Content Marketing Plans | MJ2 Marketing


Content Marketing Plans

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Every second there are 40,000 searches conducted on Google. People from all over the world are filtering through search results to find answers to their questions. In response to this, every brand is in competition for a piece of the content pie; serving up information to their audience in record quantities in hopes their answer will be the one they read. However, to truly access your target audience, many strategic steps must be taken.

What Is A Content Marketing Plan?

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Similar to an atlas or roadmap, a content marketing plan is your guide, your reference and a point of reflection. It ensures that every piece of content produced is driving the brand toward its goals and key performance indicators (KPIs).
Content marketing plans can take a number of different forms, but one element must always be present: this plan must be an adaptable, working document that serves its purpose for your brand. There are a few elements that most plans have that will keep your brand on track:

  • Thorough research is a must
  • Define who you are including strengths and weaknesses
  • Establish audience and create a brand persona

But there are a few elements that MJ2 Marketing can offer through years of experience that will truly be a “secret sauce” for success with your brand.
An essential element to a content marketing plan is a timeline. Further explained below, this timeline will ensure that your brand’s content is on track and timely. Goals are simply ideas until deadlines are placed beside them. Make sure your content marketing plan has measurable, specific, identifiable goals with deadlines to keep your brand consistent and headed for success.

Why Should You Use a Content Marketing Plan

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According to Content Marketing Institute (CMI) brands with documented content marketing plans:

  • Are far more likely to consider themselves effective at content marketing
  • Feel significantly less challenged with every aspect of content marketing
  • Were able to justify spending a higher percentage of their marketing budget on content marketing

The belief has been around for years that if you put something down in writing you’re more likely to stick with it. It can be easy to picture what we would like our business to look like, what message we want it to send to potential customers, what culture we want to exemplify, etc. But until these visions are put on paper and followed closely, these visions are merely ideas – not courses of action.
You’ll want to map out your content marketing plan in a way that works best for you and your brand. Whether this brand is personal or professional, it is useless unless it is in a format that is accessible and practical for all involved. Utilize your brand identity, your content goals and your course of action and put them on paper in a format that works for you.

The Content Marketing Planning Timeline

Devoting hours to planning and strategizing a direction for your content may seem daunting. However, imagine for a minute that you have been publishing content sporadically for about a month. You’ve written a how-to, a behind-the-scenes and an opinion piece. You’ve been racking your brain for a fresh idea for hours and it seems as if you’re writing aimlessly with no direction.
This is why planning is worth every minute spent. Identifying clear objectives, goals and ideas can prevent hassles (and writers block) down the road that may arise. Practice may make perfect, but planning prevents pitfalls.
Start with identifying your brand.

Techniques for Your Content Marketing Plan

Through MJ2 Marketing’s years of content marketing experience, we have developed our best practices that have elevated brands our client’s brands in their respective industries. Although trial and error can teach you and your brand a lot about what works and doesn’t work, take the guessing game out of it with these tips, tricks and techniques.


Content calendars are an invaluable visual tool. Once you have identified what types of content you plan to publish and the frequency of your posting, place it into a content calendar for reference. This is another tool to hold you and your brand accountable to the posting strategy set forth in your content marketing plan.


Similar to how an outline drives a piece of content, your timeline will generate brand consistency and move your content marketing plan forward.

Best Practices Checklist

Let’s get one thing straight – content is always about quality over quantity. How you choose to promote your content and the approach you take will surpass an information quota every single time. Hold your brand to a higher standard and ensure that quality remains high on the priority list with a best practices checklist.
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The MJ2 Approach To Content Marketing

At MJ2 Marketing, we believe the success of a strong Content Marketing Plan begins with a thorough understanding of the brand. We utilize a 3-Step approach at the beginning of every project. These steps include:

Step 1: Brand Identity

Every client that we serve spends several hours with our brand strategists to identify their brand identity by working through a series of questions that provide an in depth understanding of who they are and where they want to go with their content. Brand identity questions can include anything from identifying strengths and weaknesses or brand colors preferences to leadership characteristics and one word descriptors. This time is invaluable to all organizations whether they think they understand their brand or not. It’s like brand therapy without the couch.

Step 2: Message Map

After the brand identity has been completed, our team begins the building out of the client’s Message Map. This document is the foundation of every piece of content that goes out on the client’s behalf. The Message Map contains a key summary statement upon which all messaging is built. Components of the Map typically include: Audience Levels, Service Offerings, Events and Partners, Leadership Profiles, Testimonial, Products etc. Our content marketing team keeps the Message Map front and center when creating all content for the client to ensure our messaging is on point at all times.

Step 3: Content Blueprint

The Content Blueprint is a quarterly calendar broken down into weekly segments that allow for the insertion of events, observances, product pushes, or monthly themes. The content calendar includes email marketing, blog posts, and social content that all revolve around the core messaging detailed by the Message Map. This document is a fluid, working document that changes frequently based on client input, current events or trending topics.

Step 4: Stats and Analytics

All of the previous steps won’t mean anything if they are meeting the goals set out by the client in the initial strategy session. If key performance indicators (KPI’s) are not achieved it is imperative that your team examines what is working and what’s not to adjust your strategy appropriately. MJ2 Marketing monitors the analytics of every client very closely to maintain a high level of KPI success and to allow for any necessary changes.

Common Content Marketing Plan Mistakes

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Before we delve too far into the pitfalls you may encounter along your content blueprinting process, it’s important to keep in mind that mistakes are few and far between if you tailor the document to your brand. What works for one brand may not work for the next. However, there are a few general mishaps you will want to avoid that could cause turmoil down the road if they are not addressed earlier in the process. Some of these mistakes are:

  • Failing to identify a clear brand description
  • Lacking a brand mission statement
  • Limited knowledge of your target audience
  • Undermining the value of researching other companies and competitors
  • Failing to identify a content management system that is realistic and attainable
  • Lacking keyword-based content
  • Failing to maximize content
  • Not measuring the results or studying data analytics

Key Takeaways

You wouldn’t take off on a vacation if you had no idea where you were going. You’d need a map and a plan. The same holds true for Content Marketing. In order to have a successful content marketing campaign, you’ll need a well thought out strategy and plan. Implement tools such as a Content Marketing Checklist, A Content Calendar and other items including a Message Map and Identity Brief to ensure your brand messaging is on point at all times. Assign the appropriate man power to execute your plan and then monitor, evaluate, modify and repeat. The world of content marketing is fun and rewarding, just watch out for detours along the way.