Data-Driven Content Strategy Meets Content Marketing


Content creation is not cheap. As content marketers, we may have brilliant ideas for content that meets the needs of customers and prospective customers, but ideas alone don’t convince stakeholders to invest. We need to back up our ideas with data. We need to show that our suggestions align with the needs of our target audience segments.

To make this effort easier, I have created a tool that does this aligning literally – across rows in a spreadsheet. I call it the multichannel content marketing planner. This planner provides an easy-to-use, easy-to-share place to capture the data and data-related insights that lead to a strategically solid content marketing plan.

What do I mean by a strategically solid content marketing plan? I mean a plan that achieves the user-centered goal that content strategists everywhere strive for: getting the right content to the right people at the right time, which requires us to use the right channels.

This planner fits into a process that looks something like this:

  1. Conduct content stakeholder interviews.
  2. Review metrics reports, research, and insights.
  3. Audit the site.
  4. Summarize and share your findings.
  5. Brainstorm content ideas with your team.
  6. Fill in the planner 
  7. Share the planner with stakeholders and get their buy-in.
  8. Develop editorial guidelines.
  9. Plot out your editorial calendar.