Most marketers are already doing content marketing. They’re posting blogs, creating e-zines and active on Twitter, facebook and other social media sites. They may even be producing video, e-books, white-papers, surveys and customer magazines.

But less than half have any kind of documented strategy for their content.

The Content Marketing Association’s research reveals that just 42% of UK companies have a documented content strategy while Australian marketers perform slightly better with 52% of those surveyed putting their content plans in writing.
The research also shows that 69% of companies in Australia are planning to spend more of their budget on content marketing next year compared to 58% in North America and 56% in the UK.

So while marketing departments are really beginning to embrace content marketing to help build customer engagement and grow brand, the big question is why so many companies are not putting their plans in writing?
If your content plan isn’t written down it is more likely to be ad hoc, unmeasured and disconnected. It may exist in the heads of the marketing department without a specific goal, for example increasing page rank or social following. It is also more likely to operate in a silo, with no real connection between the various types of content and their distribution channels. Is an undocumented content plan really a plan at all?

Before spending any more money on content marketing there are four things companies need to do.

  1. Conduct a content audit. What content have you created already? This will help to identify the various types of content already being used in an organisation.
  2. Identify specific goals for your content activities for example to generate a 10% improvement in the open-rate of your e-zine by a specific date.
  3. Plan a content strategy for the next 12 months by doing more of what’s working and trying out some new content ideas. Budget the resources needed for this and include it in your plan.
  4. Next create a written content plan for the next 12 months with specific measurable goals. This should include a detailed weekly schedule for content. At the very least, plan for at least a quarterly review of progress against goals (although monthly is better).

To get you started 256 Media has created SNaP cards -the world’s first Content Marketing in a Box - which we use to help plan content strategy.

If you want to get further insights from the Content Marketing Institute’s invaluable research click here

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