By now, we should all be well aware of the vital role content plays in our marketing strategies to attract, inform, and engage...that being said, it's not as simple as creating a few blog posts or pieces of content every so often.
If you want your content to truly work for you, you need to make sure you're approaching it correctly. And by correctly, I mean you have learned how to harness the power of the editorial calendar.
So, let me ask you a couple questions:
With regards to Question #1, if you're not regularly producing content, that's a problem. Consistency is king when it comes to content production, and you can't expect to see results if you're not committed to a regular content schedule.
In the simplest of examples, let's pretend that every time you publish a blog post, your business presence grows a bit more. At first, it may seem like it's a lot of effort with little results, but, in time, you'll end up with a mountain of content.
That mountain takes up more online presence in search results and provides more opportunities for prospects, strangers, and customers to be attracted to and engage with you. Ultimately, your business will have a mountain of credibility, content, and value to offer which should be tied back directly into your core marketing funnels.
My full-service agency, Built By Love, does just this for many of our clients. If you would like to learn more about how we can do it for you, schedule a free consult today and we'll help you create a plan that works for your business.
If so, great! But that brings us to Question #2. If you're only producing 1 or 2 types of content, that's a whole other problem.
And you're not alone...
Many marketers don’t know how to properly utilize content marketing. In fact, 63% of businesses don’t have a documented content strategy. Credit: Content Marketing Institute
This blog is going to help remedy this by giving you valuable insight for a content strategy that works. Yes, I'm going to tell you how to harness the power of an editorial calendar, but before I do that, you need to know why Question #2 is so important. Namely, why do you need to diversify the types of content you produce?
The best (and my favorite) way to answer this question is with a metaphor...
Imagine that your business is a river. If you want this river to be a robust and powerful force sending your prospects down the path to purchase, then you need to get more water flowing in it.
Before we dig deeper into this metaphor, don't forget to download your complete guide to creating and harnessing the power of an editorial calendar. Not only will this guide give you step-by-step instructions, you'll also get a working editorial calendar to use. Sign up below to get yours now!
The Amazon is the world's greatest river, hands down. The Nile of Africa might be longer (it has been a hot debate for decades), but regardless, the Amazon holds the title for the biggest and most powerful river in the world.
Yes, it's long, it's wide, and it covers quite a bit of land, but truly what makes it the most powerful river is the sheer volume of water moving through it.
In fact, it moves so much water that the Amazon is responsible for the majority of all freshwater discharged into the oceans (20%!), which is 4-5x that of the Congo and 10x that of the Mississippi.
Now, what makes it so powerful? Its tributaries - the Amazon has more tributaries running into it (1,100 to be exact) than any other river, hence its size.
Okay, now that we've finished the geography lesson, time to circle back and tie it to your business...
Your business should be like the Amazon. The more connections and tributaries you have driving into your business (webinars, blogs, text messages, emails, social), the more traffic it’s going get, along with more sales, cash flow, and profits.
Alternatively, if you just have one or two tributaries running into your river, it’s going to be much harder to move or scale volume.
A lot of businesses rely on just one "tributary" as their content focus - usually a blog. In today's day and age that ain't gonna cut it.
Your audience isn't homogeneous, even if they do share some similarities. People these days exist across a wide spectrum of preferences when it comes to consuming content - some prefer video, others seek out interactive content, while others look for case studies, and so on.
Lets use myself as an example.
My primary audience includes business owners who want to grow their business, but as both you and I know, business owners are a wide and varied group. Each has different challenges, preferences, and tastes and there's a number of ways that I reach them.
Yes, what you're reading right now is a blog, but this isn't all I do - I also produce a monthly web show and podcast, continually update my agency's education portal that's chock-full of content, participate in speaking engagements, publish press releases, and much more.
What this means for you is, it's crucial you diversify your content, utilizing forms like videos, webinars, case studies, infographics, quizzes, blogs, and more. If you're not sure what kinds of content to produce, it's a good idea to experiment with different types and see what your audience responds to the most.
Now, if that sounds like a lot of work and too much to keep track of, that's where Step 2 comes in...
The main reason why business owners struggle with producing great content their customers will want is because they don't (yet) know how to harness the power of the editorial calendar.
Creating and publishing content without a proper plan in place not only makes you feel disorganized, it can make your business look unstable or weak.
Planning ahead with an editorial calendar can do wonders. First, it will help solidify consistent content production; and second, it will help you focus and think more strategically about the purpose of your content, allowing it to better do the work it's intended to do....get you more customers and clients!
You'll want to scope out each month for the entire year, which doesn't have to be as hard as it sounds. Just follow the guidelines below, and for each month of the year list out:
Let's say your business offers training solutions for Sales Professionals in X industry, and you're determining the theme for June. Your editorial calendar might look like this:
Once you have an idea of what each month's "theme" is, you can move forward with planning the actual content.
Using the example above, if you know well in advance that your June content is going to focus on building momentum and continual training, you can begin researching and curating the content needed for a blog post, Q&A interview, webinar, e-book (or whatever content forms you choose) months ahead of the deadline.
This not only takes away the stress of wondering what you should write about, it will also help you pay attention to other points or angles that you could tackle for that month's particular topic.
That's where Content Repurposing comes in.
Content Repurposing is simply taking your existing content and slightly adjusting it for use in another format. For example, you could change the audio for a webinar into a podcast, or use your blog content to create a slideshow, PDF, or infographic.
The point isn't to cover every topic under the sun, every single month, using every single format. That's a waste of your time and resources!
Instead, you should focus on strong topics while utilizing a handful of different formats (aka more tributaries in your river) that will expand your reach and draw in more qualified leads.
So with that in mind, here are some more details you'll need to consider if you want your editorial calendar to function as a well-oiled machine, driving a powerful and robust river.
First, identify the primary piece of content. For our purposes, let's say it will be a blog post. You'll want to nail down a process for it, by answering these questions:
Once you have answered each of these questions, you can begin applying it to all types of content, which will make the entire process of production so much easier.
Ideally, you should plan the entire year. If that is too much, then I recommend starting with just the next quarter, then go for the next quarter, and so on. It's important you get a feel for how to plan ahead.
The easiest way to do so is to simply sign up below for your own guide and editorial calendar and half the work is done for you!
Otherwise, if you want to create your own, a Google Sheet or Excel spreadsheet can work just fine.
Start by creating a workbook, where one or two tabs can be your Master Calendar for the entire year (or quarter) where you hash out the seasonal activities/topics for each month. Then, you can designate individual tabs for each month to determine publication dates, content types, promotion schedule, and so on.
Again, if you'd rather use something that has been set for you, then grab your complete Editorial Calendar below while you can!
If you're a business owner in need of a full-service team to help you grow your business using strategies like this, I'd like to personally invite you to schedule a free strategic consult with my agency.
We'll discuss how we can add value to your company (and get more flowing in your river) by creating and implementing intelligently designed marketing strategies, video, graphics, and copy writing into your business. Click here to schedule your free consult.
Daniel Bussius is an award-winning Infusionsoft Certified Partner who is highly sought after Marketing Agency CEO and Professional Consultant, Daniel and his agency, Built By Love, work with celebrities, New York Times best-selling authors, Fortune 500 companies and over 1,000 small business owners from around the world.
Daniel is the world's only dual certified StoryBrand Certified Agency and Infusionsoft Certified Partner. His agency holds a long list of certifications and hires top talent that has one primary goal: to make the client achieve their wildest dreams.
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