Welcome!

API Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Flint Brenton, Scott Allen

Blog Feed Post

Overcoming Planner’s Block: The Content Marketer’s Edition

Putting together a content marketing plan is no walk in the park. While there is no such thing as a standard content marketing plan, our particular process typically involves hours of discovery and research, a 40 – 70 page written document, a 20 – 30 slide presentation, and then delivery and discussion. This is a 20 – 30 day process for most.

So what should you do if you are forced to simplify and expedite that planning process to meet some type of deadline? Or what if you are experiencing planner’s block, or having trouble getting started with your content marketing planning process?

First, be very afraid. Done right, content marketing planning should not be condensed.

Now, take a deep breath and start addressing the following topics.

Answer the 12 questions that should guide your content marketing plan.

These 12 questions will warm up your planning brain. Some of these should be very easy to answer, providing some layups to get your confidence up.

For instance, don’t overthink a question like “What’s the goal?” Start simple with something like “Increase lead generation using content marketing.” That goal is certainly not specific enough for the final plan, but you can come back to it and refine it later. Remember, we’re just getting things down on paper now to help you overcome planner’s block.

Put together your core business themes.

What are some of the things you want your audiences to think about your company and its products and/or services?

A simple example: We want our audiences to think that we employ the most talented people in the data and analytics space.

Start with 3-5 themes, and move on.

Build out your content pecking order.

There are hundreds of types of content to consider, but since we’re simplifying and expediting, take a look at the Content Marketing Playbook. Decide which forms of content are relevant to you, and then rank them in order of priority.

One tip: Consider splitting up your priority list into anchor content (very important, but more difficult to produce) and supporting content (also very important, but less difficult to produce). Most companies need a mix in order to truly succeed with content marketing.

Create a quick editorial calendar schedule.

Editorial calendars can be scary. Necessary, but scary.

To alleviate that initial fear, swap out “calendar” for “schedule” and make a list that looks something like this:

  • Blog posts – 1x/week
  • Case studies – 1x/quarter
  • eNewsletters – 1x/quarter
  • White papers – 1x/year

That list will provide a nice starting point – you can come back and turn it into a full-blown calendar later.

Determine who your primary and secondary writers are.

Your primary writers are the ones you can count for frequent, solid content. Your secondary writers are the ones you can count on for infrequent, solid content.

Be brutally honest with yourself here. You don’t have to configure your content marketing dream team just yet, but you need to know who you can count on to help.

Decide which keywords you’d like to own.

One benefit of content marketing is its ability to make a significant impact on search engine optimization (SEO). Based on the list of themes you made above, use a keyword research tool like Google AdWords to research and compile a list of keywords you’d like to own. These may be product or service-oriented keywords, category-oriented keywords, or theme-oriented keywords.

With 78% of B2B buyers starting their buying process with a web search, you will want to make sure your content is optimized to rank on these target keywords.

Come up with a simple tracking system.

Alert! This is a topic that lends itself to overthinking.

Remember, we’re simplifying and expediting. Don’t start building out complex reporting structures for your content, or licensing tools that you may never use.

Decide how you want to measure the success of a blog post against another blog post, a webinar against another webinar, or a white paper against another white paper.

If you’re not sure what you should be tracking in the first place, check out the Field Guide to the Four Types of Content Marketing Metrics.

Brainstorm a master list of topics.

This should be the fun part. You have your themes and your target keywords. Now sit down and start creating the list of potential topics to cover. You’re still in the “no bad idea” stage, so make the list exhaustive and whittle it down later.

A few ideas on getting started:

  • Spend some time reading material from companies and individuals you admire – this always inspires content ideas.
  • Ask salespeople what their top 10 prospect questions/issues are (and how they respond to those questions/issues); those questions and answers make for excellent content.
  • Ask your customer service people what their top 10 customer questions/issues are (and how they respond to those questions/issues); those questions and answers make for excellent content.

Consider this merely a starting point.

These eight steps will get you through planner’s block, and may help you build a quick and simple plan, but they should not be viewed as a replacement for a full-blown content marketing plan.  A complete content marketing plan involves exhaustive coverage of planning, creation, optimization, distribution, social media, reporting/analysis and more.

For more on this topic from Right Source and other industry experts, download our free content marketing eBook: How to Grow Your Business with Content 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 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...
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...
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...
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.
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 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...
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...
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 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/.
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
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.
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...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
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 BZ Media LLC has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and Commercial Drone markets.
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...
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...
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...