Have you seen how the communities of different companies are run? When one to several posts are published per day, and on different topics. Do you think they made and designed them at this very moment? Not a fact! All information for posts, including topics and content details, is usually gathered in advance.
In this article, I will tell, and here is a content plan, why it is needed and how it can be made.
What is a content plan
A content plan (CP) is simply a schedule of posts from two weeks to a month. It is usually compiled in the form of a table, where the site, date and time of placement are already registered. What kind of table it will be – electronic or, say, drawn on a blackboard – is up to you. The first option is convenient to send to superiors and other participating persons, and the second is more suitable for individual use and visibility.
Why is it needed?
And why conduct this same KP, what benefit does it bring? And here is this one:
- Organizes the marketing process: when, how much and how to publish content.
- It helps to navigate in choosing a topic, combine rubrics, choose a sequence, etc.
- Reminds you of important dates, such as holidays in your company, region, or country.
- It allows you to prepare the material in advance and not waste your already precious time on it later. The text or image can always be adjusted, refreshed, adjusted, etc.
Then, by the way, it will be easier to assess which section or topic is in demand in the audience or vice versa. With the same success, it is possible to analyze publications many times faster.
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Types of content for social networks
The content published in social networks can be divided into several types depending on its main goals:
- Engaging – the one that works to attract new subscribers and promotes the growth of the activity of those who are currently there. Such content people want or should (depending on the conditions) like, comment and repost, and those who are not subscribed should subscribe. This includes various raffles, contests, polls, games, discussions, etc.
- Seller or advertiser, which brings in leads and sales. This is the same post that reminds users that the company doesn’t run an account just because it’s selling something interesting. Discounts, promotions and special offers are included in this group. What is important is not to overdo it with them. Recommended frequency is 1 seller in 5 with any other topics.
- Useful – This is the one that solves a problem or gives useful information. These can be tips, life hacks, guides and instructions for the company’s products or services. It is also worth noting the lists with selections/digests, answers to frequently asked questions. What gives? Users often like, repost and bookmark such posts. Just keep in mind that the information should be really useful, necessary, relevant for your audience.
- Reputable – Increases the loyalty of the audience, confirms the expertise of the company or its employees. In addition, it allows you to demonstrate the advantages of the brand over competitors, to work out objections and negativity. This includes testimonials, news, interesting stories or photos of employees and satisfied customers.
- Entertaining, Like a reputable one, it increases loyalty and also evokes positive emotions in the audience. Here it is worth noting various stories, longreads, entertaining videos, memes or comics, and much more.
Often two of these types can be combined in one post, for example, entertaining and useful content is a selection of podcasts, music or other audio materials. Your task is to successfully combine these varieties in your account or community so that it both looks organic and is interesting to your audience.
And also – if you think that you have run out of topics for publications, you can organize a survey in the community or ask questions directly. So you find out what your audience is interested in and what they want to see within your community. And ideas can be drawn from comments or discussions, some even write directly with suggestions. And don’t forget about benchmarking!
What to choose from this
The first rule when choosing the main topics is to focus on the interests of the audience and your direction in principle. Based on who and how is interested in your products or services, you need to compile a list of topics and categories.
If the company maintains accounts on several social networks, then a content plan must be drawn up individually for each channel. At the same time, it is worth adapting the type of content of a particularly specific site. For example, in Telegram, people read more text, especially news. People go to VKontakte to listen to music, read articles and watch memes. Accordingly, the subject of the content is selected for these features.
How to make a content plan
Now let’s proceed directly to the compilation of KP for social networks. The main part where you will have to work is choosing topics and writing texts for posts. But before that, you should also do something:
- Set the optimal number of posts per day. It’s cool when they release several pieces every day. But if there is nothing to write about, because your direction is not as broad as, say, Aviasales, then one post a day is more than enough. The maximum is three per day, and if more often, then you will simply merge with the general flow.
- Determine the placement time. Try to publish posts 20-30 minutes before the peak of audience activity, so that they do not get lost in the flow.
- Highlight holidays, special events and other dates important to the company. Do not forget about the events in your field of activity, as well as about novelties and events (master classes, fairs, presentations, etc.).
- If you run several sites, try not to duplicate content. Try to choose different information: somewhere to post more videos, and somewhere – photos or articles. You can even have different headings so as not to be repeated. The only things that can be duplicated are promotions, discounts and special offers.
- Follow the sequence and ratio. 1 selling post for 4 or 5 other types is almost ideal. And you should not publish sales posts on weekends, because then users will react worse to them. The exception is long-term promotions or seasonal offers, such as Black Friday or New Year’s.
Another relevant issue is what is the period to draw up a content plan? At least for two weeks, maximum for a month. This will allow timely corrections if various events, news and other information appear. At the same time, you will not have to sweat every week over inventing a plan.
You can keep KP in a calendar, text file or table, the last option is the most convenient and practical. You can make a table offline or online, the second option is more often used, because it is easy to specify the link and share the file with others.
Accordingly, first of all it is necessary create a table. I recommend it in Yandex, Google or other online services. We add new sheets or new files to each site.
Next is come up with topics and rubrics. Here you can rely on what you have already published before, news on the topic, as well as content from competitors. You can notice them in different colors so as not to get confused.
If you wish, you can prepare texts for posts in advance. It is more convenient to create accompanying videos, photos or illustrations in advance. And if you wish, you can attach links to attachments or texts so that everything looks neat.
So, the plan is made and you can start publishing. Do not forget to monitor the statistics to check the demand of a particular topic, as well as the activity of users in general. Well, place posts in the peaks of this same activity to achieve a better response.
What a content plan looks like
If you do not know what a content plan for social networks looks like, look at examples on the Internet, there are many different options. There is no single standard, so you can be inspired and do something based purely on your imagination. The main thing is that it is convenient for you to work with it later. I will only give a few examples from myself, and then I will list several useful services for registration.
When we maintained accounts of our institute’s communities, we used the template below. We didn’t have a lot of rubrics at that time, because there weren’t always enough info drives with events, we had to improvise. Here we indicated only the topics of the publications, the texts were composed on the go, and, based on experience, I will say that this is not the most comfortable work format.
There are also templates in Excel, and there you can find an example of CP for social networks. It looks a bit more complicated and involves linking links and images in the table. In general, see for yourself, this is only one of the options.
The best services for creating a content plan
There are also many online services that allow you to design a content plan beautifully and neatly. And here are some of them:
- Google or Yandex documents. I already spoke about them a little above. A simple and free option, at the same time, you can visually design it at your own discretion. A convenient tool if several people develop CP.
- Calendar. And again, you can resort to the solutions of Google or Yandex. It’s convenient that you simply select the appropriate date and time, and there you already attach the text and link. If necessary, you can even set a reminder so you don’t forget. You can share your calendar for collaboration. And so that it does not overlap with your personal affairs, just create another calendar.
- Trello. This platform is more used for setting up and tracking tasks. At the same time, it can be used to create a content plan. There are a bunch of useful tools inside, like assigning deadlines and responsible or attaching links and attachments. It will look something like the image below. Works both free, but with limited functionality, and paid.
- Miro. Something in the same category as Trello, but with much more options. In addition to task planning, there you can keep diagrams, flowcharts, online boards, and so on. It will also be suitable for creating and maintaining a CP. There is also access here with a paid subscription with extended functionality, and for free.
- SMMplanner. A popular online service in which you can not only make a schedule of publications, but also plan their placement on a specific date and time. You can use it for free, but there will be quite strict limits on the account. For a business, investing in a subscription will be well worth it.
- Amplifier. Also a service for automatic posting in social networks. It is very convenient and visual, to assign a publication for a certain period, you only need to enter the necessary data, attach an attachment and choose a site. You can use it for free for 7 days, then you will have to pay, and a lot.
- SmmBox. The same service as the previous two, except that the functionality is wider. There is a photo editor, image protection with watermarks, link shortening, and timed deletion. The service is even connected to AliExpress through a referral program. It also costs a little cheaper, and there is also free access.
Remember, the main mission of the content plan is to make the task easier. If, on the contrary, it becomes more difficult, it is better to review the approach or choose another site. And don’t forget about the goals for which you maintain social media communities and accounts.