Collective Wisdom Series Part 1 Planning Ahead Chess Image

They say two heads are better than one, but we say the more the merrier — especially when it comes to bringing you actionable tips and insights to fuel your digital marketing efforts.

That’s why we’re proud to announce our “Collective Wisdom” series. Throughout the series, we’ll be bringing you insights, tips, and perspectives from some of the top marketing minds to help guide your content marketing strategy. With each entry, you’ll quickly learn proven methods, taking you from the very beginning of the content planning cycle to post-publication amplification and optimization.

Where should we start? At the beginning, of course.

In this piece, we explore the crucial planning stage that essential for content marketing success.

Planning Your Content — Get A Jump Ahead By Stepping Back

Having a solid plan in place is the foundation of any successful content marketing journey. There are several considerations you’ll want to consider before jumping into creation, helping ensure that you have a well-thought-out and meaningful plan from beginning to end already in place.

Tactic 1: Commit to Having a Plan

As the old saying goes, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” For marketers, that single, first step is committing to developing and documenting your content editorial plan, even if it’s not super sophisticated to begin with.

Unfortunately, some digital marketers often skip this step entirely. And with 32% of marketers staying organized is a top content planning challenge. Documenting a content plan that you can consistently refer back to will most certainly help.

If you don’t know where to start, start with reading the DivvyHQ and TopRank Marketing report, which features marketers Michael Brenner, Tamsen Webster, Carla Johnson, Robert Rose, and others sharing methods for creating proper content calendars and involving team members in the content planning process.

Tactic 2: Build and Ask a List of Sharers Before Publication

You know that once you release your content into the wild, you need to promote it. But do you spend time upfront locking down who could help you spread the word? If not, the upfront effort is worth it. You’ll have a key next step built in your process, rather than scrambling last minute.

Building a list of target sharers is a two-step process:

1) Reviewing your known contacts

2) Researching and qualifying others who would find your content relevant and share-worthy.

When it comes to researching newbies to add to your list, EmailField’s Aman Thakur likes to use BuzzSumo to discover people who have a history of sharing content similar to what you plan to publish, by searching for keywords related to your piece.

Thakur then recommends looking for relevant BuzzSumo articles that have over 200 or so Twitter shares, filtering the list by people, and exporting them to your sharer-contact spreadsheet or document, a technique he outlined for CMI.

BuzzSumo Sharer List Image

Moz contributor Isla McKetta is a fan of using Followerwonk to search through Twitter profile biographies to help build a list of influencers in your niche who may be well-suited to sharing your content, as she details in the Moz…