How Do You Keep Your Content Marketing Plan On Track?
Building a robust content marketing plan is an essential strategy for many businesses, but keeping that plan on track requires commitment and effort. You may also need to change or update your plan, or at least some details of your plan, to stay agile in adjusting to market and customer needs.
In this blog post, we explore some of the general principles behind content marketing planning and provide useful and effective ways which you can use to sustain your plan and keep it on track to deliver the results you require.
Creating a Content Marketing Plan
Before you can create your content marketing plan, it’s important that you have the following in place to serve as your guiding principles, providing coherence throughout execution:
- A well-crafted and well-thought out mission-vision statement
- Clarity on your short-term and long-term objectives
- A deep understanding of your target audience and their needs and wants
- Target metrics for the results you want to achieve
Once you have this, you’ll be able to create a comprehensive but tailor-made content marketing plan. To recap previous blog posts, having a content marketing framework then helps you build a strong plan full of great content ideas and envision how it should be executed, complete with milestones and accountabilities.
Catch up on our content marketing blog posts:
Content ideas are central to creating your content marketing plan. When we’re creating a new content plan, we typically use the following focus points to help us develop ideas:
- History – focus on how something developed over time
- Data – how can we simplify complex data for our audience?
- People – is there someone, or a group of people, our audience would find interesting?
- The basics – introductory 101 content covering a topic our target audience might not be familiar with and wants to know more about
- The details – exploring a subject the target audience already has fundamental knowledge of but wants to go deeper into
- Opinion – the personal, subjective perspective
- Process – step-by-step instructions explaining how things work
- Curated content – ranked lists or collections of set criteria, like bestselling books
- Product or service – a focus on the unique features and benefits of your products compared to your competitors
- Examples or case studies – specific topics that focus on particular instances which demonstrate the general trends
The Content Marketing Framework
Reading a new book called the Content Fuel Framework inspired me to create our own framework, using Melanie’s book and expanding on her thoughts with our own ideas, tips, and recommendations. We’ve also created a webinar you can watch any time, along with free downloadable templates to help you get started.
How do you keep your Content Marketing Plan on track?
Keeping your content marketing plan on track can be challenging, especially as your business grows. How well you’re able to stay on track might also depend on various market factors such as customer demand, competition, and trends in new technology.
Follow these tips to keep your content marketing plan on track:
- Set your priorities and deadlines from the beginning – you can use our content marketing framework as a guide in setting deadlines for creating and releasing different types of content on different topics. Don’t forget it’s also important to prioritize your content. Using content management and planning tools such as Gantt charts, Trello or Basecamp will also help keep you on track and hold everyone accountable for their area of work.
- Create tasks in a workflow that makes sense for you – if you have a content marketing team, delegate tasks and responsibilities so that the work is spread and everyone is accountable.
- Be realistic about your timings – creating great content is often a time-consuming task, and it’s important to get it right. When you’re adding tasks into your workflow, make sure everyone has enough time to complete their work. Not giving people enough time will result in below-par content, frustrations and probably a lack of motivation if deadlines seem impossible.
- Be consistent and stay focused – you might be tempted to try something different if you don’t get results straight away, but this could be counter-productive. Content takes time to take hold, and changing your tactics too early can affect the quality and credibility of your content marketing. If you have a robust strategy in place, it’s important to stick to it for at least six months so you have enough time to see trends in your results. Of course, it’s also important to remain agile enough that you can tweak your plan if you need too.
- Seek expert advice – if you have limited marketing experience or you don’t have the in-house expertise you need to create and execute on content marketing and keep your plan on track, you might want to consider hiring a marketing agency that has the skills and technology you need.
- Keep it manageable – as the classic planning adage says, you must keep your plan SMART – specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. Avoid being overwhelmed by keeping things as simple as possible. Start small, grow big.
Need support for your content marketing? Let’s chat.