Do you feel like your content has grown stagnant? Or, have you only ever winged it with your content through the early stages of your business or startup?
Whether you’ve been at this a while, or you would like to create your first solid plan, you likely know organizing and strategizing your website content is an important process for the overall growth of your brand. Throughout 2022, content marketing has been gaining popularity, with 66% of marketers expecting their budget to increase, and an additional 90% expecting to invest the same amount from last year.
So, why is content planning so underutilized (or deprioritized)? And why is it so difficult to stay ahead for the long haul? Let’s break down some common reasons companies have for avoiding their content planning—and how you can get around each one to position yourself ahead of your competition.
Planning Website Content Takes Up Too Much Time
Not knowing where or how to start your content planning is a common problem for companies to have (especially early startups), and it’s likely what’s sending you and your team the signal that planning website content simply takes up too much time. Instead of trying to think up topics or pages right away, however, you could try thinking of general questions and using your content strategy and planning to answer them.
- Is your primary goal to drive traffic to your website, grow your recurring audience, or convert new prospects into customers and lifetime clients?
- What does your typical buyer or client journey look like? What are the core demographics?
- Does your product or service require some additional research or education? What information does your audience want or need?
- What is the best way to deliver your content to your audience? Is it text, images or infographics, videos, or maybe podcasts? All of the above?
- Are you looking to differentiate your business from a larger or more established competitor? What’s something new in your segment or industry that your audience is looking for?
As you may have tracked, the main theme here is your audience, not your business. Now that you know this, you can build a content strategy of topics and articles that answer all these questions at once, or use a series of blogs to answer them using your company’s style and voice.
Cheat sheet: Have your company’s KPIs handy—these will give you the best idea of what your company wants to achieve on a more holistic level.
Content Strategy Has No Real Return on Investment
This year, over 60% of marketers indicated that they measure the success of their content strategy through sales. Yet in that same study, they also mentioned one of their top challenges being content creation that generates leads and receives high levels of engagement.
It’s clear that with the continued success of content marketing, there are more and more eyes on how much money it’s making for businesses. Especially as more creators learn how to make successful content on YouTube, TikTok, podcasts and other channels. However, trying to draw a direct line between your content marketing efforts and your sales is fuzzy at best, and irresponsible at worst.
Instead, consider investing in these 5 content planning tools for a clearer picture of how a great content strategy can make you money:
- Content calendars and project management tools (Asana, Trello, Monday)
- Content strategy tracking tools (CoSchedule, DYNO Mapper, Hubspot)
- Social media planning and scheduling tools (ContentCal, Sendible, Loomly)
- SEO optimization tools (Surfer SEO, Clearscope, Semrush)
- AI-powered planning tools (MarketMuse, Frase, Concured)
From there, you can add in your budget for freelancers or an in-house content team, the hours you expect to use, and which KPIs your content marketing can directly affect (website conversions, email subscriptions, social media sharing) to determine the ROI of your content strategy.
It’s Too Difficult for My Content Strategy to Stay On Top of Current Trends
With how fast the digital environment and even established industries are changing right now, it can be hard to understand how planning a content strategy and scheduling topics months or even a year in advance will be worth all the effort.
Instead of trying to pivot on your topics, however, you should be paying more attention to trends in how your audience is digesting content overall. This way, you can adapt your topics to fit whatever the preferred mode currently is. Here are a few trends we’ve noticed so far this year:
- Short-form videos are still hot, showing an increase for the third year in a row.
- Influencer marketing has grown substantially with an abundance of social media influencers now available to smaller companies.
- There’s been a drawdown in strict SEO optimization, with 83% of marketers now indicating that their goal is to find a balance between unique, valuable content and appearing in SERPs.
- Podcasts and audio content are still a big source for conversions, with 60% of podcast listeners searching for a product after hearing about it (and another 20% converting on the sale!)
- Virtual and hybrid event webinars took off in the last few years, and there’s no indication that they’ll be slowing down soon. In 2022, 40% of marketers planned to increase their investment in virtual events.
- In the world of images, infographics are still king, with 56% of content marketers saying that it’s their most effective imagery marketing tool due to its shareability.
As long as you stay focused on addressing your audience’s pain points and continually offering them something new, you’ll succeed no matter what your topics are by staying on top of the most effective content delivery formats.
Choose Brandography for Help with Your Content Planning
Creating a content planning template for the long haul doesn’t mean you need to get granular right away. No matter the size or age of your company, you’ll set yourself up for success by knowing your audience, investing in tools to match your KPIs, and monitoring trends in how to deliver your content.
Creating a content strategy and ongoing content planning are two of our specialties at Brandography, and they encompass everything from a data-driven blogging strategy to website copywriting and marketing assets. If you’ve already got a handle on your content marketing but need some help delivering it, we can assist with our email marketing services and our agency’s SEO expertise. As always, our blog offers an additional resource for how to push your content above your competitors. Contact us today if you’d like to learn more!