One of the largest difficulties that most marketers face is simply being able to sustain their content over time. This is often because content is one of the most time-consuming and laborious marketing materials there is, and can often seem overwhelming at first if it isn’t put on a schedule.
Maintaining a blog is one thing, after all. Maintaining a blog, youtube channel, social media, website, and podcast can be a complete drain. Luckily, today we are going to talk about the best ways to maintain, schedule, and execute a content marketing strategy.
Without Further ado, let’s dive right into the first necessary step in creating an effective and sustainable content marketing strategy.
Create a Content Schedule
A content schedule (also called a calendar/editorial calendar) is a crucial step to maintaining consistency and flow within your content channels, as well as keeping the entire team together during the process.
This schedule will reduce miscommunication, increase the awareness for deadlines, and ultimately organize your team’s content into manageable bits. Better managing your content will ensure that a few things are under control:
Benefits of Scheduling Content:
1. No Duplication: Keeping track of a simple monthly (or yearly, in some cases) calendar of scheduled content ensures that all content is fresh, pressed, and ready for your audience. Duplicate content can seem “spammy” if it is overused and has the ability to alienate the audience that sees it.
2. Create Content Ahead of Time: Scheduling your content a month in advance helps you get ahead on tackling larger or more complex projects that you know will be due at the end of the month. There will be no more guessing about what type of content to make or on which subject.
3. Consistency: What is probably the most important aspect of content marketing is the need for content to be produced consistently. Scheduling allows you to visualize and maintain this consistency in detail.
How To Create A Content Marketing Schedule
Schedules by themselves are pretty straight forward, however, when you are trying to balance the sensitive marketing tactics of a team, it can be a difficult thing to manage the various actions and information that flows constantly.
Creating a schedule only means relating an action to a time, but WHO’s action? And at WHAT time? These are the questions you need to ask to ensure that all parts of your content are done, edited, and published on their due dates. I’ve included a list of all the best considerations for scheduling your content!
The following things should absolutely be added to your calendar to ensure accountability among your team as well as the division of labor to create the most quality content possible.
1. Content: Obviously, this is a no-brainer. All you need is a subject line that you can run with once the time comes to produce that piece of content. A simple one-sentence with a title and generic description will do. For example, “How to sustain a content marketing strategy: Scheduling and executing.” be sure to also add the types of marketing channels they will be designated. This way you can also maintain consistency across marketing platforms as well.
Pro Tip: If you are strapped for time and cannot complete a project, convert and reuse content from one channel to another. For example, occasionally, I will use a blog post as a script for one of my videos.
2. Assign Producers: To maintain accountability, you need to assign each piece of content to a producer or team member on which they can begin working and creating the vision behind the content.
3. Deadlines: Obviously, as you create a schedule for your content strategy, you will need to post consistently. This means creating deadlines on which your team MUST have their content ready for distribution. And remember, scheduling content needs to be done over a rolling timeframe. You can’t schedule content for a month and post that month’s worth of work over the last few days!
4. Reminders: Occasionally there are bits of content that are useful during certain timeframes or seasons that you can implement into your scheduling. Keep these reminders on the calendar to inform you when the time comes to create or conceptualize some of that content!
5. Edits: If you are producing content that requires any editing, proofreading, or general oversight, then mark it on the calendar to ensure there is ample time before the publication date to make those edits.
6. Publication Date and Location: Mark down when the post is scheduled to go live, and on which channel. This makes a huge difference in terms of your ability to maintain consistency among channels as well as the content.
Executing A Content Marketing Strategy
Scheduling a rock-solid content strategy is one thing, but inevitably the time will come when the action must be taken and the payoff must be had. With the following tasks, you will be able to execute your schedule and place your thoughts into motion.
Keep in mind that content marketing naturally takes time, it isn’t something upon which you’ll likely see great rewards unless you boost your content with some SEM (Search Engine marketing) while you let your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Develop.
1. Accountability: Luckily for you, the most important step has been taken care of! As you created your content marketing schedule, you created accountability by assigning tasks to team members. The very beginning of executing a content marketing strategy is to ensure that people are clear on their own duties and expectations from the very beginning.
2. Monitor and Assess: A good content marketing strategy can’t be without some critical metrics that provide information on your engagement, traffic, and/or content marketing success. There are a few ways you can go about getting this information across all marketing platforms.
Periodic Progress Reports: One of the easiest ways to manage the bounty of information that comes out of all of your marketing efforts is with a periodic progress report in which the producer of the content communicates the relative success of that content over others, and what went right/wrong. Be sure to check on each task and determine the effectiveness so that you can focus on what matters most.
3. Monitor the Payoff: Bottom-Line, what value is being added due to this piece of content over that one? Relative to successful content, how much effort is required to produce that content over other content? This should give you a good idea as to which of the actions your team takes that make up for the largest returns.
Be sure to check your analytics for a more hands-off and predictable approach. Keep records and make recommendations of what you find in your reports to ensure that in similar situations you can take action (or avoid taking certain action) in the future.
Ultimately, content marketing is a great way to get your voice as a brand heard. It allows a brand to be more creative with their positioning and run advertisements upon that creativity so that they can track and analyze the performance of their strategies.
perhaps the most important thing about content marketing is the need for consistency and determination. Most content goes unnoticed for a short period of time until you begin to gain traction in social media or in google search results.
Ultimately, the benefits of a content marketing schedule are accountability and clarity. Not only will people have a written record of their required duties and expectations but also the deadline upon which has to be completed, this is amazingly important.
Hopefully, with these tips, you can form a more effective and “winning” content marketing strategy today!
Thanks for reading!
Work With Austin
-Austin Denison is a management consultant and coach from Southern California and founder/CEO of Denison Success Systems LLC. He is the author of The Essential Change Management Guidebook: Master The Art of Organizational Change as well as The Potential Dichotomy: The Philosophy of a Fulfilling Life.