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In 2015,
86 percent of B2B marketers
reported using content marketing, but only 32
had documented strategies. What's more, the marketers with documented strategies were the ones who saw the best results. This is not so surprising. For a tactic to be successful, there simply needs to be a roadmap for success. If you fall into the 68 percent without one, there are many valuable resources to save you some time. Here are 14 free templates to help.
14 free content marketing templates
Core Content Strategy Statement Template
by Content Marketing Institute
Accessibility: Ungated Format: Online If you don’t have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish with your content, this template can help. Content Marketing Institute's Core Content Strategy Statement Template puts your strategy into words, mad-libs style.
14 Free Content MarketingTemplates To Make You More Efficient
By Bart De Pelsmaeker
3 components of content strategy from the Content Marketing Institute
The Core Content Strategy Statement addresses three key components of content strategy: company goals, buyer persona, and audience needs. Utilize this statement to guide content ideas, and use the grid below to analyze whether your ideas are a good match.
Matrix to prioritize content ideas
Accessibility: Gated Format: Google Sheets AXZM has prepared what it calls “The Super Awesome Content Strategy Worksheet” - a pretty accurate claim, you'll come to find. The worksheet covers for the most essential parts of content planning and includes:
  • A campaign planner
  • A website and social media login tracker
  • A client profiler
  • A key messaging outline
  • A buyer persona worksheet
  • An editorial calendar
  • A content audit template
  • Space for tracking deleted or moved content
Accessibility: Gated Format: Excel HubSpot teamed up with Smart Insights to produce the SMART Marketing Goals Template. It covers four steps to creating an effective content marketing plan (whether for your clients or your business). Use the template to develop a plan for improving content marketing efforts, define objectives and KPIs. Brainstorm content ideas, map them across the funnel, and create a set timeline for your plan.
SMART Marketing Goals template from HubspotExamples for content planning from Hubspot
Accessibility: Ungated Format: Online Shape+Sound’s content marketing planning template is perfect for startups in early planning stages. It's very useful for B2Bs or companies with longer, complex sales cycles. A huge benefit to this template is that it addresses both buyer stage and buyer consideration -- crucial details in content planning. Even more mature companies may be targeting their buyers all wrong.
A content marketing template for startups by shape+sound
The template is not downloadable (sorry), but there are step-by-step guidelines for using it in the link above.
Accessibility: Gated Format: PDF
brainstorming for content by smart insights
The Content Marketing Matrix is meant to guide your brainstorming efforts. It is structured to help you think through different aspects of various types of content based on how your audience may react and what you want to achieve, (i.e., what works best for an audience that’s more prone to impulse buys?). The matrix offers a great starting point for this planning.
Accessibility: Ungated Format: Online & PDF Chapter 6 of QuickSprout’s Advanced Guide to Content Marketing is a truly invaluable resource for your content planning and production. It includes 12 templates offering a basic framework for nearly every type of content you'll produce. The 12 structures cover:
  • The example post
  • The point-illustration-example post
  • Thought leadership content
  • The inverted pyramid
  • The interview
  • The list post
  • The link post
  • The book review
  • The product review
  • The how to post
  • The case study
  • The media post.
Each template comes with a how-to guide for using it and examples of what the end result should look like.
Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template
by Pam Moore
Accessibility: Gated Format: Excel
From Pam Moore, a great editorial calendar template
Pam Moore created a fantastic editorial calendar template that breaks things down by monthly and weekly theme, blog post title, target audience, author, editor, due date, purchase cycle, and more. It also includes space for supporting images and media elements, embed content, syndication, and a worksheet to content inventory tracking.
Accessibility: Ungated Format: Google Sheets Here's an excellent resource for those in serious need of organization. It includes spreadsheets for a content audit, keyword matrix, content gaps, keyword research, and more. The Content Audit tab tracks URLs, actions to take (like whether to improve, remove or keep as-is), search metrics, conversions, and more. It is helpful for identifying potential patterns in the content and guiding overall strategy.
A very complete template to organize your content
The Keyword Matrix tab tracks URLs for pages that rank - or are most qualified to rank - for important topics. It essentially matches up keywords with the best possible page to guide your copywriting and optimization efforts. The Content Gaps tab includes content ideas for high-volume, relevant keywords in which no appropriate page currently exists. The involves content that has been overlooked. This is useful for new/small sites. The Keyword Research tab tracks keyword ideas gathered from other sources, such as the AdWords Keyword Planner. It is helpful for tracking keyword progress.
Accessibility: Ungated Format: PDF Any serious content marketer has a documented social media strategy, too. This template will guide you through the proper steps for developing one. It will help you:
  • Discover which social media platforms your audience is using
  • Identify your own preferred networks
  • Plan different profiles for sharing different content
  • Find your content sharing strengths for your social networks
  • Plan the content you’ll share on each platform
  • Plan how you’ll share your content
  • Optimize your messages for each platform
  • Share your content at the appropriate frequency on each social network
  • Share your content at the appropriate frequency on each social network
  • Encourage conversation
Accessibility: Gated Format: Excel Hubspot’s Social Media Content Calendar will help you better manage your social networks and organize and plan social media activities far in advance. There is also useful information for how to format content for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Google+. The monthly planning calendar gives an overall snapshot of monthly social media campaigns. Fill it in at the same day and time every single week to prep for the following week's social media content.
Calendar template to help you manage your social media
Accessibility: Ungated Format: PDF A key part of any social media marketing plan is the social media audit. A social media audit assesses how well your current social media use is working for you. The template helps you execute a social media audit for your business in six steps.
A template from Hootsuite to help you audit your social media
Influencer Marketing Template
by Content Marketing Institute
Accessibility: Gated Format: Excel
cool template from the content marketing instiutue
Influencer marketing is great for amplifying content reach and brand exposure. The Content Marketing Institute’s Influencer Marketing Template is an awesome resource for this. Organize and rank potential influencers, and easily track individuals' social reach and other info to determine whether they're a good fit for the brand. Keep track of companies you may want to reach out to, too, and the success of your efforts.
Accessibility: Gated Format: Excel Vital Design provides a detailed structure to devising your content marketing budget. It includes costs for:
  • Content creation
  • Design
  • Video production
  • Publishing tools
  • Analytics
  • Stock photos
  • Freelancers
  • Marketing automation
  • Monitoring services
  • Webinars
  • Social media tools
The template is just a piece in a larger, more complete marketing budget template that includes Public Relations, Events, Advertising, Branding & Creative, Website, Personnel, and Product Marketing. Highly recommend using it.
Accessibility: Ungated Format: Online Content Harmony created content marketing budgets for the "soloprenuer," small business, growth startup, and enterprise company. The examples break down the potential costs associated at each level.
Budget guidelines for a solopreneurBudget guidelines for a small businessBudget guidelines for a growth startupBudget guidelines for an enterprise
Bonus Templates
In addition to the content marketing resources listed above, there are several others worth checking out: What are your favorite content marketing templates?
Bart De Pelsmaeker
Bart is a digital marketing veteran and the founder of Readz, a platform used by brands of all sizes to create superior content experiences. His writing has been featured in Sparksheet, Business2Community, Skyword and other martech publications. He speaks regularly about tech and marketing, most recently at the World e-Reading Congress, American Business Media, and the Integrated Marketing Summit. Connect with Bart on Twitter
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Content Marketing Benc
hmark Approach
by Venngage
Accessibility: Gated Format: Online The great folks at Venngage created a comprehensive approach to benchmark how your content is performing. They put together a complete guide and multiple templates to help you measure your own marketing performance. It requires some work on your end but the guide and templates should help you tremendously.
from venngage a guide to content benchmarking