What’s on your content menu for the next few months? Do you have it planned out yet? Without planning, content delivery can miss the mark, or your market, and fail to produce results. Many businesses prefer to plan content a month in advance, the minimum recommended by experts. If you really want to serve up some good content to your audience, consider strategic quarterly content planning.
Strategic Quarterly Content Planning
As the year approaches a new quarter, it’s the perfect time to analyze your content needs and to plan. You can create a plan for the whole quarter, allowing flexibility to address any needs that pop up unexpectedly. To plan strategically, you need to know the key ingredients for successful quarterly content creation.
Anticipating Audience Needs
To start the planning session, ask yourself, “What is my target audience going through right now? How can I help them?” Start by recording the segment you’re talking about, and write out each persona you have for that segment. If you have more than one persona for different segments, repeat the process.
Record what each audience is going through right now, what they’re struggling with, or what you’re hearing from current clients or from prospective clients you’ve been pitching your services. Consider what the audience consistently struggles with that you can help solve. This is where the basis for your content lies. You can create valuable content around providing effective solutions.
Following the Trends
What are trends in your market that you’re anticipating? Is there something you’ve begun to see that you expect will continue over the next quarter? Record the top few trends in your industry that are picking up speed into the next quarter and address them with quality content. Maybe they aren’t fully developed trends yet but you’re starting to hear the buzz about them. Can you anticipate needs around these trends? Stay on the ball and get ahead of rising trends by providing relevant content.
Some trends are based on the time of year, maybe the season or holiday celebrations. Take seasonal trends into account for content planning, addressing seasonal needs, and, if appropriate, appealing to the emotional connection to holidays.
Planning Around Business Goals
Your organization sets long-term, annual, quarterly, and monthly goals. Anything you do with content planning and creation should be aiming to meet those goals. You may set goals to follow if you’re a business owner or startup found, or the head of a marketing department or you may be following goals written by upper management. Examine the goals in the frame of how you’re performing at this point. What goals have you not been able to secure yet? Create content around reaching these goals. You might need to target a certain segment to bring in leads, grow your social media following, drive traffic to your website, or create awareness, getting on the radar of potential customers. Maybe you want to reach more publications. Plan to create content that helps you move toward those goals.
Using these ingredients for content creation helps you develop a recipe for success. You can use the same method for month-to-month or for annual planning if you choose one of those options. Planning quarterly can be more beneficial because you are able to be a little more strategic, can really anticipate things, and can maybe do some bigger projects when you have more lead time, as far as content production goes. Quarterly planning is long enough to be strategic but short enough to be adaptable to changes in the marketplace, providing the right balance for many organizations.