Content Planning: Advice from Oracle’s Global Digital Marketing Agency [with on-demand webinar]

July 12, 2022 | 5 minute read
Nick Cantu
Creative Director for Creative Services, Oracle Digital Experience Agency
Kelly Moran
Senior Art Director for Copy, Oracle Digital Experience Agency
Ana Jablonski
Senior Strategist
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If it’s not in the plan, then it typically doesn’t happen. And if it does happen, then corners have been cut and sacrifices made. That’s a harsh reality, especially with today’s lean digital marketing teams. That’s why, when working with our Oracle Marketing Consulting clients, we take an expansive view of content planning.

How expansive? When doing content planning, we think you should be able to answer the following 6 questions:

1. What Are All of My Sources of Potential Content?

Before contemplating creating any new content, audit your existing content. Build a content matrix and slot in all of the content you have, determining along the way what’s useful and what isn’t.

Find out how to do better content planning

 

When doing your content audit, be sure to include:

  • Creative assets from other channels internally
  • Assets from suppliers
  • Assets from partners
  • Content from other third parties
  • User-generated content

Chances are that you have considerably more content available to you than you assumed.

2. What Are the Narratives I’m Trying to Tell?

While it’s fine to have one-offs, you probably want most of your content to contribute to a bigger story that you’re trying to build. That narrative might be organized around a campaign, month, season, or event. 

For example, we have retail clients that build narratives around Cyber Monday, travel clients that build narratives around the Alaskan sailing season, and media clients that build narratives around the Olympics.

Mapping out your narratives helps you to see if you’re telling a compelling and complete story. It also helps you tell if you’re striking the right balance between promotional and non-promotional messages, whether those non-promotional messages are educational, instructional, editorial, informational, entertaining, social, or something else.

Need inspiration? Get our Content Calendar Assistant via a free, no-form download.

3. Which Campaigns Involve Complex Content?

All campaigns aren’t created equal. Some are relatively straightforward—perhaps consisting of only text and images and leveraging existing landing pages. Others might involve 20%, 50%, or 250% more time and resources because of what they entail. Planning for these campaigns appropriately is a critical part of content planning, which is as much about planning for people as content.

For example, when working on email marketing campaigns, plan to allot extra time to campaigns that include:

Speaking of testing…

4. What Tests Am I Going to Run?

Having an A/B testing plan that’s integrated into your content plan is dramatically more useful than simply doing ad hoc testing. With a solid testing plan, you can:

  • Craft tests that answer your burning questions and align with business goals and initiatives
  • Prioritize the most impactful tests
  • Schedule tests that build upon each other
  • Periodically challenge and confirm past winners, since your audience’s preferences will change over time

Your test plan should also include tests of your automations, which can yield bigger gains from testing because they tend to generate returns that are much higher than broadcast campaigns.

To ensure you’re maximizing your automation opportunities, get our checklist of 110+ Automated Campaign Ideas via a free, no-form download.

5. What Changes Should I Make to My Automated Campaigns?

In addition to testing, your triggered campaigns can also benefit from updates that keep them aligned with your narratives. For example, during the holiday season, retailers should consider:

  • Reskinning their automations to add holiday imagery
  • Adding a “holidays” or “gifts” link to the navigation bars in their trigger campaigns
  • Reworking their welcome email to speak more directly to season shoppers
  • Adding seasonal secondary and tertiary message blocks to some automations
  • Adjusting the trigger timing, series progressions, and series suppression rules to reflect seasonal shopping behaviors 

For a detailed look at possible seasonal updates, check out Seasonal Automated Campaign Adjustments to Stay Relevant.

6. How Do I Prepare for Peak Season Campaigns?

For most brands, there are one or two or more peak seasons that are central to their businesses, and therefore central to their content planning efforts. During these times, campaign volumes tend to rise considerably, which can severely tax marketing teams.

To ease this burden, create as much content and as many campaigns as possible ahead of time. With our clients, our goal is to have 80% of campaigns built early or to build 80% of individual campaigns. Sometimes that last 20% won’t be known until much closer to the launch date because of unknowns around supply chains or just wanting to stay nimble to jump on what’s popular or trending. 

While smart content planning can help you use your resources efficiently, sometimes you just need more resources to get everything done. This is almost always the case during peak seasons. In these instances, you have two options:

  • Shift resources internally by cross-training people, such as training web developers to also code emails
  • Hire external resources, either by working with freelancers or contracting with an agency

If you need help handling your peak season digital marketing campaign workload, reach out to Oracle Digital Experience Agency.

Ready for a Deeper Dive?

We discuss all of these issues and more in the on-demand webinar below on content planning. Watch it for advice on how to deepen your content planning and make your marketing operations run more smoothly.

We hope you enjoyed “Content Planning: Advice from Oracle’s Global Digital Marketing Agency.” Some of our other on-demand webinars include:

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Need help with content planning? Oracle Digital Experience Agency has hundreds of marketing and communication experts ready to help Oracle customers create stronger connections with their customers and employees, even if they’re not using an Oracle platform as the foundation of that experience. Our award-winning specialists can handle everything from creative and strategy to content planning and project management.

For help overcoming your challenges or seizing your opportunities, talk to your Oracle account manager, visit us online, or email us at OracleAgency_US@Oracle.com.

Nick Cantu

Creative Director for Creative Services, Oracle Digital Experience Agency

Nick Cantu is the Creative Director for Creative Services at Oracle Digital Experience Agency. He has over 14 years of creative consulting experience, with the past 9 years dedicated to data-driven email marketing. His approach focuses on the end-user, building relevant and engaging messages that drive results.

Kelly Moran

Senior Art Director for Copy, Oracle Digital Experience Agency

Kelly Moran is Senior Art Director for Copy at Oracle Digital Experience Agency. She is a writer by day and by night with a background in linguistics. Her understanding of copywriting across channels has been shaped by her experience in customer success, content management, and supporting boutique brands in retail and e-commerce. 

Ana Jablonski

Senior Strategist

Ana Jablonski is data-driven storyteller, with over fifteen years in the digital marketing space advising small startups to Fortune 50 companies. Her passion is guiding clients to true digital transformation through data-centric strategies and cross-channel solutions.