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Short Course

Planning for 2022 Content Masterclass

About the author

Andy Lambert is one of the founders and Growth Director at ContentCal. He hosts our monthly Live Social Media Updates, as well as customer strategy sessions packed with actionable advice for marketers in all industries.

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25% of all online purchases are influenced by social media (and 43% of people use it for brand research), so staying up to date with the latest algorithms and emerging channels is at the top of every marketer's list for 2022.

We can all churn out content, but creating meaningful messages that drive us towards your brand's content objectives is the next step in achieving content marketing maturity this year and beyond.

Results come from setting objectives. Objectives are achieved by tracking the right metrics!

How to set the right content objectives and metrics

Depending on your content objectives, your core metrics will differ - and this directly correlates with which part of the marketing funnel you are targeting.

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If your objective is awareness (a top-of-funnel activity), you'd use a metric such as reach, in order to find out how many people your content is being seen by. It's important to note that top-of-funnel objectives and metrics can sometimes be considered 'vanity metrics', but the reality is, you can't execute those goals further down the funnel without making a good job of awareness and consideration first.

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Let's build out an example scenario, and how you'd build a plan to achieve that.

The objective: Improve brand awareness.

The plan

Every content marketing plan should start with analysis!

  • Use a tool such as Mentionlytics to position yourself in your industry when it comes to share of voice (how often you're being spoken about in your space), and see who your competition could be - word of mouth is still a hugely important marketing tactic for reaching your goal.
  • Go back and look at your previous posts - what has done well? How can you transfer similar content or reuse content to help you achieve your goal? Tools such as ContentCal Advanced Analytics also lets you stack up your posts against your competitors, to help you form patterns of the types of content that performs
  • Establish benchmarks. If your previous posts have an average of 142 impressions, aim to boost that number in order to contribute to your higher-level objective.

Find out what your target audience wants to know about

Use a tool search as Keyword Strategy Tool to delve into the questions your audience are asking based on keywords across Google and YouTube, so you can optimize your content to be the first they see.

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When your ideas list is established, ContentCal's content calendar is a great platform to store it in. ContentCal can actually be used to create and organise all of your ideas, strategies and content plans.

ContentCal can be used to create and organise your ideas, store your strategies and content plans, as well as helping with planning and scheduling social media content.

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How should you present your content to your audience? helps to find the most relevant hashtags related to your specific niche, and shows which are the most popular and most liked hashtags for Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Creativity will come naturally when you've done your research - whether around keywords, questions, influencers, hashtags, or national days. You can even get your inspiration going by using ContentCal's Web Clipper to save ideas from across the internet as and when you see them while browsing. These ideas will show as snippets in your Content Hub. It can even help to give you the confidence to experiment with new or trending content types outside of your usual realm, and create even better marketing campaigns.

Your own data insights from competitors and market opportunities will bring your plan to life!

When your research is complete you can build a cross-channel content plan, to ensure maximum distribution. Either by using a spreadsheet, or ideally a content planning tool like ContentCal, you can add a line to your plan for each channel you intend to use.

Incorporate channels that allow you to experiment with a wide variety of content formats such as social media, webinars, emails, blog posts, web pages, press releases, and events. You could even set up a Contributions form to collect ideas for content from your wider team, or even outside of your organization.

Here are some resources to help you bring this together:

How to track and report on content success

  • Which metrics tie into your wider business goals and marketing objectives? If you're trying to convert more leads, reach or engagement may not be the right ones to use! Focus on the metrics that matter.
  • Don't just look at the numerical results, but segment by specific content themes and channels, so you can understand what type of content works best for you and why.
  • Connecting solid research to a consistent workflow, and backing that up with accurate data, creates a process that generates predictable, reliable, and scalable content marketing. You can get your branded reports automatically sent to your email using ContentCal's Advanced Analytics feature.

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Key takeaways from this short course:

  • You need to ensure you're hitting your top-of-funnel benchmarks to make the most of it the further into the sales cycle you get
  • Make your content data-driven! While it may seem logical to churn out as much content as possible, it needs to be backed up with reasoning
  • Experiment! That's the best way to find out your brand's true online persona.

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