How To Create A Content Strategy In 5 Simple Steps (Video Tutorial!)

How to create a content strategy/plan in 5 simple steps

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Content is at the heart of every online business.

Content makes up your website, social media posts, blog articles, emails, ads, and everything in between.

But with so many types of content and marketing channels, coming up with a clear and effective strategy can feel totally overwhelming.

Before I started my business in 2015, I worked at various advertising agencies where one of my main jobs was to create content strategies for brands like USA Network, Under Armour, L’Oreal, Ben & Jerry’s, Smirnoff, Guinness, and many, many others.

Doing this work for so many years taught me how to think strategically about content, from the pages on your website to the videos you post on social media.

It also helped me break down the process, so I could repeat it every month when it was time to create new strategies and make new marketing calendars.

Today, I’m sharing my simple, 5-step process for creating an effective content strategy that works for businesses of all sizes and across any industry.

This article also includes a ~10-minute video tutorial (featured in Step 4 below) to help you understand how the process works.

I hope you find everything helpful; let’s dive in!

Step 1: Define your goals

Every effective content strategy starts with a clear set of goals so you create content that supports whatever you’re trying to achieve.

While every business has different goals, some of the most common goals associated with content strategies are:

  • Awareness
  • Education
  • Growth (list building, growing followers, etc)
  • Relationship building / nurturing
  • Sales

Many times, businesses want content strategies that can help them achieve all of the above, and it can be done, but it’s best to prioritize which goals are most important so you can work backward from there (more on that in Step 3 below).

Step 2: Choose your content buckets

Once you know your goals, you need to figure out what kind of content you need to support them.

To do that, I recommend choosing 5 content “buckets,” which are basically just basic categories or guardrails you can use to structure your overall strategy.

When choosing your content buckets, I recommend starting with broad buckets that will give you flexibility when developing content ideas.

Below is a list of 5 common content buckets that brands use when developing their content strategies (again, these will be connected to your goals from Step 1):

  • Brand
  • Education
  • Product
  • Lifestyle
  • Promotions

Let’s break down each category so you can get a better sense of what kind of content might go go with each one:


Includes things like your purpose, mission, vision, values, name, founding story, taglines, awards, charities/philanthropic stuff, media mentions, etc.


Includes things like tips, articles, guides, videos or any information that helps educate your audience about your product/product category, etc.


Includes things like features, benefits, outcomes, use cases, new products, product improvements, case studies, reviews, ratings, certifications, science, ingredients, etc.


Includes things like inspiration, quotes, memes, food/drink, travel, art, culture, books, music, fashion, or anything that reflects your “brand persona,” your customers’ lifestyles, how your product fits into their lifestyles, etc.


Includes things like sales, partnerships, events, contests, giveaways, special access, etc.

Every brand is different so these 5 buckets may not work for everyone, but they can be a great place to start if you’re new to developing content strategies.

Step 3: Prioritize your content buckets

Once you know your goals and content buckets, it’s time to figure out how much content within each category you’ll need in order to achieve your goals.

For example, let’s say your #1 priority is brand awareness, followed by education.

To support those goals, your content “breakdown” might look something like this:

  • Brand – 30%
  • Education – 30%
  • Product – 20%
  • Lifestyle – 15%
  • Promotions – 5%

Now, let’s say your #1 priority is growth, followed by sales. Your content “breakdown” might look more like this:

  • Brand – 10%
  • Education – 15%
  • Product – 20%
  • Lifestyle – 20%
  • Promotions – 35%

While these are just examples, you can see how when you adjust your goals, so too, does your content strategy.

The other thing to keep in mind is these percentages are not set in stone; your business goals may change annually, quarterly, or even month to month, so you’ll want to keep adjusting them based on your overall strategy.

Step 4: Develop your content ideas

Now that you have your goals, content buckets, and you know which type of content bucket you’ll be prioritizing, it’s time to develop some content ideas that will work within each bucket.

To show you how that works, I chose a random product on Amazon and recorded myself going through the product page and first page of reviews to get some ideas.

Watch the video to see how easy it is to come up with content ideas when you have the right framework, even when you know absolutely nothing about the product:

In the real world, “mining” for insights (like in reviews or other research data like survey results or customer interview transcripts) works great for developing content ideas.

However, you’ll also want to do a little internal work to get clear on who you are as a brand and what YOU want to focus on in terms of the product (this will be helpful for the “Brand” content bucket, in particular).

If you’d like to do that, I recommend starting with my branding questionnaire, which is filled with 30+ questions that are designed to help you get clarity on your brand, product, customers, etc.

Step 5: Create your content calendar

By now, you should have a clear understanding of your goals, a set of 5 content buckets (in order of priority), and some content ideas that work within each bucket.

Now you need to put your ideas into an executable format, aka your content calendar!

To do that, you’ll go back to your content buckets and look at the percentage you’ve allocated for each one.

From there, you can use the percentages to figure out how many pieces of content per month (within a 30 or 31-day calendar) you’ll need.

For example, let’s say we’re working within a 30-day calendar; you’ll take the percentage of the content bucket (i.e. 30%) and multiply that by 30 (.3 x 30) to get the number of content pieces you’ll need.

NOTE: “Piece of content” can = an email, a social media post, a blog post, an ad, a new page on your website, a landing page, etc.

  • Brand: 30% = 9 pieces of content
  • Education: 30% = 9 pieces of content
  • Product: 20% = 6 pieces of content
  • Lifestyle: 15% = 4.5 pieces of content (choose between 4 or 5)
  • Promotions: 5% = 1.5 pieces of content (choose between 1 or 2)

If you add them all up, you should have around 30 posts (or 1 post per day) for the month.

Of course, not every brand needs (or can) create content for every day of the month, and that’s totally fine. Simply adjust the numbers to fit whatever makes sense for you.

For example, bigger businesses may create multiple pieces of content PER DAY, while smaller businesses may only have the resources to do a few social media posts a week, 1-2 blog posts per month, and maybe 1-2 emails (if that).

It all comes back to your goals, resources, marketing channels, and adjusting the approach so it works for your unique situation.

Once you’ve done the math and you know which kind of content (and how much of it) you’ll need for the month, you can plot it out in any monthly calendar or even a simple chart, like this:

Creating a content calendar for your content strategy

You can even create multiple calendars for different marketing channels (it just depends on how you like to stay organized and what works best for you).

When creating my calendar for the month, I start by adding the stuff I KNOW is going to happen, like sales, launches, partnerships, etc and then I can plot out the rest of the content around those “fixed” items.

From there, simply fill in the calendar to best support whatever goals you’re working toward for the month, quarter, or year.

Ready to create your own content strategy?

You now have a simple, 5-step process for creating a clear and effective content strategy.

If you’re struggling to come up with content ideas or establish your content buckets, I recommend using my branding questionnaire as a starting point.

The questions will help you get clarity on your brand, product, customers, and more, which can be incredibly valuable when launching a business and/or developing a content strategy.

I hope this helps; comment below if you have any questions!


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