Improve Your Content Marketing Strategy with an Editorial Calendar
Quality and focus trump in content creation
Content marketing is an important way of getting the word out about your business. As the whole point of the exercise is to get positive attention that might lead to new clients, you must pay close attention to the quality of your content. The phrase 'content is king' gets tossed around a lot; I've thrown it about a few times myself. And it is true. Content is indeed king, but only if hoisted on the right throne and if paraded before the right public.
You must know who you are writing for and to what purpose. We only have limited energy and it is not a good idea to spread yourself thin trying to be everything for everybody. It makes more sense to target the particular niche that you want to do business in and brainstorm content ideas related to that niche. What do the people in that niche want to know? What can you tell them? How can you keep them interested? Remember, content marketing is first about making yourself known, trusted, and liked, and so your content needs to be informative and conversational, not a yawn-inducing sales monologue.
Variety in content is good
Once you have decided what your content is going to be about, consider the different content types that you can produce - website content, articles, white papers, case studies, ebooks, podcasts, videos, photos, illustrations, infographics, animations, and comic strips; go for as much variety as you can, because that is what keeps the audience interested and it also allows you to broadcast your message through multiple channels. Instead of creating new content for each type – though you can do that if you have the time and the resources – think about how you might repurpose the same content in different ways for maximum benefit.
The content can be distributed through your website, blog, mailing list, and through various social media sites. You must also put in some effort in networking and link building across your industry to get more and more people to know about your business.
Set content marketing goals
Also write down any specific goals you expect to achieve through your content marketing efforts, and keep a tab on whether you are meeting these objectives or not. Are you ranking better than before in the search engine results? Are you getting visitors? Are they engaging with your content? Are they responding to your call for action? Are you getting any conversions? If not, what new strategies can you adopt to improve the situation? More content? Wider variety? Different publishing timings? Better marketing? Try out different approaches, go with what works, and keep refining it.
Organize an editorial calendar
All this comes under the umbrella of your content marketing strategy, and once you have that planned out, it's time to map the editorial calendar for content creation. Some businesses get along without one, but it might be better from the business management point of view to set up your calendar from the start. For content marketing to work, it has to be followed through on a long-term basis, and staying well-organized in your working process can keep things from getting too confusing and unwieldy later as your business grows.
Schedule content with an editorial calendar
With an editorial calendar, you can keep track of your content creation plan by day, week, month, or year. You will know exactly what type of content you need to write, when you need to write it, when you need to publish it, where you need to publish it, and how you need to publicize it. If several writers/creators are going to be involved in the content creation, you can use the editorial calendar to assign topics or to let people select the topics they want to write on, to keep track of which topics are assigned to whom and in what media format, and to know when the content/articles are due in.
Gather creative ideas in an editorial calendar
By staying on track, you always have content ready for publication, and you are also never left wondering what next to write about. You can use the calendar to jot down interesting new content ideas and to create SEO keyword lists. The editorial calendar will be flexible, so if something topical comes up, you can always push that into the queue.
So, you see, having a planned editorial calendar facilitates content production. It is also helpful in staying consistent in content production and dissemination, and staying consistent makes a big difference in how well your business does.