You know you need a plan and strategy if you want to succeed as much as possible with content marketing. In fact, your boss expects to see a copy of your team’s plan so that they can evaluate whether it will be worth the upfront cost, and to verify that you have some actual way of carrying out content marketing. The tricky thing is, you’re not sure what to include in your plan, or how to go about creating one. Taking a look at some content marketing plan examples and templates can help you get an idea of how to put together your own.
5 Content Marketing Plan Examples
Basic Content Marketing Plan Examples
A content marketing plan should provide you with a map or step-by-step guide for implementing content marketing at your company. While a content marketing strategy outlines what your goals are, who your audience is, and so on, a plan covers the execution of content marketing so that you can reach your goals and connect with your audience.
Ideally, a content marketing plan will include:
- An executive summary
- A review of objectives/goals
- A description of the audience(s)
- Your brand’s message, or what it’s trying to say
- A description of your team and their responsibilities
- An editorial calendar with a schedule for content creation and distribution
- A plan for content promotion
Now that you know what a content marketing plan should include, let’s take a look at a few content marketing plan examples. These examples range from simple templates (to help you “fill in the blanks” and get started) to actual marketing plans produced by brands and organizations.
Content Marketing Institute’s One-Page Content Marketing Plan Examples
Sometimes, the simplest option is the best option. The Content Marketing Institute has put together the layout for a one-page marketing plan that will help your brand assemble its first content marketing plan. They stress the importance of sticking to just a single sheet of letter-sized paper. Otherwise, it’s possible to go too in-depth and get bogged down in the details.
According to the Content Marketing Institute’s one-page plan, here’s what you should include:
- List of goals (a measurement of your company’s objectives)
- List of objectives
- Strategy for content (what will the content do)
- Metrics (how you’ll measure and what you’ll pay attention to)
- Audience/buyer personas
- Topic ideas and length suggestions/type of content ideas
- Call to action (how will you get people to act?)
Buffer’s Content Marketing Plan Examples
While the Content Marketing Institute’s plan takes a less-is-more approach to getting the content marketing ball rolling, Buffer’s strategy template takes a more-is-more approach. The template isn’t just a template. Instead, it’s a full on how-to guide to putting together a comprehensive strategy and plan.
The Buffer Content Marketing Plan template includes:
- An executive summary
- Content marketing goals
- Audience personas (full and detailed, versus the CMI’s snapshot versions)
- Connect your brand’s solutions to the audience needs (i.e., how do you solve their problems?)
- Research on competitors (what content are your competitors producing, and what other sources of content are out there?)
- Content you already own (include keyword research, social media content, email content, as well as website and other online content)
- Analysis of current content
- New content ideas/topics
- Who can create the content (analysis of your team, whether you need to hire more or outsource some work)
- Editorial calendar
- Schedule for content promotion
Cengage’s Content Marketing Plan Examples
Cengage has produced a sample marketing plan for a small software company. Although the sample plan covers marketing in general, you can easily adapt it for use with content marketing specifically.
The plan includes a relatively brief executive summary, which identifies who the company or brand is, then highlights the aims and topics of the plan overall.
One thing that is particularly useful about the marketing plan is that it includes a SWOT analysis, examining the company’s current overall strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. It also provides a description of what each component of a SWOT analysis means, and how they influence a marketing plan or strategy.
To adapt the sample plan for content marketing, you could adjust the marketing mix section to focus specifically on existing content, and your methods of distributing and promoting it. In the marketing implementation section, you can focus on the type of content your brand will create, and identify who will create it. That section of the sample is an ideal location for an editorial calendar.
Whether you decide to put together a single-page content marketing plan or an in-depth, detailed plan, the important thing is to have a plan in place. If anything starts to go off track or you’re not sure what the next steps to take might be, you can refer to the plan to help you get back on track.