Content Marketing Framework: Plan

Plan the work. Work the plan.

plan

Planning can take a number of forms, depending on where you lie in your content marketing journey. If you are just beginning to build your program, planning might take the form of a business case or even a simple mission statement.

For other organizations that have been building a content marketing program for some time, it may exist as a regular checkpoint to ensure that your programs continue to meet broader (and sometimes changing) business goals. Regardless, the “planning” element of your program should be the first — and strongest — thread throughout your content marketing framework.

Note: If you are new to content marketing, check out our getting started how-to guide to understand what content marketing is.

Understand your purpose

Before you do start your content marketing plan, you need to understand why are you are creating content in the first place. Remember: as Jay Baer says, “Content helps achieve business objectives, not content objectives.”

The best and simplest way to solidify your purpose is to create your content marketing mission statement.

Build the business case

If you are working in a mid-to-large size organization, sometimes the hardest part about content marketing is getting buy-in. According to CMI’s content marketing 2013 research, 22% of B2B and 21% of B2C marketers cite getting executive buy-in as a challenge for content marketing.

Here are some ideas on how to explain and justify to content marketing to the powers-that-be:

Research

Often, it helps to be able to reference research that shows trends in marketing.

At CMI, we produce annual content marketing research to help you better understand budgets, benchmarks, and trends for B2B and B2C, as well as in geographies like North America, Australia, and the U.K. We are also looking at key vertical markets, such as software and healthcare.

Here are some other research reports that you can use to build your plan:

Examples and case studies

Another great way to justify content marketing is to show how other companies are having success. Here are some case studies and examples to pull from:

100 Inspirational, Educational, and Just-Plain-Cool Content Marketing ExamplesLooking for lots of content marketing examples? Read our 100 Inspirational, Educational, and Just-Plain-Cool Content Marketing Examples.

Plan

Plan is the first step in building a successful content marketing strategy. Download our white paper,  The CMI Content Marketing Framework: 7 Building Blocks to Success for an overview of the process, or learn about the other steps with our how-to guides on the right-hand side of the page.