Right now, everyone is scrambling to prepare for 2020. But if you’re scrambling for a content marketing plan, don’t.
We’ve got you covered on today’s blog with a quarter-by-quarter plan for your content marketing.
Read on (and scratch one more thing off that long 2020 “to-do” list!).
A 12-Month Content Marketing Plan Is A MUST
Planning a yearlong content marketing initiative may sound daunting, but it’s a fabulous idea.
For one, you can tell your overarching story in a strategic way. Ask yourself the following questions to help with strategy …
- Which seasons do we garner the most traffic?
- What annual days or National Holidays do we capitalize on the most?
- Which times of the year do we lag/have the most room for growth?
- How can we tie our business outcomes to content key performance indicators?
- Can we prep for upcoming announcements or new campaigns in advance?
And secondly, you can better analyze which parts of your story resonate the best with your audience by breaking it into parts.
Last, but certainly not least, you can give your content the precious time it needs to succeed. We all know content marketing is a long-term play. So why not plan it that way?
Quarter One (January, February, March)
First things first, conduct an audit of last year’s content marketing plan.
- Which content performed best? Worst?
- What trends can you see with topics and timing?
- Which content produced the most sales/conversions?
After you’ve deciphered your biggest trends and patterns, it’s time to get to work on this year.
Next, create a yearlong content calendar. Start with your known media dates and holidays and then work your way into the minutia of your schedule.
#ProTip: Any Q2 campaigns need to be addressed NOW, in Q1. Give yourself 90 days to plan for next quarter’s content.
Yes, this kinda means that any Q1 content you didn’t plan for at the end of last year is going to be a scramble. But at least moving forward, you know how to better work a 12-month content marketing plan.
Quarter Two (April, May, June)
Now that you’re in Q2, things are in full swing. Here’s where you’ll want to take a shorter view and look back at Q1.
Reassess your efforts last quarter. How did things go? Did you have enough in the budget to support your content initiatives? Did you have enough support?
If the answer is no, now’s the time to ask for more money or resources. Remember that things naturally tend to slow in Q3 when many people are out of the office and traveling for the summer.
#ProTip: Pay close attention to any content gaps you experienced in Q1 and build a strategy to fill them during Q2-4. If you noticed a particular type of content worked well, figure out ways in which you can repeat that content type without regurgitating the same story.
Once you near the end of the quarter, you’re halfway through the year! Now would be the time for a half-year review; put some reports together for your stakeholders that show how your top content is performing.
Or, if you’re really ambitious, try for quarterly reviews.
Quarter Three (July, August, September)
Just because summer tends to be slower doesn’t mean you can relax!
Now is the time to start furiously measuring the good and the bad. Since you now have at least six months of content to analyze, you should be able to see where you will (or won’t) hit your goals and KPIs.
#ProTip: Make any adjustments need to ensure you can hit the majority of your content goals. It may be time to have a sitdown with your writers, too. You can help them help you by showing them what’s been working and what’s been falling flat.
At the same time, you should be using these quiet months to prep for the upcoming holidays. Q4 is notoriously hectic. So if you plan for the rush now, you’ll be ahead of the game.
Quarter Four (October, November, December)
We’re in the home stretch!
Whether you’re spending every last effort on the holiday season or figuring out where to spend your leftovers, this is the time to dig in with everything you have.
These last three months (two, really) are your time to shine and show everyone that your 12-month content marketing plan was a success for everyone.
#ProTip: Additionally, you need to be ready to present a report to stakeholders showcasing data-backed results. Do this in early December before the holiday time-warp takes over.
And, you guessed it, you need to already be planning for any Q1 campaigns so you have a full 90 days of planning available to you.
Repeat Above Content Marketing Plan For Next Year
It goes without saying: you should rinse and repeat.
Take a look at what went well with your plan. What parts of the strategic plan will you keep and which parts need a little TLC?
#ProTip: Would adding departmental planning and adding other departments be beneficial? If so, add it to the plan and DO IT!
Get even clearer on what your goals will be for next year. And when you do, this simple plan should help you accomplish even more with your content marketing moving forward.
How are you planning for your content marketing in 2020 and beyond? Let us know in the comments section below!
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