Most business owners know that a solid content marketing plan is essential for a brand’s online success, but not all of them know how to make it happen.
According to CMI, only 42% of B2B marketers think they have an effective content marketing strategy. But a content calendar is so much more than just an organizational tool. It can represent a restructuring and strengthening of content marketing strategy and assets within your company. And although organizing your content and iterating new content ideas seems like a daunting task, it is an essential task.
How to Build a More Effective Content Calendar
Look at your Demographics and Data
Before we get into the actual content, identifying your target audience is one of the most important steps. This step will help you better understand what types of content your customer needs. If you have already done this in the past, re-evaluate your target audience to see if anything in the data has changed.
Create target personas to better understand your customers. Who are they and what are their preferences? This will help you with planning how you engage your audience.
Then set your content marketing goal and plan to measure your success. This can be done with a simple tool like Google Analytics, so you can measure content success and demographics quickly and easily over time.
Start by Looking at Your Current Content Assets
Although creating new content is one of your ultimate goals, you already have a lot to work with. Look at your current resources for reusable content; you’re looking for things that did well or that you can develop further.
These could be:
- Blog Posts
These can be whole ideas or excerpts from your previous content. Think of ways you can spin off good content into new and better ideas. Also, consider remaking certain content pieces through new mediums. For instance, if you already have a report on data management strategies, consider making a how-to video to get more use out of the same types of content.
Identify other resources
Without a doubt, you will need some strong team members working on this. Your content marketing strategy needs to be sorted, edited and planned, but some of your most valuable content assets are your team.
Ask team members about any extra content they may be able to write from a unique perspective. In the editing process make sure the content piece sees several sets of eyes and is actually on brand. Ideally, the editor should know something about optimizing online copy for search engine rankings. It’s also never a bad idea to get a third-party editor to take a look at your content and make it rock solid.
Break Content into Categories
Think about how you can divide your content and sort it in relevant ways. You can have one-offs, themed series, regularly scheduled content, and more. A good social media calendar template will help you easily differentiate and schedule these different types of content..
- One-offs: These pieces of content are generally planned for specific times of year (quarterly etc.) and may hit a specific industry or customer pain point relating to that time of year. These can be whitepapers, research papers, webinars etc.
- Themed Series: These content pieces are consistently built on the same content theme. They are big and on-going content initiatives, like podcasts, video series, webinar series, whitepapers or reports, as long as they all fit a central theme.
- Regularly Scheduled Content: This type of content doesn’t necessarily have to fit the same theme but should work towards upholding your content marketing goal. These can be things like blog posts (not necessarily the same author or subject every time). A good analogy is to think of it as the nightly news.
Plan, Publish, Track and Continually Monitor Content
Now that you’ve done all the hard work, start building out your content calendar. Regular meetings should be held with decision-makers to discuss further content and strategies. Discuss content deadlines and schedules with colleagues so that everyone understands their roles and realistic time-frames can be set.
Once your content calendar is complete and everything is on track, you can sit back and wait to look at the statistics. But that doesn’t mean you can stop coming up with content. Make sure to constantly work towards a diverse content portfolio tailored to your audience. Tweak ideas to see if they can perform better, because in the end it will only make your content, and business, more appealing to your customer.
Finally, don’t be afraid to get some help on your content. I can assure you that we don’t do our own accounting at Maguire Marketing Group. Decide what strengths you have on your team and then consider getting help for the tasks that you don’t have resources for.