Just about every business creates content of some form—product descriptions, sales decks, website copy, and that's just for starters. Whatever your industry, your business needs a documented content marketing plan to govern your content development.
How you build your plan is dependent on numerous factors—the size and structure of your company, your comfort level with content creation, and the degree to which you are invested in content marketing as a practice.
COVERING THE CORE ELEMENTS
In any scenario, here are seven core elements you will want to include in your documented plan:
A clear statement as to why you are doing content - what is the business purpose and how does it align to your commercial goals?
A summary of goals - what benchmarks will you put in place to measure your content marketing plan against?
A welter of content-driven ideas across all relevant formats for helping achieve your plan goals.
Specs for the content assets you intend to create as part of your strategy, including clear responsibility for who owns the asset's creation.
A timeframe for each asset and a clear process for measuring the progress of your plan.
A quality control process and agreed actions for the distribution and strategic promotion of the content.
A detailed inventory of existing content assets, together with information about who created the asset, when it was last updated, and whether it is due to be refreshed or considered for deletion as part of the new plan.
Not strategically planning for your content creation is a recipe for headache and missed opportunity. Content is complex, and needs discipline in its execution.
It takes time, hard work and high levels of collaboration to document thoroughly all aspects of your content marketing plan. But having a documented plan in place will give you something concrete to work against. Embrace the opportunity and dive in.