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The Content Marketing Formula: 70/20/10

According to Content Marketing Institute’s latest report, brands struggle to balance two priorities in content production: frequency and quality. In a world where individuals need more than 10.4 sources of information when making a purchase decision, consistent publishing of valuable information is a must. However, the pressure of production can lead marketers down a road of repetition, where content is made for content’s sake and lacks originality. By instituting a framework that promotes sustainability and innovation, such as the 70/20/10 rule and employing an editorial calendar tool with the capability to visualize near and long-term projects, marketers can manage the demand without sacrificing creativity.

This model, which Eric Schmidt introduced to Google in 2005, requires employees to dedicate 70% of their time to core business tasks, 20% to related projects and 10% to unrelated activities. With an approach that powered the leading force in search and advertising technology, marketers will take their content to new heights. 

We’ve outlined the kinds of content that fit within these three buckets and how leading brands have distributed each type within their editorial workflow. 

Proven content: 70%

Just as Google puts most of their resources against search and advertising, the majority your content should speak to your business’ core expertise and the customer’s top needs. Energy Star, government-backed green energy program, gives readers the low-down on LED house lights and Daily Glow, a resource for beauty and skin care, regularly offers tips from expert cosmetic artists. These types of pieces can be created with confidence and enable brands to build credibility around a specific subject matter. To develop resources that customers and prospects depend on, marketers must spread these assignments throughout 70% of the content calendar.

content marketing formula

Premier Content: 20%

Brands need to set aside time to build premier content pieces that call for deeper engagement. This content is directly related to the 70% bucket and aims to pull prospects farther down the sales funnel. At Skyword, aside from our weekly blog posts, we carve out resources to produce assets that our audience can refer to throughout year. These include eBooks and webinars on content marketing best practices based on insights from our partners and fellow marketing experts. Fast Company produces high-level visuals to complement top stories, including this infographic on the growth of Pinterest, published in conjunction with a cover feature on the company’s founder, Ben Silbermann. Claiming extra time to take existing content to the next level will further the audience’s understanding of how your organization fits within their day-to-day lives.

Experimental Content: 10%

Oftentimes, the best ideas surface when we think outside the box. To that end, content marketers need to allow room for risk—a space to test ideas without fear of failure. This practice encourages the content team to explore opportunities for growth in unexpected areas. For example, M&M dedicates a section of their website to promoting their NASCAR sponsorship and Ben and Jerry’s recently introduced #CaptureEuphoria in a crowd-sourced Instagram campaign. By taking a few steps into unknown territory, marketers will ignite their fan’s unrealized passions and grow their community. 

content marketing social media

To keep a content marketing program going strong, marketers need to maintain a content mix that sustains audience attention, showcases brand capabilities, and provides an avenue for new ideas. Using a tool that clearly shows how you’ve divided your resources will keep you moving along on the 70/20/10 pathway. 

What are your tips for successful content planning? Share with us below.

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