Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Jeev Trika, Karyn Jeffery, Yakov Fain

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver 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. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
IoT generates lots of temporal data. But how do you unlock its value? How do you coordinate the diverse moving parts that must come together when developing your IoT product? What are the key challenges addressed by Data as a Service? How does cloud computing underlie and connect the notions of Digital and DevOps What is the impact of the API economy? What is the business imperative for Cognitive Computing? Get all these questions and hundreds more like them answered at the 18th Cloud Expo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies 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. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, 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.
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media 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.
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...
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ContentMX, the marketing technology and services company with a singular mission to increase engagement and drive more conversations for enterprise, channel and SMB technology marketers, has been named “Sponsor & Exhibitor Lounge Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York. “CloudExpo is a great opportunity to start a conversation with new prospects, but what happens after the...
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev 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. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
WebRTC is bringing significant change to the communications landscape that will bridge the worlds of web and telephony, making the Internet the new standard for communications. Cloud9 took the road less traveled and used WebRTC to create a downloadable enterprise-grade communications platform that is changing the communication dynamic in the financial sector. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Leo Papadopoulos, CTO of Cloud9, will discuss the importance of WebRTC and how it enables companies to fo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media 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. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...