By now, you’ve probably learned the importance of coming up with a plan and strategy for your content. A content plan means that you have something to publish or put out there on a regular basis, whether you hire a freelance blogger or produce the content on your own. Making the plan and putting together an editorial calendar is just part of the battle, though. There are a few approaches to and methods of content planning that are best left on the shelf. To get the most out of your content marketing, make sure you leave the following approaches behind.
The Spaghetti Approach
The more cooked and ready spaghetti is, the stickier it becomes. Hence the cliche, throw the spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. That’s a terribly messy way to make your dinner. It’s also a terribly messy way to produce content. You don’t want to create a bunch of random blog posts, articles and other content and hope that at least some of them will stick, or resonate with your audience.
An example of the spaghetti method when it comes to content planning is to produce content without a plan for getting it out there. You might have a writer create a blog post, for example. But, you don’t have a real plan for getting that blog post in front of an audience, so you send it out over every possible channel, hoping one of them will be the right channel. Instead of taking your chances, remember to include a distribution strategy and social media strategy as part of your content plan.
The Rigid Approach
You’ve created an editorial calendar and a strategy for distributing your content. You spent all that time on your calendar and strategy, you’re going to stick to it. But, what if something major happens that throws a wrench in your content plan? Although taking the rigid approach and refusing to budge or adjust your calendar might seem like the best thing to do, it can hurt you in the long run. You might miss a major opportunity to get your company’s name out there or to respond to a trending news topic or story that’s relevant to your business, all because it doesn’t fit in with your current plan.
Instead of creating a plan that’s set in stone, create a plan that’s written in pencil. It’s there to be a guide and to help you stick to your strategy. But, if needed, you can always erase an idea and substitute if something more relevant comes up.
The All Things to All People Approach
When putting together your content plan, you want to have a clear idea of who your audience is and who you are trying to reach. The answer to “who’s your audience?” should not be “everyone.” You can’t be all things to all people, and if you try to be, you’re most likely setting your content marketing strategy up to fail. Instead of trying to reach the young adult demographic and the new mom demographic and the older, single adult demographic in one fell swoop, structure your plan so that you focus on one demographic at a time, such as young adults one quarter and new moms the second quarter. Alternatively, you can assign specific pieces of content specific personas, so that the team creating the content knows what audience they should address.
Amy F. is a freelance writer in Philadelphia. Her favorite topics to write about include personal finance, gardening, and content marketing.