5 Essential Diagrams to Make
Content Planning Easier

Content marketing is a preferred strategy for many entrepreneurs. No matter what size your business is or what niche you’re working in, content marketing is worth considering.With each year, content marketing remains the top strategy to promote an online business. Here’s what the stats say:

  • According to eMarketer, 84.5% of the U.S. companies plan to use digital content marketing strategy to promote their business;
  • Hubspot claims that content creation remains the top marketing priority for 55% of companies;
  • CMI and Marketing Profs say that B2C companies continue increasing their investments in producing content, especially audio-visual and written content.

After looking at these stats, it seems that marketers have completely grasped the concept of content creation and know well how to work with it. Yet, some other stats show that it’s not always true and businesses have some issues with content planning.

Reportedly, only 39% of companies had a documented content marketing strategy. As a result, many companies create ad-hoc content, which has a negative impact on its quality and on the overall content marketing strategy.

Benefits of Content Planning

Content planning is an integral part of creating a marketing strategy. It brings along many essential benefits, including:

  • Improved ROI: a coherent, holistic approach to building a content strategy impacts the quality of the content, making it work better for your marketing needs and bringing your better results;
  • Increased traffic: planned content strategy can bring you 7.8 times more traffic;
  • Precise goal setting: proper content planning allows you to measure the results of your content marketing strategy, which allows you to better track your content strategy goals;
  • Increased brand awareness: consistent content planning is an opportunity to build stronger relationships with your audience, as they regularly receive valuable information and necessary updated from your brand.

The most effective way to start planning content is to use diagrams and planners. They allow to take into account every aspect of your content marketing strategy and to track your progress.

To save you time, here are 5 essential diagrams to make your content planning easier.

1. Content Calendar Reliance

Start your content planning by using a content calendar. It’s the easiest and the most obvious way to keep track of your content creation strategy, which allows you to plan months and even years ahead (for long-term content marketing campaigns).

Having a content calendar is an essential part of planning your content marketing strategy. This is how a company can benefit from having a content calendar:

  • You won’t miss important dates, on which you’re required to post seasonal content;
  • Sticking to a consistent posting schedule expands your audience;
  • Most importantly – by posting new content regularly, you’ll be able to figure out what works best for your marketing strategy, allowing you to eliminate content marketing mistakes.

There are many ways you can start a content marketing strategy using a calendar. If you use WordPress as a platform for your website and your blog, there are plugins like Editorial Calendar that allow you to plan content for each day of the month and keep track of all deadlines:

Image credit: WordPress.org

For more general planning, you can also use a content web sitemap. It allows you to plan content for each section and subsection of your website. It works great if you have multiple channels for your content.

Image credit: Creately

A more modern alternative is Strive Content Calendar, which adds a responsive editorial calendar into the WordPress dashboard with drag-and-drop scheduling.

2. Content SWOT Analysis

SWOT analysis that describes strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, is an essential method for an effective content marketing strategy. Hubspot and Smart Insights name SWOT analysis is one of the best strategies for content planning, as it’s essential for defining content marketing objectives and KPIs, creating a content plan timeline and reviewing the current use of content marketing.

The content SWOT analysis is one of the initial steps in content planning. Here’s an example of a diagram focused on SWOT analysis:

Image credit: Creately

Here’s an example of another, simpler diagram for the content SWOT analysis that has key questions that need to be answered in order to provide the full data for the analysis:

Image credit: Creately

Using a diagram for SWOT analysis is an easy and fast way to study what your content marketing strategy lacks and what you should do to prevent any threats that may come when it’s implemented.

3. SMART Goal-Driven Planning

Identifying your goals is the key part of content planning. You need to understand what your objectives are when creating and publishing content, and what results it will bring to your content marketing campaign.

SMART model is an efficient way to plan and study your goals. Some of the benefits of SMART content planning model are the following:

  • You have precise goals you need to achieve;
  • All your goals are well-planned and calculated;
  • It gets easier to monitor progress;
  • It allows you to identify missed targets quicker.

Using a diagram in the form of a mind map can help you create a more efficient SMART model that fits your content marketing strategy:

A mind map is versatile and can be expanded to as many queries as you need, helping you describe all possible goals.

4. Planning Through SEO Trends

SEO is the foundation of a content strategy. If you successfully perform search engine optimization for your content plan, you’ll be able to get your creations to the first page of Google.

Using SEO trends as the basis for content planning is essential. It allows you to keep your content relevant for the upcoming period of time. To do planning based on SEO trends, you can also use mind mapping method. Here’s an example of a diagram that describes, how to adapt content based on the upcoming SEO trends:

Following SEO trends will help you keep your content relevant. Working with a diagram will help you make sure that you keep up with the trends and that you don’t miss anything.

5. Content Gap Analysis

The last point to consider is performing content gap analysis, which is a crucial content marketing strategy. Gap analysis allows you to compare your actual performance and potential performance and identify the gaps that keep you from achieving your desired performance.

Using a diagram can help you visualize this process, allowing you to make this analysis more traceable:

Image credit: Creately

As a result, this analysis allows you to come up with the remedies or solutions to fill the gaps and help you achieve the desired performance. This analysis is great for planning your content strategy, as you can identify the issues in your existing content and prevent them from reappearing in the upcoming content.

Mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t forget to use a content calendar to its full potential. One of the best features of a content calendar is setting reminders. If you’re planning your written content, set a reminder to check grammar and spelling each time before posting. Keeping a list of editing tools or a reliable writing service as a reminder will help you do a grammar and readability check faster.
  • Before starting each of the diagrams mentioned above, identify your audience performance. Doing content planning without having a target audience in mind is already a failure. Don’t just assume your audience. Study audience performance before sketching your content plan.
  • Document everything. Among big names in the business world, only 60% of companies document their content strategy. But each change to the diagram should be documented properly. Otherwise, you risk having a lot of gaps in your content strategy.

Wrapping Up

Having a content plan is a must for the successful content marketing campaign. Without it, you risk creating content that brings no value to both you and your target audience. Diagrams can help you do content planning easier and faster; they make content planning visual and trackable. Using diagrams described in this article, you’ll be able to create a full content plan that will bring your content marketing campaign to success.