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How to Create a Diverse Content Plan That Fits Your Client’s Needs

Doing the same exact thing for every client doesn’t work. This does.

Your clients hire you for one reason and one reason only: to get the results they struggled to get themselves.

Desired results vary widely. But with the ability to track detailed, granular KPIs these days, it’s very clear to see when an agency succeeds and when they fall short. And if you didn’t do your job, guess what? Your contract won’t be renewed and you’re out a client, forcing you to spend more time and money to acquire new clients.

The way to grow your agency is to retain clients.

The way you retain clients is to get results.

If you run a digital marketing or social media marketing agency, the way you get results is with the right content plan that balances multiple mediums. But the right content plan is never a one-size-fits-all approach. Different clients have different core customers. This means you need to be ready to diversify your content to fit the brand and the target audience.

Here’s how to get started with building diverse content plans to fit the needs of your clients.

4 Things a Diverse Content Plan Needs

While it’s tempting to jump right into creating new content as soon as a client comes on board, resist this urge. If you’re going to create a content plan that works, you need to put some structure in place first.

Start with these four pieces:

  1. An end-game strategy: What is the point of all the content? Where is it pointing to? Not every piece has to be directly connected to selling a product or adding a lead to an email list, but you do want to be intentional about why you’re creating and posting each piece. Some content types will prompt people to share, others will work as a lead magnet, and some might just be to solidify the brand message. The point is to know the end-game for each piece so every step is constructed for that purpose.
  2. Core customer: Your content should be speaking to a person, ideally the core customer (or variation of the core customer) for the business. It’s not for you. It’s not for your client. Keep the customer top of mind from the start.
  3. Intentional schedule: Capturing an audience requires consistency. Frequency matters. If a potential customer likes and engages with a post on social media only once a week, your account might not show up for them as often as you’d like. The same goes for email marketing—lower engagement numbers can even prevent your email provider from sending the email at all. When building a content plan, be sure to build in a consistent, frequent posting schedule to maximize interest and engagement.
  4. Tests: Like anything else in marketing, you may have assumptions about what will work and what won’t, but it’s best to put these assumptions to the test. Build in ways to test content ideas, types, platforms, and more, collecting that all-important data that helps you uncover what is truly the best content plan for each individual client.

Creating a Content Plan That Hits All the Marks

From idea to published content, let’s explore the process of actually creating the content plan.

1. Keep It In One Place

Before you even start creating content for your client, consider using project management software. There are a lot of pieces to building, deploying, and tracking content (especially when that content is being created for an outside client), so having a single place to keep everything is a must. Don’t feel like you have to stitch together a bunch of different tools, either. More isn’t always better.

Let’s explore a real example. Here’s a look at how many of the thousands of marketing agencies that use Basecamp build and track content plans for their clients.

It all starts with creating a client-specific project, where all that client’s work will live:

Create a central place for all your client content work.
Create a central place for all your client content work.

2. Create a Workflow

Once your client’s project is ready, you need to detail how the work will get done, who will complete it, and when. Many people enjoy using a Kanban board for content, since it’s easy to follow and you can see what’s in each phase and who is responsible with a single view.

In Basecamp, you can add a Kanban Board by going to the top right options menu (three dots), hit “Change Tools” and toggle on the “Card Table” view. This will add the table view to your project’s dashboard.

Turn on Card Table to access your Kanban Board.
Turn on Card Table to access your Kanban Board.

Once you have the view turned on, you’ll be able to rename the columns and add additional ones for every stage of the process.

Add as many columns as your agency needs.
Add as many columns as your agency needs.

For creating content, we recommend creating the following columns (stages) for the workflow, but feel free to edit and adjust to fit your agency:

  • Potential Ideas
  • On Deck
  • Creating
  • Sent for Review (Internal)
  • Revisions
  • Sent for Client Review
  • Posted/Done

Not only will you be able to see what’s going on with your team in one quick glance, but so will your client when you share the project with them. It’s an easy way to maintain client communication without needing to send a bunch of emails.

3. Build Your Content Schedule

In order to see the breadth of your content plan, you need to build a content schedule.

Inside Basecamp, you can attach dates to Kanban cards as well as to-do’s, all of which get added automatically to the project’s schedule. This then gives you a comprehensive look at what’s in the pipeline for the coming weeks.

We recommend using a standard naming convention for Kanban cards and to-dos, so that it’s even more clear as to what types of content will be published when. For example:

CONTENT TYPE - platform it’ll publish - topic it’s about

Here’s an example:

VIDEO - YouTube - How to Create a Diverse Content Plan

This can be done for all content types and mediums, so it’s easy to see at a glance what type of content is in which stage, who’s responsible for it, and if you need to diversify your strategy.

All your cards with dates will automatically be added to your schedule.
All your cards with dates will automatically be added to your schedule.

Choose a variety of content to go live on alternating days and on the platforms of focus for your client.

A few things to keep in mind when choosing what to publish when:

  • Consider holidays and current events
  • Don’t publish too many videos back-to-back
  • Use a social post to get people to open the email you sent on the same day
  • Theme your content for the week and end the week with a lead magnet so people can learn more & join the list
  • Work backward and plan for any big promotions your client is running
  • Make sure you understand how long each content type takes to create so you give appropriate runways to complete & revise
  • Cross post once a week to get followers or leads from one platform to another (screenshot of a Tweet shared to Facebook or Instagram, for example)
  • Look up data on content types and average engagement for each platform and schedule accordingly

If you want to make this easier moving forward, just create a plug-and-play structure for it. Every Wednesday at 7pm, you publish a YouTube video. Every Monday at 7:30am, you post a Facebook poll. You get the idea…

4. Create a Step for Internal QA

Content has a high bar. Errors, no matter how innocent, are often seen as a reflection of the business. Making simple mistakes can cost you.

Create a step in your process for internal review. You want to make sure your client gets the as-close-to-publishing version of your content as possible. So build in this review step right from the very start to ensure you catch issues before they make it to your client.

5. Comment & Collaborate for Clarity

Creating content is a collaborative process. So be sure to encourage your team to chime in and share ideas where appropriate.

In Basecamp’s software, there is always a spot for comments below each Kanban card, to-do, and message board post, making it super easy to chime in, ask for clarification, provide more context on the idea, etc.

The goal is to keep the entire conversation related to a piece of content in a single place.

Keep the conversation all in one place.
Keep the conversation all in one place.

6. Iterate & Improve

Every agency is different. You have a unique team with unique preferences, so if something isn’t working, adjust until you have a system that functions smoothly.

Some areas you can review in order to see what needs to be changed are there:

  • Are cards being stuck in one phase too long?
  • Is your client able to understand the status of the project without asking?
  • Does each member responsible for the phases have what they need?

Get your team talking and optimize the system. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how much quality content you can produce for your clients.

Diversifying your content plan doesn’t have to be complicated, it just needs to be organized.

If you want to give the system that’s trusted by thousands of marketing agencies a try, you can get started with Basecamp for free in just a few minutes. No credit card or commitment required.

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