Whenever failure strikes in content marketing and the post mortem is reviewed, there is almost always the same missing component: adequate planning.
The expression “a failure to plan is a plan to fail” is as true for content marketing as it is for navigating any aspect of business life. Why do so many marketers fail at content planning? Do they not have the skills or information? Maybe they don’t have the right tools or a fleshed out, documented strategy.
I’m pretty sure just about every marketer from early stage to advanced could do with some content planning optimization.
Lucky for you, we’ve partnered with our client, content planning software platform, DivvyHQ to find out where content planning stands today. We’ve also collaborated with top content marketing leaders including Michael Brenner, Carla Johnson, Robert Rose and Tamsen Webster for their strategic guidance.
Besides the fact that my team at TopRank Marketing helped conduct the research, analyze the data and compile it into a handsome-looking report, what I like most is that the information is broken down into actionable advice that ranges from top challenges to operations to the data that drives strategic content marketing success.
Here are a few highlights:
Top Content Planning Challenges
As Carla Johnson shared with us: “Great planning has more than one perspective. And that means you have to include people outside your normal circle. Instead of planning content for sales teams and then turning it over, have someone from sales in the meeting to share their perspective from the get-go.”Include people outside your normal circle. Instead of planning content for sales teams and then turning it over, have someone from sales in the meeting to share their perspective from the get-go. - @CarlaJohnson Click To Tweet
Top Content Planning SuccessesWe simply have to stop measuring content and start measuring its impact on the audience. - @Robert_Rose Click To Tweet
There’s a lot to be said for the maturity of outputs versus outcomes when it comes to measuring success, as Robert indicates. While 78% of the survey respondents measure content planning effectiveness though consumption and 73% do so with content engagement, 27% of marketers have taken those insights to heart and changed their content planning significantly as a result.
Top Content Marketing Tactics
For the respondents of this report, blog content takes the top spot (83%) followed closely by social media content (81%) and emails (80%). These are the bread and butter content types for most content marketers. There’s also appetite for visual content with video (74%) and infographics (63%) scoring well in their own right.
Content Planning Maturity Opportunities
Many marketing maturity models use levels of sophistication as a way to measure where the user base falls to determine the levels of maturity. In this report, 80% of survey respondents stated they use a content calendar in some way, which represents an early stage. 42% use calendars to track publish dates which is slightly ahead and 22% manage all milestones related to campaigns, production and publish dates which would represent more advanced use.
With marketers in this survey not showing signs of advancing maturity over 2017, there are many content planning maturity opportunities in the form of awareness, education, adoption and process/skills optimization. This is a challenge that TopRank Marketing consulting and DivvyHQ software eagerly accept!
Take action towards advancing your own level of content planning and marketing maturity by downloading the 2018 Content Planning Report here.