6 Questions to Ask Before Drafting Your 2017 Content Marketing Plan

6 Questions to Ask Before Drafting Your 2017 Content Marketing Plan. The most recent data from the Content Marketing Institute suggests that it will be around 28 percent of your total marketing budget. The goal is not to uncover every little metric from last year, but to answer the big questions. Which blog posts received the most engagement (social, inbound links, comments)? All of these things can directly impact your content marketing strategy. With content marketing, there’s a huge amount of opportunity to be creative in how you engage your target audience. Intercom’s landing page for its ebook on product management is nontraditional in that it reminds me of how a publisher might promote a novel. Big content initiatives are at the heart of almost everything your marketing team does, so make sure you include your colleagues in the process. You should also be asking yourself how you’re planning to collaborate with partners and influencers in the year ahead. At the end of the day, it all comes down to producing content that educates your prospects and customers.

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Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, chances are, content marketing is going to be an integral part of your marketing strategy next year. The most recent data from the Content Marketing Institute suggests that it will be around 28 percent of your total marketing budget.

Considering all the other pieces of the marketing pie, that’s a pretty big slice. Take the time to step back, ask questions, dig into your data, and collaborate with your team. Don’t dread the planning process—enjoy it! Below are a couple questions to ask yourself as you dive in.

1. What Content Performed Well Last Year?

This seems like an obvious one, but it’s often easy to jump the gun on starting fresh without taking a close enough look at what worked and what didn’t. Dedicate a day to diving into your Google Analytics, marketing automation data, and social media dashboards to come up with a comprehensive picture of how your content performed.

Don’t forget to talk to your sales team to get first-hand feedback on what content helped them move prospects toward a purchase. The goal is not to uncover every little metric from last year, but to answer the big questions. At Invoca, we’re digging into the following:

  • What were the most popular blog posts, and where did people most convert on the blog?
  • Which blog posts received the most engagement (social, inbound links, comments)?
  • What amount did each piece of gated content contribute to the sales pipeline? How did content influence opportunity creation? (We use Brightfunnel to identify these metrics.)
  • Which videos received the most views beyond 30 seconds, and which ones are driving conversions? (We use Vidyard to identify these metrics.)
  • Which nurturing emails had a high CTR?

2. Are There Any Major Shifts Happening at Your Company Next Year?

Who is your company selling to, and is that changing? What are the sales targets, and how are those impacting marketing priorities? Is your company getting more funding? Will there be a hiring push? All of these things can directly impact your content marketing strategy.

If the expectations around opportunity creation are more aggressive, for example, you’ll want to align closely with your demand gen team to make sure that you’re planning enough direct response content. Or if your company is gearing up for a hiring push, you could launch an “employee spotlight” blog or video series to help communicate your company’s culture and give HR some more diverse content to point to while talking with candidates.

3. What Portion of Your Budget Can You Dedicate to New or Untested Projects?

With content marketing, there’s a huge amount of opportunity…

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