My 22-year-old daughter is in art school, which means that I often must clench my teeth to keep myself from asking, “So what’s your plan once you have this art degree?” She’s a great kid, and I know I shouldn’t nag, but it’s a fair question, given her disdain for repeatable tasks, such as is required in, er, WORK! She does have a vision for the future, but it’s more of a vagabond bucket list than a plan. It includes: living the van life while traveling middle America; attending Burning Man in the Nevada desert; and starting a woman-run homestead she can lease out for ayahuasca ceremonies. To me, a plan should be a blueprint that outlines how you will get from point A to your goal. A list of the characteristics of the end state is not a plan.
I find myself expressing a similar sentiment to Forrester B2B clients when it comes to their content plans. Too often, the content plan that they show me is a bill of materials (BOM) — a list of the assets, without any identified strategic foundation.
B2B Content Planning: A Mixed Bag Of Approaches
Forrester’s 2022 State Of B2B Content Survey revealed that 45% of an organization’s content is generated outside of dedicated content or creative services teams. It also revealed that almost half of organizations lack a repeatable approach to content planning. So given marketing teams within B2B organizations create and distribute their own content, focused on their own objectives, it is no wonder that content plans are a mixed bag of BOMs. But consider the power of harmonizing these efforts into a cohesive content strategy.
The Power Of A Structured Content Plan On A Page
Enter the Forrester B2B content plan on a page — a structured and repeatable approach designed to develop and communicate a cross-functional content strategy that’s aligned with your organization’s overarching goals. This approach provides:
- A strategic focus. A content plan on a page offers a holistic strategy that encompasses the organization’s content goals, strategies, and tactics. It captures the crucial link between marketing objectives, audience needs, and content creation, bridging the gaps between different marketing functions.
- Alignment and support. A plan on a page offers a blueprint for achieving alignment across sales and marketing functions by integrating key inputs and requirements. In light of survey data showing that 48% of organizations fail to consistently consider audience and persona needs in their content strategy, a content plan on a page ensures a comprehensive audience view.
- Efficiency gains. By consolidating various marketing needs into a single content plan, content leaders can identify numerous opportunities to drive efficiency in content creation, production, and activation. This approach helps combat the 60% of content that currently goes to waste.
The Elements Of A Successful Content Plan On A Page
The Forrester B2B content plan on a page summarizes the six essential elements that form the backbone of a well-structured content strategy. These elements include:
- The plan scope, which outlines the organizing principle for the plan such as a campaign theme, as well as audience focus.
- The audience journey, ensuring cohesive coverage across functional team needs and stakeholder goals.
- Synthesized audience and messaging details, including identifying resources, localization needs, and program focus.
- The content strategy, which documents the strategic approach, connecting audiences, messages, goals, and key performance indicators.
- Guidance for use, which offers commentary and direction on plan usage to stakeholders, including global activation plans, translation/localization plans, and feedback mechanisms.
Unleashing The Power Of A Unified Content Strategy
In a world where content is king, a well-structured content plan on a page is a crown jewel that ensures strategic alignment, efficiency, and meaningful execution. By following the Forrester B2B-content-plan-on-a-page framework, organizations can bridge the gap between content creation and strategic marketing goals.