Ashley Zeckman

New Content Planning Report: Is Your Content Planning a Smashing Success or Misadventure?

Ashley Zeckman     Content Marketing

It wasn’t too long ago that many brands were hesitant to truly incorporate content into their marketing mix. Instead, they focused solely on website copy, SEO, PR and Digital Advertising.

Today however, if someone told you that they aren’t “doing” content, they’d likely receive a befuddled look in response. Content (and especially great content) have become the cornerstone of most digital marketing programs.

But even though brands have jumped on the content bandwagon, that doesn’t always mean that they’re successfully incorporating content into their marketing. The cause? What it really boils down to is a lack of planning.

In order to tackle some of today’s top challenges and opportunities head on, our client DivvyHQ recently conducted a survey of marketers to uncover what’s working, and what’s not.

Below you’ll find insights into some of the key findings of the report as well as some tips to help you become a content planning success story.

Developing a Content Strategy Still a Top Challenge

According to the report, 64% of marketers surveyed cited “developing a comprehensive content strategy” as a top challenge followed by 46% which struggled with “ensuring content ideas align with the strategy”.

While we all know that a content strategy is essential for true content success, it’s still an exercise that is daunting to many marketers today.

The only way to overcome your content strategy phobia is to face it head-on. There are many ways to go about developing a content strategy but the key is to start small. If you’re faced with a bohemith task, chances are you won’t follow through.

To get started identify the following:

  1. Target Audience
  2. Top Marketing Goals & Objectives
  3. Current Top Performing Content

Once you’ve identified the items above, develop a content plan for the next couple of months or even the upcoming quarter. Make sure that your plan is agile so that you can add in additional content that will speak to current needs of your customers by try to stick as close to your plan as possible so you can assess after the trial period and develop a more informed plan for the next quarter.

Content Collaboration Key to Success

Part of developing a successful content plan, is ensuring that you have the right team members involved in the process. The chances of a marketing plan being successful when developed by one person are pretty slim.

Respondents in the report stated a few barriers to content collaboration included 58% say they are “too busy” and 15% that say they do not have “a culture that supports” content.

But who exactly should participate in content planning? The results varied across the board but of those that responded, 85% said that Senior Production (Manager Level) are involved while 60% stated that Management (VP or Director Level) is involved.

While your exact team participation will vary depending on if you are at an agency or a corporation, one fact remains true: It takes a village to create successful content.

Get in the collaboration groove by scheduling weekly or bi-weekly meetings with the appropriate team members that you believe should be a part of the planning process. That will help ensure that when you take content concepts to upper management, there will have been a team of people determining the course.

Then, make a point to check in with your leadership team on a monthly or quarterly basis to share content results, strategy and next steps.

Content Production Volume Can Impact Success

In previous years, content production was largely focused on quantity. Fortunately, many marketers have wised up and have instead begun focusing on creating a quantity of QUALITY content.

As the fight for customer attention only becomes more competitive, the focus should be first and foremost on content impact.

In this report, the vast majority (42%) only produce 1-10 pieces of content each month and only 13% crete 25-50 per month.

Now while the focus should be on IMPACT, marketers do need to be publishing great content on a consistent basis. A couple blog posts a month will no longer cut it in today’s market. To truly compete brands (and agencies) should be publishing blog content AT LEAST a couple times a week and developing larger gated and ungated content assets each month or quarter.

Want More? Download the Full Report

If you’re hungry for even more insights from the new DivvyHQ survey you can download the full report now: 2017 Research Report: Content Planning Challenges, Trends & Opportunities.

What have you found to be your top content planning opportunities and successes so far in 2017?

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.