You did it.
You’ve been spearheading your organization’s content marketing efforts for a while now, and your team’s performance has convinced your boss to fully adopt content marketing.
There’s one small problem, though: your boss wants you to write and present a content marketing plan to her, but you’ve never done something like that before. You don’t even know where to start.
Fortunately, we’ve curated the best content marketing plans to help you write a concrete marketing plan that’s rooted in data and produces real results.
Read on to get inspired by some of marketing’s top content strategies.
5 Marketing Plan Examples to Help You Write Your Own
A successful book launch is a prime example of data-driven content marketing. Using data to optimize your content strategy spreads more awareness for your book, gets more people to subscribe to your content, converts more subscribers into buyers, and encourages more buyers to recommend your book to their friends.
When Shane Snow started promoting his new book Dream Team, he knew he had to leverage a data-driven content strategy framework. So he chose his favorite one: the content strategy waterfall, which is defined by Economic Times as a model used to create a system with a linear and sequential approach. To get a better idea of what this means, take a look at the diagram below:
Snow wrote a blog post about how the content strategy waterfall helped him successfully launch his new book. After reading it, you can use his tactics to inform your own marketing plan. More specifically, you’ll learn how he:
- Applied his business objectives to decide which marketing metrics to track.
- Used his ultimate business goal of earning $200,000 of sales or 10,000 purchases to estimate the conversion rate of each stage of his funnel.
- Created buyer personas to determine which channels his audience would prefer to consume his content on.
- Used his average post view on each of his marketing channels to estimate how much content he had to create and how often he had to post on social media.
- Calculated how much earned and paid media could cut down the amount of content he had to create and post.
- Designed his process and workflow, built his team, and assigned members to tasks.
- Analyzed content performance metrics to refine his overall content strategy.
You can use Snow’s marketing plan to cultivate a better content strategy plan, know your audience better, and think outside the box when it comes to content promotion and distribution.
Writing a content plan is challenging, especially if you’ve never written one before. Since only 55% of marketing teams have a documented content strategy, Buffer decided to help out the content marketing community.
By sifting through countless content marketing strategy templates and testing the best, they crafted a content marketing plan template with instructions and examples for marketers who’ve never documented their content strategy.
After reading Buffer’s marketing plan template, you’ll learn how to:
- Answer four basic questions that’ll help you form a clear executive summary.
- Set SMART content marketing goals.
- Create highly accurate audience personas by interviewing real content strategists.
- Solve your audience’s problems with your content.
- Do competitive research by analyzing your competitors’ and industry thought leaders’ content.
- Evaluate your existing content strategy by examining the topics and themes of your highest and lowest performing pieces.
- Determine which types of new content to craft, based on your team’s ability and bandwidth.
- Establish an editorial calendar.
- Develop a promotional workflow.
Buffer’s template is an incredibly thorough step-by-step guide, with examples for each section. The audience persona section, for example, has case studies of real potential audience personas like “Blogger Brian”. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the process of creating a marketing guide, this can help ease you into it.
Contently’s content methodology works like a flywheel. Instead of applying an entirely new strategy to each new marketing campaign, they leverage the strategy of their previous marketing campaign to drive the next one. Similar to a flywheel, their content methodology needs an initial push of energy to get the gears in motion.
What supplies this energy? Their content plan.
Contently fleshed out their entire content plan in a blog post to help marketers develop a self-sustaining marketing process. After reading it, you’ll learn how to:
- Align your content objectives and KPIs with your business goals.
- Create highly detailed buyer personas using psychographics instead of traditional demographics.
- Craft content for each stage of your marketing funnel, based off your prospects’ pain and passion points.
- Identify your most effective marketing channels.
- Discover the content topics your audience actually craves.
- Assess your organization’s need for resources.
By applying a flywheel-like strategy to your own marketing efforts, you essentially take away the burden of applying new strategies to each individual marketing campaign. Instead, your prior efforts gain momentum over time, and dispel continual energy into whatever you publish next.
An oldie, but a goodie — Forbes published a marketing plan template that has amassed almost four million views since late 2013. To help you sculpt a marketing roadmap with true vision, their template teaches you how to fill out the 15 key sections of a marketing plan, which are:
- Executive Summary
- Target Customers
- Unique Selling Proposition
- Pricing & Positioning Strategy
- Distribution Plan
- Your Offers
- Marketing Materials
- Promotions Strategy
- Online Marketing Strategy
- Conversion Strategy
- Joint Ventures & Partnerships
- Referral Strategy
- Strategy for Increasing Transaction Prices
- Retention Strategy
- Financial Projections
If you’re truly lost on where to start with a marketing plan, this guide can help you define your target audience, figure out how to reach them, and ensure that audience becomes loyal customers.
At HubSpot, we’ve built our marketing team from two business school graduates working from a coffee table to a powerhouse of over 200 employees. Along the way, we’ve learned countless lessons that’ve shaped our current content marketing strategy, so we decided to illustrate our insights in a blog post to teach marketers how to develop a successful content marketing strategy, regardless of their team’s size.
In this comprehensive guide for modern marketers, you’ll learn:
- What exactly content marketing is.
- Why your business needs a content marketing strategy.
- Who should lead your content marketing efforts.
- How to structure your content marketing team, based on your company’s size.
- How to hire the right people for each role on your team.
- What marketing tools and technology you’ll need to succeed.
- What type of content your team should create, and which employees should be responsible for creating them.
- The importance of distributing your content through search engines, social media, email, and paid ads.
- And finally, the recommended metrics each of your teams should measure and report to optimize your content marketing program.
These marketing plans serve as initial resources to get your content marketing plan started — but to truly deliver what your audience wants and needs, you’ll likely need to test some different ideas out, measure their success, and then refine your goals as you go.