2016 Goals: Let’s Plan for Proactivity!

2016 is already here. It’s time to write your content plan! (And this is where all you lucky people who actually made it already in December can stop reading…) Because a plan for content, you’ll need. To reach your marketing goals, to optimize your time, to be proactive and smart.

Personally, I love these first few days of January when the new year hasn’t quite begun yet and there is so much promise in the air: Anything will be possible this year! Any 2016 goal is still achievable. If the plan how to get there is not yet completed, these are the days to grab the calendar and just do it.

To optimize marketing communications, a content plan is needed to be efficient. It doesn’t have to be something super-sophisticated which requires months of meetings and the most advanced software. I’d rather praise the keep-it-simple version, as a content plan should be the go-to place for everyone working with sales, marketing and communications, to remember the content priorities over time. It should basically list the most important content to talk about during the year, including both the company’s own favourite marketing topics and whatever worldly or country-specific events/topics that can be relevant to bring up in the company’s marketing channels to show its engagement. In addition, the plan should state the timing of each topic, i.e. when the content should be prioritized in the communication channels.

Include the company’s main marketing campaigns, product launches and events, but also bank holidays, country-specific traditions, major sports events, or global days for human rights, depending on what could be relevant for you to use in your marketing. These non-company oriented occasions often provide an opportunity to present the true personality and soul of the company, thereby presenting an opportunity to build brand. If you’d like more ideas on the plan as such, check my earlier blog “ac”. It talks about a content plan for social media, but the structure and model may very well be applied to any marketing channel.

The big benefit of making a rough longer-term content plan is that it enables proactivity in terms of content production, rather than a reactive running around to find whatever-content-is-needed-for-Monday. New content can be developed in time, content series such as ‘weekly chat’ can be planned and promoted in time, marketing-effective material can be planned for reuse when there is a content gap in the plan, Etc. You will be on top of your content, and you’ll be on top of your time.

And the icing on the cake: Following the plan, you’ll be able to check the latest stats before and make the required changes before you publish. Thereby increasing the likelihood that you’ll actually achieve those right-now achievable goals you agreed for 2016!

Blog first published on LinkedIn January 11, 2015

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