Planning Paradox: How to Create Higher Value Content in Less Time

If you have struggled with planning your content marketing you are not alone.

However, once you get your plan in place, you will be astounded at how you can deliver more impactful content for your community, and in less time.

I’ve been there too; and that is why I’m excited to share how this is working for me now.

Of course, you will have to adapt this to your available resources, the specific needs of your customers, and most importantly, how your business can uniquely help them.

#1 – Give Your Customers What They Really Want

If you have been blogging for a period of time you are fortunate, because you know from experience what your customers most want from you.

However, many of us fail with this. We give our community what we generally want them to have, as opposed to what they really want.

As an example, for my audience a couple of the most popular topics are writing and social media tools. While I tend to think of writing as blogging and content marketing, writing in particular is the keyword that evidently most resonates with my community.

Writing is foundational to all forms of marketing. Therefore, I have pushed it to the front of my 2014 editorial calendar. It is the focus for this month of February, with topics that build upon it to follow.

How about social media tools? While I love learning about new tools, my strength is applying my business experience to choosing reliable tools that will stand the test of time. In other words, I only share the few that I have had direct experience with and can confidently recommend.

Therefore, I refer those hungry for an ever-growing list of cutting edge tools to my friend Ian Cleary at Razor Social. That’s his strength and focus.

This all comes down to knowing your audience and how you can best help them. Sound familiar?

This is your content marketing mission statement.

#2 – Design for Progressively Increased Value

The purpose of your content is to deliver value to your community that in turn leads to profitable outcomes for your business

As Epic Content Marketing author Joe Pulizzi says, “You can educate and inform your audience, but if it doesn’t lead to profitable customer actions, it’s not content marketing.”

Do you want to take your content to a higher level?

Design a process to create content so valuable your community will gladly pay for it. Tweet this

Start by considering how to address the topics that your audience never gets tired of learning about. These are topics specific to your industry, but that are of universal interest. For financial advisors, these topics would include preservation of capital and retirement planning.

Choose a dozen or so topics and organize by month, with seasonality being a practical method. Then brainstorm on subtopics and decide what will be the most logical order for each month.

When you do this you are designing your higher value content marketing. At the end of the month you will have sufficiently planned and organized content to create a high quality eBook or long-form article that can then be used as an incentive, such as for new subscribers to your newsletter.

If you want to increase the value even further, these short eBooks could be organized into a traditional book, or even a training program.

The idea is you are not just planning to get the work done, but planning it such that every piece of content builds upon the prior content, so that it all grows into high value content that better accomplishes your business objectives.

#3 – Atomize Your Content for Social Media

When your content is planned and organized, you will quickly discover how it makes your work easier, while concurrently making your content better.

You have no doubt heard about repurposing your content. I’m not fond of the term, because I think many interpret it as taking something from here and putting it over there, with the hope that they can squeeze a little more value out of it.

A better approach is to learn about atomization. This term refers to planning the design of the content for the respective distribution channels BEFORE it is created.

When you have a plan you know where you are going. That focus gives you the power to consider in advance how your content can be more useful for your communities on the respective platforms where it will be consumed.

I imagine Stephen King writing a novel and considering who will play the main character when the novel is made into a Hollywood film, and even what that film will be entitled. Obviously, if this were true (which it probably isn’t) it would change how the original content in the novel is written.

That’s the idea of atomization. It’s more than planning, more like pre-planning.

So, as you create your content, consider how you will later break it down, retitle it, and remix and associate the various formats of print, audio, photos, and video so that it is highly focused for the respective social media channels.

This is what I find interesting.

You can build higher value content by planning both it’s construction and deconstruction. Tweet this

It’s a simple matter of building themed content and then planning for it’s distribution on the respective social media channels.

Leave a comment and share how your content planning works.

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business – (Wiley 2013)  

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+.

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Google+ is Content Marketing on Fire

Google+ is Content Marketing Fire

Sustainable communities are often described as ecosystems in which everyone gets what they want.

This explains why Google+ is steadily gaining momentum for attracting the attention of a wider audience than even Facebook, and quite possibly one that will prove to be more powerful for content marketers

Over the past couple of years we’ve watched as the Google+ community has evolved from predominantly technophiles, to an increasingly mainstream audience that includes regular small business owners like you and me.

In a worldwide web that is driven by content, there are three big reasons why ignoring Google+ any longer is to risk online irrelevance.

#1 – Search Drives the Web

It goes without saying that Google+ should merit your attention simply because Google itself controls approximately 67% of search here in North America; and Google+ is clearly the favorite son of the search giant.

A significant reason for paying particular attention to Google+ is that content mentions within Google+ seem to merit search rankings that are even higher than the original source.

While this is an observation that many of us have noticed in recent months, it turns out there is data to support it. According to,  the number of plus ones on Google+ rate second only to the overall page authority for determining the search ranking of a site. Is this surprising?  It shouldn’t be.

When you consider that Google’s mission is to deliver the most relevant search results as quickly as possible, it’s logical that those infused with social context will be more relevant than static content.

#2 – Google+ is An Identity Service

It has been evident for some time that Google+ would prove to be an identity service. The first clue  was in 2011 when Google Profiles instantly became Google+ About pages for personal accounts. This was handwriting on the wall for things to come.

Then Google Places became Google+ Local. And most recently, YouTube videos and comments are by default now automatically published to our Google+ profiles.

Are you noticing a trend here?

It is clear that Google+ is the service that will integrate content from all of the Google properties, and by design, as much of everything else as possible.

What’s fascinating is that all of this is being done very quietly, and that may be because the tech oriented Google+ community tends to embrace change. Unlike the Facebook community, the general thinking seems to be: “let’s see what we can do with this.”

The bottom line is unlike Facebook, the Google+ community trusts Google+. This all dates back to the beginning when Googlers (Google employees) were active on the platform for the specific purpose of learning how to improve the Google+ learning experience.

This collaborative approach is one that you may wish to consider for your business in 2014. It’s certainly part of my strategy.

#3 – Social Context is Authority

One of the recent search benefits that enhances the Google+ social experience are the automatic hashtags. Some people are using hashtags and others are not. Therefore, Google+ is taking the liberty of appending your content with a hashtag to give that content some searchable context.

Make it your business to pay attention to which hashtags Google+ decides are relevant – and why. This will not only help you to better choose hashtags for Google+, but also for other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

It seems logical that there are topic areas that Google would like to drive more traffic to. This is the win-win. If several hashtags seem appropriate for your content, why not use the one Google+ chooses to establish your authority by having your content rank more highly?

Additionally, if you have not yet activated Google Authorship you will want to make that a priority to claim authorship of your original content. Here’s why.

“Within search results, information tied to verified online profiles will be ranked higher than content without such verification, which will result in most users naturally clicking on the top (verified results). The true cost of remaining anonymous, then, might be irrelevance.”  – Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt

It stands to reason that relevant hashtags attached to your Google+shared content will further define your authority as a subject matter expert in those specific areas.

SEO used to be about links and keywords. Now Google+ is layering in Authorship, shares, +1’s, and relevant hashtags to provide additional social context to that content marketing equation.

I couldn’t be more excited about Google+. How about you? 

Update: At least for now, Google has officially killed Authorship. Many of us are scratching our heads as to why. More updates coming!

All the best for an outstanding New Year!

About the Author:  Jeff Korhan, MBA, is the author of Built-In Social: Essential Social Marketing Practices for Every Small Business and host of This Old New Business podcast.

He helps mainstream businesses adapt their traditional growth practices to a digital world. Connect with Jeff on LinkedInTwitterFacebook, and Google+

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