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Designing an online content plan

In this step, learners are presented with a case study of a small business requiring online content for a specific promotional task.
© University of Leeds

Sometimes, you need to create a content plan to respond to a specific brief. It might be for a client or customer, or for your own needs. Understanding the information provided in the brief enables you to respond with a comprehensive and well-thought-out content approach.

Here’s a case study for a small business who is looking for content for a specific promotional event. Read through the case study and then look at the questions and suggestions. Think about the issues raised in the brief and how you might respond to them creatively in a content proposal.

SleepySnores case study:

SleepySnores is a small business selling everything to do with bedtime and sleeping for babies and children under 11. Their products include: bedding; mattress protectors; blackout blinds; nightlights, bedtime stories; pyjamas; star projectors and cuddly toys, all selected to be beautiful as well as functional. They even have a professional sleep consultant, who can do online or in-home consultations for a price.
There’s a small showroom shop in a busy seaside town, but the majority of their business is done online via their own website. Their main target market is parents who want to spend their money a little on creating a quality, calm bedtime environment, so that everyone gets good sleep.
With the summer months just around the corner, they want to promote their range and services and create more customer leads.
They also want to offer an incentive available to new customers, or promotional hook to generate interest. This is the client’s initial suggestion:
We can offer a competition prize and a discount code for new customers and anyone who follows on social media.
These top line notes will form the basis for the final content proposal:

Who’s the target audience?

Think about where they’re most likely to be spending time online. For example:
  • parenting blogs
  • lifestyle websites
  • Instagram.

What do you want them to do?

You want them to buy specific things, obviously, but also visit the website and find out more, such as:
  • sign up to a newsletter
  • get a special offer.

What sort of content do you need?

They need a mix of content for each type of platform. For example:
  • photos (product shots, mostly)
  • a few blog posts (maybe something about good sleep routines, or how to handle the clocks going forward to British Summer Time, or the calming power of certain colours)
  • some shorter posts that could go on Instagram with surprising facts about sleeping. Perhaps how long particular animals sleep for? How about a short video interview with a parent, perhaps a parenting blogger, about their night-time routine?

What kind of tone does this project need?

  • The tone needs to be friendly and calm. It needs to be helpful, like an experienced, understanding friend with great taste.

What does the content schedule need to look like?

It will be a four-week campaign, including:
  • a blog post every week on the main site
  • product shots and facts every day on instagram with captions about the luxury of good sleep
  • two guest posts on a lifestyle or parenting blog (video or text with photo gallery) tied into a competition to win a white noise machine
  • short activity on company website and instagram promoting discount code SUMMERSLEEP.

Do you agree?

  • After reading the above, do you think that the content plan is right for this case study?
  • Do you agree with the ideas about audience, content type and tone?
  • Was anything missing, in your opinion? What would you do differently?
Share your reflections on the plan in the Comments section.
© University of Leeds
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How to Create Great Online Content

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