Essential factors for developing a Content Marketing Strategy - Part 3
Updated: Oct 30, 2020
All the factors we have already considered, the data and development sorted out so far will lead us to develop the most important ready reckoner to drive our content marketing.
In this final part of this series, we will discuss this ready reckoner, a roadmap to be precise, that is the Content Calendar.
Creating a Content Calendar
A vital part of your content strategy is knowing exactly when you want to publish your content on each of the platforms you want to use.
Lack of planning is a common content marketing lapse, so it’s essential to use a content calendar to get all your content scheduled. There are multiple ways to do this.
You can use Google Calendar and simply put the due dates for each piece of content there. If you’re not publishing a lot of content, that should suffice.
But if you’re publishing a lot of content, and have to manage a content team and the production workflow you’ve decided upon, then it is better to have a bit more comprehensive Content Calendar.
Options for managing this include productivity and task management tools like Asana, or a purpose-built editorial calendar tool like CoSchedule. Both of these will allow you to schedule different parts of the content creation process.
There are also many ready-to-use, and mostly free, templates available to put together a content calendar effectively, such as the ones by HubSpot.
You can also chart your own content calendar in an excel sheet. You have the power to customize it to the finest details.
Creating content around the queries of your customers
It makes sense to develop your content around the questions your customers seek out, directly or indirectly.
We have already touched upon the need to create content around what your audience wants. Buzzsumo’s Question Analyzer or Answer the Public are great ways to find that out.
When you type a topic into the Answer the Public search box, you’ll get a list of questions people have actually searched for, on Google.
Select a question that is relevant to your audience, decide on the type of content that would be useful for that, such as a blog post or a social media post, and add a title to your calendar. Repeat the process until you have planned out content for a good block of time period, to be able to call it a calendar.
Developing content is a vital task as these will be your representative spokesperson in the internet. Say for example you are developing a blog.
With the research you’ve already done, you’ll have an idea of what type of blog post to create. For example, you are aware list posts and how-tos are popular with certain section of readers.
Now it’s time to select a title from the content calendar and start working on it. Research your topic. For being ready to write, it pays to know :
What’s already out there
How your new content can add value for your audience
Doing a Google search, checking out the top content for your topic, and seeing how you can improve on it assists you with this. This is called the skyscraper technique.
Original research also goes a long way in developing high quality content, so consider this as an option if you’re collecting the right kind of data.
Include keyword research to identify the key terms to use for better SEO and improved search ranking.
Finally, start writing or developing your content. At this point, you’ll have to think about how to reflect your brand’s personality in the content you write.
You may want to be thoroughly professional, very casual, or something in between in your tone and voice of the content. And you’ll have to manage the balance between showing your expertise and not patronizing your audience. Review some successful content marketing examples for inspiration before starting on it.
Distribution and Promotion
Now as you are ready with freshly developed content and a detailed content calendar, the next step would be distribution and promotion of this content.
Any deviation from your meticulously worked out plan would hamper your progress. Generally when ready with your developed content and a content calendar, you have following options available right away:
Initiate a schedule for sharing your content on social media, both immediately, and through a drip campaign via a tool like Missinglettr
Use email marketing to distribute your content to subscribers
Notify any influencers mentioned in your content to spread the word even wider
OptinMonster is also a useful tool to use for promoting your content, both on your site and via your email newsletter.
Reviewing the Results
Once a phase of publishing, distribution and promotion of your content marketing strategy is over, it's time to measure and review the outcomes. Until you have carefully reviewed the results of the campaign, you are not done away.
To measure this, you’ll return to those KPIs you set at the start of the content marketing strategy plan, and see what’s changed and whether you’re achieving your targets and overall in what direction your efforts are leading to.
To find this out, you can:
Check Google Analytics as described above to see how your content is performing
Measure social sharing activity via Buzzsumo and other social analytics tools
Look at OptinMonster’s conversion analytics dashboard to assess the success of your marketing campaigns
Other tools for tracking content marketing success include Google Alerts and Mention. Both of these will let you see if your content is being mentioned and shared, helping you hit those KPIs for awareness and engagement.
Tools like SEMRush will help you to assess KPIs for the search rank of your content. You’ll also be able to track email signups through the analytics in your email marketing software.
By monitoring your progress, you’ll be able to tweak your content marketing strategy at regular intervals, even while your campaign is live, so it’s always up to date for effective results and for ongoing optimization.
Hopefully, this series of article would help you to get started with creating a successful content marketing strategy from beginning to end.
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