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Plan and schedule

🏝 Plan and Schedule

Sometimes the hardest part of a content strategy is actually executing it. Clear organization will help your team stay on track and produce at a more efficient pace.

A content tracker is a great tool for mapping out the plans for content in every topic you chose. And that can be really important so that you're getting feedback and alignment from everybody on what you're producing.

In this lesson, we’ll explain

  • How to think about your production workflow
  • How to show your progress in a way that’s easy to understand, and not too painful to track

By the end of this lesson, you’ll have …

  • A content tracker that you can use to start executing on the content ideas you came up with in the previous step

Content Tracker Template

The tracker is a tool for keeping your content production organized. It’s also a way for your teammates to see everything you’ve published recently, and what is on its way to publication.

Simplicity is a virtue here. You make it really easy to put dates across everything and show how productive you're being. So keep the number of columns in your tracker minimal, especially if you're just starting to build your content pipeline.

After all, this is a ‘first draft’ strategy—you can always make it more complicated later.

Populating The Template

Topic
Title
Description
Format
Persona
Journey Stage
Pub Month
Status

Title

The first column is going to be the title of the thing, or at least a working title.

Description

Use column B essentially as notes, a description.

Format

What type of content is it? You can sort it out however you like, based on what you produce. Examples of common content formats might include…

  • Blog
  • Explainer
  • Product page
  • Video
  • Newsletter
  • Page update

However you want to break this up is totally fine. Probably not for videos, this is more for written content or actually you could use it for videos.

“Page update” in the list above is the act of optimizing and updating an existing page on your site.

Status

What stage of production is this content item currently in? It's really important to be able to publish relatively quickly, and to be able to publish relatively quickly, you need to have a pretty clear set of steps in the process.

We use these status labels:

  • Concept
  • Outline
  • Draft
  • Review
  • Publish
  • Distribute

Again, you want to keep this workflow as short as possible, but you might have other steps so those are the basics. You may have an approval step, for example (though, if you're a small content team, we hope you don’t).

If your team consists of several people, you might add a column called “Owner” to make clear who is responsible for which pieces of content at any point in the process.

Pub month

When the thing is going to be published. That's important for showing what your plans are.

Unless you have a real specific reason for a particular date, there’s no need to be super specific with it. Consider filling this field in with a publication month rather than a specific date.

Topic / Keyword

What will this piece of content address? Paste the corresponding topic from your Topic Strategy template.

Persona

Who is the target audience for this piece? Paste the appropriate persona from your Audience Template into this section.

Journey Stage

Which stage in the persona’s journey will this piece speak to? Select one (as best you can, knowing that some pieces will include a variety of elements):

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

🏄‍♀️ 5: Plan and Schedule

Schedule new pieces of content into your content tracker. Remember to File > Make a Copy.

When you’re finished, copy or screenshot your top results into the Content Plan.

Here’s how:

  1. Populate the Topic column with your priority topics from Module 2, allowing a few lines for each.
  2. Fill the Title column with the content ideas you brainstormed in Module 3.
  3. Describe what each piece will include in the Description column.
  4. Assign each content piece a Format.
  5. Indicate which Persona each content piece will target.
  6. Document the journey stage for each piece of content.
  7. Assign a target publish date or month.
  8. Update status as you progress through production.

What’s next?

Wondering how to measure the results of your efforts? More ahead in

.

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