Content is king. Whether it’s in the form of text, video or audio, the more valuable and timely content you publish, the more relevant you will become online.
Content marketers weave a web connecting their websites to their blogs to their social networks and back again. They are not only managing a strong website and blog following, but they are also interacting with their audiences with the spread of great content via Facebook pages, Tweets, LinkedIn discussions, YouTube channels, Flickr photostreams — the list goes on and on.
Managing this web of information can be a daunting task for a small business. But it doesn’t have to be. Editorial calendars are a great way to organize blog topics, writers, publishing schedules, etc., so why not adapt that same tool for your social networks, too? It will help improve your content quality and reader retention to boot. Use a simple Excel spreadsheet or Google’s free calendar and build out content topics for not only your blog, but your e-newsletter, Facebook discussions, YouTube Channel, etc., all in one location.
By planning ahead with an editorial calendar, content marketers will see more connections in their content, ensure the information is well-balanced, and generate ideas on how to repurpose what they already have. For instance, if a blogger is writing about best practices for search engine optimization, they could pull out a discussion point, such as keyword analysis, to post on their Facebook page, tweet one of the blog’s takeaways and include a link to that post in their company e-newsletter.
Generating Content Ideas
Prior to a content brainstorm, first take into consideration your audience and objectives. It is crucial to consider niche demographics in order to develop content that appeals to your audience, while meeting your business objectives.
Editorial calendars work best planning content only a few months ahead to keep it fresh and timely. Here are some tips to consider when generating content topics.
- Start with your priority keywords. Developing content around these keywords will not only encompass your search-engine optimization objectives, but is also a great starting point to frame your expertise around topics that you know you can generate great content around.
- Take into account industry events, such as conferences or trade shows you plan to attend or partake in. Updates on your blog, pictures or videos from the event are valuable information for those who couldn’t attend.
- Consider seasonal trends, especially if your product or service is cyclical. During the off-season, content can be more generalized, while throughout the high-demand times, it can be instructional with step-by-step guides, how-tos, tips and advice.
- Schedule content topics around promotional activities. Content can be tailored to generate excitement or interest around a new product or service prior to its launch.
With a completed editorial calendar, content marketers can work ahead and plan their strategies, set up interviews if necessary, gather and research information and, perhaps more importantly, prevent those “writer’s block” days spent figuring out what to blog about, tweet or post through their social networks.