Planning your content for 2021

Rule number one of digital marketing is plan ahead. Have you ever felt like you are stuck for ideas of what to post on social media? Do you ever feel like you are chasing your tail or running ad-hoc promotions just because you feel like you have to?

If yes, the likelihood is that you are publishing a lot of last-minute, under-developed content for little or no return. It’s a stressful and unfulfilling way to run your marketing!

We’ve all been there. It just takes practice to change your marketing habits.

Any form of campaign, no matter how big or small, needs advance planning. There are so many elements to digital marketing that it’s easy to end up rushing when it comes to your campaign deadline.

Content planning is like adding layers of ideas together to create a fully formed picture. Let’s take a look at the three layers (or stages) of content planning.

  • Layer 1 – Marketing timeline
  • Layer 2 – Content ideas
  • Layer 3 – Creating the content
computer screen with a content planner

Get your free 2021 content planner!

This is a really useful resource to help you plan your year ahead! Includes your layer 1 and layer 2 planning sheets, as explained in this blog.

Download Free 2021 Content Planner

Layer 1 – Timeline

Creating a timeline is a really simple technique for visualising your upcoming content and campaigns. It acts as a reference point for developing your creative ideas with a timeframe in mind – plus it helps you organise how much work is needed to create the content across various channels.

This timeline should become your marketing bible, as it were. It’s really easy to plan a full 12 months’ worth of campaigns in one go – and as long as you commit to doing this ahead of schedule.

Layer 2 – Content ideas

Once you have a timeline of content and campaigns mapped out, now you can start developing specific ideas for each channel – all referring back to the timeline.

You can start thinking of concepts and titles for blogs, for example, or work out what content you will be posting on social media channels and when. Make sure you note the type of content you will need, such as specific images or videos.

At this point try to keep it really simple and don’t get too bogged down trying to actually create the content. Again, this is just the second layer indicating the content and ideas you will need to create.

Layer 3 – Setting deadlines

Now you have a timeline and concepts to work towards, you can start setting deadlines for actually creating and developing the content. It’s up to you to set a schedule ahead of your marketing planner to ensure you have everything ready for going live on time.

Using a calendar (like iCal or Outlook) you can now input all your deadlines. Or you can use online tools – we recommend Asana.

We’ve put together a FREE 2021 content planner and short webinar  – now available to download here.