We’ve all heard the cliche — those who fail to plan, plan to fail. But, did you know that when it comes to content planning, it’s possible to mess up enough in the planning process that you end up failing anyway? Yikes. The bad news is that some content planning mistakes are fairly common. The good news is that if you know what they are, they are pretty easy to avoid.
Mistake 1: Planning Content But Not Distribution
Coming up with ideas for content and creating that content can be pretty easy. Putting that content up on the web is also a snap. The not so easy part? Getting people to read what you’ve created.
Not creating a content distribution plan is a fairly common mistake. You can avoid it when coming up with small business marketing ideas by working your distribution plan into your content plan. Perhaps you’ll tweet blog posts to your company’s followers, use Pinterest to share image-based content or reach out to other blogs about a guest posting opportunity.
Mistake 2: Ignoring Your Editorial Calendar
You’ve mapped out a content plan on an editorial calendar, listing the blog posts, who’s going to write them, when they’ll be published, and how they’ll be distributed. The hard part is over, right? Well, no. The hard part of an editorial calendar isn’t putting the thing together; it’s making sure you stick to it. Ignoring your calendar makes it all too easy for your posting schedule to get out of whack, and for your company to lose any momentum it has gained with its blog.
Mistake 3: Not Measuring Goals
What do you want your company’s content or blog to do? Ideally, you’ll have a semi-solid idea of the goals of the content, so that you can tell if it is actually helping you achieve those goals. Perhaps your goal is to increase visitors to your site by 1,000 by the end of the quarter. Use analytics and your site’s stat tracker to see how people are getting to your site and what it was that led them there. That way, you’ll have a clear idea if your content is actually helping you reach your goals, or not.
Mistake 4: Not Knowing Who You Are Addressing
Who is your content trying to reach or address? That should be something you know right away. Different pieces of content can be targeted at different people. The important thing is that the audience for the content is clear. If you haven’t created buyer personas yet, now is the time to do so. Use those personas to give you an idea of who you’re addressing when you create each piece. You can put the specific personas on the editorial calendar for each post, too.
Mistake 5: Taking On Too Much
You’re trying to run a business, don’t feel that you have to handle the marketing and content creation, too. Be involved in the content planning process if you wish, but also remember to delegate, delegate, delegate. Your content will be fresher and more vibrant if you hire a team of writers or marketing pros to take care of it, rather than trying to squeeze out a few blog posts in between managing your company.
Check in with your content and marketing team from time to time to make sure everyone is sticking to the plan and that they are avoiding making any fairly common mistakes.
A professional writer since 2007, Amy F specializes in personal finance, gardening and writing for the web. Based in Philly, she also blogs about fashion and sewing projects in her spare time.