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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