13+ Tips for Content Planning like a Pro

Why Content Planning is Crucial to Social Media Marketing

December 7, 2022

Good content doesn’t happen overnight. Good content is the culmination of ideation, production, and careful planning. Without deliberate content planning, even the best content can fall flat, flushing all your hard work down the drain. Here’s how to maximize the impact of your stellar content with strong content planning.

Why Content Calendars?

In general, getting organized is beneficial for all parties involved. Knowing how many contents will be uploaded each month will give the marketing agency a good idea of what the feed will look like, even before the month begins. This is important not only for the agency, but also for the client to know.

With the constant distractions of the digital era, social media is a tool to stay relevant with your audience. Posting regularly is key to staying front and center in your audience’s mind. More specifically, regularly posted content is important for a slew of good reasons including educating your audience and increasing conversion rates. With the help of your content calendar, you can make sure that your flow of content is constant.

A clear plan gives your ideas a chance to shine. By considering the concepts, channels, local events and holidays, you can craft a more thoughtful calendar and impact your audience in a bigger way. Here’s how to get started:

  • The Brand: Begin by reflecting on your brand. Align on your messaging, your product or service, and the target audience. Grounding yourself in a clear understanding of your brand leads to content that communicates the right idea to your consumers. 
  • Content Pillars: Before you begin ideating or creating content, you’ll need to decide what type of content you’re looking to produce. By identifying these pillars ahead of time, you can make sure that your content is focused, organized, and strategically placed in your social media channels. The types of content you produce of course depends on the type of company you are, but you should plan out the general categories of content you want to produce. These pillars might include user-generated, product, photo, and branded content. You can kick off your content planning strong with clear content pillars.
  • Channel Strategy: Always consider the platform. Not only will you need to consider the type of content (blog, photo, graphic, video, etc.) on each social media channel (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), but also the audiences you will reach and the way you’ll reach them. Be mindful of the frequency of posting too, understanding that the optimal frequency can differ from one channel to another. 
  • Local Holidays and Events: When content planning for the month, you should also be mindful of any special holidays or events. Content ideas are all around you, so take note of interesting content or trends you’ve noticed. Posting content at a time that is relevant for your audience boosts the likelihood that it will resonate, making it more effective. Can you weave in National Donut Day or Self-Care Day into your marketing plan? Always be on the lookout for opportunities to boost relevance.
  • Scheduling Content: You may need several drafts of your content calendar as schedules change, shift, and move around. Considering the content pillars you want to produce, you will want to create a schedule that creates a good mix. For example, you wouldn’t want a row of user-created content on your Instagram feed  if your mix includes 3 other categories. Using a tool like Figma will help you sketch out your content calendar alongside the content being produced, easily collaborating with your team to do so. It’s also helpful to mock up different versions of your social media feed to see what content will look like once it’s uploaded.

Once your creatives are produced, uploading content requires more planning and organization. Using a social media management tool like Later, Sprout Social, or Hootsuite,  you will schedule your content to be uploaded according to the calendar you drafted. You’ll want to consider the times and days that are best for posting, paying special attention to time differences when managing global accounts. There are many free resources online to make sure timelines don’t get neglected. Use them to stay organized.

Whatever your role is, content planning is a task best achieved through teamwork and constant learning. Having some knowledge of basic design can help deliver more detailed explanations of your concepts to the designers on your team. It also helps to have a basic understanding of performance marketing as knowing the numbers can help plan out the content that achieves your desired results. Pigeonholing prevents the kind of impactful progress that only comes with collaboration and the constant will to learn. 

Because communication is so central to creating good content, it’s important to understand where communication breakdowns may happen. Both client and agency should have a clear understanding of the content plan and the rationale behind it. Being able to communicate effectively throughout content planning helps to achieve the desired results.

Communication between many parties can be challenging in and of itself, but communicating globally with influencers can present even more difficulties. First off, you must keep in mind that the process might take longer than expected given the difference in time zones. As expected, cultural differences will play a role as well. Understanding the culture and language of the target country is helpful not only for communication, but for planning culturally appropriate content.

While it’s important to have a plan, keep in mind that flexibility is crucial. Things can (and probably will) shift throughout the month. Situations may come up and things may go wrong, but having a calendar gives you a good blueprint from which to start.

Content planning is a crucial, unskippable step to putting out great content. Start by keeping a finger on the pulse of news, trends, and events, constantly giving your company the chance to succeed in social media marketing. When these great ideas are planned out strategically, you are giving your content every opportunity to shine and capture the attention of your audience.

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