The Keys to Content Marketing: Part Three (Editorial Calendars)
This blog post is the third in a four-part series, describing the steps to execute a successful content marketing strategy.
Once you’ve mapped out what content you’ll produce, you’ll need to create and keep up with an editorial calendar. This is the simplest step, but for many, it will be difficult in practice because it takes constant vigilance. Expect that this will take time away from day-to-day business and schedule ahead for it. Here’s how to get started:
1. Create an online calendar or spreadsheet that outlines your editorial plans. Whatever format you choose, it should include: the topic, the type of content, the targeted persona, and the channels you’ll use to deliver each piece. Also, leave room to fill in SEO keywords any calls-to-action you may want to include.
2. Plan as far ahead as you can, while staying away from content that might become less relevant down the road. You don’t have to plan all the specifics of each piece right away, the details can come later.
3. While planning, be aware of what will be happening around you, especially in your specific industry. Use major holidays and key events specific to your industry, such as trade shows or conferences, to inspire topic ideas.
4. Look over your calendar to ensure you’ve included a good balance of topics and types of content to reach the all stages of the buying cycle.
5. Monitor your content’s performance. Look at the performance of past efforts in terms of leads and conversions to determine what will work best to meet your goals as you move ahead.
No publisher ever sticks to their calendar exactly as laid out. You’ll have ideas that come up out of the blue in response to things you can’t plan for, and pieces will get shuffled around based on timeliness. The point of the calendar though, is to keep you producing content regularly, and to ensure that your efforts ultimately help you achieve specific business goals.
Want a comprehensive guide to help you execute a successful content marketing strategy? Check out our free ebook “How to Play and Win the Content Marketing Game.”