By George Stenitzer published April 7, 2017

Simplify Your Content Marketing Strategy with a One-Page Plan


Editor’s note: You may have missed this article when CMI published it a couple years ago. We’re sharing it now because we know how pressed for time you are and how much a documented strategy can help.

As CMI research shows, marketers with a documented content marketing strategy are more effective than those who lack a written strategy. Yet, only 40% of B2C and 37% of B2B marketers have written down a plan.

If you lack a written strategy, a one-page plan is a great place to begin. If you have a detailed strategy but struggle to gain traction, boiling it down to one page will make it easier. A one-page strategy can help you:

  • Crystalize your content marketing strategy
  • Gain stronger buy-in more quickly from executives or clients
  • Keep content producers strategically aligned
A one-page #contentmarketing strategy can help you gain traction, says @riverwordguy. Click To Tweet

Get started

To create a content marketing strategy in one page, first focus on what the organization needs to accomplish in the next year.

How to find this information depends on your company. You can engage C-level executives, read the company’s internal and external documents (including the overall marketing plan), or use another research avenue to identify:

  • Company’s growth strategy
  • Revenue growth targets (as a percent or dollar figure over last year)
  • Profit targets (as a percent or monetary amount per share over last year)
  • How growth will be achieved (e.g., new product launch, add-on sales to existing customers, new markets, acquisition, new customers, increase in market share)
  • Other factors or criteria important to the organization’s growth

Considering how crucial these inputs are to marketing, it’s surprising that marketing managers are often unaware of the precise business objectives.

These business-level elements will appear in your plan as:

  1. Objectives: What qualitative results must the company accomplish over the next year?
  1. Goals: How will progress toward objectives be measured quantitatively?

Next, work with mid-level marketing, sales, and product leaders to sketch a content marketing plan. How will content marketing help the company achieve its goals? You may find some ideas that content marketing can support, and others that it can’t. What content marketing can support will appear in your plan as:

  1. Strategies: What will the content marketing function deliver qualitatively during the next year? (e.g., introduce a new product, increase awareness, dramatize your solution’s differentiation, create a better customer experience, offer social proof)
  1. Metrics: How will marketing measure the achievement of content marketing strategies? (e.g., increase awareness by a certain percent, deliver specified number of marketing-qualified leads to sales, contribute a certain dollar amount to the sales pipeline from qualified leads, produce a certain amount of revenue)

Don’t shy away from revenue goals. It’s bracing to have quantified goals to meet, but quotas bring a clear finish line and value to all content marketing activities. Measure the sales pipeline, customers won, and revenue generated. These are the metrics executives really care about.

Take it to the executives

Now that you have completed the first four parts of the plan, present the draft to the executives and middle managers. Walk through the plan step by step and discuss it immediately, face to face. Be open to questions and input. Be succinct. Be wise – narrow the scope of discussion to avoid misunderstandings or setbacks. The results of their input will help you sharpen the plan, but you still must keep it to one page.

Use input from executives & middle managers to sharpen your #contentmarketing plan, says @riverwordguy. Click To Tweet

Through these exchanges, you’ll learn that that executives care most about the financial numbers. As one CEO put it, “When you come into my office, I see either a penny of expense or a penny of profit on your forehead.” They want to know:

  • Content marketing costs
  • Revenue planned to be generated and by what date
  • Profit produced based on company or product margins
  • Targeted return ROI for content marketing

Work toward a straightforward understanding with your executives – a simple and scalable marketing model. For instance, I reached this understanding with a CFO: For every $3 in revenue generated by marketing, the company would spend an additional dollar on marketing. The more revenue generated by marketing, the more budget it would have to spend.

Align content creators

I pin the agreed-upon one-page plan above my computer screen and encourage my team to do the same. Use the plan as a litmus test for ideas. Let it simplify decisions about which content goes forward.

As you well know, all your agencies, freelancers, reporters, writers, digital, and social experts need to work from the same content marketing strategy. When it’s only one page, they’re far likelier to use it day to day than they would a multi-page document or, heaven forbid, a dusty 3-inch binder.

A 1 page #contentmarketing strategy will be used more than a multi-page document or dusty binder. @riverwordguy Click To Tweet

In addition to one-page strategies, content creators also need:

Template example

This content marketing strategy template fits on one side of standard printer paper. If you absolutely need more space, use legal-sized paper or even an 11- by 17-inch piece. The important thing is to keep it to a single page that can be easily shared to maximize its impact and usefulness with executives and content creators.

Content Marketing One-Page Plan


  1. Increase revenue from product X over the next 12 months
  2. Position this disruptive new product as a viable alternative to (competitor’s product)


  1. Increase revenue by X% to X% in 2017
  2. Build buyer awareness to XX%


  1. Become the best source of information on (customer problem or product category)
  2. Deliver useful information and thought-provoking insights
  3. Educate buyers on:
  • How to address key technology and business challenges
  • How to generate revenue, reduce expenses, and improve user experiences


  1. Increase website traffic +XX% year over year
  2. Convert XX% of website users (You may track soft conversions and/or hard conversions.)
  3. Add to the sales pipeline XXXX marketing-qualified leads per year, including $YY million in potential deals
  4. Generate revenue of $X million

Who we serve: Capsule version of buyer personas

What’s in it for buyers? Ideas to further buyers’ careers and their companies’ success

Topics: List topics where the company seeks to position its helpful content.

Serving sizes & frequencies

Time (to get message across) Words             Media

7 seconds                                23                    Headline, tweet, sound bite, cartoon (daily)

2 minutes                               400                  Web page, blog, news release, video, infographic (2X/week)

5 minutes                               1,000               Magazine article, contributed articles, long video (monthly)

20+ minutes                          4,000+           White paper, application note, e-book, speech, webinar (quarterly)

Calls to action

Soft: Watch a video; read blog, magazine article, or white paper

Hard: Enter demand funnel – read a gated white paper, sign up for a webinar, qualify at a trade show or event


Adapt the template to suit your needs. Include the most relevant elements. Cover what you need to gain executive support and align content creators. But always keep in mind that it must fit on a single page or its purpose will be diminished.

Want more expert advice on how to make your content marketing strategy more effective? Subscribe to CMI’s free daily newsletter or weekly digest with an exclusive letter from founder Joe Pulizzi.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute

Author: George Stenitzer

George Stenitzer founded Crystal Clear Communications to create inventive answers to your marketing challenges. Earlier, he served 13 years as vice president – marketing and communications at Tellabs. CMI named George Content Marketer of the Year for thought-provoking content. BtoB magazine twice named him a Best Marketer. George’s weekly Simplify Marketing blog appears at and he tweets as @riverwordguy.

Other posts by George Stenitzer

  • Advertising Agency

    Thanks a lot for giving me suggestions and guidelines to improve our business

    • George Stenitzer

      You bet! I’ve introduced one-page marketing strategies to dozens of companies in the past year. They are loving it!

  • Gabriel Walker

    Earning money through internet is as relatively simple (as well as challenging) as getting cash off-line. Despite the fact that numerous Marketing online consultants state to currently have a top secret system in making easy profits, the simple truth is, you will not have any strategy that you can become wealthy suddenly by way of clicking a key or perhaps deciding to buy various guide. Getting cash on the web really needs some hard work and persistence. When you find yourself in a position to put in time as well as energy involved, there are a number strategies to generating extra returns on the internet.I am making $10 thousand or even just a lot more month-to-month using this work.Here is the method to generate an income although the rest are longer term money making ideas >>>>> OUOURL.COM/4rgx

  • Gabriel Morris

    Profiting through online is as comfortable (or just as complicated) such as being profitable off-line. Despite the fact that lots and lots of Making money online teachers promise to possess a secret system for making quick profits, the fact is, while there is no process anybody can grow unbelievably rich within hours by simply clicking on a button or simply paying for some course. Generating revenue on-the-web really needs hard work and also consistency. When you are willing to commit the amount of time and consequently efforts involved with it, there are several ways to creating large money on the web.I am getting $10 thousand or even many more on a monthly basis from this gig.Here’s the method to earn although the rest are long term money making business ideas >>>>> DELICIOUSURL.COM//2r

  • Frank Pierce

    Have you at any time gained some huge cash without selling anything at all as well as left out undertaking any existing direct sales type of task without needing to make an investment any-thing. I must let you know about a venture wherein all tools is certainly presented to you and it truly is a relatively easy or even relatively easy project. Not necessary to design your personal website domains and etc., everything are going to be delivered to you at zero cost. People definitely will browse your web site therefore you will get paid for that. It really is as easy as that. Now I am making big profits at home through this project such as $20 thousand on a monthly basis or maybe more just in case likewise you would like to receive like that then follow here really simple guidelines by seeing this web site >>>>> URL4.UK/aP67d

  • Benjamin Stephens

    Have you at all generated huge amounts of funds without trading in a thing and also left out spending time on any of the multi level marketing type of task and never having to invest anything. I would like to share with you a task at which many ways is usually provied to you and consequently its a very easy in addition to really simple job. No need to set up your domain names for example., all are going to be made available to you for free. Everyone are likely to explore a website and you will get paid for that. Its so simple as that. I’m taking home too much money at home using this task just like $20 thousand each month or higher and if you might prefer to receive very similar to that so therefore follow these relatively easy suggestions by visiting this page >>>>> GOCHIURL.COM/15cf1

  • Jesse Henry

    Have you on any occasion earned lots of money without trying to sell things and left out working at any of the multi level marketing sort of business and one never has to make an investment any-thing. I wish to tell you about a job wherein any kind of specialty tools are generally provied to you and it really is an easy and also easier gig. Not necessary to launch your very own domain name etc., almost all are going to be delivered to you at absolutely no cost. Individuals will go to your internet site and you will get compensated for that. It is actually as easy as that. I am making huge amounts of funds from a home office out of this task such as 20 thousand bucks per 30 days or even more if you might really want to receive similar to that so therefore follow here quite easy details by viewing this website >>>>> RU.VU/qoj0x