3 Content planning blunders you should avoid

Vice President, Audience Engagement

Even the savviest marketers can find content planning overwhelming. There are various content types to choose from and even more ways to share. And how do you know what’s best for your audience? What about performance? How should you determine those goals? Downloads? Shares? Comments?

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Yes, there’s a lot to mull over. But instead of focusing on where to begin, consider starting with what you should avoid.

“You know what we need? A white paper.”

Don’t go into the content planning process with the type identified. Understand your audience, their challenges, and how your solution solves for them.

From there, determine the best content type. Maybe something as simple as an infographic or a concise blog better meets your audience’s needs.

Also, I promise you—nobody wants to read a white paper, or any piece of content that unnecessarily lengthy, especially if it’s technical or nuanced. Length doesn’t equal importance. Relevance does.

“Let’s determine how many pieces we need to hit our content plan goals?”

Your content goals shouldn’t be measured by abundance. You know the old saying, quality over quantity, right? It’s stood the test of time because it’s true. 

This leads me to the most common mistake I see…

“Now that we knocked that out, let’s create something new.”

Remember that just because you’ve shared the content once, doesn’t mean your audience saw it. The rule of seven in marketing states that brands need to engage with a customer at least seven times for their message to resonate. This increases the likelihood of earning the customer’s trust and ultimately their business.

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel when repurposing existing content. But it’s important to make adjustments that optimize it for different channels or audience segments. Update the copy with a fresh position or consider adjusting the format (more on that below). This isn’t an excuse to be lazy.

Also, if you’re only planning on a piece of content to live in only one place, you’re missing an opportunity. There’s value in creating subsets of content that can support an overarching piece or stand on their own. Top content marketers agree that the balance between creating and repurposing content has shifted. It used to be 80% creating and 20% repurposing. Now, it’s the other way around.

For example, case studies may feature visual elements like infographics, which can stand on their own in a social post or as part of a paid ad. And sharing blogs to your social channels and segmented email database boosts their exposure without putting all the responsibility on SEO. You can also cross mediums by capturing video footage of a podcast and uploading it to YouTube or Vimeo.

You work hard creating content. So, why not make it work harder for you? Not only will repurposing it create efficiencies but aligning new versions with the proper channels will help it perform better, too.

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Jillian Cascarino
Vice President, Audience Engagement
As our vice president of audience engagement, Jillian puts her more than 20 years of experience connecting companies with their customers through targeted storytelling techniques to good use. Her expertise in customer engagement strategies and tactics extends to organic social media, content marketing, and public relations, as well as strategic planning and messaging, marketing persona development, and audience alignment. When she’s not working, Jillian’s baking sweet treats for family and friends, tending to her garden, or playing board games with her husband and son.

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