Is Content Marketing Part Of Your Quarterly Planning Cycle? It Should Be.
As the first quarter of the year winds down, now is the perfect time to bring up the subject of quarterly planning as it relates to content marketing. We’ve discussed the need for content planning and strategizing in the past, but it’s always been with a broad perspective, such as taking stock annually or developing a plan at the start of the new year.
But, content marketing actually lends itself really well to quarterly planning.
You may be wondering why you should look at your content strategy every quarter if you’re already examining it every year. Here’s why: content marketing is just one part of your overall marketing strategy. While your broad marketing goals may need six to twelve months or longer before you can really evaluate their effectiveness, content marketing is different.
Content marketing is all about sharing timely, relevant, and interesting news with your audience. It should be viewed as a journey to building a relationship. In order to build that relationship, you need the agility to respond to your audience’s needs and interests right away. An annual plan does not allow this kind of flexibility.
You can plan out your content a year in advance in a broad sense, but if you dig deep into the details and adhere to them too strongly, you may miss unexpected opportunities – a new product launch, a great sales quarter, an unexpected development in your industry, a change in customer needs, etc.
A quarterly review of your content plan helps ensure the content that is created is timely and relevant, not stale and outdated. A quarterly check-in also gives businesses the flexibility to adapt to the times and deliver what their audience wants.
The Practical Side Of Quarterly Planning
Besides the strategic reasons for quarterly content planning, there are practical considerations as well.
- Less Stress for the Team. Breaking the content plan down into three-month chunks is just more manageable. Your team will find it far easier to develop 3 months worth of strong editorial content at one time than 12 months.
- More Relevancy. A quarterly check-in allows the team to gauge the effectiveness of recent content and build on it or go in a new direction if need be. You can capitalize on current news and events to continue building that customer relationship.
- More Variety. It is easy to get stuck coming up with the same ideas over and over again when you’re overwhelmed by the need to develop the entire plan RIGHT NOW! By re-evaluating content every quarter, you may find that your mind comes up with fresh ideas that you would never have considered before.
- Easily Adjusted. Evaluating your content every 3 months means it is easier to make adjustments to accommodate unforeseen events and topics or to adapt to changing audience demands. Rigid annual plans may not offer this flexibility.
- You’ll Actually Do It. How many times have you planned to sit down and think about your annual content plan only to become overwhelmed and put it off? If you can start small and look at just three months at a time you’ll be more likely to achieve what you set out to do – and once you experience success, you’ll be more likely to keep at it every quarter.
The end of Q1 is here. If you didn’t get a chance to set some goals for the new year, now is the time to take another stab at content planning. In 3 months, you can take stock of how well it went and decide if quarterly content planning will work for you or not.
Need help getting started? Contact Orlando Content Marketing for help! Call 407.461.4368 today!