If you’ve landed on this page, you’ve probably heard of content planning.
This post will give you an overview of different kinds of content planning by type, purpose and technique.
Let’s touch upon the basics of content marketing and types of text content as well. After all, getting a content plan is absolutely crucial if you want to maximize the performance of your website and turn it into a lead generation machine.
Dive right in?
Content marketing and types of content by purpose
Content marketing is, in general, the
process of getting traffic and converting it into customers using content published on your site and elsewhere.
We’re going to leave media content aside and focus on the good old text copy in this post.
All web copy text you create can be split into several large groups by purpose:
A) Selling content
That’s all your copy created to convert – service pages, sales pages, sales emails, product pages and so on.
This type of content describes your product or service and includes calls to action.
Your sales and depend on this content directly, so it’s pretty important.
B) Informational content
This type of content helps your prospective customers understand their needs and also understand that you sell the solution to their needs.
In a way, this is the market making content type.
Most of the tutorials, guides, “what is” and “how-to” blog posts fall into this category.
C) Traffic baiting content
To get your informational content in front of your customers, you often need to direct them to your site first.
That’s when you publish your “traffic bait” content.
Those are either SEO-optimized blog posts created to harvest organic traffic, or discussion blog posts with enticing titles crafted with the hope of going viral on social media.
Everything you publish on your site or blog normally falls into one of the above categories. There are other content types – e.g. support knowledgebase materials, branding content, PR content, and so on – but we will stick to the basics now.
Here’s how you perform content planning for selling, informative, and baiting content types.
Content planning for a website
Content planning is a foundation of your content marketing efforts.
You need to have at least an approximate idea on what you are going to publish, why, and what your expectations are for the next month or two.
1) Content planning for selling pages
This is the work on your website’s commercial pages.
Product pages, service pages, pricing pages, “about us” – basically anything that’s usually listed on your main menu.
The main part of the work here is to create your customer persona and make sure they copy resonates with that persona.
Having no customer persona in mind is one of the most common SEO blogging mistakes out there.
This is the basic work that makes sure your site is built to sell.
That is why as you plan and write copy for converting pages you focus on your customers’ needs and your product’s qualities that help solve those needs.
↠ Content planning for converting pages includes:
- customer persona research
- keyword research
- keyword to page mapping.
2) Content planning for informative blog posts
Once the backbone of your site is ready, you will need expand your content marketing efforts by blogging.
Unfortunately, most websites have a blog just for the sake of blogging, or because “everyone does”.
Such blogs are ineffective and they need content planning to become something useful.
Now, content planning for blogs is an ongoing process that has to be constantly tweaked and optimized.
The point of informational/educational blog posts is to cover the topic completely, making your blog the ultimate resource in your business niche.
↠ With content planning for blogs you need to with the following:
- keyword research data
- your own analytics and existing content performance
- competitors’ blogs
- search and market trends
- much, much more.
Your blog posts are basically your combat units that you send out there to probe enemy lines for traffic.
⇒ We’re offering content plan creation services and they are mostly focused on content planning for blogs. This is the most demanding kind of content planning as it includes both technical and creative parts ⇐
3) Content planning for traffic baiting blog posts
This is where creativity has to go to 11. If you plan to harvest traffic, you need to sow the right seeds in the right places, at the right times.
You can craft posts to harvest traffic in two ways:
- Keyword research using third-party tools and Google Search Console analytics data. Find a list of lucrative long-tail keywords and incorporate them into concise & informative posts.
- Trend research and “news hijacking”. Produce short and slightly controversial content on trending topics and share it on social media.
Very often you need to release baiting content fast & without much prior planning – as a reaction to news or events.
That is why each content plan needs to have some flexibility to it.
When an opportunity arises, you need to be able to take advantage of it.
Types of content planning by intent and expectations
Is all content the same in terms of reader intent, urgency and posting order? Yeah, no.
Here’s a couple of ideas to segment your content
Some of the content just has to be published seasonally.
Holidays, sales, events in your niche – all that requires you to have a very predictable backbone of content scheduled.
Plan out all seasonal content for the whole year in advance.
News-related & scheduled releases
If your website follows certain news cycles you have a clear idea what you will be publishing at what time.
Industry releases, events, – everything that has an expected release date needs to be on your content plan.
The content that targets specific keyword opportunities and covers gaps in your site’s semantics makes up for another huge group.
Posts like these usually do not depend on publication time (they are, in other words, evergreen) and you can spread them evenly while working on your content planning.
Content planning for website: a recap
While planning out your text content, remember to drill down to the essence of things and segment your content as much as possible. Let’s go over the main steps of content planning for sites and blogs.
Determine your buyer persona and make sure your converting content resonates with it
Run keyword research, identify your content gaps.
Map search queries with buyer intent to your commercial pages, spread the rest over your blog’s content plan
Inspect analytics data and find lucrative search phrase opportunities in Google Search Console
Inspect trends, social media discussions, scrape and study Google search results, run competitor websites through SEO tools and content analyzers.
Put together your content plan for 2-3 months
Re-evaluate, rinse, repeat.
Is this how you are planning content for your site? Let us know in the comments!