Anthony Basile

What’s your approach to creating content? Do you go in with a plan, or do you simply open a blank document and wait for the words to start flowing?

If you’re committed to the latter approach, you may have realized a harsh truth: Sometimes, the words don’t start flowing. On top of that, when you start creating content without a plan, the finished piece that results might fail to reach your objectives.

You don’t have infinite time to commit to marketing content creation, which means you should do everything you can to make sure your sessions are productive and impactful. That means going in with a plan, rather than simply letting things happen.

If this sounds like a restrictive or limited way to create content, don’t worry. Planning your content can take many forms, guided by a number of different strategies, approaches and resources. You can pick a style that suits your goals and philosophy.

10 Resources to Help You Plan Content

To show just how many ways there are to plan out a new piece of content, we’ve assembled 10 creativity-stoking resources, some focused on specific deliverable types and others more concerned with the process of creation. Give them a look and bring them with you the next time you sit down to produce a new piece:

1. Infographic: Craft a Content Development Plan

To get you ready to produce each individual piece of content, you should have an underlying development plan, one that will help you ensure your content goals and your overall corporate goals agree. Follow this simple, 4-step infographic and you’re there. When you ask the right questions, focus on your most important commercial objectives, research your target audience and engage your content team, you’re on the right track.

2. Infographic: Build a Blog Content Strategy

Blog posts are the meat and potatoes of your content marketing. Rather than just producing these posts off the cuff, you can craft a blog-specific strategy, one that will ensure every post has a purpose and fits into the unified whole of your blog. Our 11-step guide to blog planning will get you all the way from initial brainstorming to measuring performance and iterating.

3. eBook: Research Compelling White Paper Topics

White papers are focused, high-impact content pieces. Often, they’re gated assets — just to read them, your customers have to give you some information. You have to be extra sure these white papers are about topics your customers truly care about. How do you make sure you hit that target? We’ve put together an 8-step guide that will help you generate great ideas and execute on them.

4. Blog Post: Learn from B2B Content Examples

When in need of the next hot idea for your content marketing strategy, there’s no shame in taking inspiration from what other brands are doing. By seeing what kinds of posts are moving the needle in your industry, you can determine how best to reach your target audience — just don’t forget to infuse the resulting content with your own voice. To this end, we’ve assembled 20 ideas to inspire you.

5. eBook: Discover How to Create Useful Sales Collateral

Sales collateral is the collection of informative assets that shows off your brand’s expertise and helps you convince new prospects to sign up. This content’s critical place in the buyer’s journey means you have to deliver great quality — but how? We’ve created a guide to ensuring your last-mile materials are impactful and reach their intended audience.

6. Webinar: Turn Conversations into Content

When people talk about your brand with their own unique voices, they’re laying the groundwork for compelling content. Now, you just have to learn how to convert those words into assets that will win over new customers. We’ve put together a webinar that will assist you as you interview your internal stakeholders, partners and customers to produce influential materials.

7. eBook: Find Out How to Create a Marketing eBook

We hope you’ll forgive the slightly meta approach we’ve taken here. To give you all the inside info on writing a compelling eBook, we’ve … written this compelling eBook. A marketing eBook can serve as a lasting and valuable piece of content that proves the value of your brand. Because this content might live on your website attracting clicks for months or years, it’s important to get it right. 

8. Blog Post: Grasp the Value of an SEO Content Brief

How do you make sure your blog posts aren’t just informative but also SEO-optimized? By creating briefs for each article, filled with useful guidance and informed by SEO research. Going into the writing process with a brief in hand can take the guesswork out of blog content creation. We’ve put together this guide to SEO briefs’ value to reinforce why they’re useful — and help you produce them.

9. Blog Post: Establish Your Content Purpose

Every piece of content exists for a purpose. If you can determine that objective before you set your proverbial pen to paper, you’ll be better prepared to create compelling deliverables. The mission of your content will differ across blog posts, white papers, eBooks and more. To help keep it all in your mind while you create, just consult our handy guide.

10. Blog Post: Study Company Newsletter Examples

A newsletter can be a great way to stay in touch with your customers — provided they care enough to read it. How do you get that level of buy-in? To find out the key to appealing newsletter writing, you can check the 10 examples we’ve assembled. Our post also has tips on crafting your own emails, to make sure your efforts rise above imitation and really express your identity.

Make a Plan to Conquer Any Content-Writing Difficulty

Having a solid, thought-out approach to content creation is the No. 1 way to keep yourself on track when you’re hard at work on your next deliverable. These 10 resources we’ve offered up should help you take this approach. And for a bonus, check out how we keep ourselves on track by running all our production efforts through a single platform.

Content planning doesn’t constrain your creativity — quite the opposite. It gives your impulses room to shine.