When the Content Marketing Institute asked some of the world’s top marketers to describe their biggest content concerns, they shared more than 30 content challenges that were costing them time and money.
These common challenges include:
- Spending too much time on little things and too little time on big things
- Finding time for content marketing planning
- Finishing the basics like keyword research and persona development
- Lacking content focus
- Deciding when and how to hire content writers
- Getting content “done and shipped” for publishing
Sound familiar? If so, 11outof11 is here to share some tips for better content marketing planning that will help you achieve even your most aggressive content goals.
Tip #1: Solidify Your Content Strategy
As you can see from the list above, it’s very common to struggle with how to better manage content. Even when it’s obvious that you need to be producing more blog posts, whitepapers, web pages, and everything else, getting it all done is the tricky part.
That’s why step #1 should be creating a solid content strategy. Your content strategy guides all aspects of your content management, including content development, setting a content calendar, hiring content writers, and choosing the right channels to reach your target market.
Of course, creating a content strategy is much easier said than done! It’s smart to hire a content specialist or agency to focus their energy and expertise on fleshing out your strategy, so you can spend your time elsewhere.
Tip #2: Be Faithful to Your Content Calendar
A key task in content development is having a content calendar. This can be anything from a simple spreadsheet to a more detailed project-based calendar that’s built into a content management system (CMS).
Your content calendar assigns dates and deadlines to everything that’s happening with your content plan. This creates a natural forward momentum and infuses a sense of urgency.
Plus, anyone you hire to execute your content plan - like a content writer - is a deadline-focused professional. They’ll be relieved to discover you have a clear answer to the question, “What’s your timeframe?”
Tip #3: Put the Right People on Your Team
Content marketing is almost impossible to manage alone. Maybe you’re a magical unicorn who can do it all - content strategy, planning, research, development, writing, posting, and republishing - but if not, seek some expert help.
It’s time to gather the right people and put them to work on your content plan. At the most basic level, you need a content manager plus one or more writers. It depends on the intensity of your publishing schedule.
Your content manager directs all of the moving parts of your plan, like the timeline, the research, and staying on budget. They also oversee the writers, who do the day-to-day content creation.
If you prefer to hire these professionals to work in-house, great - but there are several compelling reasons to outsource these roles. A great content marketing agency is:
Budget-conscious. Hire only for the level of content you need, without paying for health insurance, equipment, and all the other expenses of hiring an employee.
Scalable. An agency can add or subtract the perfect number of content experts required to deliver what you need at any given moment. Plus, agencies are competitive and hire only the best people, so there’s no worry about the quality of the work.
Bursting with expertise. Agencies are packed with talented people who bring their combined decades of expertise to every project. As they check things off your to-do list, your calendar clears up and you can finally stop stressing about content.
Tip #4: Focus on the Voices You Can Trust
Finally, we’d like to point out something the Content Marketing Institute found in their research about content challenges. A common roadblock to content creation is listening to too many conflicting voices.
The Washington Post’s head of branding, Annie Granatstein, says it’s a big mistake to dilute your efforts by listening to “too many stakeholders.” Sure, your sales director and CFO might have opinions about blog post topics, but are they in your target market? Maybe not.
Stay true to your audience. Develop a close working relationship with your content specialists, then trust them to do what’s best for your content and customers.At 11outof11, we’re a talented team of content marketing professionals with the expertise it takes to create a solid content plan and move it forward with confidence. Connect with 11outof11 today to request a complimentary call with one of our experts.