Everybody knows that people scan before they read.
We also know that we’ve only got a few seconds to capture someone’s attention before they hit that back button and we lose a potential customer—maybe for good.
But here’s the really important question:
Why are attention spans short? Why have we become skimmers instead of readers? Why is it so hard to get—and keep—user attention?
I think we know the answer to that too:
Everyone’s a publisher
The internet and the rise of content has made it really easy for anyone to become a publisher.
This is great news for small marketing departments and new businesses, who can now compete with the big guys on a more level playing field. But it’s also bad news, because, with little effort or commitment required to publish online content, the internet houses a growing pile of crappy content.
And it’s that growing pile of crap that has continued to shorten consumer attention spans and marketing tolerance.
In other words, there’s room at the top
The good news here is, with so many companies doing their online content badly, there’s still a lot of room for truly great, useful, inspiring, interesting, and compelling content to capture customer attention and drive sales. There’s still a lot of room for your content marketing to rise to the top—of search rankings, review sites, and the customer’s mind.
Of course, we’re going to have work for it. We’re going to have to hold ourselves to a high quality standard. And we’re most definitely going to have to make a plan.
In other words, gone are the days when throwing up a blog without any strategy got you anywhere. Welcome to the new age of the savvy, fast-paced, turned-off-by-your-sales-pitch customer.
It’s time to get strategic
Okay, so you get it. Customers have short attention spans and find sales pitches annoying. Content quality needs to be a priority. And strategy is the key to maintaining quality and reaching those customers.
But how do you get started? What does a content marketing plan look like?
Well, that’s a pretty huge question and there are lots of resources on the topic from industry leaders like the writers over at the Content Marketing Institute. But today I’d like to give a few of the key elements that we focus on in our quarterly planning meetings here at Kapost:
- Themes for upcoming content marketing campaigns. We spend a lot of our time finding what we call “sweet spots” – where our customers’ needs intersect with our unique expertise. And these sweet spots are the foundation for our campaign themes.
- Product updates. Our product updates and improvements are key to our content marketing plans. If we’re releasing a new feature because we’ve heard from our clients that they’re having trouble with editorial calendars, we plan content about editorial calendar management, tips, and tools.
- Events. Events are a key part of our marketing strategy, so we factor them into our quarterly planning. When choosing events, we look for topics that are a good fit for our themes and the problems we’re trying to help people solve.
- Significant content assets. Instead of brainstorming hundreds of individual blog posts, social media posts, and emails, we start by focusing on several large, important content pieces (like eBooks, videos, or research reports) that fit within our themes. From there, filling up the editorial calendar becomes a simple matter of expanding on, pulling from, and re-purposing content from our core, significant content assets.
So, there you have it: a very simplified look at our own quarterly planning process. Interested in digging deeper? Check out our latest eBook: The Blueprint of a Modern Marketing Campaign.