Plus, advice from content marketing experts on how to manage and optimize your content calendar.
Your content calendar is the culmination of all your efforts in content marketing. Yet, at times it can be easily neglected, as doing what you did last month is sometimes easier than challenging yourself when you’ve got a lot on your plate. If you’re having trouble managing your content calendar and using it to its full potential, take note of the following creative methods.
1. Focus on Quality, Not Quantity
A suitcase-stuffed editorial calendar can have the potential to backfire. Zendesk marketing executives Monica Norton and JD Peterson advise publishing less if it means spending more time to achieve quality. Time, energy and creativity that would have went towards making interesting, relevant pieces is spread thin, just to fill empty spaces in the calendar. Not only are you reaching fewer readers with this less-than-ideal content, the poor content will hurts your credibility with those that opted to tune in. Spend more time in the idea generation process and don’t move on a post unless you’re totally excited about it.
2. Diversify Your Content
Struggling to come up with just a few more blog posts to round out your editorial calendar? Maybe you’re putting all of your creative eggs in one basket. Dreaming up content in different formats — like infographics, videos or podcasts — can invigorate your creative energy. Maybe a previously rejected blog post idea would make for a great video.
Types of content you create can include:
- Social media posts
- Blog posts
- Email newsletters
- Photo slideshows (Hello, SlideShare!)
- Data visualization
3. Be Wary of Making Pushy Pitches
Sometimes your editorial calendar can get overly full because you’re too focused on selling your products or services through content marketing. A recent study from Kentico Software found that even a subtle product pitch in an otherwise educational post brings the perceived credibility of the content from an average of 74 percent down 29 percent. That means you have to be especially careful of overselling in your posts. Don’t offer products in every post or e-mail. Instead, devote roughly half of your posts just to providing information that will be of interest to your customers. This way they won’t feel pressured to buy every time they click.
4. Focus on Engaging Content — Not Chasing Customers
Many content teams feel the urge to engage every single social media follower, but the effort to get everyone involved is often short-sighted. Brian Razzaque, CEO of social media marketing company SocialToaster, points out some fans will be as engaged as others. Instead of pushing spectators to interact with you in order to raise conversion rates, focus on those followers that already converse with you. Fill your content calendar towards articles that engage the audience that’s already paying attention. Not only can these fans become even more engaged, but you’re likely to find an audience of like-minded people as well.
It’s hard to tell how your content will perform when it’s still an idea in your calendar, but following these tactics and monitoring what works can help take out much of the guesswork. Once your content starts engaging your audience, you’ll find content planning to be easier and more rewarding.
How do you spice up your content calendar? Share your thoughts with us below.