Content marketing

Content marketing strategy and planning


To get the most from content marketing, it's important to plan ahead and take a strategic approach. You have more chance of success with a detailed strategy and clear plan.

Set objectives

It's important to define your goals and what want to achieve from content marketing. You may want to increase your brand awareness among your target audience or drive traffic to your site to boost online sales.  You should set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, time-bound) objectives. See your marketing objectives.

Define your target audience

Consider who your target audience is. You should research their needs and interests so you can create content they will find valuable and relevant. See understand your customers' needs.

If you already publish content (such as blog posts) analyse what has been popular and look at your web visitor demographics.

Brainstorm content topics and formats

Use research to help develop ideas for new content. Consider what has worked in the past and look at social media to find trending topics in your industry. Staff who work directly with customers may have ideas on what will be most relevant.

There are various formats and types of content you can try. For example, blog posts, infographics, videos and templates. See types of content for marketing.

Plan, manage and publish

Plan to publish your content throughout the year with a content calendar. This will help you spread out your content over time and ensure it's topical. For example, if you are a gift retailer you could publish a blog post on 'romantic present ideas' before Valentine's Day.

Your calendar will help keep you on track of when content should be written, approved and published.

You should also use a schedule to plan when you will promote each piece of content on your various social media and other marketing channels.

Download a content calendar template with examples (XLSX, 46KB).

Evaluate and refine

To evaluate the success of your content marketing, look at metrics that relate to your objectives. You could measure:

  • number of downloads
  • page visits
  • social media engagement
  • conversions such as sales or registrations

As part of your evaluation you should consider the return on investment. Use your analysis to refine and improve future campaigns. 

See measuring your online marketing