Content marketing is the most effective form of digital marketing today. But keeping a consistent flow of interesting and valuable content for your audience is easier said than done. The well of ideas can run thin, and other responsibilities can get in the way of your content development process, especially if there isn’t a dedicated content developer handling the task. Whether you are taking care of your organization’s marketing content on your own or you have additional resources you can lean on, this quick guide can help you improve your content development process to ensure you can think ahead and cover all your bases.
1. Stay organized
It may seem like a generic piece of advice, but a successful content development process is an organized one. Set a schedule for content development that includes planning, research, and content creation sessions. Organize your research materials and use spreadsheets to keep track of topics, resources, activity, and stakeholders. Keep track of good sources of information for later use and make a habit of regularly checking the news on your industry’s most relevant subjects. The more organized your process is, the easier it will be to churn out material when needed.
2. Establish Goals and KPI’s
You’ll spend a lot of time and effort developing content, so it’s essential to get some return on those invested resources in the form of more traffic, followers, and hopefully leads. Establish sensible and achievable goals, such as increasing your impressions by 30% or gaining 10 LinkedIn followers during a bi-week. With Goals and KPI’s, you can measure the effectiveness of your content marketing and find out what is more effective and what you should focus more effort on.
3. Plan an entire month of content development ahead
It may be a cumbersome task to think about a bunch of content ideas in bulk, but laying out an entire month of planned content will give you more agility and time to start researching future topics while your current plan is running. Build your plan for the next month with two weeks of anticipation before the first day of that month, and make sure your plan includes topics for each week, blog posts (at least twice a month), social media posts, news, quotes, images, and any advertising campaigns such as email marketing campaigns or landing pages. Set specific mid-month dates to work on planning, get your staff and stakeholders on the same page, and make outlines of what you wish to achieve with each piece of content.
4. Create a single marketing calendar for all your content
As part of staying organized and having visibility, your entire plan should be laid out in a single, comprehensive calendar that shows you dates, goals, target audience, topics, content type, call to actions, social media copy, and any image or media asset that goes with each publication. It should look something like this:
|Date||Goal/KPI||Target||Topic||Content-Type||CTA||Post Copy||Image/Media||Assigned To||Status||Requested Changes/Comments|
|12/5/2020||Gain 10 LinkedIn Followers||Business Development Managers||Marketing during the Pandemic||Video||Learn how to stay in business.||Stay in business with our easy guide to marketing during the pandemic.||(Link to Video or video embed)||Rick||Approved and ready to publish||None|
|14/5/2020||Increase Impressions by 30%||C-Level Executives||Improving ROI on marketing||Blog||Do more with less.||Capitalize on your marketing investments by spending smart.||(Link to blog)||Morty||Sent for review, awaiting approval||Pending review|
This is just a basic example that you can adjust to fit your needs, objectives, and team. Feel free to use it!
5. Simplify your approval process
Organization, calendarization, and clear goals can smoothen your development process, but you can still get stuck when it comes to approval. Many hands-on executives like to look at everything that comes out of the company’s messaging but often lack the availability to give quick approvals when needed. The answer is simple: whoever needs to do the approving needs to do so with proper anticipation before the calendar month starts running. You’re dealing with two sides of the conversation here: collaborators/developers and stakeholders/approvers. Individual task assignment for collaborators should be handled separately, and approvals should be made on the same single calendar being used for the entire content marketing strategy; content developers and collaborators work on the whole months-worth of material and hand it over to the stakeholders for review and approval on a set date. Approval should be as simple as signing off on the very same calendar with a space to enter any comments or request changes.
Simple enough? We sure hope these five tips can make it easier for you to plan out your content marketing. If your interested in some help building your digital marketing strategy, feel free to schedule a consultation with our expert marketing team.