Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, APM Blog, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, XebiaLabs Blog

Blog Feed Post

Overcoming Planner’s Block: The Content Marketer’s Edition

Putting together a content marketing plan is no walk in the park. While there is no such thing as a standard content marketing plan, our particular process typically involves hours of discovery and research, a 40 – 70 page written document, a 20 – 30 slide presentation, and then delivery and discussion. This is a 20 – 30 day process for most.

So what should you do if you are forced to simplify and expedite that planning process to meet some type of deadline? Or what if you are experiencing planner’s block, or having trouble getting started with your content marketing planning process?

First, be very afraid. Done right, content marketing planning should not be condensed.

Now, take a deep breath and start addressing the following topics.

Answer the 12 questions that should guide your content marketing plan.

These 12 questions will warm up your planning brain. Some of these should be very easy to answer, providing some layups to get your confidence up.

For instance, don’t overthink a question like “What’s the goal?” Start simple with something like “Increase lead generation using content marketing.” That goal is certainly not specific enough for the final plan, but you can come back to it and refine it later. Remember, we’re just getting things down on paper now to help you overcome planner’s block.

Put together your core business themes.

What are some of the things you want your audiences to think about your company and its products and/or services?

A simple example: We want our audiences to think that we employ the most talented people in the data and analytics space.

Start with 3-5 themes, and move on.

Build out your content pecking order.

There are hundreds of types of content to consider, but since we’re simplifying and expediting, take a look at the Content Marketing Playbook. Decide which forms of content are relevant to you, and then rank them in order of priority.

One tip: Consider splitting up your priority list into anchor content (very important, but more difficult to produce) and supporting content (also very important, but less difficult to produce). Most companies need a mix in order to truly succeed with content marketing.

Create a quick editorial calendar schedule.

Editorial calendars can be scary. Necessary, but scary.

To alleviate that initial fear, swap out “calendar” for “schedule” and make a list that looks something like this:

  • Blog posts – 1x/week
  • Case studies – 1x/quarter
  • eNewsletters – 1x/quarter
  • White papers – 1x/year

That list will provide a nice starting point – you can come back and turn it into a full-blown calendar later.

Determine who your primary and secondary writers are.

Your primary writers are the ones you can count for frequent, solid content. Your secondary writers are the ones you can count on for infrequent, solid content.

Be brutally honest with yourself here. You don’t have to configure your content marketing dream team just yet, but you need to know who you can count on to help.

Decide which keywords you’d like to own.

One benefit of content marketing is its ability to make a significant impact on search engine optimization (SEO). Based on the list of themes you made above, use a keyword research tool like Google AdWords to research and compile a list of keywords you’d like to own. These may be product or service-oriented keywords, category-oriented keywords, or theme-oriented keywords.

With 78% of B2B buyers starting their buying process with a web search, you will want to make sure your content is optimized to rank on these target keywords.

Come up with a simple tracking system.

Alert! This is a topic that lends itself to overthinking.

Remember, we’re simplifying and expediting. Don’t start building out complex reporting structures for your content, or licensing tools that you may never use.

Decide how you want to measure the success of a blog post against another blog post, a webinar against another webinar, or a white paper against another white paper.

If you’re not sure what you should be tracking in the first place, check out the Field Guide to the Four Types of Content Marketing Metrics.

Brainstorm a master list of topics.

This should be the fun part. You have your themes and your target keywords. Now sit down and start creating the list of potential topics to cover. You’re still in the “no bad idea” stage, so make the list exhaustive and whittle it down later.

A few ideas on getting started:

  • Spend some time reading material from companies and individuals you admire – this always inspires content ideas.
  • Ask salespeople what their top 10 prospect questions/issues are (and how they respond to those questions/issues); those questions and answers make for excellent content.
  • Ask your customer service people what their top 10 customer questions/issues are (and how they respond to those questions/issues); those questions and answers make for excellent content.

Consider this merely a starting point.

These eight steps will get you through planner’s block, and may help you build a quick and simple plan, but they should not be viewed as a replacement for a full-blown content marketing plan.  A complete content marketing plan involves exhaustive coverage of planning, creation, optimization, distribution, social media, reporting/analysis and more.

For more on this topic from Right Source and other industry experts, download our free content marketing eBook: How to Grow Your Business with Content Marketing.

 

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Mike Sweeney

Mike Sweeney and Right Source Marketing help organizations build their marketing strategy, organize the structure to accommodate that strategy, and deliver the specific services to execute that strategy. We do this through a unique model that provides senior level strategic consulting as well as specific services that cover every area of an organization’s marketing plan.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
As applications are promoted from the development environment to the CI or the QA environment and then into the production environment, it is very common for the configuration settings to be changed as the code is promoted. For example, the settings for the database connection pools are typically lower in development environment than the QA/Load Testing environment. The primary reason for the existence of the configuration setting differences is to enhance application performance. However, occas...
More and more companies are looking to microservices as an architectural pattern for breaking apart applications into more manageable pieces so that agile teams can deliver new features quicker and more effectively. What this pattern has done more than anything to date is spark organizational transformations, setting the foundation for future application development. In practice, however, there are a number of considerations to make that go beyond simply “build, ship, and run,” which changes ho...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Kubernetes and Google Container Engine Workshop, being held November 3, 2016, in conjunction with @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele introduces participants to Kubernetes and Google Container Engine (GKE). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, students learn the key concepts and practices for deploying and maintainin...
In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
While DevOps promises a better and tighter integration among an organization’s development and operation teams and transforms an application life cycle into a continual deployment, Chef and Azure together provides a speedy, cost-effective and highly scalable vehicle for realizing the business values of this transformation. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yung Chou, a Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, will present a unique opportunity to witness how Chef and Azure work tog...
When scaling agile / Scrum, we invariable run into the alignment vs autonomy problem. In short: you cannot have autonomous self directing teams if they have no clue in what direction they should go, or even shorter: Alignment breeds autonomy. But how do we create alignment? and what tools can we use to quickly evaluate if what we want to do is part of the mission or better left out? Niel Nickolaisen created the Purpose Alignment model and I use it with innovation labs in large enterprises to de...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Tintri VM-aware storage is the simplest for virtualized applications and cloud. Organizations including GE, Toyota, United Healthcare, NASA and 6 of the Fortune 15 have said “No to LUNs.” With Tintri they mana...
Analysis of 25,000 applications reveals 6.8% of packages/components used included known defects. Organizations standardizing on components between 2 - 3 years of age can decrease defect rates substantially. Open source and third-party packages/components live at the heart of high velocity software development organizations. Today, an average of 106 packages/components comprise 80 - 90% of a modern application, yet few organizations have visibility into what components are used where.
Throughout history, various leaders have risen up and tried to unify the world by conquest. Fortunately, none of their plans have succeeded. The world goes on just fine with each country ruling itself; no single ruler is necessary. That’s how it is with the container platform ecosystem, as well. There’s no need for one all-powerful, all-encompassing container platform. Think about any other technology sector out there – there are always multiple solutions in every space. The same goes for conta...
Let's recap what we learned from the previous chapters in the series: episode 1 and episode 2. We learned that a good rollback mechanism cannot be designed without having an intimate knowledge of the application architecture, the nature of your components and their dependencies. Now that we know what we have to restore and in which order, the question is how?
Digitization is driving a fundamental change in society that is transforming the way businesses work with their customers, their supply chains and their people. Digital transformation leverages DevOps best practices, such as Agile Parallel Development, Continuous Delivery and Agile Operations to capitalize on opportunities and create competitive differentiation in the application economy. However, information security has been notably absent from the DevOps movement. Speed doesn’t have to negat...
Your business relies on your applications and your employees to stay in business. Whether you develop apps or manage business critical apps that help fuel your business, what happens when users experience sluggish performance? You and all technical teams across the organization – application, network, operations, among others, as well as, those outside the organization, like ISPs and third-party providers – are called in to solve the problem.
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...