If you’re anything like us and our clients, you’re busier than ever.
Part of that busy-ness has been reacting to recent events. That’s fine. But for many marketers it’s come at a cost. They’re lacking an editorial plan.
As we argued back in March, that was the right thing to do. But that was then and this is now. It’s time to get things back on track.
To help, I thought a quick reminder of the essential planning assets of high performing, sustainable editorial plans would be timely.
Here we go...
#1 Content purpose
This is a high-level statement that describes what we’re trying to achieve with our content. Not quantifiable goals (they come next) but a manifesto that describes the value that we’re going to deliver to our audience through the content we’re putting out there in the world. It’s the north star for everything we’re going to produce.
Here are a few examples from our clients:
To help our customers create outstanding in-store experiences.
To help our audience make better decisions today, to protect their assets tomorrow.
My preference is that these statements are succinct and easy to remember. However, they can be much longer - depending on what works for your marketing team. You’ll also notice that the above statements are both about helping our audience, which is a preferred content approach of mine. Deliver massive value to your audience to build credibility with them, demonstrate your expertise and most importantly build a relationship.
#2 Measurable goals
Your content purpose guides your content decisions, but you need to set measurable goals to be crystal clear on what success looks like for you and to be able to measure your performance on an ongoing basis. It’s best to keep this simple and not be overwhelmed with too many goals. There are many metrics that could be relevant to your business, but the most popular tend to be based around:
- New contacts / Influenced contacts
- Revenue influenced
- Keyword rankings
Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn't be looking at many more metrics that will give you insight into how to improve your content performance, but it’s good to pick just a few to help focus minds.
#3 Tone of voice
Your company's tone of voice is not just what you say, but how you say it. Having one means your messaging will be consistent and considered across all channels, which helps to establish trust, show your company's personality and set you apart from your competitors. In short, it helps turn your business into a brand.
#4 Target persona’s or a list of target accounts
“Know thy audience and know thy content to create” a wise man once said.
Well, not really I just made it up but my mum tells me I’m wise and so it must be true.
It still surprises me how many businesses don’t have a clear, well-documented understanding of their audience and are pumping money and time into content creation.
In order to create content that resonates you need to know...
- The jobs your audience are trying to get done (JTBD).
- The challenges they face
- Their key desires
With this knowledge, you can create content that deeply resonates with them and provides them with the value needed to establish a profitable relationship.
With our clients, if we’re using an inbound marketing approach we build detailed buyer persona’s, if we’re using an Account Based Marketing (ABM) approach we will ensure we have a set list of target accounts.
#5 Keyword research
If SEO and driving organic traffic is a target, it’s pretty obvious we need to ensure we have done our keyword research.
We always start our keyword research with our clients offline, by creating a keyword matrix based on semantic topics and buyer journey stage and then use Moz Pro to find and prioritise our target keywords.
#6 Content research
Often the past is the best predictor of the future. When starting with a new client or planning our next campaign it’s helpful to know what has worked for them in the past as an indicator of the content their audience wants to engage with. This includes:
- Which of our blogs/landing pages have performed best over the past 30, 90 and 365 days
- Which lead magnets have resulted in the most submissions
- What articles around our semantic topic are getting the most traction online from our publishers
- Which search queries are being used to find our website and top performing blogs.
If you’re an experienced marketer, the above might seem fairly basic and obvious. However, in my opinion the best campaigns are often the ones that keep in simple, and get the basics right. If you have the right strategy in place, your editorial and campaign planning will become much easier and the results much better.
What other essentials do you have in place in your marketing strategy that guides your editorial and campaign planning? Send me an email, I’d love to compare notes.