Success has always been and will always be rooted in comprehensive planning. The same goes for content marketing.
Creating ideas, developing these into something workable is not just difficult – it is such an intimidating task. Planning your actions would help you a great deal. And if you want to reap more benefits, work on a 6-month strategy instead of a short-term one. Not only will this be realistic, it can actually help you better your work quality.
To help you jumpstart things, browse through the 6-month plan below. Besides that, there are monthly, weekly and daily tasks which you could work on.
Please take note that the planning method provided can be customized depending on your company and the industry you’re operating in. But it covers the essentials: maintenance, goal evaluation and short-term strategies.
Your Six-Month Plan: Start by Looking at the Bigger Picture
Most readers would probably want to revise their current content marketing strategy and have some knowledge on the basics. But this short review of said basics would be for those working with a young, yet-to-be established company. Let’s start:
Whatever you are working on, it would always be a good idea to begin with picture concepts. Some companies, especially big ones, develop these annually. But it is more effective to do so per quarter or every six months.
Changes happen rapidly in the marketing world – particularly online – in that short duration. Doing this ensures that you are always up to date. You could re-evaluate those strategies based on your gains and distinguish which worked and which failed. This helps you make improvements. Here are some valuable tips for this:
Set Goals Review
Goals should evolve. Priorities should change. So look at your first (or previous) six months. Secure the data necessary and adjust your goals based on performance, priority and problems.
One of the best ways for this would be to go through the Content Reports of Google Analytics. Pick out the articles which had the highest level of engagement. Use that subject matter for your next set of goals. Take heed of those which had potential too. See how it flopped and brainstorm how you could fix it.
What to Do Next: Your Upcoming Six Months
Now that you have your data, now that you know which worked and which didn’t, make the necessary adjustments. Start with figuring out what you want to accomplish. Figure out what you need to improve on.
This article would be a great source material for you and your team, especially when it comes to improving said goals. It would also be nice if you talked to them about where you’d like to be in in the next six months. Don’t work on the process yet. At this point, just figure out your goals.
Make It Tangible. Write It Down!
Having those endless meetings would not be effective if those in said meetings are not reminded of what they have met about. Six months’ worth of meetings would not fit in a white board. Besides, that can get erased. So don’t leave it there. Creating a document which can be reviewed is important. Have a space for past documents too so that everyone can access it when they need to reflect upon something.
You don’t need a file cabinet for this. Google Docs would be great, though, because it can be shared in an instant and worked on in real time. Trello, a more advanced content management tool, would be a great investment. There are more out there so find what suits you best.
One of the hardest parts of content is that you could come up with so many. And that takes a lot of time and effort to manage. Keep track of these at all times so that when the sixth month meeting comes, you can review your content easily. With well-filed documents, it would easier to point out the gaps and identify weaknesses. Again, Google Docs would be a great tool for this.
Set Objectives to Address Gaps
Set a brainstorming session for you and your team to check out your content, whether that’s a blog post, a video or an e-book. Look at your success metrics which includes downloads and page views just to name a few.
Based on those, come up with ideas to be incorporated in the next six months. Again, because everything changes quickly on the net, make sure that these are general ideas which you will just be tweaking as you go along.
Make Content Calendars
To be able to target a specific theme once a month for the next six months, have a calendar which you and your team can follow. Again, do this in advance so that you wouldn’t have to rush when it’s needed. Read on to get acquainted with the different kinds of content calendars.
Set Goals for Sales and for Your Organization
Remember what we said early on about looking at the big picture? Some people tend to forget this immediately. Don’t. Plan for product launches, rebranding and even organizational re-structuring. Consider factors like important industry events and reports and even holidays.
This tip would be so helpful for those in the e-commerce business. If you’d like to know more about e-commerce SEO and content marketing, click here!
Your Monthly Responsibilities
The six-month brainstorming activity is done primarily to set up a good foundation. Monthly planning is more task-specific but it still has the aforementioned big picture in mind, particularly the goals you have set. Here’s your checklist:
Content Calendar Review
See to it that you are staying on course, especially with themes you have set beforehand. Create content which you have not brainstormed about in the past.
Check Out Local Events
Especially those which would benefit you in your industry
Makes sure that that these will be met based on publishing turn-around and writing time
This is done for focused efforts and to ask for feedback
You will need to adjust. Stay as flexible as you can to make the necessary improvements. Don’t wait for the sixth month to deal with something which is not working.
Your Weekly Responsibilities
Here, you are looking at the short-term goals. Here, you can adjust workload as you see fit. Check out the strategies which could help you:
Planning and Organization Weekly Review
If a physical meeting is not possible, do it through e-mail. Monday mails should be about reminding the team about their goals. Friday messages should be ‘How did we do this whole week?’
Review Weekly Assignments
This is done to ensure that every content type, big or small, is in development. This also helps in ascertaining the need for shifting workloads.
See to it that every single goal was met. This also helps address possible problems with publishing.
Be on the Loop with Industry News
Your Daily Responsibilities
Here, it is important to ascertain that everyday jobs are getting accomplished. Constant communication with the marketing team is a must, too. Here are the specific tips:
Writers must be task-oriented. They should also commit to developing content daily.
Communication Lines are Kept Open
If you don’t have a physical office, do this through the Social Network. Spreadsheets work just as well.
Recording New Ideas
New concepts crop up when you least expect it so encourage your writers to take note of these. Every single one of those can be saved and then used in the future, whether that’s next week or in the months ahead.
Do you have any questions or remarks about our six-month plan? What do you think about the monthly, weekly and daily goal setting for content marketing? Don’t hesitate to let us know about what you think and how you feel in the comments section below.