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How to Build a Content Calendar for Your Brand
“A major part of staying organized is keeping to a schedule…” – Jonathan Gamble, Relevance
These words, from Relevance’s Jonathan Gamble, serve as the basis for why your brand needs a structured and organized approach to its content marketing strategy. Yes, simply “getting by” is okay in some scenarios, but to truly excel and generate content that matters to your audience, providing your experts with direction and guidance is the best way blend the talents of these marketers with your content vision.
A content calendar serves as the bridge between this ideal and its practical application. As a way to maintain constant and concrete communications, this tool ensures that nothing is left to chance as your brand and its website content writing services craft and mold selections that truly speak to the person on the other side of the screen.
In terms of planning, Mallon offers up three basic steps to serve as guidelines as you delve into the particulars of content calendar creation:
- Evaluate your sales cycle.
- Brainstorm and categorize content topics.
- Figure out the scheduling particulars.
The first step – evaluating your sales cycle – helps you and your blog article writing service have a solid, factual foundation regarding the direction of content subject matter and scheduling. In fact, the experts at Website Magazine point out that this “reflection” period stands as one of the most important parts of the planning process.
From here, applying this newfound knowledge in the brainstorming and categorization phase helps keep your content marketing strategy organized and focused on the topics that truly resonate with your target audience. Finally, deciding on the appropriate media, from blog posts to eBooks, and the timing of your content releases wraps up the process.
Picking the Right Platform
When it comes to following up on the second half of Mallon’s outline and selecting the appropriate platform to host your content calendar, there isn’t quite as straightforward an answer to this decision. In fact, Forbes magazine’s Drew Hendricks explains that there’s a plethora of viable options that can fit your needs on this front. Some of the most highly regarded options from Hendricks’ review include:
- Editorial Calendar Plugin – This WordPress plug-in offers up a strong interface for those brands primarily focusing on blogging and website content management.
- Kapost – As a paid service, Kapost emphasizes customization and delegation between clients and their blog article writing service.
- Google Docs – Like anything else Google touches, Google Docs – specifically Google Sheets – offers a highly intuitive and free way to share work and ideas with your professional team via integrated Google Drive functionality.
Building the Framework with Google Docs
While there’s no wrong answer in terms of platform selection, for the sake of this example let’s focus on using Google Docs to dig into developing a content calendar on your own. This way, when it’s time to actually put this information to good use, you’ll at least know how use one of the most well-received and widely acclaimed platforms.
Naturally, you’ll need a Google account to get the ball rolling. From here, entering your own Drive and creating a new spreadsheet is the obvious first step.
As you start developing your spreadsheet, you’ll want to build categories based around key questions. When do you need the articles for posting? Are there specific directives or ideas that can help enhance the focus of the article? Creating an infrastructure that supports these questions is essential for a successful content calendar.
The next step involves creating periodic tabs (monthly, weekly, etc.) as a way to keep to organization your calendar. By doing this, you’ll be able to reference older content and ensure continuity as you continue to develop and optimize your content marketing strategy.
Finally, don’t forget to share this document with your content professionals. This way, everyone on the team can view and edit the upcoming schedule.
Going the Next Step
When you’ve got a content calendar you can commit to, social media marketing becomes a lot less daunting. – Olsy Sorokina, Hootsuite
Of course, there’s nothing in the content marketing rulebook that says you have to only have a calendar for upcoming content. As Olsy Sorkina of Hootsuite points out, the same principles can help enhance and refine your social media outreach strategy as well. In fact, pairing the two together can drastically improve the overlap between these mutually beneficial areas of your greater digital marketing initiative.
Additionally, Econsultancy’s David Moth offers up several content calendar templates if you’re looking for something a little more detailed or intricate than the basic outline we’ve covered in this post. Depending on your specific needs and desires, these templates can attack this process from a variety of different angles.
The basic notion here is that as long as you’re willing to invest some time and effort into truly improving your organization skills on the content marketing front, there’s no end to the resources and tools at your disposal. Regardless of what industry you call home, having these assets on your side can definitely make life easier as you continue to leverage the power of content marketing on behalf of your brand.
The ultimate goal of content marketing is offering your target audience information and materials that will engage them and motivate them to choose your business.
Seems easy, right?
Often, companies will simply share general content to please everyone. But let’s be honest: you can’t win them all. And that’s okay!
Rather than throwing a line and hoping the fish will bite, create Thought Leadership content strategically catered to your target market. Consider the people who would genuinely need or care about what your business offers, rather than wasting time, effort, and resources on creating general, unfocused content. Successful content marketing involves promoting your products and services to the people interested in the subject matter, who will read the content, click on your company website, and take action.
As an executive of an organization, you are a valuable piece of the brand. Consumers want to know about the human presence leading companies, in order to understand more about the company’s values and goals.
Take advantage of your position as an industry expert and share extra content to attract more attention to yourself as an industry leader and your company. Your quality content will build your reputation as a reliable voice to earn your consumer’s trust. However, if it’s not focused on your target audience, you won’t earn many conversions from your content.
Consider these techniques to guide your Thought Leadership content so it can expand and strengthen your loyal consumer following:
- Identify your target audience by reviewing your current consumer data and identifying who is investing in your business or reacting to your thought leadership materials so far. Look for trends to find why these people are interested and if others like them haven’t been reached yet.
- Conduct customer research to learn how they will respond to your thought leadership content. Request participation in surveys, polls, social media comments, and more to learn about your existing impression on your audience and how you can improve your platform.
- Create target audience character profiles. Identify their interests, demographics, pain points, needs, and desires, and write to them.
- Find where your current and potential audience is active online. Catch their attention by being active and sharing your content marketing materials on these platforms.
- Pull inspiration from other Thought Leader examples. Research other executives within your field who implement successful content marketing through their personal platforms. Learn what qualities make their content attractive and why readers respond to it positively. These examples can offer a base for you to visualize what you want to achieve.
- Recognize your strengths as a Thought Leader. Often, leaders aren’t necessarily aware of the unique talents that give them an advantage in their industry until asked. Reflect on what topics you know best and how to input your insights to humanize your materials, make them original and more engaging for your audience.
Case Study: How Strategic Content Marketing Can Broaden Your Audience
In our client strategy calls, our team will interview our expert clients to learn about their industry expertise and find out what’s meaningful to them, their business, and then identify who we believe to be their target audience. We use these insights to inspire our content subject matter and tone to create impactful content for their current and potential consumers.
For example, our client, Dr. Nitin Desai, approached our strategy team to create content to promote his COVID Pre-Check app. His innovative software is intended to help employers ensure their employees who enter the office are COVID-free, providing a safe environment by eliminating the chance of spread.
Our team of strategists recognized that with Dr. Desai’s thorough professional knowledge around the COVID-19 virus, he had the potential to become a reliable voice in a culture of people seeking answers. We created content for Dr. Desai that focused on sharing COVID-related insights to reach a wider audience, which has been a successful mission. Our thoroughly planned content reflected his industry expertise, which brought him attention from various media outlets and publications, including Forbes.
By reaching out to our professional content marketing team, Dr. Desai achieved his goal of promoting his groundbreaking app, while also positioning himself as an authoritative voice in his field. Our team learned about his voice, discovered what was meaningful to him and his target audience, and optimized this to create focused, engaging content that broadened his consumer scope.
Ready to Invest In Your Article-Writing.co Thought Leadership Package?
At Article-Writing.co, we understand that you have a lot on your plate. Let us share your voice on your behalf, so you don’t need to add more time to your busy schedule to write your own content marketing. Our strategists and creators will develop a plan to create engaging materials to represent your Thought Leader brand through your own specialized Thought Leadership Package.
Let us help you strengthen and broaden your consumer base for continued professional success. Book a call today.