What is a data-driven content plan

What is a data driven content plan?

I bet someone told you that a content plan was a flipping crucial part of your marketing strategy (that someone might have been us ). And they definitely  weren’t wrong.

A content plan is a fundamental piece of the marketing puzzle. It ensures that you are writing about the right things, consistently in order to increase traffic and drive the right people to your website. 

But it’s not enough to grab a calendar and start bashing out content ideas. They need to be strategic, and meticulously planned in order to become a successful content creator. 

You know us. Data OB-sessed, and with good reason

With all the information available at your fingertips there really is no reason not to be armed with all the knowledge necessary to become a success. 

Which is why here at Ninja HQ we only create data-driven content plans. 

So, what exactly is a data-driven content plan?

In this blog we’ll let you into the secret behind our data driven content plans, including what they are and why they are so important to the success of your content strategy...

  Related content: Content Plans Are Awesome

Data-driven content plan obsession

Data helps us create informed content plans

What exactly is a content plan?

Before we talk about what a data-drive content plan is, let’s get straight on what a content plan is. 

A content plan does what it says on the tin 

For your blogging to have meaningful results both in terms of beneficial SEO and building a loyal and trusting readership you need to plan your content and plan it well.

A content plan is basically just a calendar of all the topics you are going to write about, preferably with a publish date, so that you know what is due and when.

Trust me when I tell you that having a content plan will give you peace of mind, and help you stay consistent in a way that you won’t without one. It’s central to your success. 

A data-driven content plan, well it’s also pretty self explanatory. 

It’s a content plan, but created using behavioural data to inform the blog topics. The topics aren’t just picked out of thin air. They are researched and analysed, to ensure that the data and analytics support the topics that you are going to write about. 

With all the data available, you may as well use it to make sure that you are creating the most effective content possible. 

How do we create a data-driven content plan?

So, now that you know what a content plan is, it’s time to talk about what we include in one, and how we create it. 

We’re not ones to just fill a content plan full of fluff content. There is not talking about awards, new team members and how great you are. 

We cater to the awareness stage, and build it around the questions that your potential customers really need the answer to in order to drive relevant traffic to your website. 

We use a combination of the keywords and the Big 7 to create a behaviourally based, data-driven content strategy and plan, that actually drives the right type of traffic to your website. 

Let’s look into how we use the Big 7 and keywords in a little more detail...

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How we use keywords to create your content plan…

Creating content is an excellent way to boost your website search engine optimization (SEO). 

Not only does it ensure that you are constantly updating your website with new and relevant content (which Google is really into). 

But, it also means that you are filling your website with relevant keywords so Google knows what your website is about, and who and when to direct visitors to it.

Remember this is not about stuffing keywords aimlessly. We’re talking about delivering real value to potential customers.

So, knowing this, your content plan needs to be based on the keywords that you want to rank for. This means Google will know what products and services you offer, and how to refer the right type of traffic to your website. 

This is the first part of the strategy we use to create your data-driven content plan. 

Simply put, we make a list of all the products and/or services that you offer and then research and plan all the associated long and short tail keywords using our keyword tools.

We use something we like to call the Goldilocks area 

As much as you want to write about things that have a high search volume, they are usually more difficult to rank highly in Google for. 

So we create the content plan based on a mixture of high search volume and low rank difficulty. By finding the perfect sweet spot a.k.a the Goldilocks area, we ensure that you write content using keywords that will actually be found. 

This keyword research forms the basis of the content plan, and informs us of what words are important to include in the titles, and let’s us know which direction to look in when it comes to the questions we answer (more on that next).

Mangools content plan keyword research

Using Mangools Keyword Finder (www.mangools.com)

How we use the questions to create your data-driven content plan...

I bet before you buy anything you’ve got tonnes of questions that you want to know the answer to. 

And where do you find those answers? 


There are approximately 3.8 million searches per minute on Google. That around 5.6 billion searches per day   

There is a lot of opportunity to show up on organic searches every minute. 

But, you’ve got to know what people are asking Google in order to take advantage. 

Luckily we have a little insight. 

The lovely Marcus Sherian, created a formula called the Big 5. He realised that there were five industry agnostic topics that people repeatedly searched for before they made the decision to purchase.

We’ve taken this framework and expanded it to include an extra two facets that we’ve found are highly searched. We refer to the original Big 5, plus our two as the Big 7

  1. Price/Cost
  2. Problems
  3. Reviews
  4. Comparisons
  5. Best of Class
  6. How to (added by Ninjas)
  7. What is (added by Ninjas)

 A lot of people get hung up on classifying topics. But, what’s really important to understand is that it’s based around the questions people ask Google. 

By creating the content plan using the questions that people ask, as informed by the Big 7, you have  a leg-up when it comes to ranking high in the millions of Google searches per minute. 

Content plan questions


Ready to create your content plan?...

So, that’s pretty much it. 

It involves a lot of research and discover, some keywords tools, and the knowledge inside out Ninja brains, but this is ultimately the process behinds how we create a data-driven content plan. 

The most important thing to remember is that it’s not just fluff content that we pull out of thin air. Every single piece of content you create should have a purpose and is part of a larger picture which is mapped out in your content plan. 

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Further resources

how to plan strategic content for your marketing automation
Everything you need to know about our content plan project