It’s no secret that blogging can be one of the most powerful tools used to build community around your brand, product, or service.
Keeping track of content can get a little messy and if you’re not careful, you may begin to feel like you are playing twister with your content developers. An easy way to stay on top of content is to create an editorial process with checks and balances to keep all contributing members accountable and productive. It would also be a good idea to use an editorial calendar template.
Prior to downloading or creating an editorial calendar you should conduct a proper content audit. Content audits can be extremely helpful when planning content, even more so if they are updated periodically. Updating your content audit will allow for a more fluid content review process and make it very clear where the holes are in your content strategy. The audit will also assist in mapping your buyer’s journey and better overall content development.
To complete a content audit, simply create a spreadsheet with column headings detailing the types of content offers you have. For instance, social media content, infographics, marketing videos, blog content, eBooks, white papers, and so on. Gather a list of the content offers you have published at the time of the audit and organize them in the appropriate columns.
To take this a level deeper, you can also organize the rows to detail the particular buyer persona for which the content was created, the places in which the content was published, and where in the sales funnel (MOFU, BOFU, or TOFU) this content belongs.
Once you have conducted a thorough content audit you can begin to shine light on the areas of your content strategy that may need a bit more TLC. Take note of these observations and keep them on hold for when you are ready to fill in your editorial calendar with assignments.
Now that your content audit is complete, you can begin to think about what is working with your current content, what direction your blog is headed, and what can be tweaked to improve future content.
A firm editorial process backed by an editorial calendar to hold your marketing department accountable is a great way to keep track of these simple but important details. Growing a successful engaging community around your content requires structure, purpose, and consistent publishing.
A blog editorial process should be well thought out and may need to be refreshed to fit your team. If you find yourself knee deep with no progress you may want to take some of these tips into consideration:
Always have a plan. If you have a plan and it is on paper (or in the cloud) you are more likely to achieve blog success. Plan first, then enter into production. Update your plan with any minor changes or tweaks. Keeping an updated editorial calendar will help with future content audits as well.
Don’t get stuck in the planning phase. Although planning is very important, it is easy for companies to fall into analysis paralysis trying to strategize and plan. This paralysis can cause unclear and ineffective finished products.
Know and understand your audience. When you are developing your editorial process, keep your readers front of mind. Develop content that will not only help them, but appeal in a way that will keep them coming back for more.
Be sure your blog content contributes to your overall business goals. Having a blog with a high volume of traffic is great, no doubt. Having a blog with high traffic that is composed entirely of qualified leads is even better. Let’s face it, content marketing is about attracting and converting leads that are naturally driven to your content.
Schedule all tasks in your editorial calendar. It is a good idea to schedule out everything in advance. This may seem like a daunting task, but scheduling blog content and social media posts for each blog distribution will help keep focus and round out your campaign.
Always blog for an outcome. Each blog you schedule in your editorial calendar should have a purpose. The purpose should be derived from either campaign themes, current events, industry trends, or other helpful information your community would be likely to engage with and enjoy. Each blog should contribute to achieving the overall business goals as well.
Set a schedule. Decide how often your blogs will be published. If you are just starting out it may be a good idea to stick to one blog a week or even every two weeks. This will help solidify the workings of your editorial process. It will also allow time for your blog contributors to ease into the blogging routine.
Stick to the schedule. It is imperative in community building that content be published on a regular concrete schedule. The more consistency you have in your editorial process the higher your chances are of building trust and positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry. Consistency is key with a business blog.
Laying the foundation for a smooth editorial process will allow for a seamless publishing process. Populating a blog to build community around your brand is a great way to boost brand recognition. Take the time to schedule in advance, stick to your schedule, and be sure your details are mapped out in an appropriate manner to best serve your audience and attract others.
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