As you know, the month of December always comes with many special traditions. Apart from having fun and enjoying the holiday season, winding up projects and preparing for the future projects involves a major part of evaluating and assessing how you performed in relation to the ambitious goals set at the beginning of the year.
2013 was for many businesses, the year to publish daily and launching a blog, do weekly guest posting and grow social media accounts. As 2014 comes and none of all these occurred, I can only advise one thing, master that editorial calendar of yours.
Without observing strict accountability incentive to allow things go smoothly, considering to apply principles for content marketing gets really important. The first action is to set up a deadline for activities and establishing accountability metrics.
Traditional journalism has given content marketing gift in the form of editorial calendar. What it does, is to plan for a year in advance- the publishing schedule with a yearly relevant theme, major activities and other critical activities. In the same way, content marketing can leverage on the editorial calendar.
Creating that editorial calendar must go together with effective content marketing strategy. It’s both a tool and an output that keeps you organized. It’s however important to keep in mind that the editorial calendar in itself is not your strategy.
Coming up with an editorial calendar is easy. As a basic medium, the calendar should have the following details which are essentially operational; date, the writer, a working title, target keywords, format of content, action call and status.
Frequently, content marketing process breakdowns are purely logistics. The editor forgot to assign topics to writers due to which, a copy overstayed on the desk, or even the writer did not deliver or missed an important deal. Basically, correcting such logistical issues and tracking them in real time is the key.
The real magic will occur when that editorial calendar becomes the content marketing command. Instead of giving mere titles and deadlines list, you should start centralizing your critical and vital information about content marketing in a more meaningful way.
A more detailed content calendar may include an individual piece including alternate titles, approval chains and targeted publications. The overall goals, mapped for individual piece, audience profiles details, target publications with their demographics and contact details, key performance indicators, biggest successes, current issues and roadblocks.
After you have mapped out, your detailed content calendar will begin to provide the long range view you need for asking tough questions like; are we being too heavy or too little? Should we talk more about this? Our calls to action are effective for accomplishing our goals? Our audience profiles and individual needs etc are all reflected in our production? Is our channel distribution and topic reflective of our core audience? Our performance must be to know set of key performance indicators.
An important method of evaluating the desired kind of growth in the content marketing strategy is to search for progression by asking if we are telling the story more effectively, more interestingly, more compellingly? Is our leadership developing in a progressive way? Are our perceptions deepening around our expertise? Are we nurturing relationships and leads through a specific course that results in accomplishing of our end goal? Are we creating that body of assets for cross-leveraging to achieve goals?
If answers to the above questions are affirmative, you are doing well in achieving business goals. If they are not positive, it is time to revisit your strategy and rework it, with clear deadlines and accountability metrics. That editorial calendar may be your most effective tool to achieve that goal with both strategic and operational tactics.