Monitoring Your Progress
Developing an effective content marketing plan is only "half the battle." Getting it implemented is the other, and generally the tougher, half. And an important part of strategy implementation is monitoring – taking a periodic look at "how it's going."
Monitoring the implementation of your content marketing plan is important for a number of reasons. First, it helps to assure that your efforts conform to the plan. That you're actually performing the action steps you intended. That you're "on track."
Second, you've got to be sure the results you achieve align with your quantified objectives.. That you're accomplishing what you intended to accomplish. Monitoring helps here too.
Also, monitoring allows for corrective action. For making the necessary changes along the way. To "fine tune," not only your strategies, but your planning process as well.
And since monitoring is part of a control process, it encourages improved performance. Knowing they'll be measured stimulates employees to do a better job.
Finally, and most importantly, monitoring provides the essential link between the written plan and the day-to-day operation of your business. It demonstrates to all that you really are managing the business according to your plan. Monitoring the plan makes your entire planning effort a tangible reality rather than a once-a-year academic exercise. Keep records of your content marketing activities, tracking the following aspects of your initiatives:
• Media used
• Timing of the promotion
• Reach (the number of persons exposed to the promotion)
• Responses generated
• Sales generated
• Return on sales (the sales generated minus the cost)
An Early "Warning" System
A significant benefit of the monitoring process is that it serves as your "early warning system." It gives you the opportunity to communicate how you're doing. Where the problems and opportunities lie. And what's changed.
Getting "Back on Track"
You will run into implementation problems. Some of your tactics may prove ineffective. Or your strategies won't work as you intended. Or you’ll miss accomplishing an objective.
You can take one of four corrective actions. First, you can change your schedule – slip your due date. Second, you can change the tactics you're performing to implement your strategy. Third, you can change your strategy. Finally, as a last resort, you can compromise your objective. Each of these corrective actions is applicable under specific circumstances.