Like most businesses, you’ve probably embraced the online marketing model and added a content strategy component to your marketing strategy. Content, when properly managed is quickly becoming the best way to develop customer loyalty, build trust and establish your company as a thought leader in your industry.
The effective use of content as a marketing tool is not easy. It requires time, effort, experimentation and perseverance. It can be time-consuming and in order to use content effectively, you must be creating, distributing and publishing new, interesting, relevant, targeted information on a regular basis.
Like any other business function, you need to develop a manageable process for creating and distributing content. Whether you’re a small shop creating content yourself, or part of a large organization building a team, content management is crucial to effective inbound marketing. Let’s look at a few ideas for managing your content and streamlining your content marketing management process.
Tools, Templates, and Aggregators
Like traditional advertising, one of the first steps to developing a content marketing management process is creating an editorial calendar and developing a long-range creation strategy. The beauty of content marketing is the flexibility to react immediately to developments in your company or industry. Even though you have the ability to create and publish relevant content within hours, you need a long-range vision.
Here are five areas to consider when creating your editorial calendar:
Know Your Readers
Content is only effective if you know your audience and meet their unique informational needs. Creating buyer personas or archetypes of your core customers can help you to better understand their needs, pain points, and buying patterns.
When crafting your calendar, anticipate any gaps in your schedule for the coming year. For example, if you have a major product launch or special event coming up. Plan ahead so you’re not rushing to create relevant content when a deadline is imminent!
Plan for “Special” Releases
Magazines often highlight different monthly themes. Apply a similar approach to your content development. Brainstorm 12 areas of concern your customers may have and build your content around one each month. Look ahead and create content for your busiest months, and themes make content creation easier for your team, advertisers, and guest writers.
Decide on a Publication Schedule
As you plan, ask yourself:
What will you create and how often will you realistically publish new content?
Who will be responsible for researching, creating, writing and publishing your content?
In order to be truly effective, you need to publish on a regular basis. Most businesses find that publishing weekly or bi-weekly is the best approach. This doesn’t include social media engagement, which should be a part of your overall content strategy.
Consider Creating Multiple Calendars
Consider creating multiple calendars. For example, start with a master calendar listing your daily, weekly and monthly goals and deadlines. Then create sub-calendars for specific tasks such as blog posts, newsletters, social media, etc. These can be distributed directly to team members in charge of each project. Multiple calendars allow you to see the big picture, and ensure each task is on schedule and on track.
Today, technology and software tools are available to help you with your planning and delivery. You can find or create pre-designed templates for your content. Simply plug in your content and publish. Hubspot offers a full suite of content creation and management tools that can help you to get your content creation and publishing on track.
You can also create your master calendar with a program like Excel or Google Sheets, which makes your data easily manageable, updatable and shareable. Content aggregators allow you to create your content and publish to several different channels with a single keystroke.
Developing Your Team
Whether you choose to work with freelancers or build an internal team, you’ll need to consider, delegate and manage four specific tasks for successful content.
- Creation and management of your content
- Optimizing, aggregating and curating your content
- Engagement and feedback
- Measuring results, analyzing and adjusting your strategy
Make sure whoever writes your content understands your overall goals and can write in a way that makes people feel informed and welcome. They should also optimize your content around pre-determined keywords and phrases that are relevant to your business.
If you are putting together a team, strive for versatility. Make sure team members or candidates have good organizational skills, understand what makes effective content, has writing and editing skills, know how to manage an editorial calendar and can contribute to your strategy.
Developing a better content marketing management process takes time and effort. Inbound marketing is a fluid process and approaching it with a strategy is the key. Managing content creation and distribution will take time, but the dividends it pays are worth the effort!
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