9 Proven Strategies for Creating a Powerful Content Plan in WordPress

Creating a Winning WordPress Content Strategy: Expert Tips for Engaging Blog Posts and Pages

Strategies for Creating a Powerful Content Plan in WordPress, Struggling to map out your blog or business website’s content? Your WordPress site holds immense potential, but many owners fail to harness it by overlooking strategic content creation.

The right content not only draws in the right audience but also addresses their queries and offers valuable insights, fostering a community around your offerings. Here are my expert tips for crafting an impactful content plan within WordPress.

Whether you’re a novice in content marketing or a seasoned pro, it’s always beneficial to reassess your strategy. Here’s a guide to revitalizing your approach and infusing it with fresh, engaging ideas for the upcoming year.

In this post, we’ll delve into the essence of content strategy, the necessity of a robust content marketing plan for your business, and the actionable steps to craft your strategy. Additionally, we’ll showcase effective content marketing strategies to spark inspiration.

Regardless of whether you’re a small business owner, freelancer, or developer, establishing a solid WordPress content strategy is paramount for online presence, audience engagement, and achieving your marketing objectives. But where do you start? This article offers practical tips and actionable steps to help you develop a compelling WordPress content strategy aligned with your business goals, audience preferences, and online visibility objectives. Let’s dive in!

What is Content Strategy?

A content strategy involves the planning, creation, publication, management, and governance of content. A well-crafted content strategy attracts and engages a target audience, fulfilling their needs while driving business goals.

For instance, if your business goal is to increase brand awareness, your content strategy might focus on SEO to boost your website’s visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs) and drive traffic to your products or services.

Some new business owners might think a content strategy is a luxury rather than a necessity early on. However, creating high-quality content is crucial for building trust with new audiences and ensuring long-term success.

In essence, a solid content strategy forms the foundation of the Attract and Delight stages in the buyer’s journey, adhering to the inbound marketing framework. Beyond attracting prospects, a content strategy can also support sales enablement and enhance customer satisfaction.

Moreover, with 70% of marketers actively investing in content marketing, developing a robust content strategy is essential to stay competitive in your industry.

Why Marketers Need a Content Marketing Strategy

A few years ago, I worked as a content writer for a newly launched literary company. Despite numerous pre-launch meetings, the founder and CEO didn’t see the necessity of a content marketing strategy for the website’s launch.

Three months post-launch, the CEO convened another meeting, frustrated by the lackluster performance. Both the website and social media profiles were generating minimal organic traffic, and paid ads were failing to convert.

I proposed that we develop a content strategy plan for the upcoming quarter. We did, and by the end of Q2, we saw a significant increase in traffic and conversions from both the website and social media profiles.

Regardless of the company or industry, a content marketing strategy is crucial for the success of your digital marketing efforts. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Attracts and Engages Your Target Audience
  2. Enhances Brand Awareness
  3. Builds Trust and Credibility
  4. Drives Traffic and Conversions
  5. Supports SEO Efforts
  6. Facilitates Sales Enablement
  7. Improves Customer Satisfaction
  8. Provides Measurable Results
  9. Ensures Consistent Messaging
  10. Stays Competitive in the Industry

By implementing a well-structured content marketing strategy, you can achieve your business goals and establish a strong online presence.

1. Optimizes Resources

A comprehensive content marketing strategy allows you to allocate resources—time, budget, and manpower—more efficiently. By knowing the type of content you need and the platforms for distribution, you can focus your efforts and budget on activities that provide the best return on investment (ROI).

2. Improves Online Visibility

A well-executed content marketing strategy enhances a brand’s visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). High-quality, optimized content is favored by search engines, leading to higher rankings and increased organic traffic. By targeting specific keywords and topics relevant to your audience, you can attract more qualified leads to your website.

3. Builds Brand Authority and Trust

Consistently producing high-quality, relevant, and valuable content establishes your business as a thought leader in its industry. This authority fosters trust with your audience, which is crucial for long-term relationships and customer loyalty. A content marketing strategy ensures that your content not only attracts attention but also provides value, encouraging your audience to return and engage with your brand further.

4. Importance of a Content Marketing Strategy for Aligning Your Team on Goals and Objectives

A content marketing strategy ensures that everyone on the marketing team understands the business’s overarching goals and specific objectives. When content creators, social media managers, writers, and other team members are aligned on goals such as brand awareness, lead generation, or customer engagement, they can produce content that consistently supports these aims. This alignment increases the likelihood of achieving tangible results.

Digital marketing expert Carl Broadbent emphasizes the value of content marketing strategies for the alignment they bring. “After years of publishing blogs, ebooks, and videos, I’ve learned that a strong content strategy acts like a guiding compass. It points you towards topics and formats aligned with business goals, so you’re not just cranking out content for content’s sake,” Broadbent says.

Broadbent also acknowledges that teams will inevitably make mistakes. He recalls, “I’ve made that mistake! Last year, we invested heavily in podcasts, thinking it would attract our target buyers. Turns out our audience preferred snappy infographics. Our podcast push fizzled out fast without the right strategy in place.”

By having a clear content marketing strategy, your team can avoid such pitfalls and focus on creating content that truly resonates with your audience and meets your business objectives.

5. Importance of a Content Marketing Strategy: Guiding Content Creation and Distribution

A content marketing strategy serves as a roadmap, guiding you from where you are to where you want to be. Ayomide Joseph, a freelance content marketer for SaaS companies like Aura, Nextiva, and Trengo, explains the purpose of a content marketing strategy: “The concept of ‘strategy’ in content marketing is simply to give you a roadmap that’ll guide you from where you are to where you want to be.”

For instance, if your goal is to drive more inbound leads, creating bottom-of-the-funnel content is essential. “A content marketing strategy answers the questions, ‘How do you go about it? What’s the keyword you’re going to target, search volume, difficulty — and what distribution approach will you utilize?’” Joseph says. “If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, you’ll be working blind.”

A content marketing strategy involves planning the type of content to create, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and podcasts. It also includes determining the most effective distribution channels, whether social media platforms, email marketing, or the company’s website.

This strategic planning ensures that content is consistent, timely, and relevant to the audience’s interests and needs, fostering brand loyalty and advocacy.

How to Create a Content Strategy Framework

  1. Define Your Goal
  2. Conduct Persona Research
  3. Run a Content Audit
  4. Choose a Content Management System
  5. Determine the Type of Content You Want to Create
  6. Brainstorm Content Ideas
  7. Publish and Manage Your Content

Now, let’s dive into the specifics of creating a content marketing plan.

Curious how former HubSpot Senior Director of Global Growth, Aja Frost, put together their content strategy? Here it is.

Step 1: Define Your Goal

What’s your aim for developing a content marketing plan? Why do you want to produce content and create a content marketing plan?

These fundamental questions are the cornerstone of a successful content strategy.

Review Business Goals and Team Input: Examine your high-level business goals, meeting notes, and team insights. Conduct solo research to ensure your goals are sustainable and impactful.

Organize Goals by Priority: Rank your goals from most to least important. This prioritization will help you identify immediate needs versus long-term actions, and it will aid in resource allocation later in the process.

Use the SMART Framework: The SMART framework (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) can help you refine broad goals into specific, actionable objectives. By defining your goals upfront, you’ll streamline the planning process and enhance the effectiveness of your strategy.

Step 2: Conduct Persona Research

To create an effective content strategy, you must clearly define your target audience, also known as your buyer persona. This step is crucial, especially for those new to marketing. Understanding your audience allows you to produce relevant and valuable content that resonates with them and encourages conversions.

Collect and Analyze Data: If you haven’t already defined your personas, start by analyzing data to identify your target audience and their content preferences. Look at metrics like contact trends and demographics, grouping your leads by common traits. Then, examine these groups to find additional similarities.

Refine Buyer Personas: For experienced marketers, it’s important to reassess your target audience regularly. Ask yourself:

  • Do you want to target a new group of people or expand your current market?
  • Do you want to maintain the same target audience?

Conducting market research annually helps you refine your personas and grow your audience. Analyzing current customer segments can also provide insights to further hone your buyer personas.

Step 3: Run a Content Audit

Evaluate Existing Content: Many brands initially focus on blog posts or social media. If you want to explore different formats, conducting a content audit helps assess your top-performing and lowest-performing content.

Review Past Efforts: If your business has been active for a while, review your content marketing efforts and the results from the previous year.

Identify Gaps in Topics and Formats: While reviewing your content, record page titles, formats, word counts, and summaries. This helps you identify areas for improvement and gaps in your topics and formats.

Assess Content Quality and Relevance: Analyze the quality of your content and its relevance to your audience’s needs. Use this information to guide your future content direction.

Explore Repurposing Opportunities: Repurposing content can optimize your reach across multiple channels. For example, turn popular blog posts into YouTube videos, ebooks, or podcasts. Check out this post for more content-recycling ideas.

Create a Content Workflow: Evaluate your team’s content workflow. An effective workflow influences idea generation, publication quality, and overall content efficiency. Identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies that could impact your long-term content strategy.

Set New Goals: Use your content audit to identify what resonates with your audience, fill gaps in your topic clusters, and brainstorm new content ideas. Align your content goals with your organization’s objectives to ensure cohesive efforts across the board.

No matter your stage, a content audit will help you understand what works best for your audience, refine your content process, and set strategic goals for the upcoming year.

Step 4: Choose a Content Management System

Understand Content Management Essentials: Content management involves creation, publication, and analytics. Invest in a CMS to facilitate these tasks efficiently.

Identify Specific CMS Needs: Discuss current processes with your team to determine the key features required in a CMS. Research options based on your needs, considering factors like usability, customization, security, and cost-effectiveness.

Select the Right CMS: Options like HubSpot CMS offer comprehensive solutions for planning, producing, publishing, and measuring content. WordPress is another popular choice, complemented by the HubSpot WordPress plugin for additional features. Explore a comparison of various CMS options to find the best fit.

Implement a Content Governance Model: Establish a content governance model to manage content creation, publishing, and maintenance. This ensures alignment with business standards and policies, and facilitates processes for updating and removing outdated content as your content presence expands.

Step 5: Determine the Types of Content You Want to Create

Explore Content Options: From written content like ebooks and blog posts to audio content like podcasts, there’s a variety of content types to consider. Crafting a great content strategy requires a balance of decision-making, data analysis, and risk-taking, all of which are crucial in this step.

Review Personas and Goals: Different personas and goals may require different types of content. Assess your end goals and the desired actions for each persona. Then, select the appropriate content types that align with these goals and users.

Assess Resources: Evaluate your resources for content production. Consider factors such as team size, available time, existing skills, required training, outsourcing needs, and budget constraints. This critical analysis helps narrow down your focus and create a sustainable content strategy.

Choose Topics, Formats, and Channels: Using insights from your personas, select high-level topics to focus on. Then, based on audience preferences and topic choices, determine the most suitable content formats and distribution channels. Consider factors like team experience, competitive landscape, and audience engagement when making these decisions.

Make Informed Decisions: For example, if launching a video channel with limited experience, consider creating video shorts. However, if long-form videos or podcasts dominate rankings for your chosen topic, decide whether to stand out with a new format or seek assistance to create content that aligns with the competitive landscape.

Prepare for Detailed Planning: Once major decisions about your content strategy are made, dive into the specifics to bring your strategy to life.

Step 6: Optimize Your Content for Reach

Consider Evergreen and Timely Topics: While many of your content ideas may be evergreen, don’t overlook timely topics. Incorporating relevant and trending topics can help generate spikes in traffic. Utilize popular holidays as well as niche events that resonate with your audience.

Utilize SEO Tactics and Cross-Channel Promotion: Optimize your content for search engines and promote it across various channels. Develop channel-specific strategies, such as social media campaigns, to maximize reach and engagement.

Select Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Identify KPIs such as traffic, engagement, lead generation, and conversion rates to measure content success. Utilize resources specific to each channel to determine the most relevant KPIs.

Revise Content Strategy with Data Insights: Don’t just collect data—analyze it and incorporate insights into your content strategy. Review KPIs regularly, conduct marketing experiments, and adjust your strategy based on data-driven insights. Use data to justify resource allocation and experimentation with new content ideas.

Key Content Marketing Strategy Statistics

Here are some statistics highlighting the impact and trends of content marketing strategies:

  • 29% of marketers actively use content marketing.
  • 50% of marketers plan on increasing their investment in content marketing in 2024.
  • 15% of marketers find it challenging to generate traffic and leads for their business.
  • 17% of marketers say that short-form videos have generated strong results for their businesses.
  • 13% of marketers are incorporating voice search optimization (Alexa, Siri, etc.) into their marketing strategy.
  • 90% of social media marketers emphasize the importance of building an active online community for a successful social media strategy.

These statistics underscore the significance of content marketing in driving business growth and engagement across various channels.

What is Content Planning?

Content planning involves defining the content you intend to publish, determining when and where it will be published.

With an effective content plan, also known as a “content calendar” or “editorial calendar,” you can prioritize tasks, organize the creation process, and track progress.

Creating a content plan is a fundamental step in any content strategy, irrespective of the types of content (images, videos, blog posts) or distribution platforms (Instagram, YouTube, blog).

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to create your content plan.

Step 1: Build a Clear Content Strategy

Understand the Difference Between Strategy and Plan: A content strategy outlines your goals, target audience, distribution channels, and other vital elements guiding your content marketing efforts. A content plan, however, focuses on the execution of this strategy, detailing specific content pieces and their publication schedules.

Example Illustration: Consider owning an ecommerce website specializing in fitness products. A content strategy might specify publishing five videos per week, including workout tutorials and product reviews. In contrast, a content plan could detail publishing a YouTube video analyzing the best running shoes between $50 and $100 on Dec. 3. The strategy sets the guidelines shaping the content plan, emphasizing the precedence of strategy over planning.

Key Elements of a Solid Strategy: To develop a robust strategy, ensure you have:

  1. Measurable Goals: Define specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals tailored to your content marketing objectives.
  2. Understanding of Audience: Conduct thorough audience research to comprehend your customers’ preferences, interests, and behavior.
Setting Goals

Establish SMART Goals: Precise content marketing goals are essential for effective planning. Ensure your goals are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Examples include doubling organic blog traffic by updating five posts weekly to improve SEO or reducing churn by 5% through bi-monthly product-focused webinars.

Understanding Your Audience

Conduct Audience Research: Deep dive into your audience’s interests, preferred channels, and favored content formats to create content that resonates. Utilize tools like surveys, social media polls, and analytics platforms such as Google Analytics to gather valuable insights.

Pro tip: Leverage free buyer persona templates to organize audience information effectively.

Performing Audience Research

Engage with Customers: Initiate conversations with customers or followers to understand their content preferences. Utilize surveys through platforms like Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, or social media polls to gather feedback and insights.

Leverage Analytics: Leverage analytics tools such as Google Analytics and social media insights to glean demographic data and behavioral patterns of your audience. Utilize features like Google Signals for enhanced data collection and analysis.

By building a clear content strategy encompassing SMART goals and comprehensive audience understanding, you pave the way for effective content planning and execution.

Step 2: Create Your Template

Choosing Your Format: You can devise a content plan using a simple spreadsheet or opt for a more comprehensive approach by leveraging project management tools. While there’s no one-size-fits-all solution, certain key elements are essential for an effective content plan.

Key Elements to Include: For each content piece, ensure you include:

  1. Title
  2. Format: Specify the format, such as a 30-second video, blog article, ebook, etc.
  3. Person in Charge: Assign responsibility to team members accountable for content creation.
  4. Publication Date: Determine the date for publication, ensuring alignment with your content strategy timeline.
  5. Status: Track the progress of content creation, from ideation to publication.
Specific Requirements for Different Content Types

Tailor your content plan to meet the unique needs of each content type:

For Social Media: Include elements such as caption, image or video file, hashtags, link, date & time (including time zone), and tagged users. Adapt your plan to the requirements of each social media platform, incorporating features like video thumbnails for YouTube or product tagging for Instagram.

For a Blog: Incorporate details like title, article type (listicle, how-to, etc.), author, title tag, meta description, primary keyword, secondary keywords, and calls to action (CTAs).

For Podcasting: Outline title and topic, guest’s name, bio, and contact information, link to the script, date and time of recording, original audio file, and edited audio file.

By creating a comprehensive content plan template tailored to the specific requirements of each content type, you ensure efficient organization and execution of your content strategy.

Step 3: Find the Right Topics

Challenges in Topic Discovery: Discovering fresh and engaging topics, especially for social media managers tasked with frequent content publication, can be daunting. However, several tools can assist in this endeavor.

Leverage Semrush’s Topic Research Tool: Semrush’s Topic Research tool serves as an invaluable resource for generating content ideas. Suppose you operate a pet food delivery service and seek content inspiration. In that case, simply input a related topic, such as “best dog food for senior dogs,” into the tool and click “Get content ideas.”

Explore Related Topics and Subtopics: The tool generates a list of related topics and subtopics, along with search volume data, indicating user interest. By clicking on a topic, you can access a selection of top-ranking articles on Google, related searches, and questions, providing ample inspiration for content creation.

Utilizing Search Volume Data: The search volume data reflects user interest and can inform content creation across various formats, including blog articles, social media posts, ebooks, and podcasts. Understanding your audience’s preferences allows you to tailor content types to their preferences.

Implement Content Repurposing: Content repurposing involves transforming the same information into different formats to maximize its reach and engagement. For example, if users are interested in “kitchen decor trends,” you can create Instagram posts, TikTok videos, and blog articles, all centered around this topic.

Explore Keyword Ideas: Semrush offers various methods for discovering keyword ideas, such as analyzing competitor keywords through the Organic Research tool. Additionally, monitoring competitors’ social media profiles via Semrush’s Social Media Tracker unveils top-performing content pieces, serving as inspiration for your own posts.

By leveraging tools like Semrush and implementing content repurposing strategies, you can overcome the challenge of finding compelling topics and ensure a steady stream of engaging content for your audience.

Step 4: Assign Tasks and Set Deadlines

Organizing the Content Development Process: Assigning tasks and setting deadlines is crucial for streamlining the content development process, particularly in collaborative environments. This step enhances the efficiency and effectiveness of your content planning efforts.

Illustrative Example: Consider the scenario where you aim to create an Instagram video to announce a limited-time offer of free shipping for all purchases on your store. To ensure smooth execution, delineate tasks and associated deadlines as follows:

  1. Write Video Script and Instagram Caption
    • In Charge: Social Media Manager
    • Deadline: September 25
  2. Edit Video
    • In Charge: Video Editor
    • Deadline: September 27
  3. Activate Ecommerce Coupon
    • In Charge: Ecommerce Manager
    • Deadline: September 29
  4. Publish Reel
    • In Charge: Social Media Manager
    • Deadline: September 29

Proactive Deadline Setting: When setting deadlines, it’s prudent to allocate additional buffer days to accommodate any potential delays or unforeseen circumstances. This precaution is particularly vital when approvals are necessary before content publication. By incorporating buffer days, you mitigate the risk of missing deadlines and ensure timely content delivery.

By systematically assigning tasks and setting realistic deadlines, you enhance collaboration, accountability, and the overall efficiency of your content planning process.

Step 5: Schedule Content in Advance

Staying Organized and Proactive: Scheduling your content in advance is a smart practice to maintain organization and prevent last-minute challenges in content planning. This approach is particularly beneficial for time-sensitive content, such as social media posts or newsletters.

Platform-Specific Scheduling: Different content distribution channels offer built-in scheduling features to facilitate advance planning. Some platforms with scheduling capabilities include:

  • Facebook Business
  • Instagram Business
  • Pinterest Business
  • LinkedIn Company Pages
  • YouTube
  • WordPress
  • Anchor
  • Most email marketing tools like Mailchimp and Substack
Utilizing Social Media Poster

Semrush‘s Social Media Poster empowers you to schedule posts seamlessly across various platforms from a single dashboard. By connecting your social media profiles, you gain access to convenient scheduling functionalities.

  1. Connect Social Media Profiles
    • Begin by linking your social media profiles to the Social Media Poster tool.
  2. Create New Posts
    • Click on “New Post” to initiate the creation of a new scheduled post.
  3. Complete Post Information
    • Fill out the required details in the form provided, including content and scheduling preferences.
  4. Bulk Scheduling Option
    • For increased efficiency, leverage the bulk scheduling feature if you have a pre-existing content plan in a spreadsheet. Simply select “Bulk Scheduling” and upload your CSV file to expedite the scheduling process.

Proactive Tip: Ensure your scheduled content aligns with your overarching content strategy and audience preferences to maximize engagement and effectiveness. By proactively scheduling content, you maintain consistency and reliability in your content distribution efforts.

Step 6: Measure Content Performance

Continual Evaluation for Improvement: Content planning is an iterative process, demanding ongoing assessment and refinement to ensure optimal results. Evaluating performance metrics allows you to gauge the effectiveness of your content strategy and make informed adjustments.

Monitoring Overall Content Marketing Goals: Begin by monitoring progress toward your overarching content marketing goals. These objectives, integrated into your content strategy, serve as guiding benchmarks for your marketing endeavors. For instance, a goal could be to increase lead generation by 15% within three months.

Analyzing Content Performance Metrics: To ascertain the efficacy of individual content pieces, it’s crucial to analyze their performance metrics. This enables you to identify successful initiatives and areas requiring enhancement. Metrics vary across different content types, encompassing:

For Social Media Content:

  • Reach
  • Impressions
  • Engagement (likes, shares, comments)
  • Follower growth

For Blog Posts:

  • Page views
  • Average time on page
  • Bounce rate
  • Backlinks

For Podcasts:

  • Listeners
  • Downloads
  • Average listening time
  • Reviews

Tailoring Strategies Based on Insights: Armed with comprehensive performance data, you can tailor your content strategy to capitalize on successful tactics and rectify underperforming areas. By iteratively refining your approach based on insights gleaned from content metrics, you optimize the effectiveness and impact of your content marketing endeavors.

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FAQ’s for Creating a Powerful Content Plan in WordPress

Why is content planning important?

Content planning ensures that you have a structured approach to creating and distributing content, helping you prioritize tasks, maintain organization, and track progress effectively.

How do I set measurable content marketing goals?

Set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, and Time-bound. For example, aim to double organic traffic to your blog by updating five posts per week by a specific deadline.

How can I understand my target audience better?

Conduct audience research by reaching out to customers, analyzing data from tools like Google Analytics, and utilizing social media insights to identify their interests, preferences, and behaviors.

What are some essential elements to include in a content plan?

A content plan should include details such as title, content format, responsible person, publication date, and status for each content piece. Additional specifics may vary depending on the type of content and distribution channel.

How do I measure the success of my content?

Measure performance metrics tailored to each content type, such as reach, engagement, page views, or listener statistics. Use these insights to evaluate content effectiveness and refine your strategy for better results.

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