Multipart article

The 61 Best Free Content Marketing Templates to Drive Performance

by Joe Weller on Apr 22, 2019

In this article, you’ll find the most comprehensive list of user-friendly, customizable, and free content marketing templates, available in Excel, Word, PDF, and Google Docs formats. Whether you’re a blogger, email content strategist, or social media marketing guru, these expert-tested templates are a must-have for your content marketing plan.

Included on this page, you'll find a variety of content marketing templates, including content strategy templates, content calendar templates, content roadmap templates, content planning templates, and more.


Content Marketing Strategy Templates

At the heart of any successful content marketing campaign is a tightly organized, managed, and executed plan with S.M.A.R.T. goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound). From blog posts and email newsletters to e-books and infographics, each piece of content should be thoughtfully developed and tracked. All content should also be predicated on your content marketing plan strategy.

In this section, you’ll find templates to help you develop your content strategy.

Content Marketing Strategy Creation Template

Content Marketing Strategy Creation Template

This content strategy creation template provides an all-in-one approach to identify and organize your key goals, themes, workflows, and guidelines for every piece of content (blog posts, webinars, e-books, etc.). Assign key dates and project roles in order to set a solid strategy from which to build out your content creation and management processes.

Download Content Marketing Strategy Creation Template - Excel

Content Marketing Plan Strategy Template

Content Marketing Plan Strategy Template

This content plan strategy template enables you to facilitate the customer journey by establishing clear objectives and goals at each stage of the customer lifecycle. Depending on the current phase of your target audience, your goals may range from generating more leads to reaching a new market or cultivating your relationship with existing customers. Once you have identified your goals and key performance metrics, develop and align your content strategy accordingly.

Download Content Marketing Plan Strategy Template

Excel | Word | PDF

 

Video Content Marketing Strategy Template

According to the site Small Business Trends, people share social videos 12 times as much as they share social text and images combined. To use that statistic to your advantage, you’ll need an effective video content marketing strategy. Use this template to guide you through the key questions that you need to answer in order to capture the attention and meet the needs of your audience, while simultaneously hitting your goals.

Download Video Content Marketing Strategy Template

Word | Excel

Social Media Strategy Plan Template

Define your mission and message, target audience, and goals and objectives to develop a comprehensive strategy and therefore, a successful social media content action plan. Use your unique value proposition and competitive analysis to determine your points of differentiation. This social media strategy plan template enables you to create a detailed plan of attack across social networks; the template also includes a section for capturing performance evaluation metrics that justify said plan.

Download Social Media Strategy Plan Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Content Marketing Goals Template

If you’re struggling to align your content ideas with your strategic plan or to simultaneously meet customer and business needs, you might need to reevaluate your goals. The key to overcoming most common project obstacles is to set specific and achievable goals that correspond to your company’s core objectives. Use this template as a launching pad to provide the structure and guidance you need to build and execute an effective content plan.

Download Content Marketing Goals Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Content Marketing Budget Template

The scope of your content marketing campaign has a direct correlation with the size of your budget. This content budget template covers monthly, quarterly, and yearly expenses for a variety of categories, including contractors or freelancers, content publishing tools, analytics, hosting services, and more. Creating high-quality content that serves your target audience — as well as converts — requires a suitable investment of time and money, so proper budget planning is essential.

Download Content Marketing Budget Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Content Marketing Proposal Template

Crafting an articulate and persuasive proposal starts with a concrete understanding of your client’s needs and pain points. You also need to provide your clients with solutions that transcend those of your competitors. Whether you’re providing services as a freelance content creator or as a team member of a marketing agency, this content marketing proposal template will help you organize, structure, and pitch your next content proposal to win the deal.

Download Content Marketing Proposal Template

Excel | Word | PDF

 

Audience Persona Worksheet Template

Identify your brand voice, style, and strategy by identifying and articulating your target buyer (who they are and how they will interact with your content). This persona worksheet template enables you to visualize your ideal customer, determine which channels to use to reach them, and develop your content in a way that connects and builds trust with them at all stages of the buyer journey.

Download Audience Persona Worksheet Template

Excel | PDF

 

Content Migration Plan Template

A content migration doesn’t have to be overwhelming: You just need the right plan. This customizable content migration plan organizes each phase into action items, role assignments, and timelines to keep the process transparent and seamless. This process also provides an opportunity to audit your content inventory (you can grab that template on this page, too) in order to flesh out duplicate, outdated, or underperforming content before a transition.

Download Content Migration Plan Template

Excel | Smartsheet

 

Content Marketing Checklists

A strategic content plan has many moving parts. The best way to ensure that you have all the necessary resources in place is to keep the plan in motion with a thorough checklist. Below are the content writing, brainstorming, and SEO checklists that are crucial to a smooth workflow.

Content Marketing Strategy Research Checklist Template

Content Marketing Strategy Research Checklist

This comprehensive content marketing strategy checklist template provides a clear, visual overview of every aspect of your marketing plan. Organize and assign team action items, due dates, budgets, and more to ensure each piece of your content strategy action plan is accounted for and completed.

Download Content Marketing Strategy Research Checklist Template - Excel

Content Type Checklist Template

Content Type Checklist

The most effective type of content to drive desired results depends on many factors. Ask: In which phase of the buyer’s journey are you connecting with your audience? Are you bringing awareness to your brand or nurturing qualified leads? What action do you want the audience to take after consuming your content? Whether you’re producing content to provide a lead magnet or to generate a ton of shares, it’s essential to know the goal of each piece of content and how it delivers value. Use this content type checklist to identify the types of content you currently have, where it performs the best, and opportunities for future content creation.

Download Content Type Checklist Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Content Creation Process Checklist Template

A clear and streamlined creation process enables the team to put less focus on the process itself and more energy on the creation aspect, where it belongs. Use this content creation process checklist as a basis for expanding on your own content creation process. Delegated roles, due dates, and checkboxes move each piece of content through the workflow to ensure that you assign action items and to guarantee that the status is transparent.

Download Content Creation Process Checklist Template

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

 

Content Marketing Project Checklist Template

You can customize this content marketing project checklist template to meet your needs and provide a high-level view of action ownership and completion status. Additionally, use this checklist as a basis to establish a content marketing plan that ensures no pertinent information falls through the cracks.

Download Content Marketing Project Checklist Template

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

 

Content Creative Brief Checklist Template

The key to implementing a content strategy that leverages your unique selling point and provides value to your audience is to create a compelling creative brief for your content. The purpose of a creative brief is to ensure that the team understands the content’s purpose, value proposition, and deliverables. The brief also tells team members what is expected of them. This creative brief checklist template serves as a guide for creators to write content that maintains a consistent brand voice and style and aligns with the strategic plan.

Download Content Creative Brief Checklist Template

Excel | Word | PDF

 

On-Page SEO Checklist Template

Giving your content the best chance of ranking highly in Google, Bing, and other popular search engines means adding an on-page optimization check-up to your SEO process. Use this basic SEO checklist to ensure that your target keywords are strategically planted in the right places (e.g., title tag, meta description, content) and that the user experience is valuable and positive (e.g., page loading time, engaging images, relevant and up-to-date information). Be sure to revise the checklist as needed with the latest SEO trends and Google updates.

Download On-Page SEO Checklist Template

Excel | Word | PDF

 

Content Distribution Checklist Template

Use this distribution checklist in combination with your editorial calendar to develop your content promotion plan. Knowing which promotion channels to employ to connect with and engage target prospects is essential to getting the right content into the right hands at the right time.

Download Content Distribution Checklist Template

Excel | Word | PDF

 

Content Marketing Mapping and Workflow Plan Templates

Well-crafted and targeted content can guide your leads on a path from awareness to purchase to evangelism. Because your content strategy and workflow don’t typically induce a linear journey, it’s imperative to map out your content to accommodate your target persona at all stages of the buyer lifecycle.

Content Mapping Template

Content Mapping Template

Content that converts requires intention and proper planning. This content mapping plan template reconciles your buyer persona’s journey with your content creation strategy to ensure you are connecting with the right person, at the right time, with content that will yield results.

Download Content Mapping Template

Excel | Word | PDF | Smartsheet

Content Governance Workflow Template

Content Governance Workflow Template

This content governance workflow template brings the process of creating content to fruition in a systematic, visual workflow. Document the assigned roles and actions, from content creation to publishing, to proactively plan and manage the evolution of your content.

Download Content Governance Workflow Template

Excel | Word

 

Customer Journey Map Template

Understanding the thought process and actions behind each user that interacts with your company is complex. This customer journey map template can help you make sense of all the data (problems, motivations, and behaviors) you collect from current and potential customers. The tool does this by laying out the journey in a visual representation that can be leveraged to uncover valuable opportunities.

Download Customer Journey Map Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Content Marketing Roadmap Template

A content marketing roadmap is a good indicator of how solid your content marketing plan is. This template lays the foundation for answering the who, what, where, when, and why questions that guide your content creation strategy toward your goals.

Download Content Marketing Roadmap Template

Excel | Smartsheet

 

Content Marketing Framework Template

Use this content marketing framework as a springboard to build out your marketing campaign’s activities, goals, strategies, and performance measurement. This template enables you to focus in on the key operations that drive value to your customers and motivate them to take action.

Download Content Marketing Framework Template - Word

 

Content Planning and Tracking Templates

The most effective type of content marketing can vary greatly depending on its purpose, who it is serving, and your goals. This section offers templates that help lay the strategic groundwork for a compelling blog post, marketing video, or social media campaign, which are imperative before the pen even hits paper.

Content Curation Plan Template

Content Curation Plan Template

The purpose of a content curation plan is to produce guidelines on the process of gathering, selecting, and adding value to existing content in order to grow your business. This customizable content curation template offers a step-by-step approach to choosing relevant, key topics that align with your business, identifying major opportunities, and leveraging your brand’s unique touch to captivate and expand your audience.

Download Content Curation Plan Template

Excel | Word

Content Inventory Audit Worksheet Template

Content Audit Worksheet Template

An essential step in content curation is doing a thorough audit of your own inventory. Don’t waste time reinventing the wheel when you can simply add value by building on the bones of an established piece of content. This content audit template allows you to organize, prioritize, and track key performance metrics for all owned content, so you can save time and capitalize on existing potential.

Download Content Inventory Audit Worksheet Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Social Media Audit Template

You can customize this social media audit template to track key data and performance metrics across multiple social channels on one spreadsheet. Analyzing your social media efforts on a regular basis allows you to adjust your content strategy according to what is working and what needs fine-tuning.  

Download Social Media Audit Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Content Pillar Template

A content pillar is valuable because it takes a notably informative and extensive piece of content on a particular theme (think e-books and white papers) and derives smaller, more digestible, and more shareable pieces of content from it. Use this content pillar template to pull core topic ideas from your key pillars and strategize about which content types and channels you should use for maximum return.

Download Content Pillar Template

Excel | Word

 

Content Scorecard Template

Not every piece of content you create should be distributed, especially if it doesn’t align with core business objectives and industry standards. A content scorecard is a simple and effective tool you can use to measure the clout of your content. This easy-to-use, adjustable scorecard template weighs your created content against a set of predetermined criteria to ensure each piece is consistent and relevant.

Download Content Scorecard Template

Excel | Word

Content Decision-Making Matrix Template

You can use a criteria-based matrix to more effectively evaluate a list of content in order to extract the most qualified pieces to meet your goals. This decision-making template is useful for prioritizing and weeding out inferior alternative options. You can also customize it with criteria that is suitable to your particular situation.

Download Content Decision-Making Matrix Template – Excel

Digital Marketing Plan Template

Amplify your online marketing efforts with a focused digital marketing strategy. This template documents your marketing goals and tracks performance results on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis. Use this digital marketing plan as a launch pad to reinforce your execution strategy for online advertising, social media campaigns, SEO, and everything in between.

Download Digital Marketing Plan Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Social Media Marketing Plan Template

This social media marketing plan outlines the key details of each social post (title, copy, images, links, and engagement metrics) to keep your campaign schedule organized and on track. In addition to monitoring content promotion, this template doubles as a content planning tool and can easily be modified to add ownership columns for action delegation.

Download Social Media Marketing Plan Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Content Tracker Template

This content tracking template is an effective way to get a clear view of a piece of content’s details, including type, ownership, publish date, key metrics to be evaluated, and monthly and annual performance. Tracking performance data for the ways users interact with each piece of content is key to managing and improving your campaign strategy.

Download Content Tracker Template

Excel | Word | Smartsheet

Content Analysis Template

Analyze the quality of your content (Ask: Is it useful? Is it relevant? How are users engaging with it?) on a regular basis to proactively manage your work. This content analysis template tracks your content’s details, primary purpose, and target audience, while comparing performance goals with actual performance outcomes. Use your analysis results to troubleshoot and update low-performing content, including underachieving CTAs, weak title tags or meta descriptions, broken links, and frustrating user experiences on your website.

Download Content Analysis Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Blog Planning Template

With the right content plan, blogging can be an efficient way to drive website traffic, attract new leads, and grow your business. Once you have pinpointed your key topics, target audience, and goals, use this blog planning template to outline your ideas and put your plan into action.

Download Blog Planning Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Visual Marketing Design Plan Template

A strong visual marketing strategy can be a powerful way to promote your products, ideas, and brand across multiple channels. Compelling and informative visual designs can not only add value and interest to your page, but can also inspire your audience to feel a certain way or take a desired action. Use this visual marketing design plan to organize and track your visual content’s inventory and goals as well as particular lifecycle phase in which it aims to engage prospects.

Download Visual Marketing Design Plan Template

Excel | Word | PDF

Video Content Plan Template

Understanding what your target audience is searching for and how you can leverage that information to meet customers’ needs is the first fundamental step in creating a marketing video plan. Use this template to identify opportunities that generate awareness for your brand, establish your authority, and bring value to your audience at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Download Video Content Plan Template

Excel | Word

Infographic Template

Good storytelling is at the heart of an attention-grabbing content marketing campaign. Using an infographic is an effective way to take something complex, break it down into simpler parts, and communicate it to your audience in a visually appealing way. This customizable infographic template gives you a basic foundation to build on and showcase your own compelling graphics and topic expertise.

Download Infographic Template - Word

Call-to-Action Template

Even if you create and distribute the most captivating piece of content, you can still miss the mark entirely without a clear, visible, and convincing call to action (CTA). This template offers a variety of call-to-action buttons that you can adapt to fit your brand style and voice and give your audience clear direction as you nurture and guide them down the funnel.

Download Call-to-Action Template - PPT

Content Disclaimer Template

The purpose of a content disclaimer is to protect your business from responsibility in the event of damages concerning the use of your product or service. Customize this content disclaimer template to your particular situation. Then, add the tailored statement to your website, app, or other channel (where users interact with your content) in order to minimize potential legal issues.

Download Content Disclaimer Template - Word

 

Content Marketing and Editorial Calendars

A well-organized and managed editorial calendar is the key to taking your content marketing strategy to the next level. Use the editorial templates below to focus and reinforce your blogging, social media, and email marketing campaign efforts.

Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template

Marketing Editorial Calendar Template

This content marketing calendar template tracks the events (launches, holidays, and milestones) around which to build your content marketing projects. Plot content goals and promotional strategies on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly timeline to plan and execute your vision with tenacity.

Download Content Marketing Editorial Calendar Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Blogging Calendar Template

Blogging Calendar Template

This comprehensive blogging calendar guides your content plan from the brainstorming phase to publication, with a section for managing archived posts. Use this template to create and organize your central topics, assign roles, measure performance, and track the status of each post on a monthly basis.

Download Blogging Calendar Template - Excel

Blog Editorial Calendar Template

It’s hard to reach your blogging goals when you don’t have clear objectives or adequate direction. Give your performance a boost by developing a well-planned content idea and publishing schedule. Use this blog editorial calendar template to track key topics, deadlines, target keywords, and more, so you focus your efforts and produce results.

Download Blog Editorial Calendar Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Email Marketing Calendar Template

The secret to any successful email marketing campaign is a solid understanding of the content’s purpose, target audience, and desired results. This information enables you to develop an approach that inspires your contacts to open, engage with, and take action on your email. Use this email marketing calendar template to manage vital campaign details that keep your strategy targeted and on course.

Download Email Marketing Calendar Template - Excel

Social Media Content Calendar Template

Having the ability to see your social media campaign strategy at a glance during a particular time period allows you to be proactive in your planning. Use this social media content calendar template to organize and execute a detailed publishing schedule that tracks performance across social channels on a daily and weekly basis.

Download Social Media Content Calendar Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Social Media Editorial Calendar Template

Use this social media editorial calendar template to list campaign goals, track performance metrics, and schedule monthly and yearly content projects that promote important events. Analyze social campaign results regularly to flesh out what’s performing and what needs realigning.  

Download Social Media Editorial Calendar Template - Excel

Annual Content Calendar Template

This annual content calendar template features an all-in-one approach for planning, scheduling, and executing your multichannel (and content type) marketing plan. Easily assign and track key topics, roles, due dates, and performance metrics to ensure your content goals and strategies stay aligned.

Download Annual Content Calendar Template

Excel | Smartsheet

 

Content Distribution and Promotion Templates

nce you’ve created your content, the next step is to strategically promote it through the appropriate channels (owned, earned, and paid). This promotional strategy is the most effective way to reach and engage your target audience. Use your content marketing plan as a basis to develop an effective content distribution strategy.

Multichannel Content Marketing Planner Template

Multichannel Content Marketing Planner Template

To turn your content marketing strategy into a success, you must deliver the right kind of content to your target audience via the channels where that audience exists. Use this multichannel marketing plan to outline the relevant topics and targeted promotion channels that align your customer preferences with your business objectives.

Download Multichannel Content Marketing Planner Template

Excel | Word

Social Media Multichannel Plan Template

Social Media Multichannel Plan Template

A multichannel social media strategy is de rigueur in today’s era of social relevance and influence. Understanding the motivations, behaviors, and habits of your buyer persona in the social realm allows you to provide value in a way that sets you apart. Use this social media multichannel template to develop your plan, so you are effectively engaging your audience at the right time in exactly the right place.

Download Social Media Multichannel Plan Template

Excel | Word | Google Doc | Smartsheet

Cold Email Template

Reaching out to prospects with whom you have no existing relationship can be intimidating. Take some of the pressure off by using this customizable cold email template — it will help you make a connection with the recipient that demonstrates your credibility and feels more genuine.  

Download Cold Email Template - Word

Press Release Template

When composing a press release, you must communicate information that is noteworthy, timely, and optimized for search, if applicable. Use this standard press release template to ensure your message is relevant and answers the who, what, when, where, and why of the news you are sharing (e.g., product launch, big event, etc.).

Download Press Release Template

Word | Google Doc | Smartsheet

Email Press Release Template

A press release by email can be a cost-efficient, time-efficient, and targeted way to garner attention about a newsworthy happening. Use this email press release template as a guideline to craft your detailed message. Include useful links, compelling graphics, or embedded multimedia in the space provided.

Download Email Press Release Template

Word | Google Doc

Social Media Press Release Template

If your content typically generates positive results in your social channels, it might make sense to make a public announcement via a social media press release. Adapt this template to your needs by creating a message that elicits interest and excitement in your followers and aligns with the social style of your brand.

Download the Social Media Press Release Template

Word | Google Doc

 

Content Marketing Reporting and Dashboards

Whether you’re a client, content coordinator, or digital marketing manager, having access to a high-level, aggregate view of content performance and return on investment (ROI) helps you make decisions. Use these reporting templates and tools to track key metrics and ensure you implement timely plan corrections in order to achieve your goals.

Social Media Report Template

Social Media Report Template

Compile, track, and communicate your target performance metrics to bosses and clients using this social media report template. Analyze your top-performing posts to recalibrate your social media strategy and effectively plan next steps.

Download Social Media Report Template - Excel

Digital Marketing Dashboard Template

Digital Marketing Dashboard template

Get visibility on monthly paid and organic traffic across multiple online channels with a digital marketing dashboard. This template reports on orders placed, impressions, costs, revenue, and more to justify your digital marketing efforts.

Download Digital Marketing Dashboard Template - Excel

Email Marketing Dashboard Template

Use this email marketing dashboard template to track leads, subscriber growth, and other key metrics on a month-by-month basis for multiple campaigns. Analyze and compare the results to identify opportunities to modify your game plan and improve campaign performance.

Download Email Marketing Dashboard Template - Excel

Social Media Dashboard Template

Track and measure audience interaction, post reach, and campaign goals at a weekly and monthly glance. This social media dashboard template displays assorted platform performance results in one visual, comprehensive report to support strategic decision making.

Download Social Media Dashboard Template - Excel

Lead Generation Dashboard Template

Use this lead generation dashboard template to get a clear view of high-performing lead sources, value-per-lead data, and daily lead generation data over a 30-day period. Evaluate key performance metrics to pinpoint where you stand relative to your goals and create your plan of action accordingly.

Download Lead Generation Dashboard Template - Excel

SEO Dashboard Template

Visualize the power of your SEO strategy with this easy-to-use SEO analytics dashboard. View top keyword performance, search traffic metrics (organic and paid), backlinks, ROI, and more on a monthly and yearly basis.

Download SEO Dashboard Template - Excel

Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Business Dashboard Template

Get a high-level view of your company’s key performance metrics in multiple graph formats with this KPI business dashboard. This template tracks and measures the success of previous decisions and enables strategic planning to achieve target objectives.

Download KPI Business Dashboard Template - Excel

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) Tracker Worksheet Template

Measure monthly contact engagement and performance metrics with this KPI tracker worksheet. This template compares goals to actual monthly results to support forward-thinking initiatives on growing brand awareness, interaction, lead generation, and other strategic opportunities.

Download KPI Tracker Worksheet Template

Excel | PDF

Content Performance Measurement Template

Analyzing content performance is only valuable when you evaluate the right metrics for your business. Use this customizable content performance measurement template to track page views, visits, search metrics, and other key customer-centric activities across multiple channels.

Download Content Performance Measurement Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Content Marketing Metrics Template

Make effective strategic decisions quickly by analyzing the effectiveness of your current content efforts. Use this content marketing metrics template to report on key measurements like reach by channel, website visits by source, leads generated, conversion rates, and more.

Download Content Marketing Metrics Template

Excel | Smartsheet

Marketing Return on Investment (ROI) Template

Prove the success of your marketing content projects by reporting on the impact of your decisions. Track cost of initiatives, number of leads generated, sales, revenue, and return on investment for multiple marketing efforts with this customizable marketing ROI (MROI) template.

Download Marketing ROI Template - Excel

In summary, successful content marketing relies on managing, executing, and analyzing many working components. Keeping up with ever-changing trends, search standards, and competitive players in a dynamic industry requires an adaptable and agile marketing plan. As discussed, using the right tools and software can take your content strategy from good to extraordinary.


Improve Your Content Marketing with Smartsheet for Marketing

Whether you’re a blogger, email content strategist, or social media marketing guru, you know that connecting and engaging with target prospects is essential to getting the right content into the right hands at the right time. You also recognize that achieving these goals requires the right tools.

One such tool is Smartsheet, a work execution platform that enables enterprises and teams to get from idea to impact fast. Extraordinary marketers rely on Smartsheet for campaign management, initiative tracking, content calendars, event management, and more.

Use Smartsheet to boost accountability by maintaining consistency across channels and campaigns, save time with centralized resources, and increase campaign speed to market. Seamlessly connect marketing efforts to ROI, accelerate delivery of marketing initiatives, and improve alignment with internal and external stakeholders.

Marketing Task Tracker Dashboard

Discover how Smartsheet can help maximize your marketing efforts today.

Try Smartsheet for Marketing


Manage your content marketing campaigns and drive results with Smartsheet.

Try Smartsheet for Free