We create a content plan for social networks for the year quickly and professionally
Content — one of the key aspects of successful promotion on the Internet in general and on social networks in particular. With its help, the target audience is attracted, information about your products and services is conveyed to them, and interest is maintained. Without original, diverse content, you will not be able to convert your subscribers into clients, since you simply will have nothing to interest them. But when working with such sites, not everything is as clear as it might seem at first glance. The fact is that today social networks — This is a fairly smart instrument that does not tolerate careless handling and amateurism. To make it work, you need to create unique, interesting and useful content for your audience. Banal reposts will not work here. You have to carefully study your audience and tailor content to their interests and wishes.
You can get the maximum effect from your content only if you think it through to the smallest detail. That is, you need a content plan, and not for the near future, but for a fairly long period of time, optimally for six months to a year. Now let’s look in more detail at why you still need a content plan when working with social networks. Let's take a closer look at the main types of content. We will describe a step-by-step action plan for creating a content plan. Here are a number of additional recommendations that will allow you to complete this work as efficiently and quickly as possible.
The importance of creating a content plan
The content plan is a list of specific topics and theses, on the basis of which posts will be subsequently created for publication for a certain period of time. It could be a week, a month, a year. But, as practice shows, the greatest effect and convenience is provided by drawing up a plan for six months to a year. In this case, we are talking about a sufficiently deep study that requires certain knowledge and professional skills. Many social media professionals neglect to create such a plan, thinking that they can publish content at any time without really sticking to the content. They believe that the task is only to interest the audience and provide them with interesting information. But the fact is that likes, reposts — this is not an indicator of gaining new clients. You can get a lot of subscribers just because you were able to interest them. However, they may not even know what product or service you offer them.
Content plan — this is what will allow you not only to provide subscribers with interesting and useful content, but also to transform them into your potential clients. In addition, with its help you can significantly save your time and effort, since you will understand in advance what exactly you will need to publish and when. That is, it turns out that you have worked hard, but for the next year you will have complete control over the placement of content.
But before moving on to drawing up a content plan, you need to understand what kind of material you need to post on social networks.
Main types of content: choosing the right solution
All content that is currently posted on social networks can be roughly divided into 2 main categories: entertaining and educational. But in fact, there are quite a large number of other types of content: branded, also known as reputational, educational, expert, advertising, etc. In their professional activities, marketers adhere to the rule that content posted on social networks must contain:
- 40% interactive and entertaining;
- 30% brand and reputation material;
- 25% training and expert;
- only 5% advertising.
Along with social networks, similar recommendations are also relevant for information sites. So what is each of these types of content?
Interactive and entertaining content
This is exactly what attracts most users. All kinds of comics, gifs, memes, short videos with cool subscriptions, screenshots of funny dialogues, selections, ratings and polls, competitions, sweepstakes, quotes of the day, so-called “guessing games.” — all this and much more can be classified into this category of content. As practice shows, many users love tests. Rarely can anyone pass them by. Such material fully corresponds to the specifics of such platforms as VKontakte, Facebook, Telegram, Yandex.Zen and other platforms where you can easily place material in the form of links.
If you want to use tests in practice, then dedicate them to the topics of your blog. This recommendation applies to any other material. That is, it is necessary, albeit in an unobtrusive game form, to still demonstrate your products to the audience and inform them about the features of your niche. This way you can attract users and benefit from this for business development.
Brand and reputation content
Reputation management — This is one of the leading trends in modern marketing. Creating content here involves creating a professional image of the company and a personal brand. To achieve the goal, news, customer reviews, latest implemented cases, reports on achievements, etc. are used.
When creating reputational content, one key goal is pursued: to form among potential clients the image of a reliable and stably operating company, which will ultimately help them build trust in you. Initially, the audience may not know exactly what products or services you offer, what quality they are, or even whether they can trust you. And in this case, when creating content, you will be faced with one main task: to show potential clients with the help of content that you are a reputable, responsible company and can be contacted with confidence. As a result, even those who were initially far from your topic will subscribe to your account.
Don't forget to share with your target audience the reviews left by your regular customers and the latest implemented cases. Tell us how you managed to achieve such results, show what the client can get from working with you. This is all that will allow people to be convinced of your reliability and think about purchasing goods or services directly from you. It would also be a good idea to show your team to potential clients, including in a less formal setting. Tell us briefly about each of your employees, show how it is customary to celebrate birthdays in your team.
All your posts should be of the highest quality, lively, and arouse interest. You must understand that people trust those they know more. That is, you need to become, if not a good friend to your potential clients, then at least people they can trust. Reputational content involves creating material that will increase awareness of your brand and expand your sphere of influence, which will ultimately attract as many new customers as possible. Subsequently, reputation intelligence should be regularly performed. This way you will monitor the sentiments of your users and take appropriate measures to retain their interest.
Educational and expert content
This content category includes all instructions, research results, tips, recommendations, master classes, reviews, and much more that will increase the level of trust in you from the target audience. Here you don’t really need to bother with pictures; you can use photos of your finished projects, team photos, and even stock images. But the text support itself should be presented quite professionally. It should not contain words and terms that are difficult to understand, or water. That is, it is optimal to adhere to the principle: clearly, efficiently and to the point.
And you should also understand that very often the content of the training plan goes viral. That is, if it is truly useful and educational, then users will independently share it with their friends and acquaintances, which in itself will contribute to a completely natural spread, without requiring any material investments or expenditure of time and effort from you.
Nowadays you can often find content on the Internet and on social networks, in particular, that is distributed on a paid basis. It assumes that people who want to learn the materials they need are willing to pay for them. In principle, this is how it is. But people need to understand what exactly they will get by paying money. It is unlikely that anyone will agree to pay for your content if they do not know what exactly they will get from it. That is, here you need to understand whether you want to make money on the content itself or still attract the target audience to your website, increase the number of clients who will increase your sales, bring in a profit, and a fairly stable one.
When preparing educational and expert content, infographics are not neglected. This is what allows you to share useful, yet complex information. Make it more visual and accessible to your users. Thematic checklists are also very popular. They will be especially relevant for social networks dedicated to learning, self-development, and improving professional skills and qualities. That is, with their help you will be able to monitor how your training is progressing and what successes your subscribers have achieved. If a person sees this information, he will understand what success he has achieved, which will be an excellent motivation for subsequent work on himself.
But, preparing such material — This is a rather complex task, requiring not only professional knowledge and experience, but also a fairly significant investment of time and effort. If you are not in the mood to bother so seriously, you can take a simpler route, in particular, create the simplest text instructions in your post, supplementing it with an attractive picture. This will also help increase trust in you from the target audience and distribute the material among acquaintances and friends.
As part of creating educational expert content, you can also share interesting stories, tell people how you organized this or that event, how you planned the budget, and give recommendations that will really be useful to people in practice. As an addition, you can also create a “Did you know?” section on your page. Here you need to select topics that are relevant to your business and, based on them, prepare interesting facts that may be of interest to your subscribers.
This is direct advertising of your business. Here you can safely attract the audience to various seminars, invite them to participate in marathons and online courses. This also includes announcements of upcoming promotions, super offers, commercial events, ongoing exhibitions, and sales. Posts containing detailed information about the specifics of ordering goods or services, their delivery and payment will also be useful.
Such content also involves the publication of selections of products and new products that appear in the catalog of your store, products that currently have additional discounts, including those that are limited in time. That is, advertising content, which is also selling content, should contain the most important information about your store or organization. Having studied such material, users would be able to clearly identify what kind of product they can find from you, what the price will be for it, and terms of payment for delivery. Contact information is required, because in some cases potential buyers may need your help in the selection process.
As part of advertising content, you can also distribute promotional codes, motivating users to leave reviews about cooperation with you, stimulating them to make additional purchases.
But still, the main emphasis when creating advertising content should be on discounts. Human psychology is such that we are ready to buy a product that we don’t really need at the moment if there is a 70-80% discount on it. How can you resist this? Another interesting recommendation: time your sale to coincide with a particular holiday or event. There are very, very many such options, starting from the New Year and Christmas holidays, and right up to Singles’ Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, etc. People know that during such periods stores offer additional discounts on their products, which means they will look for attractive offers on their own.
Step-by-step instructions for preparing a content plan
We would like to immediately draw your attention to the fact that when creating a content plan, there are no clear recommendations that you would need to follow step by step. And one of the most important tasks — This is to make a selection of topics for the content plan. This can be done in different ways, from running ads on special posts to monitoring questions sent to the technical support service. You can also directly survey subscribers, send a mass mailing with questions regarding what users would like to see in your new material.
Now let’s look at the main points of collecting a content plan in one of the simplest and most accessible ways for everyone — by analyzing successful competitors. In this case, we will need:
- Make a selection of competitors. This is especially true for those who are just entering the market and are not yet very familiar with their closest competitors. Companies that are already operating in the market probably know how to attract organic traffic to their resource. To perform these works, it is recommended to use one of the programs that perform data parsing. Here we enter our topic and as a result we get a selection of domains of competitors working in the same niche. We just want to immediately draw your attention to the fact that you should not focus on material that is present on YouTube, news sites, message boards, etc. Even if there is a complete coincidence of key queries, you should not be interested in such things. We focus on specialized resources that provide the same services as you. We save the received data for ourselves
- Collect key queries. In this case, we need to click on the competitor’s domain address that you have saved for yourself and go to the list of search queries intended to promote this resource. You don't have to use every phrase you see in the search results. It will be enough to focus only on those that lead to the section of the Internet resource with the product or to the blog. Along with high-frequency queries, we also pay attention to low-frequency ones. It is optimal to tie low-frequency tails to high-frequency keys. As a result, you will receive a set of queries that are used to carry out the main transitions on the network on your topic.
- Generate post titles based on received key queries. Title — This is what most attracts the attention of users, encourages them to pay attention to your material. It is optimal to generate headings based on the key queries that you collected at the previous stage. This can be done manually or automatically using programs that can perform SEO analysis. In this case, you need to select one of the key phrases and run it for processing. As a result, you receive several options for headings for publication and choose the most suitable option for yourself. We do similar actions with other phrases. Carefully review all key queries again to eliminate repetitions. We correct unreadable phrases, increasing their attractiveness. As a result, you will have a set of ready-made phrases at your disposal that you can safely use as titles for your posts.
- Select competitors' articles that receive the most traffic. By analyzing your competitors, you can see what material attracts your target audience the most. That is why you need to use programs to automate actions to automatically determine the most attractive pages and posts. As a result of such work, you will receive a list of pages, descending from the most popular to the least. Here you need to copy the topics of these articles into your content plan. After that, we check what search queries this page is being promoted for. You can also use them to optimize your future material. Just don’t forget to remove phrases from your queries that in this case will be superfluous and irrelevant for you. You need to do similar actions with about 5-10 publications of competitors.
- Make a selection of popular topics on social networks. Today, almost every business has several network offices. So, along with regular Internet sites, companies that pay attention to their own development also have representatives on social networks. That is why, in parallel with getting to know your competitors’ websites, it is also important to pay attention to their profile on Facebook, VKontakte, Instagram, etc. By the name of the company, it will be easy for you to find its representative office on the social network. Next, you can manually or through the appropriate services make a selection of those topics that are most relevant at a given moment in time: they are revealed by competitors and attract subscribers.
- Plan publications. Now you already have relevant topics, headings containing key queries. And this is the material that you needed to collect to prepare a content plan. It is also important here to understand the frequency with which you plan to publish publications in order to correctly calculate their number for a specified period of time, be it six months, a year, a month. There are no clear recommendations here; it all depends on the marketing strategy of your business. The only thing worth considering is alternating content types. That is, after the review and guidance, you can post your cases, then follow them – infographics. The following material may contain expert opinions. And don’t forget to run advertising content, but not very often. So that on average its percentage in the total volume of your material corresponds to the previously given recommendations, in particular 5%.
To make creating a content plan and subsequent work with it as efficient and productive as possible, use these additional recommendations:
- Not everyone will find it convenient to create a plan in table format for subsequent use. But here you are free to do what is best for you. You can make yourself a separate card for each post, or write everything down as continuous text. The main thing is that you understand this well, because it is you who will have to work with the content plan in the future.
- Do not discard ideas that at first glance do not seem particularly effective to you. Write them down for yourself separately and review them in a few days. There is a high probability that when you study them again, they will seem to you not so incorrect, and you will still decide to take them into service.
- Despite the fact that you have created a content plan for the whole year, you will still need to periodically make adjustments to it, focusing on the emergence of new interesting news items. As soon as you notice the emergence of a new trend in your market segment or any other material that may be useful to your subscribers and you personally, it will need to be added to your content plan. But if you see that some material is not particularly relevant to your audience, then simply remove it from your content plan.
- Have you noticed that your subscribers liked a particular topic or type of content? Try not to abuse it, because in this case you can easily discourage interest. It would be more correct in this situation to prepare material that is similar to this, but still has a number of differences. So, for example, if you notice that your subscribers like memes well, post them once a day, and you can also try to make a short humorous video.
- Never be afraid to experiment. Create new sections, formats, topics, while observing people’s behavior. If you see that they liked some material, continue to work unobtrusively in this direction. If not, then simply don’t post anything like this in the future.
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