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For many organizations, it’s the beginning of the fourth quarter. That means planning your editorial calendar and content strategy for the coming year is likely at the top of your to-do list.
After all, research from the Content Marketing Institute indicates that having a documented content strategy is one of the primary factors that separate the most successful and least successful performers in content marketing (62% vs. 16%).
We understand that planning ahead for the next fiscal year is easier said than done. More often than not, marketing teams are constantly juggling tasks or are lacking the team required to plan appropriately. At the same time, they’re tasked with meeting last-minute pushes to generate more leads and complete all of the year’s lingering projects.
Combined, these factors often leave marketers catching up instead of planning ahead. Not anymore. Below, we offer some turnkey, high-impact ways to plan and strategize for 2018, without taking too much time and attention away from your urgent tasks:
1. See what worked and what didn’t
Before you even start to brainstorm content ideas, it’s always helpful to revisit content and campaigns from the past year (and beyond) and see how specific assets performed. This may seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised by how many companies don’t give this preliminary planning the proper attention. Which topics generated the most leads? Were there any formats that generated more interest and social shares? Which assets helped generate tangible business results? Taking an honest look at hard metrics can help you develop a short list of topics to revisit and expand upon, as well as formats to focus on.
2. Establish key themes based on buyer pain points
Your buyers are always changing. New trends impact their day-to-day lives and market dynamics shift how they measure success. While you may already have personas in place, it’s always worthwhile to do a quick gut check on what challenges and pain points are top of mind for your target audience. Connect directly with prospects and customers, or use tools like Buzzsumo to track top-performing articles and resources. You can identify buzzworthy topics you may have a perspective on, or even better: you may identify topics not being discussed that will allow your brand to stand out.
3. Think outside the storytelling box
It’s an exciting time for B2B. Marketers are realizing there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to storytelling, and that there are new approaches to content marketing that you can take. For instance, rather than focusing on resolution-based content, try incorporating some challenger marketing approaches and themes. Once you develop your core narrative, you can determine what format aligns best with what you’re trying to say or share with your audience. (Quick tip: If you decide to develop any interactive content, make sure you allocate a bit more time in your schedule. These assets typically take a bit more time and bandwidth to create.)
4. Prioritize your foundational “hero” assets
Once you build your list of core topics and themes for Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community