August 2015 Grow Smart Growth Bites Newsletter

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How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Calendar

Scaling content with a small staff

August 2015


How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Calendar


How to Create an Effective Content Marketing Calendar

One of the biggest hurdles businesses find with executing a content marketing plan is, well, the lack of a content marketing calendar. All too often this is undertaken in a haphazard fashion, leading to an inconsistent publishing schedule which keeps your audience guessing and management fretting.

Traditional publishers have always embraced the idea of having an editorial calendar, where the forthcoming content was planned and scheduled. It is necessary, with so much riding on the outcome. Perhaps since it’s become so easy to publish online, we’ve forgotten this. Since this is clearly content marketing’s moment in the sun, it’s time to get down to business and get it on paper. (well, at least virtual paper)

Let’s examine 5 steps toward creating a content marketing calendar that will help you grow your business.

5 Steps to an Effective Content Marketing Calendar

Use only one Content Calendar 

While it may be tempting to have different calendars for content marketing, video marketing, social media and events, we can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have only one content calendar. Part of this is for making sure nothing falls through the cracks, and part is to make sure your marketing efforts are complementing each other.

Have an overall goal 

What is the goal of your content marketing initiative? Do you hope to pump up website traffic, generate leads, sell products or some other objective? Whatever your goal is, it needs to be plain and apparent to anyone working on this.

Target your audience 

Knowing who your target audience is and what they want is key to making any marketing efforts bear fruit. Creating killer content and getting it ranked and before many eyeballs is hard enough, without miscalculating whether or not it’s even of interest to your audience. Figure out who they are, and what they want, and tailor your content around this.

Coordinate with your marketing events 

Many times throughout the year you may have events come along that can benefit from a content boost, such as a new product, show, seminar, conference or other promotable marketing dates. Plan strategically for these, and watch as your results soar.

Plan your content out far ahead 

If you embrace this and begin to plan your content strategically, you’ll immediately see the benefit of advance planning. Not only does planning out future content give the ideas time to percolate, it allows you a chance to make all the aspects of this type of endeavor, like graphics, promotion and social media to be worked into the mix as well!

Employing a living breathing content calendar that your entire staff can use (or just you if you’re a one-man gang!) will deliver a dual benefit of having you create more content, and get better results at the same time!


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Scaling content with a small staff


Scaling content with a small staffSo you’ve accepted the fact that content marketing is essential for your business survival, but you still throw up your hands and exclaim, “but how do I do it with my tiny staff, or all by myself?”

This is a common lament these days, and it is totally understandable. Big companies with oodles of bodies populating their marketing team can easily find ways to throw money and manpower at the problem, but how’s the small business supposed to get this done?

Fortunately, there are ways.

Let’s take a look at 5 ways you can effectively scale content with a small or no staff.

5 Tips for effectively scaling content with small staff

Plan

Creating an editorial calendar should be among your first steps, and not merely for the sake of setting deadlines and goals to have them before you. These are important, but just as vital is strategizing your content to coincide with your company’s business. Do you have any upcoming, events, product launches, conferences or anything else that would benefit from an infusion of content? Plan out at least a good six months if you can.

Source

Get in the habit of sourcing your content long before it’s born. Decide who is the best person to create said content, and set it in stone. This has a couple of distinct advantages. First nothing is left to the last second, when they may become unavailable, and it also allows for adequate time for research and panning before actually creating. Whether it’s you, someone on your team, or an outsourcer, giving them the time necessary to do a great job will often result in one!

Promotion

Make sure you build promotion to your plans for scaling your content, as successful content can deliver many visitors and subsequent sales. We might also say this is a sneaky way to increase your content marketing budget, by making it far more valuable to the company. Un-promoted content tends to lie there, unseen or heard.

Repurpose

These days one of the best ways to achieve scale in your content marketing is through the use of repurposing. Take a successful blog post, for example, and turn it into a video, slide deck, audio, social media snippets and more. If it worked once, it will work again.

Curate

Often we can share great content we find with our own audience, and find that they totally appreciate this. Not only that, it is a quick way to share authoritative content that will in turn raise your own boat in the search results pond. Be sure to properly attribute and write your own thoughts and feeling before and after the content.

Start with these easy to implement ideas, and watch as your content is not only more organized, but starts to garner a far wider audience as well!


 

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