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The ultimate guide to creating a content marketing plan

Our ultimate guide to content marketing is here to help you build great content and generate leads.

Jon Davis · June 7, 2024
The ultimate guide to creating a content marketing planThe ultimate guide to creating a content marketing plan

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Content marketing is a key part of any business strategy whether they're a large enterprise or a small business.

In the last three decades, content has evolved into a key part of business marketing strategies and the competition to rank is tougher than ever. So how can businesses stand out from the rest? With a bulletproof content marketing plan.

In this blog post, we'll explore the importance of a content marketing plan, how to create high-quality content, and how you can build your content marketing strategy.

What is a content marketing plan?

A content marketing plan is a document that details how you and your team will create and publish content. It encompasses all parts of your content marketing efforts including, video, website, and written content.

Companies create content to attract new audiences to their company. Good content can help build trust between you and your target audience by establishing authority in your field of expertise.

Consistent and useful content publishing can help you appear as a thought leader in your industry, build brand awareness, boost organic search, and generate and convert leads.

A good content strategy can help with all areas of your marketing efforts including product marketing, email marketing, and social media.

Why is content marketing important?

Content is one of the main ways that businesses stand out in a crowded market. We've all seen how successful content creation can help businesses.

  1. According to the Content Marketing Institute (CMI), 73% of B2B marketers, and 70% of B2C marketers use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy
  2. 97% of marketers surveyed by Semrush achieved success with their content marketing in 2023.

Content marketing plan vs content marketing strategy

While sometimes the two terms can be used interchangeably, there are some key differences between a content marketing strategy and a content marketing plan. Let's look at each in more detail and explore their purpose.

Content marketing strategy

A documented content marketing strategy outlines the overall goals and objectives you want to achieve with your content marketing efforts. It defines key points like your target audience, key messages, brand voice, and your overall approach to achieving your marketing goals.

It helps you determine where best to place your efforts and how your content reflects and aligns with your overall business objections. You’ll be able to answer questions like:

  • Why are you creating content?
  • Who is your content for?
  • What do you want your content to achieve?
  • How are you and where are going to distribute content?

To create a content marketing strategy you need to conduct market research, competitor analysis, and audience segmentation. This helps you to define a unique brand voice and value proposition helping you to stand out in a saturated market.

Content marketing plan:

A content marketing plan is a roadmap for each step of your content marketing strategy. It details actionable steps, timelines, and specific tasks that content teams must complete. The plan typically includes content calendars that break down distribution channels, content mediums, and publishing schedules.

A content plan helps you determine who is creating your planned content when it will be created and published, who is reviewing it, and how content will be promoted. Your plan may also include:

  • budget constraints
  • content format
  • resource allocation
  • approval process
  • publishing schedule.

In short, a content marketing strategy provides a big-picture overview of what you intend to produce, a content marketing plan is a step-by-step guide to how you execute the strategy. To achieve your business goals content teams must produce both to guide their efforts.

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What’s in a content marketing plan?

A good content plan needs different content formats. People consume content in varied and unique ways depending on demographics like age, location, and role. To ensure you reach more of your potential customers, you need to create a range of content types.

Let's explore the various content formats you can utilize.

Blog posts

Blog posts are a common digital marketing tool used by individuals and large organizations. They allow you to discuss various topics relevant to you and your business.

A blog post can be pulled together relatively quickly, meaning content marketers can quickly build a library of website content that can improve organic traffic.

Blog posts can be written by key industry leaders, helping to improve your authority and present yourself as a thought leader. 37% of marketers believe that blog posts are the most valuable part of content marketing.

This makes sense as 81% of US consumers trust information from blogs and 61% have made a purchase based on recommendations from blog posts.


Infographics display information or data in a way that's easy to understand. They can present complex information quickly and clearly by combining text, images, and design elements in an easy-to-understand format.

As well as their visual appeal, infographics are highly shareable, making them ideal for social media platforms and websites. They can also be repurposed and used across a range of marketing channels. When optimized with keywords, infographics can also attract inbound links boosting your site's authority ranking on search engines.

Studies have shown that posts including images and graphics have up to 650% higher engagement than those without and can increase readership by 80%.

Case studies

A case study provides detailed real-life examples of a particular business situation. This could be a project, campaign, problem, or customer relationship. It typically covers the challenges, solutions, and outcomes of a specific scenario offering the reader an insight into how they can tackle similar problems.

A successful content marketing strategy can help you demonstrate your company's expertise and authority by establishing credibility as a trusted figure in your industry. As well as educating and informing, a good case study can help inspire the reader into action and consider utilizing your product or service.

Case studies are valuable content for many marketing experts. 73% of successful marketers use case studies in their content strategy and consider them a top marketing tactic with nearly 50% of SaaS companies believing they drive and increase sales.


eBooks are digital publications that contain long-form content on a specific topic or area. They cover lot of topics and can be used by businesses to share educational content, industry insights, tutorials, or how-to guides.

eBooks can be listed as gated assets, meaning users have to subscribe to their email list, and in return, they receive important content. This can help with lead generation as the content attracts potential customers and captures their contact information.

By distributing eBooks you can help increase brand visibility and engagement by reaching new audiences. You can improve this by distributing content on different channels like your website, and social media platforms, and through partnerships with other sites and organizations.


A whitepaper is a report or guide that explores a specific issue or topic. It's typically the result of an investigation and presents research findings, analysis, and solutions to a specific problem to help educate the readers. Whitepapers are commonly used in industries like finance, tech, healthcare, or governmental bodies but they can be created by any organization that utilizes content marketing.

Whitepapers often include primary data collected by an organization helping businesses establish themselves as thought leaders and authoritative figures in their industry. 63% of B2B marketers see whitepapers as one of the most effective forms of content and 71% of B2B buyers use whitepapers to research their purchasing decisions due to their credibility.

Marketing teams often use whitepapers to help with lead generation and lead nurturing by creating gated assets or using them in follow-up communications. Targeted content may help keep leads engaged and help you push them toward a purchasing decision.

Video content

Video content is crucial for helping to capture audience attention and drive engagement. It's not just YouTube videos that are important video content is a key component of a successful social media marketing campaign due to how easy it is to share across networks helping you to extend your online reach.

It's also extremely versatile, marketers can use video content to create brand stories, product demonstrations, case studies, and more. Video can help businesses connect with their audience on a deeper level and communicate their message more meaningfully.

An estimated one-third of all online activity involves video consumption and 84% of people have bought a product after watching a video. This can ultimately contribute to improved ROI helping you to meet your business goals.

User-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is any content created by users or customers instead of the brand itself. This can include photos, videos, reviews, testimonials, or social media posts that foster authenticity, credibility, and community engagements.

Like influencer marketing, UGC asks customers to share their experiences and opinions to act as social proof and drive word-of-mouth marketing. UGC also allows for unique insights from real-life users creating a better overall content experience for a brand's audience

UGC can be repurposed and leveraged across multiple channels meaning brands can make the most of a relatively cheap form of marketing. It also elevates your audience's voice helping you to create deep connections with your customers.


Newsletters are a common type of marketing content used by businesses. They've regularly distributed emails containing updates on products, news, promotions, and other important content aimed at a specific audience or segment.

It acts as a direct communication channel between a brand and its subscribers allowing them to deliver highly targeted messaging.

This is ideal for content marketing as it helps brands maintain an ongoing conversation to help nurture leads and build better relationships driving prospects to convert and current customers to remain loyal. Delivering quality content straight to a subscriber's inbox helps your brand remain relevant and encourages repeat visits to your website or social media pages.

How to create a content marketing plan

Now we've covered what a content marketing plan is and what it includes, it's time to explore how to create your own.

Set clear goals and KPIs

Every content plan starts with defining a clear goal. You should ask yourself what you want to achieve with your content, this will help shape your strategy so that it aligns with your other business goals.

Potential goals could be:

  • Growing your following on your content channels by 50%
  • Improve your search engine rankings and increase traffic by 20%
  • Double your social media engagement

Establishing clear KPIs helps you determine the success of your content plan and assess what needs to be changed to achieve better results in the future.

Determine your target audience

Understanding your target audience is crucial when creating your content plan. It doesn't matter how good your content is, if it's not resonating with the right audience then it's essentially useless. Finding the right audience is, often, one of the hardest challenges that content marketers face, and is can be why they need to reassess their strategy, especially if their existing content isn't hitting the mark.

To determine your target audience you need to ask:

  • Who are they?: This is more than just simple demographics like age and location, you should consider their deeper attributes like values and aspirations.
  • What are they struggling with?: Understanding your audience can help you identify their pain points and challenges helping you better target them.
  • Where are they?: Consider what forms of content this audience consumes. Are they checking your social media channels, or are they more likely to respond to email marketing?

Run a content audit

Auditing your existing content helps assess the success of your current content. If you're already publishing content online, you need to know what is and isn't working so you can create a better content plan.

Audits help you get a better picture of your current content. You can identify duplicate content, or pages you forgot existed.

In the audit, you should review:

  • What topics are you posting about?
  • How many types of content are you posting?
  • Which of your channels are performing best?
  • How are your posts performing?

Once done, you can identify any trends and adjust your content plan.

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Brainstorm ideas

Now you know what you do have, you need to bridge the gaps and cover the topics you're missing. It's important to prioritize high-volume keywords first, as these may bring in the most traffic.

Tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush can help identify the higher volume keywords so you can tackle them first. But don't forget about longtail keywords. These have a lower search volume but are often highly specific meaning that whoever is searching has more intention of converting to a customer.

Set a budget

A big part of a successful content marketing plan is assessing your budget and resources. A lot of the time you'll need certain tools to get your plans off the ground and these can quickly add up.

If you're a small team you may need to hire freelancers to create your content and a content management system (CMS) to help you plan store and publish online. The amount of content you create will depend on your available resources so consider this before you create your plan.

Create a content calendar

A content calendar is a key part of any content marketing plan. A good content calendar should track the status of each piece of content, where it's being distributed, who’s working on it, and how it's performing.

Most people use a spreadsheet to track this, but there are also plenty of content calendar templates online that you can use.

Share and promote online

Planning how to distribute and amplify your content is a key part of any content strategy. It's a blueprint for how to plan to reach your target audience. You should already know where your audience spends their time and the type of content they most enjoy so this step should simply follow on from this research.

Some content promotion strategies to consider are:

  • Email marketing
  • Social media posts
  • Paid advertising
  • Public relations (PR)
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Influencer marketing

Not every method is right for every business, you need to prioritize the channels that best align with your goals.

Measure results

Content marketers need to be constantly assessing and perfecting their content marketing strategy. Creating content can take time and money, so you want to ensure that your efforts are getting the results you want.

Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you analyze the impact that your content is having. You can measure your impressions, clicks, and keyword rankings all in one place so you can see where best to focus your efforts in the future.

Create your own content marketing strategy

Every content marketer knows the benefits of a great content marketing strategy. But getting started can be a struggle, especially if you've never invested in content marketing before.

Following the above steps can help you get on your way to boosting your content output helping you to reach new audiences, boost brand awareness and ultimately close more deals. Getting your content out there is a great way to form new professional relationships, but the next step is to nurture those leads.

CRM software is a great way to nurture those relationships helping to build brand loyalty. Paired with marketing automation software like Transpond, Capsule can you build better customer relations.

Try Capsule free for 14 days.

Try Capsule CRM free for 14 daysGet started