Is content planning compatible with spontaneous creativity?

Better yet, is content planning compatible with immediate engaging brand content? 

I’ve recently heard a big agency’s CEO saying brands’ social media content shouldn’t be planned, it should be done in the moment, inspired by the audience’s comments, reactions, and even by the current news and atmosphere in the world.

As a digital strategist, my first thought was “of course, it makes sense, I wish I could do that for my clients and with my team”. But then, I immediately thought the following “wait, what?”.

First, I think this isn’t quite possible with the informed preoccupied clients agencies have these days. It’s even a bit of a naive statement to make, that seems to be from someone who either has had much better experiences dealing with clients or just doesn’t remember what it’s like to manage a digital account. 

From what I’ve experienced so far in my career is that clients demand content plans at least one week before publishing. They wanna check that it is all within a cohesive structure, with a specific goal to reach and that shows their brand in the way they need it to. And they’re right – better than being on point every second and maybe having a huge peak of engagement that is hard to maintain, is to have just a bit of delay but make content with a bigger impact on the audience and on the brand in the long run.

But for me, the client isn’t the only reason content planning is so necessary.

Even great creativity, great ephemeral moments of content creators and their creativity have to be planned out, well thought, well structured and well executed. 

The idea of a digital painter drawing lines in an empty virtual canvas, without any reference though out or drawn before, is a myth. 

The idea of a content creator on Instagram not planning their feed to look as cohesive and appealing as possible to make a statement and show their audience their identity is a myth. 

The idea of a street artist not drawing what they’re going to paint or not planning the ideal spot for a specific piece is a myth.

Manny people are drawn to this idea that spontaneous creativity is the foundation to be a great artist, a great content creator, event a great content strategist. I believe that many few thing come out great without proper planning.

Photo credit: Sour Moha