Click here to close now.



Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Liz McMillan, Cloud Best Practices Network, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Jayaram Krishnaswamy

Blog Feed Post

Content Marketing Without a Plan: Marketer Beware

“Can’t we just plan as we go?”

“Why do we need a plan? I can give you some ideas right now.”

“Is a plan really going to help?”

No. Whatever. Yes. In that order.

I hear a lot of objections to doing content marketing planning the right way, and these represent a few of the most common.

The fear of planning, or what I call planophobia, is fairly common. It’s closely linked with commitmentphobia, or the fear of losing options.

For a moment, though, forget about why certain people or organizations are scared of making concrete plans, and let’s focus on what’s likely to happen in the absence of a content marketing plan.

Your editorial calendar will fall apart within 30 days

Sure, everyone is ALL fired up when you begin this content marketing “thing.” Your marketing manager is going to write, your customer service person is going to write … heck, even your controller has volunteered to write (she’ll need an editor or two, just a heads up).

You may even sit in a room and come up with dozens of topics to write about. You’ll fill up multiple whiteboards, you’ll take photos of those whiteboards, and people might even submit a few pieces in the first few weeks.

And then … poof! The content disappearing act begins. The thrill wears off, you feel like you’re out of new content ideas, and you have an empty calendar and no concept of where to turn.

Instead: Be systematic. Try to build all those topics around ideas, themes, and messages. Then, fill every space on that whiteboard and load everything into a calendar. And don’t just include the topic and the author but also things like when the first draft is due, and when you’ll actually publish and promote.

You won’t find the “big idea”

In every content marketing plan, we land on one or two big ideas — things that offer enough promise that they might serve as the focal point of large chunks of your content marketing program. That big idea may be a campaign structure, or a new type of content, or a unique way of presenting a certain set of key messages.

I’ve never seen those big ideas fall into place using an on-the-fly content marketing planning approach. Here’s why: when you dedicate the time to content marketing planning, that’s all you do. You actually have the time to think. You’re not worried about cranking out the next bylined article, or conceptualizing the eBook that needs to get published in three weeks. Even if you land on a big idea when the content marketing train is already in motion, it’s very difficult to make it your focal point when there’s a bunch of material already in produce-publish-and-market mode.

Instead: Don’t settle for a generic content marketing plan. If you don’t walk out of the planning process with a few big ideas, your team is not thinking hard enough. Given that just about every market is becoming saturated with content, you’re going to need some big ideas — and the remarkable content to match — in order to achieve greatness.

Your subject matter experts and internal writers will lose interest

Let’s face it. We all attend too many meetings. Sit in enough meetings in a given day, and unless you’re leading each one, you’re bound to lose interest in a few. Your mind wanders thinking about the Sam Adams you’re going to drink at 6 p.m. or the CrossFit workout you’re going to end your day with.

Some of those Boston lager drinkers or exercise enthusiasts are your subject matter experts or internal writers. They have a lot of stuff to do outside of your fancy content marketing initiative; all they need is a reason to ignore something, and your lack of a plan may be that perfect reason.

Instead: Show them a plan, complete with goals and objectives that address the organization’s bottom line, and put their names next to some specific deliverables. Tell them about how many times their original thinking will be shared with others. Help them add authored content to their social media profiles so they recognize both a personal and corporate impact.

Your internal stakeholders (or investors) will stop buying in

In order to get your content marketing initiative off the ground, you’re going to need a bunch of people to buy in – everyone from your marketing staff to your subject matter experts to your “investors,” the folks who support and approve your budget.

In the absence of immediate results or proof of major progress — and this is often the case with content marketing initiatives — your stakeholders will get a little antsy. They’ll grill you on what you’re doing after two to three months, they’ll grill you on metrics that are meaningless to the program, they’ll grill you on why you’re occupying so many resources.

Instead: Let them grill you during the planning process and explain to them how progress will be measured and how long it takes. Then, make sure the plan includes regular check-ins with stakeholders to brief them on progress. If those check-ins are built into the plan, you’ll know they’re coming, and you’ll make sure you are fully prepared, right?

You’ll lose the opportunity to educate your team on content marketing’s myriad benefits

My own research tells me that the average businessperson, even the really bright ones, has no idea what content marketing is. Going through the planning process gives you the perfect excuse to include a heavy dose of education as part of the process. An educated stakeholder will always be a better stakeholder.

Instead: Include education in every facet of the planning process. Make it part of initial discovery, make it part of brainstorming ideas, and make it part of presenting the final plan. Remember, for some people, it may be three months between their participation in an initial meeting and the final presentation, and they’re likely not thinking about content marketing during that time. Give them a refresher course.

Still think you can bypass the planning?

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 84 percent of marketers who say they are ineffective at content marketing say they have no documented strategy. That doesn’t bode well for those of you who have chosen to let your planophobia win out.

Keep in mind that plans come in all shapes and sizes. Some organizations need giant, well-documented, 75-page plans. Other organizations can get away with addressing some basic research, goals and objectives, and ideas, messages and themes.

In the absence of a plan, though, you better create some kind of a strategy for what you’re going to do when these problems actually start wreaking havoc with your content marketing initiative.

If you need some help figuring out how to get your content marketing planning process off the ground, get in touch.

The post Content Marketing Without a Plan: Marketer Beware appeared first on Right Source Marketing.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mike Sweeney

Mike Sweeney and Right Source Marketing help organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

@ThingsExpo Stories
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...