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Content Planning 101: How to build a 90-day content plan

blogging content content planning May 22, 2023
Content Planning 101: How to build a 90-day content plan Blog Image | Hey Mickey Anderson

Content planning isn't just about posting on social media with the hopes of going viral–content planning is an essential part of any successful marketing strategy. Without a plan, you'll end up wasting your time, money and energy.

Your content strategy begins with understanding your target audience's needs at different stages of their journey. In this article, we are going to cover the various stages of awareness that prospects go through - from being unaware to becoming ready-to-buy customers - and walk through how to create a content plan tailored to meet their specific needs.

We'll go beyond social posts and content marketing tools, instead exploring the content planning process, identifying high-priority blog post ideas, and creating a content plan that drives website traffic, works with other marketing channels for maximum impact, and increases sales. We'll also discuss effective content distribution with your social media accounts, email marketing, and harnessing the power of organic traffic for maximizing reach and engagement.

With these content planning strategies, you'll create content that engages your ideal prospects, create a cohesive plan across all your marketing channels, drive sales, and improve customer satisfaction. Let's go!

But first–snag my 21 Evergreen AI Content Prompts so you can take what you learn in this article and execute them with ease! Maximize your social media strategy and never worry about content ideas with my free template for all social media platforms!

Content Planning: Campaigns Are Key To Content Marketing Success

Content planning is essential to ensure your content moves customers through the customer journey, ultimately leading to increased sales and brand loyalty. Content for the sake of creating content is a waste of your marketing resources, and by understanding the different stages of customer awareness - from unaware to disengaged - you can create targeted content that speaks directly to your target markets' needs and ditch the headache of coming up with content ideas from scratch.

Key Takeaway: Your own content strategy isn't about finding money keywords or going viral; each piece should connect to your customer journey and be distributed in a strategic flow.

Start planning your content by conducting a content audit of your existing content assets. This will help you identify content gaps and opportunities to repurpose content. You can optimize a blog post on the same page with minor tweaks and drastically improve its performance. Once you clearly understand your existing content, you can start creating a content calendar that outlines your content topics and posting schedule in alignment with your business goals.

When creating content, it's important to consider the different content types that will resonate with your audience. This can include written content like a blog post, video content, and audio content like podcasts. A content and project management tool or system can help you organize and publish content across different channels and platforms. Then, we'll walk through distributing your content by email and using social media marketing.

By following an effective process for content creation and planning, you can ensure that your content strategy helps move customers through the customer journey and supports your overall marketing efforts. You'll create content with strategy instead of hoping and praying to go viral.

What is a Content Campaign?

A content campaign is a period where all of your content marketing efforts are dedicated to promoting one thing. This could be an offer, promotion, cause, mission or message. Content campaigns combine the power of on-page website content, email marketing strategy, and social media content strategy to drive organic traffic to a website or landing page and increase sales.

Common Content Campaign Marketing Channels

Content marketing campaigns prioritize on-page website content to increase traffic, promote engagement, tie content to your offer, and ultimately drive a user to buy. Content marketing campaigns usually consist of the following channels:

  • Blog Posts (or other forms of website content, including video content, webinars, landing pages, etc.)

  • Email

  • Social Platforms (Youtube channel, Facebook Pages, Instagram Pages, LinkedIn, User Generated Content, etc.)

Content Marketing Strategy: The Campaign Framework

To successfully plan a content campaign, the first step is understanding the stages of awareness and how they impact your target audience.

  • Unaware: Prospects who don't know they have a problem.

  • Problem Aware: Prospects who recognize they have an issue but are unsure how to solve it.

  • Solution Aware: Prospects who understand there are solutions available but haven't yet found the right one for them.

  • Product Aware: Prospects who understand the best solution but don't know the details of your product or service.

  • Most Aware: Prospects who know your product or service but need convincing on why yours is the best choice among competitors and that now is the best time to buy.

Your content strategy should facilitate ideal prospects progressing through the stages of awareness. Your prospects will be in different stages of awareness, so it's important that your website content be evergreen so they can easily access the content most relevant to their needs. Your distribution of this content by email and social media platforms should move in sequence from unaware through to product aware in 90-day cycles.

Why A 90-Day Content Calendar?

Unlike many other business departments that function on an annual planning calendar, most marketing teams work in 90-day sprints. 90-day campaigns are long enough to move a customer through the customer journey with enough touchpoints to optimize customer satisfaction and begin to develop brand loyalty while short enough to pivot and adapt your content marketing plan whenever needed.

Content Planning: Create Content For The Stages Of Customer Awareness

Your target audience will require different things in each stage of awareness, and your content can help educate, develop trust, and move prospects through the stages toward buying. In this next section, we'll walk through each stage of awareness and provide insight into the types of content best suited for each stage.

Unaware: How to Reach Prospects Who Don't Know They Have a Problem

In this stage, your aim is to draw the attention of potential customers who are unaware that they have a problem. They aren't scrolling the internet looking for solutions, and they may not have connected the dots between their day-to-day struggles and what is stopping them from accomplishing their goals.

Content that stops the scroll, captures attention, and introduces the problem and its significance should be used in this stage. Entertaining and bold content that hooks the user and helps them realize they have a problem works best. This can be done through various types of content, such as storytelling, case studies, and data-driven insights.


Share real-life examples or anecdotes that illustrate the problem in an engaging way. This helps prospects relate to the issue on a personal level and piques their interest in learning more about possible solutions. The key is to ensure your title and introduction are scroll-stopping and capture the attention of a user who is not actively looking for you or your content.

Case Studies

Showcase how others have struggled with similar problems to help the user recognize they are similar, then showcase how they found success with your product or service. By providing tangible evidence of results achieved by people like them, you build credibility for your solution.

Data-Driven Insights

Use shocking research findings or industry statistics to highlight the prevalence of the problem and its impact on those affected. Presenting data adds weight to your argument while also making it easier for readers to understand why addressing this issue should be a priority.

Bear in mind that at this stage, prospects aren't necessarily looking for a solution, so your content should focus on raising awareness and sparking curiosity rather than promoting your product or service directly.

Problem Aware: How to Help Prospects Identify Their Problem

When your prospects are problem aware, they recognize that something is wrong but may not fully understand the issue (or that it's something that can be fixed). Your content marketing efforts should help them identify their problem, recognize the importance of solving it, and give them hope that they can solve it!

Demonstrate the Problem with Real-Life Examples

In this stage, use relatable stories and case studies to illustrate common problems faced by people in similar situations. For instance, if you're an accounting firm targeting small local businesses, share anecdotes of companies that have had their taxes filed incorrectly and had to pay fines to the CRA. This will make the problem more tangible for your audience and encourage them to seek solutions.

Showcase Data-Driven Insights

Data-driven insights can also be effective in helping prospects identify their problems. Use statistics and research findings to highlight industry trends or issues that affect your target audience directly. For example, a marketing agency could share marketing statistics illustrating low conversion rates among businesses without an optimized website.

Tailoring content specifically for those who are problem aware helps them recognize the issues they face and paves the way for introducing your solution in the next stage of customer awareness.

Solution Aware: How to Educate Prospects on Solutions

When your prospects are solution aware, they know that solutions exist for their problem but may not be familiar with which one is best for their needs. This is your opportunity to showcase what they need to solve their problem for good. Instead of focusing on your product or service, help the audience understand the overarching pieces required to solve their problem. Here are some effective ways to achieve this with your content:

Showcase your unique selling proposition (USP)

Explain what sets your offering apart from the other options. For example, if you run a local plumbing company, you would highlight the need for a professional to assess the problem and make sure they are addressing the root cause, the right tools to do the job right, and a skilled professional to tackle any unexpected issues and ensure it doesn't happen again. You might compare hiring a professional to DIY solutions or a cheap online hack.

Leverage case studies and testimonials

Share stories of customers who have successfully used your solution to solve their problems. This will build trust and credibility among potential buyers. You can also consider publishing customer reviews on platforms like Google My Business or Trustpilot.

Offer free trials or demos

Give prospects an opportunity to experience the benefits of using your product firsthand by providing a risk-free trial period or live demo session. This simple act generates a micro-commitment from the prospect and can help to overcome objections.

The key to effective solution-aware content is not giving them every detail about your offer–it's about highlighting the importance of choosing someone 'like you' or 'like your brand' instead of doing it themselves or choosing a lesser option. The goal isn't to close the sale, but to get them invested in solving their problem for good.

Product Aware: How to Convince Prospects Your Product Is Best

In this stage, prospects are already aware that solutions exist and may be somewhat aware of your particular business. Now it's time to set you apart from competitors. The prospect is in the comparison stage, where they are seeking out all of the options and comparing them to identify the best fit for their needs. It's crucial to educate them about the various options available and demonstrate why your product or service stands out as the clear winner. To do so, focus on these key areas:

  1. Create comparison guides: This will help prospects understand its capabilities better and result in them consuming more information about your competitors from you–giving you the ability to control the narrative. Develop blog posts with video content, infographics or other forms of media that provide detailed information about your product or service and how it compares to the competition.

  2. An excellent way to present all this information is through a well-designed comparison chart like Capterra's software comparison tool. This visual aid allows prospects to easily see why choosing your product makes sense when compared to alternatives in terms of features offered at competitive prices backed by stellar customer support.

  3. Demonstrate superior features: Explain how your product's unique features outperform those of competing solutions. For example, if you offer a project management tool with advanced reporting capabilities, emphasize how this feature can help users make better decisions based on data.

  4. Showcase cost-effectiveness: If your solution is more affordable than others in the market without compromising quality, highlight this advantage by comparing pricing plans and discussing long-term savings potential for customers who choose your offering. You may also want to mention any discounts or promotions currently available.

  5. Promote exceptional customer support: Emphasize your commitment to providing top-notch customer service by sharing testimonials from satisfied clients or detailing response times and support channels (e.g., live chat, email).

Remember that your target audience is going to compare you to the competition, so you might as well make their lives easier and give them all the information they need to make an informed choice. Control the narrative, but be honest and transparent–we want ethical sales.

Most Aware: How to Close Deals with Ready-to-Buy Customers

When dealing with ready-to-buy customers, it's crucial to provide detailed information about pricing plans and showcase that now is the best time to buy. This will help them make an informed decision quickly, increasing the chances of closing a deal.

Content Marketing Tactics For Positioning Pricing

Clearly present your product or service's pricing structure, including any special offers or limited-time promotions. For example, offer incentives such as free trials or money-back guarantees if they purchase now. This creates a sense of urgency for potential buyers and encourages them to take action immediately.

Showcase Success Stories

In addition to providing clear pricing information, use stories, case studies, and data that demonstrate why customers should choose you over competitors and why now is the best time to buy. Share customer feedback from those who have benefited from your product or service, providing evidence of the positive outcomes. You can also create compelling case studies that highlight specific instances where your solution has made a significant impact on customer success.

Content Ideas To Leverage Social Proof In Curated Content

User Reviews

Encourage existing users to leave reviews on third-party platforms like Google My Business or industry-specific review sites. These unbiased opinions can significantly influence prospective buyers' decisions. You can then screenshot and showcase these reviews in your content.

Awards & Certifications

Display any awards or certifications received by your company as evidence of expertise in the field. This adds credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential customers. Add details of your credibility to your content so your prospect has a better understanding of your expertise without having to hunt through your About page.

Using these tactics can assist in sealing the deal with customers who are ready to purchase by supplying them with the data they need and fostering confidence in your product or service.

Execute Your Content Plan With Content Distribution (Email & Social Media Posts)

Distributing your content effectively is crucial for reaching the right audience and maximizing its impact. By leveraging multiple channels, you can ensure that your message reaches prospects at every stage of their customer journey.

Prioritize & Start With Blog posts

Your website is your digital real estate, and your content helps people feel welcomed and "stay for dinner." Website content is evergreen, meaning it continues to drive traffic and results long after it's been published–it adds value to your digital real estate in the same way that adding an extra bathroom adds value to your home.

Search Engine Optimization

Publish long-form articles on your website's blog regularly to provide valuable information and showcase expertise in your field. Make sure to optimize these posts for search engines (SEO) by including relevant keywords and internal links. Start the content planning process with the reader in mind–don't go down the SEO rabbit hole and only choose topics based on keyword opportunities. Your SEO strategies should amplify your content, not drive it.

Blog Post Publishing Calendar

Schedule content regularly–a minimum of once per week, but the ideal posting pace is 3-4 times per week for most businesses. With content teams collaborating, the editorial calendar becomes much more manageable, and content initiatives are met faster with better results.

Calls To Action

Each piece of website content should promote your lead magnet or opt-in in the sidebar or within the body of the content. It should also promote your product or service at the bottom of the content with a clear call to action. This helps you connect each piece of content to your offer with options to opt-in for further nurturing or buy now.

Email marketing

Use email campaigns to nurture leads and drive traffic to your website content. Your email list has subscribed, telling you they are highly interested in what you do–driving them to your website is like walking them to the cash register in your store. The easiest and most effective way to do this is to repurpose your website content into snippets or teasers that drive the reader to click through to read more. I recommend emailing your list a minimum of once per week, but the ideal pace is usually between 3 and 5 times per week.

As you near the end of your content campaign and reach the most aware stages, it's important to transition into daily sales emails that promote your offer. Personalize emails based on user behaviour and preferences for better engagement rates.

Social Media Content Planning

Promote your content across various social media networks like LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, or Reddit, where potential customers may be active. Tailor each post according to the platform's unique characteristics and audience expectations.

Social media Content Formats

In order to grow your email list and drive traffic to your website, you need to leverage social media channels for awareness. Promote and distribute your website content on various social media accounts. Social media marketing is constantly changing, and the social platforms want your users to remain on their platforms, making it difficult to drive traffic to your website. You'll want to find a balance between creating valuable content on social media and posting content that drives them off the social platform.

Social Media Quantity

Social media is a quantity game, so it's important to post content as often as possible and scheduling posts ahead can alleviate much of the stress of daily posting. Social media managers should build their content planner by repurposing the key headings and takeaways from website content to create social media posts, making fresh content in the format the audience prefers from existing blog posts and website content.

In addition to choosing the right distribution channels, it's essential to track performance metrics (such as click-through rates) so you can make data-driven decisions about which strategies work best for achieving specific goals.

Measuring Content Success With Content Marketing Metrics

If you don't know what success looks like, how can you succeed? Identifying the key metrics that matter and weekly tracking throughout your campaign is crucial. You don't need fancy tools or dashboards, all you need is Google Analytics, Google Search Console, access to your social media channels and their analytics, and access to your email analytics, and you are set.

Here are a few of the most commonly used metrics in measuring content campaign success:

  • Impressions

  • Email Open Rate & Click-Through Rate

  • Search Volume

  • Website Traffic

  • Website Engagement Time

  • Conversions (Downloads, Clicks)

  • Revenue

FAQs in Relation to Content Planning

What is content planning?

Content planning is the process of strategizing, organizing, and scheduling content to effectively reach your target audience. Creating a content plan involves identifying topics, formats, distribution channels, and publishing timelines that align with your business goals and audience needs. A well-planned content strategy can increase brand awareness, drive engagement, and generate leads.

What is the importance of content in planning?

Content plays a crucial role in connecting businesses with their target audiences. High-quality content helps establish credibility, showcase expertise, and build trust among prospects. Effective content planning ensures consistency in messaging across various platforms while addressing different stages of the buyer's journey - from awareness to conversion.

What are the steps of content planning?

  1. Analyze your target audience: Understand their preferences and pain points by performing market research and competitor analysis.

  2. Define objectives: Set clear goals for what you want to achieve through your content efforts. I recommend using a simple Google doc to get everyone on the same page.

  3. Audit existing assets: Evaluate current resources for effectiveness and relevance.

  4. Create a topic list: Brainstorm ideas based on keyword research or industry trends and plan your content ahead.

  5. Select appropriate formats: Choose between blog posts, videos, podcasts etc., depending on audience preference.

  6. Assign tasks: Assign tasks for content creation to other team members and set deadlines. Ensure everyone has access to the editorial calendar for transparency. We use Google Calendar because it's so simple, and everyone already has it.

  7. Create content: Ensure all content is created using a consistent brand voice and is consistent across channels and execute your marketing plan.

Create Your Content Plan

Any successful content marketing plan begins with a content marketing strategy. By understanding the different stages of customer awareness, you can create content marketing tactics that resonate with your target audience and moves them closer to making a purchase.

In this blog post, we covered how to create a content plan with evergreen website content for each stage of customer awareness. Distributing content strategically can help you reach the right prospects with the right message at the ideal time, and we discussed the simple but powerful ways you can use email and social media marketing to distribute and promote your content.

With this simple content campaign, you'll have evergreen content that converts, nurturing emails that prime leads to buy, and social media content that goes beyond followers and generates ROI.

If you're ready to connect the dots between your content and sales with a content campaign, click below to chat about whether the 90-day campaign is right for you! We'll create your one-page 90-day content marketing strategy, help you choose the best content ideas and channels, and build your custom 90-day content calendar! Check it out!

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