Now is the Time to Jump-Start Your Marketing Plans
Whether your marketing calendar starts on a fiscal year or the New Year, it’s never too early to start thinking about how to incorporate content marketing in your annual plans.
For some of us, plans will include dipping a toe into the content marketing pool for the first time, while others are measuring and tweaking current initiatives that have been in place for some time.
Here are seven things you can do TODAY to jump-start your content marketing plans:
1. Start talking about content. Lead the way to a content marketing mindset in your organization by starting to think about and discuss content articles, posts, infographics, advertisements, etc. Not that you won’t use those things, but kick off discussions with, “What content can we generate on this topic?” and not, “What press releases will we write?”
2. Audit the content you have. Do you have a cool video buried deep on your website? A dated looking chart that could easily become an infographic? You could be sitting on a gold mine of content that just needs to be dusted off, refreshed and repackaged. Check out this helpful infographic on ways to share and leverage content.
3. Seek out a champion. Every organization has many people who are very focused on sharing the specifications and details of products and services. And every organization has one or two people who understand the industry, know the audience and can tell compelling stories. Find your organization’s storytellers and get them on board with your content marketing plans.
4. Find the secret stash of research. Just because your communications team hasn’t conducted research doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist somewhere in the organization. Data from web clicks, product focus groups, CEO roundtable discussions, comments posted to your company Facebook or LinkedIn groups can all generate interesting nuggets of content that can serve as the foundation for your content marketing plan.
5. Make your own industry/audience friend. There are people out there who love your company and love your products. Make a personal effort to strike up a relationship with one or more of them, perhaps using social media or industry conferences. They will relish official company attention and can serve as a great resource for both helping provide content and letting you know what content interests them most.
6. Identify three quick victories. Finally, think about the content you have, the research you have uncovered, the industry people you know, the champions in your organization, and come up with three quick content marketing wins. Starting your year with some small but immediate successes helps boost interest in your overall plan and get more people on board.
7. Dream big. As you plan, think of your dream for content in your organization. Is it a really cool way to integrate gamification? A video theme you always thought would tell a great story? It’s always good to plan to your resources and budget, but also good to show you are thinking big. Forward-thinking organizations can find ways to make big ideas happen.
We are in the content era, and communications professionals are working quickly to adapt their planning processes to be content-centric. We would love to hear your content marketing planning successes, so please be sure to use the comments to share your best content “finds,” how you made a new connection in the industry, or how you intend to share content in a new and unique way.