By Melissa Kitson @mnkitson
Effective content marketing thinks beyond next week. It invites the reader on a journey across the editorial calendar. This allows readers to ‘get to know’ a brand and its core values.
Creating an efficient editorial calendar can seem overwhelming. Fortunately, it can be broken down into 5 simple steps.
1. Identify your audience
Who are you speaking to? This answer will inform the shape of your content and its distribution. Most businesses and brands will have multiple audiences. Differentiating each stakeholder will help refine the topics for your content calendar. The next point to consider is the weight of content distribution. Will most of your content be targeting existing customers or new customers? Clarifying your target audience will facilitate the ideation of your content calendar.
2. Compile content resources
Rather than starting from zero, consider your current content assets and how they could be repurposed. With a few tweaks, old blogs, white papers and presentations may be used as new content. This process will also help determine your capability and the pace at which you publish i.e. daily, weekly, fortnightly.
Developing an efficient content calendar requires careful ideation of the key themes and topics. Brands must consider how to bring value while remaining consistent to their brand story. It is also important to be timely. Shaping your content around relevant marketing, company and cultural events will help your calendar remain relevant.
4. Schedule and publish
The further you schedule your calendar, the easier it is to create a consistent flow of content. Planning well in advance of your next publishing period will give you time to manage hiccups and keep abreast of upcoming opportunities. Think also about the means of distribution. Will you have a cross-platform approach? Will content be tailored for each channel? These questions may even spark new ideas for content.
5. Measure and review
Understanding what works - and what doesn’t - helps guide the direction for future content. By measuring the performance of content, you can refine the topics, tone and means of publication to improve reader engagement and site visits. As you better define the interests of your audience, you are better addressed to meet them.