Plan the work. Work the plan.
Planning can take a number of forms, depending on where you lie in your content marketing journey. If you are just beginning to build your program, planning might take the form of a business case or even a simple mission statement.
For other organizations that have been building a content marketing program for some time, it may exist as a regular checkpoint to ensure that your programs continue to meet broader (and sometimes changing) business goals. Regardless, the “planning” element of your program should be the first — and strongest — thread throughout your content marketing framework.
Note: If you are new to content marketing, check out our getting started how-to guide to understand what content marketing is.
Understand your purpose
Before you do start your content marketing plan, you need to understand why are you are creating content in the first place. Remember: as Jay Baer says, “Content helps achieve business objectives, not content objectives.”
The best and simplest way to solidify your purpose is to create your content marketing mission statement.
Build the business case
If you are working in a mid-to-large size organization, sometimes the hardest part about content marketing is getting buy-in. According to CMI’s content marketing 2014 research, 23% of B2B and B2C marketers cite getting executive buy-in as a challenge for content marketing.
Here are some ideas on how to explain and justify to content marketing to the powers-that-be:
- 2 Foolproof Methods for Getting Content Marketing Buy-In
- Getting Buy-In for Your Content Marketing: A 3-Point Process
- 3 Critical Questions to Answer Before Building a Corporate Content Marketing Practice
- How to Justify the Cost of Content Marketing
- 4 Hidden Benefits of Content Marketing that Go Beyond ROI
Often, it helps to be able to reference research that shows trends in marketing.
Here are some other research reports that you can use to build your plan:
- A Consumer Content Marketing Conundrum: More or Less Content from Brands?
- Technology Buyers Require Practical, Timely Content [Research]
- Do Brands and Agencies Use Content Marketing Differently? [Research]
- 2012 Digital Content Marketing Survey [Research]
- Why It’s Vital to Develop a Converged Media Strategy Right Now
- Is Social Media the New Word of Mouth? [RESEARCH]
Examples and case studies
Another great way to justify content marketing is to show how other companies are having success. Here are some case studies and examples to pull from:
- 7 Tricks Content Marketing Trendsetters Can Teach You for 2013
- 12 Organizations Doing Content Marketing Right
- Content Marketing Playbook 2011: 42 Ways to Connect with Customers
- How the Inc. 500 Fastest-Growing Companies Are Using Content Marketing
- The 7-Step Content Marketing Plan that Earned an $87 Million Dollar Paycheck
- 3 Tips for Crushing Content Marketing Like the Australians Do
- Branded Content Broadcasting: Examples from Brand Media Moguls
- Coca-Cola’s Content Strategy: 3 Lessons for B2B Marketers
- 5 Content Strategies for Boring Brands