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Content plan: 11 steps to implement it in your company

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Content plan: 11 steps to implement it in your company

Any company that wants to improve its search engine positioning must work on its content Bosnia and Herzegovina Phone Number List. Creating a blog in a CMS, preparing articles optimized with the appropriate keywords and generating qualified visits that convert is a process that must be studied.

There are a series of steps to follow, but above all, a strategy and a content plan must be developed that is capable of attracting users who may be interested in the products and services offered by the company.

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Before starting to explain how to develop a content plan and why it is important to follow a strategy in this regard, it is convenient that you be clear about what content marketing is and why you have to work on it to manage a blog. I’ll tell you about it in this post!

list_altIndex of contents
Content marketing: what is it and why work on it?
How are content marketing and inbound marketing related?
Generate content for each of the phases of the purchase cycle
Steps to implement a content plan
Content marketing: what is it and why work on it?
The content Forex Email List focuses on creating content of interest to your target audience or buyer individual, customized and tailored to the specific needs of each of the phases of the buying cycle.

It is a fundamental part of any inbound marketing strategy, as well as of any company that wants to manage a blog on its website and get qualified traffic.

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How are content marketing and inbound marketing related?
As for the question of “why is it important to work on it”, we can mention several reasons.

While it is true that keyword research is essential to know what to talk about at all times and plan the content of our blog , there are many other aspects that we must consider, including:

Know the buyer person
Analyze your purchase cycle
On the one hand, it will be essential to develop one or more buyer persona profiles and know how the information we provide can satisfy their main problems and needs. It will be useless to create content that we believe will provide a lot of value when this content may not be solving the doubts or needs of our buyer persona. Therefore, understanding it and knowing it very well is a very important aspect.

On the other hand, we must develop the purchase cycle of our buyer persona. That is, this content that we want to position in search engines must be aligned with each of the phases of the purchase cycle through which our buyer persona passes, what we call the ” customer journey “.

When we develop a good content plan, we ensure that the visits that come to our website are of quality and, therefore, little by little we can increase their interest in our products and services thanks to the educational and informative content.

Although it is very common to use targeted content for the attraction phase , where the part of the conversion funnel is much broader and we can reach more people, we have to focus our online marketing strategies on generating content for all phases, as you say. I explain in the next section.

content plan inboundcycle purchase process

Generate content for each of the phases of the purchase cycle
The phases of the purchase cycle are closely related to the phases of the funnel (TOFU, MOFU and BOFU) that we see in the image:

content plan steps

This will help us to better understand what type of content we have to develop in order to meet the needs of our buyer persona in each of these phases:

Consciousness phase
At this stage the content should be much more generic. Away from commercial information, we will create articles, videos or infographics of a mainly informative and / or educational nature .

It should be borne in mind that in this phase the user is not looking for which brands can solve their need, especially because perhaps they still do not understand that need or what are the options to solve it. At this time, you just have a concern, an interest or a need to know more about a specific topic.

Later you will realize that this need must be solved in another way, but for the moment, we will not talk about our products because that could generate rejection in the user.

Investigation phase
In this phase, the user already knows their need, begins to look for information and options, introducing terms that are closer to the keywords of our products or services. However, we still should not talk about our brand or company, but about the solutions that exist to solve these possible problems of the buyer person.

Probably, these solutions that we provide you in the form of information are not always related to our products or services, but they will help us to capture the attention of the user and to take us as a reference within this matter.

The important thing is that the user trusts the content that we offer them in a disinterested way, and that is how they should perceive it. In other words, the user should not feel that we want to sell him something, but rather give him help that he will identify as useful, honest and truthful because we are specialized in that field of knowledge. In this way we avoid the rejection that we could still generate in these first phases of the purchase cycle.

Decision phase
At this stage the user already knows what solutions exist for their need, so they will enter a decision process. What to take into account to develop our content in this part?

Here we must begin to talk about what are the best options we can provide for your specific need.
We can develop deeper and more concrete content of the solutions, but we still do not talk about the brand.
Action phase
In the final phase , the user has already decided on one of the options and we need to get him to contact us. We can then work on branded content, which encourages commercial contact.

Steps to implement a content plan
Once you have analyzed what content marketing consists of and how it relates to inbound marketing, it is time to tackle the implementation of a content strategy.

Although I propose 11 basic steps to follow to implement a content plan, the truth is that you can adapt this process to the needs of your project.

1. Blog creation and design
First of all, we must decide which content manager we want to use to develop our blog. This decision will depend on the objectives and needs of our project, but also on the resources we have.

There are multiple options, but these are some of the most common:

WordPress.com: completely free, but with limitations.
WordPress.org: involves the cost of hiring hosting and domain, but offers more possibilities.
HubSpot: very intuitive and complete, although at a higher price.
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What content manager is better for our blog?
Between the free version of WordPress and the paid version, the truth is that we recommend the paid version because it has much less limitations and is quite affordable.

Now, between WordPress and HubSpot, HubSpot is definitely more convenient, not because it is the CMS with which we work, but because of the amount of functionalities it offers at all levels (for automation in inbound marketing, for web design and landing pages, to manage sales and customer service…). However, of course, the cost is higher.

When choosing the content manager we must weigh all the pros and cons, and assess the best option for our company. It is important to consider many aspects in addition to the price before deciding on one or the other platform. This free guide on the 7 most popular CMS on the market will help you in your choice, since in it you will find an assessment of each of the CMS and a very practical comparison.

2. Selection of the blog theme
Another step that we should not ignore is to work on the theme of the blog: what will the articles we publish talk about?

content plan thematic selection blog inboundcycle

To decide, we must take into account 3 fundamental elements:

The buyer persona
The theme that we address in the blog must be aligned with the interests of the buyer persona and with the problems that have led them to start their buying cycle. As you can see, we must always keep our target audience in mind.

SEO
It is necessary to take into account SEO and the ease of the subject to position itself well in search engines and, therefore, generate visits.

In this sense, although it is not a determining factor, when choosing the topics to work on in our content it is advisable to opt for those that have Internet searches. This will be a key piece of information that tells us that users have a high interest in these topics. In addition, it is also ideal to work on topics that have little competition, in this way we will make sure to reach the first positions in search engines more easily. But this is something we will talk about later.

Our brand and product
Although we have previously said that we must try to avoid creating commercial content (as they must be educational and related to the interest of the buyer persona), we must not forget what is the product or service that our company offers . The theme of the blog will have to maintain a relationship with the business so that, later, it is not so difficult to convince the user to finish making the purchase.

With this example you will understand this point much better:

If we have a company that is dedicated to commercializing motorcycle parts, it would not make sense to create a blog about animals (although this may be one of the interests of our buyer persona), because it is not related to our business and, therefore, we do not it will give the results we are looking for. We will then have to work on content on how to take care of a motorcycle, how to repair it, what parts we can use, etc.

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3. Preparation of the style guide
Developing a style guide when developing a content plan will help us preserve and take care of our brand identity.

In a style guide we will be able to mark the guidelines and writing standards that all those involved in the creation of content should consider, whether they are experts, writers, editors, etc. This document must be clear, concise, and up-to-date .

Some of the aspects that are included in a style guide are usually:

Explain who we are as a company , what our objective is and what we offer. This description, although it may seem basic to us, will be very useful to address different issues related to the business model and the sector to which it belongs.

Definition of the buyer person: to whom do we direct the content that we will write? Understanding the profile of this ideal type of customer will be essential to connect with them and attract them to the different phases of the buying cycle.

Define the content production process to be clear about who does what and in what time frames.

A checklist of the most relevant SEO aspects that should not be overlooked when writing blog posts: title, H1, H2 and / or H3 tags, anchor text, graphic content, etc.

The theme and approach of the blog : what are we talking about and from what approach? Explain it briefly and make it clear.

Tone and terminology: How do I address the reader? What kind of language will I use? Specify the way in which you want the content to be written, with a more formal or informal tone, with more specific or Anglo-Saxon terms, if you want to use a basic or deeper reading level, for example, using scientific content or specialized, etc.

4. Organization of the contents
Another important aspect in which it is worth investing time from the beginning is in the organization of content on the blog. It will be easier to do it when we have little content to do it once we have developed hundreds of articles.

Having a blog with well-organized content has its advantages:

It will make navigability more agile and enjoyable.
It will greatly improve the user experience.
It will reduce the abandonments of the web. The user will not think of leaving the blog because he will be able to find what he needs more easily.
So yes, it is important to organize the content, but how should we do it?

By categories and tags (tags): the categories allow to organize the contents by more general themes, while the tags break down these themes a little more in more specific aspects, but these are actually optional (if they are not worked well, they can become chaotic, generating duplications or not being understandable). If you choose to use both labels and categories, pay attention and create a well-defined criteria, especially for the former.
We can also opt for a pyramidal organization of content . Although this is somewhat more advanced, it will facilitate the positioning of blog content that starts from 0 and, in addition, it will be easier to start it if we are starting.
What is the pyramidal content organization?
The pyramidal organization consists of creating an article by category that is very relevant , that is very well worked, that provides a deep knowledge of the subject to the reader and that is very well optimized for search engines . This article will be a mainstay article.

They are also called ” cornerstone contents ” and their objective is to improve the online positioning of a post that works with a keyword with strong competition or that needs to work very well on our blog.

Once we have this pillar article, then we will create other secondary content related in different ways to the first one. Once this is done, we will work on the internal linking, pointing to the pillar article to increase the positioning possibilities of that content.

5. Generation of ideas
From the theme of the blog it is possible that some ideas have arisen, and this step can be approached at different times. If we approach it in this order, the next step will be easier for you, the search for keywords for content writing.

There are many sources of inspiration, but here are some of the ones we use the most at InboundCycle:

Sales team – always helpful! They are professionals who are always in direct contact with potential clients and know their information needs better than anyone.
Current clients, subscribers or followers of social networks.
Experts in different topics (specialized magazines, professionals, consultancies …).
Events, conferences, courses: they will help you delve into the main trends and interests of the sector.
Content aggregators.
6. Search for keywords for your content plan
This step, which we call “keyword research”, is essential for our content to generate visits. For this, each article must work a keyword with good metrics to position in search engines. At the same time, we can include secondary keywords that improve the positioning of the article.

To find these keywords there are many tools that we can use, but these are the most recommended:

Google Keyword Planner , to know search volumes.
Ubbersuggest or Google Suggest to extract more related keyword proposals.
MOZ to know the volumes of difficulty of positioning of those keywords.
Tips for a good keyword research in the content strategy
These are some indications that you should take into account in your keyword search process while working with the previous tools:

The monthly search volume is recommended to be greater than 90 and the difficulty is less than 20 . In this way, we will make sure that the positioning possibilities are greater, since we will opt for keywords that have a good volume of searches but at the same time are not very competitive.

A recurring mistake is opting for more general keywords looking only at search volume, but actually these keywords are likely to be highly competitive. Going back to the example of the motorcycle parts distributor, if we say to use the keyword “motorcycle” it is likely that we will never reach the first page (because it is too generic and will be very competitive). However, if we work with a more specific keyword, such as “how to repair my motorcycle at home”, it is likely that it will be less competitive, but the searches will be of higher quality.

We must assess whether with our content we are covering the user’s search intention , since Google will only position those content that match what the user is really looking for. By this we mean that, if we work on “how to repair my motorcycle at home”, the content should be about how to repair a motorcycle at home and not about where to buy motorcycle parts, for example.

7. Creation of an editorial calendar
The next step will be to create an editorial calendar , that is, a working document, which is generally an Excel, where it is specified what content will be published on the blog and when.

This document can also include the keyword for which we want to position each post, the author, the CTA that we are interested in including, the link to the draft of the article or to the finished article, etc.

What we must consider is that an editorial calendar will be key in our content plan, since:

It greatly facilitates and speeds up the management of all the contents for all the parties involved, favoring the coordination and planning of the contents.

It allows you to have full visibility of what has been published and what is about to be published on the blog.

It helps us to anticipate unforeseen events so that the rate of publication of articles on the blog does not slow down.

Also, keep in mind that consistency is very important to ensure the success of our content strategy.

Click here to download the template “Social media plan in 7 steps”
8. Content writing
When developing the articles, these are the basic points to follow:

Choose one of the ideas that we have generated previously.
Select the keyword most aligned with the theme, which has good metrics and allows us a good online positioning.
It defines the structure of the post , a kind of skeleton that will help us to be clear about everything we want to address: how long will it be? How many H2s or subtitles will we introduce? What other questions will we answer to attack the same search intention?
Complete the information in the post structure: personal knowledge, external sources, graphic resources that illustrate the information, videos or any other element that adds value.
Once we have followed all these steps, we will write the content respecting the content guide and good SEO practices .

On the other hand, it may be advisable to have expert and specialized writers in digital content writing (if the budget allows it). This will provide your company with a greater capacity to produce more content, at the same time that you will ensure that your content is well worked, both at the writing level and at the SEO level. However, it is sometimes difficult to find writers who specialize in digital content and also have knowledge of specific topics.

These are some of the most used models for the process of creating an article:

External Expert Scheme + Professional Writer Development
Team Member Scheme + Professional Writer Development
Proposal of idea + research and development of the professional writer
9. SEO and CRO optimization
When we already have an article of our content plan written, the next step will be to optimize it at the SEO level and direct it to conversion. How do we do it?

Follow this checklist to make sure that you comply with good SEO practices to position the content:

Make sure that the keyword used is relevant and meets a good average regarding volume and difficulty.

Optimize the SEO title and meta description : you must make sure that the initial information that the user is in the SERP before clicking is not incomplete and promotes CTR.

Include the main keyword.

Create a title that is attractive, but not misleading.

Check that both title and meta description are displayed correctly.

content plan steps title and meta description

Use secondary keywords or semantically related to the main one, since we can also try to position ourselves for them.

Avoid keyword stuffing , that is, the excessive and unnatural use of the keyword throughout the text.

Organize the post in headers following a correct structure, that is, titles and subtitles in H1, H2, H3 format …

Include the main keyword in any of the headers.

Use the keyword in the alt-text of the images and in the supplementary information . To do this, you must make sure that you give it a sufficiently explanatory name so that Google understands how it relates to the content.

Create original content. It will be useless to duplicate content from other blogs or websites, since it is a practice penalized by Google. This tool will help you detect plagiarism.

Make use of a good internal link by directing links to your own content, as well as external linking with other platforms.

How to optimize content for conversion?
There are many ways to work Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) , below I propose 3 ways to capture leads with your content:

Insert CTA (call to action) in different formats to direct to a specific landing page and encourage the user to download some valuable content that is aligned with their needs.

CRO CTA inboundcycle content plan

Offer this same downloadable content in a pop-up instead of a CTA.

CRO popup inboundcycle content plan

Another option is to include forms embedded in the content, for example, a blog subscription form. This will allow the user to skip a step to leave us their data and to do so directly without leaving the article they are reading.

CRO content plan embedded form inboundcycle

10. Layout and publication
When designing the content in the CMS to schedule or publish it, check the following aspects:

That the headers are well worked : as we have commented before, with the labels of H1, H2, H3 when appropriate.
That the paragraphs are not too long or dense to facilitate reading.
That in these same paragraphs there are different text formats such as bold, italic or bullet points, because this will also help to facilitate reading.
That the included graphic resources (images, videos, graphics, etc.) are located where they are mentioned, that they are of quality , that they add value to the user and that they have the appropriate size. We will try to avoid stock images where possible, as they do not usually add much value to the content.
We can also implement a widget that facilitates navigation through the content, especially if it is very long, including an index, for example.
11. Analysis of results in content marketing
The last step, but not least, is to check that our content strategy is working correctly. Otherwise, the work done so far will be meaningless.

It is advisable to carry out a frequent review : every week or every fifteen days monitor the results. This way you will be able to detect any fall in time, propose solutions, implement optimizations and new actions in an agile and efficient way.

Some of the relevant digital marketing KPIs to take into account in this analysis of results are:

Visits, records, MQL (Marketing Qualified Leads), SQL (Sales Qualified Leads) and sales generated in the organic channel, with the conversion percentages between each of them
Analyze the results of the organic channel for the blog: do not forget that the intention of our content is to position in search engines and generate organic results.
Keep track of the keywords worked, especially the strategic ones for the business and for which we are very interested in being positioned. Why do this keyword tracking too? Because if you only perform all the previous steps and then forget to monitor, you will not know if your work is working or if changes and improvements need to be applied.
Review all the points and keep in mind that organization and patience are essential characteristics for the Content Manager. Among all the detailed steps, remember to work well on the content planning and the generation of ideas for each phase of the buying cycle, prepare the editorial calendar with time, do not be afraid to waste time searching for keywords and optimize (again and again ) until a satisfactory result is obtained.

But, above all, always remember the audience you are addressing, as it is your main protagonist: your goal, your encouragement and the reason for being of each of your articles. You are to help them, not to sell them!

And so far all our tips to develop a content strategy in depth and in a useful way. Have they been useful to you? Share your impressions and doubts with me in the comments section!

 

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