When it comes to content marketing, says strategist Meg Hogan, there are those who plan and those who wing it.
Instead of relying on established tools and methods, the latter group takes a less disciplined approach, in which they may play chicken with deadlines and create and distribute content whenever they can get to it.
While this can create an invigorating cocktail of adrenaline and endorphins, Hogan says it can also come with drawbacks, such as inconsistent quality or messaging, and undue stress on people and processes.
Writing for MarketingProfs, Hogan counsels that if you really want to raise brand awareness and create meaningful connections with customers, followers and readers, proper planning is an absolute must, even for modest content-marketing initiatives.
Planning, of course, refers to using strategic tools and processes to craft and distribute content that resonates with audiences by educating, informing or entertaining them, while deepening loyalty or otherwise advancing the brand.
In her post, Hogan names several widely used content-planning tools, along with numerous ways that properly applying these resources can actually improve an integrated marketer’s content-marketing prowess.
#1: A core messaging platform: strategic document that details (among other things) who your company is, what you do and the values you stand for; messaging platforms enable content authors and creators imbue content with an original, authentic voice that easily translates to posts, tweets, and email responses. Helps by: preparing your company to respond quickly and consistently with stock, yet authentic answers to a variety of situations and inquiries.
#2: A documented publishing process: identifies who on the content team will take which steps when certain events occur, such as product recalls, or public relations issues.Helps by: having this tool in place enables you to pull back on promotional content and spring into crisis management or damage control mode to avoid appearing insensitive or out of touch with unfolding events.
#3: Content schedule and timelines: these resources ensure that content creators, designers and distributors have enough time to work their magic, while also holding them accountable for their deliverables. Helps by: providing the oversight and control you need to keep the company content machine well-oiled and running smoothly; also results in quality, relevant content that fans and readers will ultimately want to share, creating even more loyalty and brand exposure.
To learn more about effective content planning and marketing, visit our popular
Content Marketing Archive; for more free, ready-made checklists, templates and guidesthan you shake a spreadsheet at, check out Content Marketing Institute or Hubspot.