Marketing campaigns are doomed to fail unless they are sustained and systematic. Unless your marketing objectives are really to ‘live fast and die young’ – which isn’t advisable – you need to get on the radar screen with high-quality and highly-relevant content and you need to stay there. Your campaign needs the fodder to stay visible on an ongoing basis.
Content-based marketing is highly favoured today: it keeps audiences abreast of the bewildering changes in the technical landscape, performing a marketing function at the same time. Statistics from The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) show that 91% of B2B marketers use content marketing to reach customers. Properly executed, a content marketing campaign can make you a trusted ‘go-to’ resource. However, most content marketing campaigns fail for one simple reason – they run out of steam. It’s difficult to constantly come up with new and interesting ideas for content – and easy to find excuses to put it off.
However, you can’t go wrong if you do what the pros do: in this case, the editors of magazines that put out relevant, compelling content week after week. Any PR, advertising or marketing pro knows that publications develop an editorial calendar at the beginning of the year (or half-year). This is then used for editorial, event, ad sales, and a variety of other purposes and then repurposed for outlets such as social media channels – think along the lines of Snowpiercer: a perpetual-motion engine of content.
A content marketing campaign that adheres to a strict editorial calendar will always ensure its writers know what to write and when ahead of time. Follow the steps we’ve provided below to ensure your editorial calendar stays on track and reaps the benefits offered:
1. Find your topic
First thing’s first – list the topic your campaign will cover each quarter. This will depend on how far in advance you want to plan your content calendar – we’d recommend starting on a quarterly basis with Q1 (January to March). The topic should be aligned to product launches, trade shows and events and other factors such as the challenges prospects within your sector are facing at the time – remember, timely and relevant content is always key. There are a few core aspects to consider here: you don’t have to limit yourself to just one topic, you can include two, three or more to keep content varied and interesting. But keep it achievable, don’t over-reach. If you try to include too many topics, you run the risk of diluting your campaign and getting poor results.
2. Choose your medium
Once you’ve finalised your quarterly topics, it’s time to atomise them down to specific content items on a weekly calendar. If you’re a content marketer in the tech B2B space, you’ll be looking to push out content ahead of big trade shows and events such as Mobile World Congress (MWC). So, your content calendar needs to reflect this – it might look a bit like this, first week of January: content marketing strategy newsletter, mid-January: guest writers blog, start of February: networking webinar, end of February: at-show tweets for MWC.
This is just one example but don’t limit yourself to written forms of content, think about animated videos, infographics and helpful talking head tips and tricks videos to keep your content varied and your audience engaged.
3. Assign your content
Now you’ve got your content items, you need to assign each of them to your team of writers. Don’t just assign them randomly, give your writers the flexibility to change their topics between themselves so they can play to their topic and content type strengths and experience. It’s much easier to reject or swap one topic in the initial planning stages and come up with or assign another, than it is to cook one up completely out of the blue when everything is more concrete.
4. Create a schedule
You’ve put in the time and effort to create a stringent editorial calendar, so now you need to ensure you stick to it. Create a schedule your writers can adhere to that aligns with your editorial calendar. Build in enough time for a first, second and even third draft if you need to – and build in review time in between if more senior members of the team need to sanity or fact check any content before it’s pushed out.
By providing carrots-and-sticks, you can help your content owners deliver on time. And don’t forget to build in content promotion, too!
Planning ahead is key to reap the benefits of a successful content marketing campaign. A clear and concise editorial calendar will make your campaign easier to run and more strategic.
If you’re looking to create an editorial calendar for your content marketing campaign or looking to outsource your content marketing efforts, contact us today to see how Isoline can help: [email protected]