Content Marketing Plan 2024: How to Figure Out What to Write About

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If you’re working on your content marketing plan for the year, I’ve got ideas for you! It can feel overwhelming to try and figure out what to write about – let alone come up with a whole content strategy.

A simple approach to content marketing

If it helps, a content strategy doesn’t have to be complicated.

In a nutshell, it’s: 

1️⃣ WHO are you creating content for? Who is your audience

2️⃣ WHAT do you want to say? Key messages, content pillars, topics

3️⃣ WHERE will you reach people? Via which channels

4️⃣ WHEN will you deliver content to them? Publishing cadence, relevant moments

5️⃣ WHY are you creating content? Goals for example traffic, ranking for X terms, booking demos or getting inquiries 

6️⃣ HOW will you execute? Things like distribution plan and content repurposing 

That’s it! If you can answer those questions, you have a content strategy and you can reverse-engineer your success from there. More about that here and here

Thanks to marketer Jess Cook for the inspiration behind this easy-peasy approach.

Clearly, the “what” piece is a hefty slice of your content marketing strategy. So when you need ideas for your content marketing plan (aka how to figure out what to write about) here’s an 8-step approach you can use. Not as cool as 7, I know. Sorry!

Still, this should keep you from scrambling for content marketing ideas at the last minute. Or worse, trying to make some tenuous connection between your brand and National Donut Day. 🍩😂

1. Listen to your audience 

What are your customers saying on social, review sites and feedback forms? Do you have any interviews or surveys you can pull topical insights from? If you’re using a social listening tool or UGC tool, review that data for content opportunities. 

Use AI to pull out common themes from customer data. For example, ask ChatGPT or Claude to: Read these 100 Google reviews and provide the 3 core differentiators that customers care most about.

2. Create around keyword modifiers 

Beyond that, you can use keyword modifiers to build content clusters.

A few MOFU/BOFU content examples:

“Your brand + success/case study/testimonial/review”

“Demo/tutorial/walkthrough + your brand or category”

TOFU examples: 

“How to” – guides or videos for problem that you solve 

“Stats/Overview/Benefits of X” – might be a report or infographic 

3. Peep your competitors 

Are there content gaps or areas where you can provide better or more unique information? What’s resonating most with their audience? What words and phrases are they using that you want to make sure not to use – you know, to differentiate yourself. 

Keyword modifiers that involve competitor content: 

“Best [insert product or service]” – list of offerings that solve the problem you solve

“Your brand vs competitor” – a comparison piece 

4. Use your PPC data

If you’re using PPC to bring in traffic, you can check to see which KWs are bringing in the most traffic. Then start creating organic content around those and start saving yourself some 💰💰.

5. Look for trends 

You can use Google Trends to identify rising topics by country, region, or industry. Share your hot take on the things people in your industry are already talking about. Keep up with social media and follow hashtags. 

6. Bring in expert perspectives 

With the incoming wave of AI 💩 content, the value of first-hand perspective has just shot up. Partner with industry experts or internal SMEs to get their fresh perspectives (a quick in-person chat, online interview or audio message will often do). 

7. Build on past successes 

Use Google Analytics to understand which of your existing content is performing well. Then build on the topics and formats that resonate with your audience. Use this and other research data to create topic pillars.

8. Update old content 

You can’t assume everyone in your audience saw that thing you posted, once.  Repurpose your greatest hits by turning a podcast into a blog post, infographic, video, email, social content, etc. 

Get more from your efforts by extending the life and reach of your content. Create once, distribute forever (said my B2B marketer bestie Ross Simmonds). 

If you know you need a content marketing plan but you’re not sure where to begin (or you just don’t have the time) I’ve got you covered: 

  • For full-service content marketing executed based on a strategic approach, check out The Full Monthly. 🎩
  • For a strategic foundation you can apply to your own content creation, the Content Strategy Springboard is for you. 🤸‍♂️

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