A content plan helps you figure out what you want to say and when and how to say it.
Keep Your Content Plan Fresh
There are lots of reasons to plan out your content whether for a zine, website or series of e-newsletters – you want fresh content regularly, you have a lot to say and don’t want to miss anything, you don’t want to repeat yourself, you just like making lists, you don’t want to repeat yourself. But the very best reason to make a content plan is to ensure that you say one important thing at a time and say in a way that will be interesting to a reader. Some of the best marketing advice I ever got was from writer and workshop facilitator Susan Reifer who told me to be as specific as possible and to always wrap my message in a story.
This what you do when you make a content plan – make a list of all your messages (what you want people to know about you) and then find stories (useful and entertaining pieces of writing or video) that communicate those messages.
It’s one thing to tell someone you have a gourmet restaurant and it’s another more entertaining and effective thing to describe the way it takes you a whole day to prepare your signature BBQ ribs (or whatever special thing you do best). Your story could be a “how to” video, a recipe, a personality profile or a straight-up narrative – what’s important is that you are specific and thoughtful about what makes your place or product unique. Develop content that is useful to your readers and you are on your way to building an ongoing, loyal relationship with your customers or tribe as Seth Godin calls it.
Taking a few hours to think through a content plan ensures you can say everything you want to say – one thing at a time – and that your communication effectively and usefully connects with the people who matter, your customers.
Heather Egger is principal writer and editor at Tiny Bee Media, where she helps people connect through stories. After 7 years in the buttoned-down worlds of publishing and marketing, Heather now writes from home between games of peekyboo with sweet baby Owen and tending to her vegetable garden.