"Do we have a holiday blog post ready?"
"Are we doing a Black Friday social media campaign?"
"What are we publishing on November 1st?"
If you're in charge of content for your organization (or part of an editorial team) and are tasked to keep the content engine running, then you'll get these questions from sales, customer support, and marketing. And if you don't have anything planned and are totally unprepared for these events, then your content engine will sputter and fail. If you're wondering how often should a marketing plan be revisited, if you get to this stage of no preparation, it's time.

It is crucial to plan ahead so you always have ideas at the ready. It's even better if you have finished and recyclable content pieces that can be published at a moment's notice. That's the purpose of this blog post: to walk you through a three-part process for planning out your content in advance of deadlines and sudden needs.

Use Wrike to Store Buyer Personas

Before you craft your content, you have to know whom you're writing this content for. Talk with your salespeople and customer success team; they know the customers best, and may already have buyer personas built and ready. If they don't, then create personas for your content consumer.

Creating detailed buyer personas is an art unto itself, and there are already many resources out there so I won't get into the nitty gritty. I'll simply advise you to converse with your sales and support teams, look at your blog and website analytics, check out the online communities where your customers hang out, and if you're still at a loss, then go out and actually talk with your customers.

Questions to answer: Who reads the blog? Who engages with you on social media? Who makes the decision to buy? What's their pain point? Where are they in the buying decision process?

Creating buyer personas within Wrike

Do it in Wrike:

  • Create a folder called "Buyer Personas" to hold these customer profiles.
  • Within the folder, create a task for each buyer persona. Think of these as dossiers on the types of customers your business gets— you can add to these files as you learn more and more about them.
  • Once you're done, make sure you share this folder with all sales and marketing groups.

Use Wrike to Brainstorm Content Ideas

You know who your readers are. Now, get a group together and brainstorm ideas on content pieces that will appeal to each buyer persona.

We blogged in the past about 7 brainstorming techniques. Use one or more of these strategies to coax ideas out of your team of marketers. And remember: the key to brainstorming isn't quality of ideas but rather quantity. You want a LOT of ideas at the start. Later on, a smaller team can filter through all of them and find the gems that stand out.

Questions to answer: What useful piece of content would readers want to share or download? What topics would help with their pain points? What can we talk about that would promote our company's reputation as a thought leader in our space?

Using Wrike for brainstorming content

Do it in Wrike:

  • Create a folder called "Content Brainstorm" and within it, have one task called "Braindump." This will serve as the brainstorming minutes, and will collect all the ideas the team comes up with during the session. Remember, no idea is bad. Capture it all, and show it onscreen. (Displaying this task on the projector can take the place of a whiteboard, or alternatively, the designated meeting secretary can copy everything on the whiteboard into this task.)
  • As each idea is listed, connect a buyer persona with each one.
  • Once the brainstorming session is over, have your content team take the best ideas and turn these into individual tasks within the "Content Brainstorm" folder. These will be the action items from your session.

Use Wrike to Create an Editorial Calendar

Now that you have a bunch of content tasks ready to be worked on, the last step is to assign them to writers, and then plot them out on your editorial calendar.

We've blogged in the past about building a content calendar within Wrike that can house all these tasks with their specific due dates, and have them all display on a shared dashboard for the team to see. Simply follow the five steps listed in the blog post to get up and running in no time.

An editorial calendar within Wrike

Questions to answer: When is this being published? What design resources are needed (e.g. graphic design, web design, motion graphics, video)? How long a lead time does design need for each type of deliverable? Do we have to coordinate with other departments before launching?

Do it in Wrike:
All the details are in this blog post: How to Set Up an Editorial Calendar in Wrike

And there you have it. A complete three-part process for planning out your content marketing efforts within Wrike. Now hurry up and finish that Halloween blog post already!

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