Often times content creators dive right into producing and publishing content without thinking through a content plan. Taking a step back and outlining a full plan that aligns with your brand strategies and goals is the best foot forward towards creating content that works for you.
A great jumping off point when coming up with new content ideas is a content audit of current inventory, to see what is working and what is not. Focus on what content has driven you closer to your brand objectives, assessing return-on-investment and audience engagement.
Your content audit should answer these questions:
Which pieces of content are performing best?
What content segments are driving the most ROI? (Blog posts, ebooks, videos, etc.)
What topics best resonate with your audience?
What content is just not cutting it?
Your brand’s content pillars are another great guide to developing content ideas. Outlining fresh new approaches that support your main content pillars drives brand consistency and reinforces your brand vision. Think about what types of content your audience connects with and pivot to produce more content in these segments.
You can also repurpose content to fit your best performing segments. If your audience likes videos, consider converting a high performing blog post into a video.
Ultimately, you want to provide content that is educational, relevant and entertaining to your audience on a regular basis.
Building out a comprehensive schedule takes the stress out of day-to-day posting and allows your team to build in timing strategy in your calendar. Aligning content launches with real-life experiences and needs, puts your content in the best position to resonate with and help your audience.
An interactive calendar that all team members have access to is integral in assuring everyone is aligned on actionable tasks. This visibility across teams supports an efficient workflow and can provide valuable insights into any bottlenecks or communication gaps.
It can also highlight new opportunities for growth; there may be an upcoming pitch that aligns with a planned content series or related evergreen material that enhances the content and re-engages your audience.
One size does NOT fit all
Packaging your content for distribution on your own platform, but also through all your marketing channels, should showcase individuality. Copying and pasting a headline onto your social posts isn’t going to cut it.
Each platform has its own identity and purpose; how your audience engages with content varies by platform as well. Therefore, you must approach sharing content on these channels with components (captions, photo/video, tags, etc) that are specific to the platform it is being shared on.
Additionally, platforms reward brands that use their integrated features. Finding ways to utilize tools on each platform to showcase your content and drive towards your goals will yield higher results. Holding an IG Live to promote a campaign launch or hosting a Twitter chat that introduces a new infographic series are just a couple of ways to tap into a platform's unique features.
No More Set it and Forget it!
Often times teams are so busy that they execute on the content plan and move on to the next campaign without following up to see the results of their efforts. Continuous tracking of your content allows your team to see what is working and develop a strategy to optimize wins, as well as quickly assessing when something is not working and make any necessary tweaks. Trends fade out as quickly as they dropped in, so the ability to optimize on content that is performing well can make or break your marketing goals. This is especially useful if the content is tied to a client campaign or major brand launch.
Alternatively, if a piece of content is just not connecting with your audience, your team should cut its losses. We win some, we lose some; continuing to push out content that is not performing just because it’s on the calendar is a poor use of time and energy. Instead, you can double down on what content is working or even brainstorm some new content ideas to try.
You may be wondering how to tell when content is performing well or not. Setting benchmarks for success ahead of time is a direct tool to measuring the success of your marketing efforts. Using data from your content audit you can set specific goals based on your key performance indicators (these should directly reflect your overall goals). Creating a tracking spreadsheet is a great way to look at all the data at once and make decisions on what is performing well and what isn’t.
These key components in content planning will keep your content powerful and unique, resonating with your audience while driving towards your overall brand objectives.