Here is a template that you can use as a quick snapshot of what your next quarter or the full year are looking like. I like to use this as an easy way to visualize how balanced our marketing programs are.
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It’s really a simple template but there are 4 key questions I’m trying to answer by looking at the annual plan this way.
1. Is it aligned to product releases?
It’s important to ensure there is always a lens into what is happening in the product on the marketing calendar. This ensures that product launches, feature releases and other roadmap items are incorporated into the marketing promotions. For example, if we have an event scheduled, it’s essential that any relevant product information is being shared and any assets – screenshots, swag – that need to be produced to highlight the product update is visible to the team managing the event.
2. Is there a balance of top of funnel and bottom of funnel content?
While it’s important that we are able to showcase thought leadership on a topic (when we are the thought leader), it’s also important to ensure there are assets that are lower down in the funnel that will drive hand raisers and drive demand for our product.
3. Are we leveraging each thing we produce to the fullest?
When we do a webinar or virtual event, are we also adding in a blog, eBook, teaser video, and podcast version. This is an efficient way to make the best use of the content team’s time as well as giving you a leg up on the associated keywords in the SERPs.
4. Is there variety in the types of content that are being produced?
This not only helps to make sure that our promotions are catered to different types of people but it helps the search engines understand that we are experts on the topic because we have information on those topics in so many different formats. This is somewhat similar to the last point but the point that different people prefer consuming information in different ways is an important one.
Why not try it?
While this might not be the most fancy way to look at your marketing plan and it certainly could get unwieldy for a bigger team, it’s a quick and dirty way to look at the annual plan and feel comfortable that you’re covering your bases.as