Content is experiencing a boom in popularity and use by communicators and marketers.
As it has become more important there has been a surge in investment, with organisations either expanding formerly marginal activity or embarking on content projects for the first time. Unsurprisingly, in the rush to explore and develop content, the outcomes are often haphazard and of widely varying quality.
The downside of the “rush to content” is that knowledge, skills and robust models exist in pockets and will take time to spread.
When we are asked to consult on and fix projects that have got into difficulties they have typically encountered one or more of the following problems:
- Objectives and vision for the project were unclear.
- Content has been treated as a separate activity, when it needs to be integrated with other disciplines (e.g. social media, SEO, PR, paid media)
- There was insufficient understanding of the target audiences and their needs.
- Content was seen as part of a campaign, with too little attention paid to how it will be used in the longer term.
- The focus was on just one or two platforms for distribution – often Facebook and Twitter – ignoring search, email and other important platforms.
- Inadequate resources are in place – the team running the content project doesn’t have all the time or skills or knowledge it needs.
- Listening and data are not being used to develop content.
Brilliant Noise has developed a planning model for content programmes that addresses some of these issues.
Called the Six Ps Planning Model (6PPM) it helps us and our clients to check that all aspects of a project have been considered, and provides a framework for developing a content programme that will be focused, effective, efficient and repeatable.
The following are the kinds of questions and considerations we look at in each of the “Ps”:
- Purpose. The overarching reason why your content exists. Purpose applies to every piece of content, not just specific campaigns. What is it for? Who is it for? What is is the vision for the project? What benefits will create for which people?
- Principles. The fundamental propositions that form the foundations of your content. Ways of working to achieve them. (Take a look at Coca-Cola’s principles in its Liquid and Linked video.)
- Platforms. The places where and tools with which your create, publish and amplify your content, e.g. collaboration spaces, workflow and publishing tools.
- Processes. The systems and workflows required to create, publish and evaluate content.
- People. The people involved, the amount of time, the skills and the way they are organised in relation to it.
- Performance. Metrics, outcomes, and ways of evaluating the project. How real-time insights can be gained.
We’ve found the 6PPM incredibly useful for our content-related projects – and in fact for many other digital planning exercises. Let us know what you think and if you use it, anything you have learned or changed.
Lauren Pope, content expert and a digital consultant here at Brilliant Noise also talked about the Six Ps Planning Model at the Content Marketing Show recently as part of her talk “Why content marketing needs content strategy”. (Follow the link to see her slides and find out more about the Six Ps.)