once and reviewed, you can make your annual plan much easier as you’ll be confident about who you are marketing to and with what ‘tools’ or types of content. It leaves you the space to create the plan around the fun bits….making great content on topics that will be interesting and entertaining…and again helps you achieve your business goals.
If you are local to Basingstoke, join me at Worting House on Tuesday 31st January 2023 on my Content Strategy and Planning Day.
For more support with planning and a quarterly check-in, join The Content Club. We have a membership full of planning resources and templates, as well as a monthly Content Clinic and *new* quarterly planning co-working sessions.