Planning Your Content Strategy: The Perfect Checklist
We have some simple (and free) templates that can help with the planning, creation, distribution, and analysis of content-based projects.
Develop a Content Audit Framework
First, you’ll want to do a content audit to understand what assets you have and where your gaps occur. Oracle’s Pawan Deshpande provides some questions to ask when doing a content audit of your website:
- Which parts of your site generate the most traffic and which pages convert the most users?
- Are there pages or posts within your site that bounce users away? Why?
- Which content can be optimized to improve its ranking?
- Are there pages that could be consolidated to minimize overlap?
- Which pages lack relevancy and could be removed from the site altogether?
- Which posts and pages rank best and engage users the most?
- Which pages and posts on your site should be ranking, but aren’t?
Next, look beyond your website at marketing assets that address each stage of the customer journey—be they eBooks, blog posts, white papers, landing pages, emails, infographics, or videos. Kapost’s 10 Essential Marketing Templates offers a simple “Content Audit Framework” you can use to conduct a content audit.
Know Your Core Strategy
There’s a German proverb that says, “What is the use of running if you are not on the right road?” With CMI revealing that only 41% of B2B marketers report that their organizations have clarity on content marketing success, developing a core strategy and sharing it with key cross-functional stakeholders is vital. You’ll also want to ensure your core messaging is aligned with this strategy.
To break this process down into manageable parts, Kapost has a handy “Classification Worksheet” that you can use to map your content assets in terms of theme, goal, channel, buyer persona, buying stage, geography, and product.
Create a Campaign Outline
Next, you may find it useful to create an outline that organizes launch plans and informs your team about campaign expectations. Our “Campaign Outline” template can easily be altered to the needs of each campaign. It’s also a great tool for planning how to succeed with re-purposed content.
For a deeper dive into getting started with re-purposed content—and why, when done correctly, it does not incur a Google penalty—Neil Patel’s post on the subject includes some great pointers and data-driven case studies.
Understand Internal Content Activation
Internal content activation is essential for external engagement. Docurated has found that 31% of sales reps’ time is spent searching for or creating content (rather than focusing on selling) and much of this content does not get used. To ensure that marketing content is relevant and available, it is important to track how and when your content is being used.
To keep on top of internal engagement, consider tracking internal views of assets, downloads, and shares that drive referral traffic. Our 4 Simple Marketing Templates download provides a “Content Activation Insights Dashboard” that will help ensure your content is relevant and accessible.
Today, many companies have generated a flood of content, only to find that these assets can quickly become overwhelming and unmanageable. This causes teams to retreat into inefficient silos that lack integrated planning.
Kapost’s “Company Priorities” checklist helps teams align company and marketing priorities.
Measure Content Conversions
Winston Churchill said it best: “However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.”
For B2B marketers, measuring reach and engagement of content should go beyond clicks or shares to extend across marketing channels, including buyer personas at each stage of the buyer journey. Our “Content Conversion Insights Dashboard” can help.
Knowing your KPI’s will impact the bottom line. According to the Aberdeen Group, “best-in-class” B2B marketers are three times more likely to be able to track a piece of content to revenue, allowing them to know exactly which content drives conversions.
“They prioritize building an environment where every piece of content can be evaluated not on the creative, but on its revenue contribution to the organization. The results? Time and money saved with an increased impact on the business, thanks to a more targeted, measured approach.”
These free templates are intended as a starting point for developing and measuring content strategy. Our eBook The Simplified Guide to B2B Content Strategy, explores these topics in more detail and also delves into building timelines, establishing workflows, leveraging influencer marketing, and social strategy.
The end goal is simple: ditch the content chaos and develop a strong, efficient, and successful marketing strategy.
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