Integrating Content Into Your Plan

Apr. 24 by Brannan Atkinson |


This is Part III of our collection on constructing an integrated advertising plan. You many need to assessment Half I and Half II the place we talk about goal audiences.

What we’ve coated up to now

Our strategy to building an integrated advertising plan is a systematic, iterative course of. Up to now, we’ve coated:

In case you’re following along at work or at house, you must have your goal markets as well as some good ideas about your strengths and weaknesses relative to every market. You also needs to have an inventory of desired actions for every audience.

The subsequent step in our course of is to introduce content material into the combination. This is the place planning starts to get enjoyable.

As with the CARVER analysis for goal markets, I’ll introduce a way for scoring your content material concepts based mostly on several elements. Including these scores to the scores on your goal markets will start to disclose the tasks that have probably the most potential in your general plan. Finally, we’ll add the channel scores in the ultimate step to see the highest general priorities.

Categories of content

There are literally thousands of ways of grouping and slicing content. I feel it’s essential to phase content for higher planning and more creativity.

The next chart exhibits six varieties of content and the purpose of each. I’ll speak about every one in detail.

Brand content material

This class is where you retain your distinctive selling proposition, positioning, brand type guide, mission statement, vision, boilerplates and other content material you employ to strengthen your model. The objective of this content is to differentiate your company, organization or trigger in the market.

We’re big fans of the Hedgehog Concept launched by Jim Collins in Good to Great. The essential precept is that a hedgehog does one thing rather well — roll up into a decent ball to guard itself from its enemies.

The concept helps you find the one factor that may drive your corporation. It has three elements:

  • What are you enthusiastic about?
  • What are you able to be the most effective in the word at?
  • What drives your economic engine?

The intersection of these three questions is where you’ll discover your hedgehog.

The target audiences in your model content material is everybody who will work together together with your company, including clients, staff and the group at giant.

Gross sales help

Gross sales help content material consists of something that may assist sell the service and merchandise that your company gives. It’s position is to convert individuals to prospects in your sales pipeline.

Assume product descriptions, reality sheets, sales shows and the like.

The goal audiences are going to be people who purchase your services.


Bulletins publicize new products, new executives, firm positions on issues, and so forth. Making announcements help reinforce that your organization is shifting forward and delivering on the guarantees made by your brand.

It’s exhausting to anticipate each announcement as part of your annual planning process. The secret’s having an inventory of bulletins categories so you’ll be able to have a plan to react shortly. We’ll add some extra details to this in the subsequent part on channels.

The goal audiences for announcement are largely going to be your buyer base — each prospective and current clients — to let them know your organization is growing and delivering more worth.

Unique content

This class consists of these issues that folks most associated with content advertising. It is content material designed to place your organization as an authority within the subject and assist clients remedy key problems. Finally, unique content helps your organization appeal to new individuals who may need to do enterprise with you sooner or later or help your difficulty.

Your unique content goes to have a topic and a type. In our case, I might add ”built-in advertising planning articles” or ”social media programming presentation.” These are simply two examples. My content inventory might easily find yourself with 100 or extra pieces once I’m executed.

Be sure that to not embrace channel in your content material stock. A single piece of excellent content might be distributed in a number of methods. We’ll give attention to that in the next submit.

Curated content

Curated content material is anything that you simply share from other sources. It connects your organization with essential subjects, on-line communities and even business influencers.

It’s also a good way to be priceless to present audiences by connecting them to content they could not have seen.

I exploit Feedly to maintain monitor of 30+ blogs and Twitter lists for tweets that I need to retweet or reply to.

Investor content

Investor content is something that keeps your company’s buyers in the loop. Such a content material is usually specialized as a result of it accommodates proprietary info and requires legal assessment.

Typically, your aim is to adjust to investor laws or contracts that require common updates about progress, financials, developments and company news.

This class is just for corporations that want to speak with buyers.

Building your content inventory

We now have a scored record of goal audiences and the broad classes of content material that it’s essential create.
It’s time to build your content stock, which is a flowery approach of saying the large listing of content you propose to create.

The first step is to construct your brand content material. This is the inspiration and the measuring stick for future content. Make certain to attempt the hedgehog concepts.

Subsequent, I might concentrate on sales content. Finally, each business has to earn money, so spend time scripting this content material.

In my instance from the Pink White and Meals marketing campaign, our main audience have been shoppers whom we would have liked to hitch the marketing campaign. Here’s an inventory of the potential content material that we would have liked:

  • Methods to be a part of the marketing campaign
  • Benefits of joining the marketing campaign
  • How their help would influence legislators.

Sticking with shoppers, we additionally needed them to e mail legislators. So we would have liked to:

  • Craft a collection of emails that buyers might ship. We started several totally different emails, including comfort of shopping for wine the place you buy groceries and how laws handed in to 1930s not utilized within the 21st century.

Unique content is essential for nearly each business. This is the content that may appeal to individuals to your web site and that others will share in social media.

Good unique content material is beneficial to your audience, which is a few mixture of entertainments and schooling. You’ll need to play with the ratio depending on your audiences.

I’ve tremendously simplified the process on this publish. Constructing your content material stock is an iterative course of the place you’re planning and identifying what is going to trigger your goal audiences to take a desired action.

On the end of this part of the process, it is best to have an extended listing of content that you simply need to score.

Content scoring

Considered one of our objectives all through this collection is to offer you instruments to research and prioritize every step within the course of — audience, content and channels.

The 5 measures that I like to make use of with content material are:

  • Functionality to supply
  • Time to supply
  • Receptiveness
  • Measurability
  • Value to supply

Together, these 5 measures will show you how to analyze potential content ideas, prioritize them and discover strengths and weaknesses.

Once again, we’ll score them on five-point scale with 5 being excessive and 1 being low.


Capability to supply is possessing the talents needed to supply the content. This is where you ask your self:

  • Can we produce this content material in-house?
  • Do we have now the information to supply this content material?
  • Do we have now the know-how, e.g. video modifying or graphic design, to supply this content material?

Rating your self of 5 when you’ve got every part you need in-house and 1 if you need to outsource it utterly.

Time to supply

The time to supply content is ignored.

I’ve been in public relations for more than 20 years. I can bang out a news releases in my sleep. Nevertheless it’s going to take me much more time to supply a whitepaper or webinar.

Ask yourself:

  • How lengthy will this content take to supply?
  • Do I want approval of the final product, e.g. legal or compliance?
  • If I don’t have the potential, how lengthy will it take to determine a vendor and the way long will it take them to supply.

Rating yourself of 5 if the content challenge will take little time and 1 if it’ll take a very long time (which is, in fact, relative to other tasks). Because of the a number of scoring parts, lengthy venture might find yourself with a better complete value.


Receptiveness is your gut feeling about how the audience is going to feel about your content material.

In our Pink White and Food marketing campaign, we knew that most of the people can be highly receptive but legislators wouldn’t.

Right here’s what to ask yourself:

  • Is that this a brand new concept?
  • Will there be objections to this content material from the audience?

Rating yourself of 5 in case you assume the audience will probably be receptive and 1 if not. Make sure that to be trustworthy with yourself, particularly in case you are introducing a brand new or controversial concept.


Content ought to transfer individuals to take some motion that is useful to your small business or trigger. It’s your largest weapon as a marketer.

And, ideally, you need to measure which content is causing the most important desired motion.

Some content material can be unmeasurable. I really can’t inform you the exact worth of stories story because, with out refined measurement tools, I don’t know whether or not it brought about somebody to behave.

Conversely, I can easily measure the impression of an e-mail marketing campaign and sales content on my website if I have measurable calls to action.

Ask yourself:

  • Can this content material embrace a call to action that I can measure?
  • Do I have to expertise or information to measure this content material?

Score your content a 5 should you can easily measure the influence and 1 in case you can’t measure it.

As soon as once more, you’re going to have needed content, similar to your brand content material, that may score pretty low. That’s okay.

Value to supply

The final measure is the price to supply content material.
Some content material will value extra to supply if you might want to outsource the event, rent a designer to make it presentable or purchase paintings.

Ask your self:

  • Do I want supporting materials corresponding to video or an infographic?
  • Do I want to rent anyone to help produce this content material, together with a author of a designer?

Integrated plan coming to life

Your built-in advertising plan is coming to life. We’ve now made it via two of the three elements. The remaining step is where we add channels to our combine and full the cycle.

Filed Underneath: Advertising

Image Credit score: Gerd Altmann

Brannan Atkinson

Brannan Atkinson, APR, is a companion with Amy Atkinson Communications. His 20-year advertising career consists of being the public info officer for the City of Richmond (Va.), president of a PR firm, and CMO of a software program company. He writes about built-in advertising, knowledge and authority advertising. Join with him on Twitter or on Google+.