It is vital to plan, manage, and optimize your content marketing initiatives.
The pressure to publish timely, engaging, content has never been higher. Brands have evolved into media companies that must think like publishers. Today’s portfolio of content channels — websites, blogs, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, SlideShare, Flickr, etc. — is constantly growing. Each one requires constant care and feeding, and content is at the core of every conversation.
But despite the overwhelming trend toward content marketing and measuring its effectiveness, most brands haven’t addressed content on either a strategic or tactical level. One reason for this is that managing the workflow is very challenging. You must understand your target audience, research keywords, and publish/distribute interesting content regularly on each channel that attracts and retains your customers’ interest. Content marketing projects have lots of moving parts that come together at different times to form cohesive campaigns. It’s imperative to have an editorial calendar to manage the process. Along with creating buyer personas (profiles of the personalities in your target audience), an editorial calendar significantly impacts your content marketing success.
How will this content marketing planning template help your business?
It will serve as a road map for the months ahead to ensure your content is optimized to meet your business goals and targets the right audience. It will also provide assurance that your contributors, stakeholders, and distribution channels are working in concert. It will help you:
- Organize quality consistent content that is valuable to your audience
- Align team members who are responsible for researching, creating, and publishing
- Coordinate audience interaction processes that are necessary for quality content marketing
- Frame a process to plan and manage the creation of content so it’s structured well ahead of publication
- Enforce accountability by specifying who does what and when
How is the editorial calendar spreadsheet structured?
I’ve included 3 Excel worksheets for managing content publishing, all of which can be customized to fit your organization’s content marketing initiatives. You can choose which one(s) are best-suited for you:
- Editorial calendar template to fine-tune your customer value propositions, outline unique ways customers can be involved with your company or product, drill down into your company and industry, and organize your content and announcements.
- Blog publication calendar template that tracks your post topics/titles, content details, keywords, target personas, and CTAs (calls to action)
- Marketing calendar template that enables you to plug all of your content marketing initiatives for 2014 into an annual calendar. In addition to content marketing, it includes things like conferences, webinars, and monthly customer newsletters. It’s easy to add additional details using color-coding.
Please let me know if there are elements I should add or change to better help you organize your content marketing initiatives.