How to Plan Effectively for Content Marketing in 2014

PlanWe all know that SEO is evolving. Further, the relevance of high quality and frequent content around market position is critical.

With 2014 just a few days away, and more brands and businesses embracing content marketing, you may be worried about how your team can continually produce content that is shareable and engaging. Making matters worse, it's going to be even harder to stand out to the media when everyone with a mobile phone is a news source.

Never fear. A well thought out content and PR calendar for 2014 is the engine that will drive your online visibility. Here's how to plan effectively for content marketing in 2014.

Let Your Content Plan Be Your Guide

A content plan, similar to an editorial calendar, guides the production of your publication schedule.

News outlets including CNN, Mashable, Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal produce news across multiple industry topics on a daily basis. The content that they produce follows a set of editorial guidelines that align with their value proposition and their readers' interests.

Define Your Coverage Area

To produce your content plan you will need to first define what topics you want to own (what is your company great at). From there, what subgroups of data or information can you talk about online, all the time (to produce original content).

Think About Your Audience

Understanding your online audience's behavior is the most important thing you can do, as this will help you shape potentially engaging and sharable content.

Another audience you must consider is the media:

  • Who should be your secondary audience when you're thinking about content planning?
  • What is your primary audiences' favorite news sources online?
  • What reporters do you follow on Twitter?
  • When was the last time you dug through The New York Times?

Have an SEO Strategy

When it comes to content planning, you better have a solid SEO strategy ready to support your content marketing investment. For best results, you should develop your content with both your audience and Google in mind.

Optimize all your content, including:

  • Articles
  • Blog posts
  • Whitepapers
  • Webinars
  • Online videos
  • Infographics
  • Web copy
  • Landing pages
  • Images
  • Podcasts/audio files

Have a Social Media Strategy

Content planning supports the core of social media marketing. To begin content planning in relation to your social media marketing program, you'll need to run some KPI and analytical reports on current content sharing and consumption to assess in which areas your future content should focus.

If you're really going to invest in full on content marketing in 2014, make sure that you have the best social media management and monitoring tool in place for your business. The type of tool will be dependent on the volume of content being managed.

Also, make sure that whoever will be producing your content in that specific area (writer, illustrator, animator, copywriter, graphic designer) is included in the content planning and is highly qualified to do that work.

Online PR is Critical to Success

In the world of online marketing, doing public relations (PR) right is about understanding the "how," "when," and "where" of influential bloggers, reporters, and journalists. When you start to plan your PR calendar for 2014, have a targeted plan for such people.

Online PR isn't much different than traditional PR. You still need to follow the professional rules of media outreach. You still need to have unique and engaging content such like a viral video and the process behind its development.

In online PR, however, it's critical that you stay on top of daily (if not real-time) trends, and follow what is being absorbed in the news. Twitter needs to be your best friend.

Let Your Company Leader Lead the Way

Your company leader is an important branding tool and can help with your PR and content plans. Use this person's personality values as a leader and contributions to their industry to your advantage as part of your content marketing.

As you plan out your company's visibility, think about how you can build thought leadership by including your company leader in content, whether it's contributing guest blog posts, interviews, Google Hangouts, and the like.

Summary

Hopefully you're now ready to effectively plan for content marketing in 2014. Content marketing has great benefits for those who do it right. So get your online marketing started the right way in 2014.

Do you have any additional content marketing planning tips? Let us know in the comments.

About the author

Jasmine Sandler is a veteran in online marketing. She has over 15 years client experience in helping companies, both large and small, use the web to develop and grow business. Miss Sandler has provided interactive solutions for such clients as: Citibank, ISO, Diamonds International, Doublerock Corporation, Loews Hotels, CityLights Cruises, and hundreds of small businesses and start-ups.

Miss Sandler has expertise in the areas of using LinkedIn to grow business, B2B social media marketing strategy, search marketing strategies for sustainable online visibility, website effectiveness for user engagement, and digital strategies for small businesses. She is a published author of "Branding & Sales: The LinkedIn Way," available on Amazon and in paperback.

Jasmine is a frequent speaker for The Association of Strategic Marketing, The Association of Ghostwriters, Search Engine Strategies, Small Business Technology, and New York Business Expo. Miss Sandler is a contributing monthly writer for ClickZ.com, Search Engine Watch, The New York Enterprise Report, and LinkedIn Original Content.

Jasmine is CEO and founder of Agent-cy Online Marketing, an online branding agency in NYC with a team in digital strategy, web design and development, search marketing strategy and management, social media marketing, and online PR.

Miss Sandler provides LinkedIn Corporate Training and individual executive work as well as digital planning as a consultant to enterprise level organizations globally. Her consulting work and published content can be found at jasminesandler.com.

Miss Sandler holds a dual MBA in Marketing and Technology from the University of Miami and is a very active supporter of LinkedIn and runs several business owner groups on the site. Prior to developing a career in web marketing, she held the position of Director of Managed Data Networking Sales at IBM Global Services for a period of seven years.