5 questions and answers to make 2023 the year when your content grows your business.
Have you started working on your content plan for the next year yet?
While 2023 can feel like a distant thought, now is actually a great moment to start thinking about your content strategy, goals and plans.
When you start planning in advance, even before January starts, you’ll be better equipped to amaze your clients and to steer your business towards new wins, right from the first working day of the new year.
(If you’re reading this in January or later in the year, don’t worry – today is a good moment to start anyway! Content planning is like starting to exercise or changing your diet: you always feel like starting tomorrow or on Monday, but the best moment to start is now.)
What Is A Content Plan?
Let’s start with the basics: what exactly is a content plan and why do you need one?
A content plan details your most important communication goals and lays out a way to reach them.
It can also be referred to as an editorial calendar or a content calendar. It can cover a week, a month or the entire year. At this point of the year, I suggest you work on an annual plan for 2023.
Remember that your content plan does not need to be anything elaborate. It can be a simple Google Sheet or a hand-written list – whatever suits your style. The point is that it will help you gain clarity on what you are creating content about and how.
Question N°1: What Are The Highlights Of The Next Year?
Start your annual content planning by listing the highlights and milestones of 2023. These can be, for example:
- Important launches
- Events, conferences and webinars
- Industry highlights, events and busy sales seasons
- Holidays and theme days
- Anniversaries and milestones, such as your business anniversary
These events and occasions create a structure that makes it easier for you to fit everything in and make sure there aren’t any overlaps or gaps.
The list also provides psychological relief: you’ll see there’s already plenty of things in your calendar that you can plan around. In addition, mapping out busy periods allows you to anticipate and see when you could use some help with your communication.
Read More: Everything You Need To Know About Content Calendars
Question N° 2: What Are Your Business Goals?
Now that you have a general annual plan, it’s time to break it down into smaller chunks. Take the annual highlights and divide them by quarters.
Do this plan at least for the first half of the year, if planning for the whole year seems too much of a reach.
Check also your business goals for each quarter to ensure your communication and content are creating buzz around the right things. This more detailed look also shows where the gaps are – and when there might be too many competing goals to work on.
Question N°3: What Does Success Look Like?
Knowing where to put focus on is a huge deal. The next question arises: what does success in each of these areas look like?
Assign measurable goals for each of your communication projects and ensure they align with your business goals. This ensures that the communication and content projects are taking your business in the right direction.
After all, as fun as content marketing can be, it should serve a bigger purpose: growing your business and turning your vision into reality.
Read More: 10 Things To Understand About Analytics
Question N°4: Are Your Channels Up To Date?
As you know what to focus on and when, you’ll need to guarantee the message will get across in the most powerful way possible. To do that, review your channel selection, update and align your profiles and make changes where needed.
Which channels serve your now crystal-clear business and communications goals the best?
Are the profiles up-to-date and getting your message across clearly?
Are your channel portfolio and content playing together like a symphony orchestra – or does their collaboration sound like a group of toddlers drumming on kitchen pans?
Run a light audit and list what needs to be improved. Add these projects on the quarterly list to make sure they won’t fall through the cracks.
Read More: The Easy Way to Audit Your Digital Presence
Question N°5: Which Resources Do You Already Have And How Are You Going To Procure The Rest?
This is where the fun begins! (At least for me! If you’re not a content geek like I am, check Content Circle for a gentle kick in the butt and Made-for-You services to turn a chore into a pleasure).
Because now there is no way of turning back: we’ll need to get that content planned and canned.
Map out content that you already have and can easily recycle as it is or repurpose very quickly. Add these into your content planner. (Again, psychological relief!)
Then, fill in the calendar days when you’re planning the remaining content and creating it.
This is important if you’re creating the content yourself because planning assures you’ll have enough time for creating quality content, all while taking care of your clients and business growth.
On the other hand, the detailed plan also shows where you need help and makes briefing easy and quick.
Read more: Succeed with Content Outsourcing
At Times, Content Planning is Boring
Unpleasant truth time: sometimes content planning is a chore.
Sometimes you would love to do it but lack the time.
Still, you know you need quality content to communicate with your audience, educate them about your services and product, and to serve them well.
At this end of the year we bring back the annual Rock Your Content in 2023 Workshop to walk you through the planning process!
In just half a day we make sure you actually sit down and work on your plan, guide you in the process to make it easy and answer all your questions to get you unstuck on your path to successful content marketing.