If you’re part of a content marketing team, you know that a well-maintained editorial calendar is one of your most crucial tools. Whether you’re putting together your initial calendar or have been refining your template for years, below are 5 ways you can get your calendar and your content marketing plan in ship-shape for the year ahead.
1. Re-align with newly scheduled market events. January is the time when events for the year are solidified. What new conferences have popped up that will be important to your target audience? What new market events will open up opportunities for content? Are there any major new happenings that could affect your content focus, even change your tentpole plans for the year? Make sure you’ve captured all relevant market activities on your calendar and have a plan in place for continually checking in.
2. Use resolution fever to build your team—and your calendar. Pulling together a dedicated content marketing team is no easy task. However, at this time of year, people are primed to tackle something new and different. Use this to your advantage to sign up people for the exciting, ever-evolving adventure of content marketing—and bring their new thinking to your 2015 calendar.
3. Secure resources. While most brands’ scope-of-work is defined at the end of each year, budgets often remain in flux for several months. Firming up your editorial calendar in January will give you and your team the edge you need to secure resources for your 2015 content marketing plan. Dollar per dollar, content marketing generates 3 times as many leads as traditional marketing, according to Demand Metric. However, as a relatively new approach for pharma with often nebulous ROI, building a case with concrete plans for consistent content will go a long way.
4. Recalibrate the basics. Take a fresh look at your editorial calendar template to ensure it reflects your current organizational and marketing needs. Clearly define your content owner—the person who will be responsible for seeing each piece of content through from ideation to publication to promotion. Then make sure all of the following elements are up-to-date:
• The topic or headline of each piece of content
• The author
• The date each piece will be published
• The channels where your content will appear
• The format (Is it a written article? A video? A podcast? An infographic? An original image?)
• The status of the content, updated as it moves through your publishing cycle
Depending on your marketing goals and resources, you may want to capture additional elements such as calls to action and links to other content.
5. Finally, don’t forget to schedule experimentation. Content marketing will continue to evolve as long as the ways we communicate evolve. Only through deliberately trying out different approaches will you understand what might work best for your brand and be able to stay on top of the constant change. Consider exploring some of the following:
• Spice up your blog once a month with an illustrated or storyboarded post.
• Replace your next written press release with a video press release.
• Publish in an untapped channel like SnapChat or Pinterest once every quarter.
• Assign a member of your team to determine the schedule and format of your next experiment.
Developing and keeping track of a consistent stream of content throughout the year can seem overwhelming, but a well-organized, well-maintained editorial calendar can help you put one foot in front of the other. If you’re needing help with your editorial calendar or developing a fully realized, strategically powerful content marketing plan for your brand, we at JUICE are ready to help.
You can also check out “5 Reassuringly Simple Ways to Up Your Content Marketing Game” for additional content marketing ideas.