If you are not creating content on the web, it is as if you don’t exist. Developing a content marketing strategy and creating an editorial calendar can help you tackle this challenge. Brands must add to the online conversation and provide value for their customers and clients in order to position themselves as thought leaders in their industry. We have heard it time and time again, “Content is king,” but unfortunately, many businesses try to do the bare minimum to get by. The key to creating content is having a game plan. When you know what content you need to produce and when, you are able to streamline the process and execute.
1. Brainstorm content ideas.
For 15 minutes, sit down and think of all the content that you can possibly share with your audience. Use a pen and paper to write down all the ideas that come to your mind in those 15 minutes. By being focused on one task and giving yourself a time limit, you will generate a lot more ideas than you anticipate. Just jot down what comes to mind. Here are some questions to help you get started:
- What are the most important things I want my customers to know?
- What are some of the challenges that my customers are facing?
- What does my business do well that I can share with others?
- Can I find material to develop case studies?
- Who can I interview on a particular topic?
- Is there industry news I can comment on or respond to?
- Can I develop a series of “How-to” posts?
- Is there an event I can recap?
2. Understand what role each of your channels play in your strategy and with your audience.
Many brands market their business and share their content on multiple channels and platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare, blogs, Pinterest and YouTube. A wheel and spoke approach shows you how each channel interacts with another. With this idea in mind, your blog or website is the hub that holds most of your content and your content is distributed through all your other channels are drive traffic back to it in one way or another. For example you might publish a blog post on your site, share a related photo on Facebook, send out a tweet, and post a video all by repurposing the same content and transforming it for each channel. Understand what the roles are, where your audience is interacting most and what channels you will utilize to spread your message.
3. Decide on the kinds of content you would like to create for and/or share on each platform. You can choose from many different kinds of content:
- Inspirational or motivational content
- Blogposts and articles
- Webinar / Teleconference
- Interview / Question and Answer
- Press Release
4. Decide on content schedule.
You must accept the fact that a huge part of the marketing space now requires the creation of content and for you to think and behave like an editor. Embrace the idea of a content schedule because it is what will help you develop the content that you need to drive traffic back to your website and to ultimately increase your business. Creating a schedule helps you to designate how often content goes out on each platform and what content you need to put out each day. By using this as a framework, you can develop an editorial calendar by filling in the specific content that you will send out each day. Here is template for a content schedule:
|Graphic Post||Post a Question||Share Blogpost||Share an article about your industry||Share Video|
|Blog||Write Blogpost||Publish Video|
5. Listen and monitor.
To have a successful and sustainable content marketing plan, you must always be aware of the broader conversation occurring in your industry and always be well informed. Listening and monitoring can be as simple as setting up Google alerts or as sophisticated as using a platform like Radian 6 or Vocus. (Full Disclosure: I work for Vocus and am absolutely obsessed with our Marketing Suite.) By participating in these online conversations and sharing and engaging with other’s content, you are able to grow your following by positioning yourself as an expert in your space. These interactions can turn into new business and leads.
If you had never heard of me before, what are the odds that you would have stumbled across my page if you had not clicked to read this post? See? Content marketing works!
About the Author
Emmelie De La Cruz is an employed-prenuer, working full-time and managing her business, The Branding Muse, where she works to assist college students and young professionals with personal branding. By creating resources to simplify branding, she empowers her community to take control of their personal brands. Emmelie also assists small businesses and entrepreneurs to develop and implement social, mobile and digital strategies. Whether you’re an individual interested in improving your personal brand or a business looking to enter the digital space, Emmelie can work with you to create and execute the proper strategies for your budget. Follow her on Twitter: @HerMusings