Creating a Content Plan

Most content marketers agree that having a content plan is the key to a successful campaign, yet in practice, many teams jump directly to content creation without adequate planning. As a result, we have found that creative teams tend to build the same types of content they always have because that is what they know. It also leads to content that is misaligned with performance expectations and fails to deliver on key performance indicators (KPIs). At Aprimo we help marketers curb this harmful habit.

These problems can be avoided by slowing down the planning process and making sure there is cross-team and cross-silo involvement. It’s the basic idea of measuring twice and cutting once. Every step that follows this process, from budgeting and content creation to distribution and campaign analysis, moves faster and is more on target. As marketing expert, Robert Rose, explains, “De-siloing… does slow down the planning process but every step that follows is exponentially faster.”

We surveyed marketing professionals about their planning process and found that although they claim to have cross-team and cross-silo involvement in planning, only a few people actually review content before it goes out.

We asked marketers the following question:

During the planning stage, do you make sure there is cross-team and cross-silo involvement?

  1. No, we handle this as we go.
  2. Yes, of course. It saves time down the road.

One hundred twenty-five respondents answered in this way:

However, regarding the content review process, we asked the following question:

How many people need to review a piece of content before it can go out?

  1. 1–3
  2. 4–5
  3. 5–10
  4. More than 10

 One hundred twenty-five respondents answered in this way:

It is important that during the planning phase, everyone agrees on project objectives and specific KPIs needed to measure them. At Aprimo, we suggest taking an agile approach to content planning which involve planning more frequently and creating shorter, more lightweight, and flexible plans that are designed to respond to an iterative inspect-and-adapt process.

To learn more about how the experts approach content planning, read our eBook 7 Experts on Using the Content Lifecycle to Maximize Content ROI.


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