How to use an editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is an invaluable tool you can use to plan your content production schedule in advance.

Unfortunately, however, most businesses don’t use one. This is usually because people assume that creating an editorial calendar is difficult, or complicated, or involved. But this is not the case!

You can make your calendar as simple or as complex as you want:  super-detailed and set it in stone, or bare-bones and flexible from one month (or one week) to the next. It’s entirely up to you.

Read on to learn how to discover what works best for you, and start making the content production process faster and easier right away!

Take the stress out of content marketing

Content marketing can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.

The key is doing the necessary work before you write a single blog post. That work consists of four separate but equally important tasks:

Plan your content production in advance!

When starting out with content marketing, and blogging in particular, many people struggle with when and how often to post. And on top of that, there is always the question of what to write about.

If you wait until the last minute to write a blog post, you’ll most likely spend far too long staring at a blank screen, waiting for inspiration to strike. And, if you’re like most people, you’ll be putting so much pressure on yourself to come up with something brilliant that you might as well pull up a chair for your writer’s block, because it’s guaranteed to show up.

Beyond the Inbox: Adding Content Marketing to the Mix

Maybe your email campaigns are no longer delivering the results you’ve come to expect. Or maybe you’ve been trying to grow your email list, but new subscribers have been few and far between.

So you’ve given it a lot of thought, and have decided to try something different. You’re ready to go beyond the inbox, and add content marketing to overall marketing strategy.

Not sure where to start? Here are five steps to get you going:

1. First and most importantly: Gain a deep understanding of your target audience. Some key questions to ask yourself:

  • How well do you  know your audience?
  • What are their interests?
  • Which blogs or other content are they already consuming?
  • What do they want?
  • What are their problems, and how can you help solve them?

2. Once you have the answers to the questions above, you can start brainstorming content ideas. Your content should be targeted to your audience, and their problems and interests, but beyond that, don’t limit yourself. Think big in regards to the kinds of topics and categories you might cover. And don’t forget to consider the various ways you can communicate your work as well: blog posts/articles, videos, webinars, infographics…

3. Set up an editorial calendar to organize your content production strategy. We recommend looking at all of your upcoming marketing initiatives, and planning your content marketing efforts around them, so that you’re communicating consistent and related messages across all channels. This reinforces your messaging and ensures that your target audience won’t be confused about who you are or what you do. Advance planning is key to successful content publication (more on that in a future post).

4. If you choose, you can ask for content contributors from throughout your organization. This helps distribute the workload and will provide your readers with different perspectives, which can be a real plus. Just make sure you give your volunteers some guidelines around content creation so they have something to go on when getting started. In addition, you may need to edit their work in order to keep  voice and style consistent.

5. Analyze the results of your efforts and commit to continuously revising and improving upon your strategy. If you don’t measure your results, you’ll have no idea whether your efforts are paying off. Take the time to determine which stats matter most to your business, and then use tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights, etc. to measure performance. It doesn’t have to be complicated, especially at first.

We hope these  tips have been helpful. Feel free to leave your comments and suggestions for additional tips below!




What’s so great about content marketing, anyway?

You’ve probably noticed by now that consumers are not responding as they once did to traditional marketing strategies and techniques.

They fast forward through commercials, ignore banner ads on websites, and are skeptical of – if not downright put off by – any overt attempt by a company to “win their business” or even get their attention.

So what’s a business to do? How are you supposed to attract new prospects and customers if you can’t market to people anymore (at least, not in the way you used to)?

Simple Ways to Build Your Email List – Part 2

With all the noise out there – from blogs to social media to email to ads and more – it’s more important than ever to integrate your inbound marketing efforts.

You need to provide a consistent message to your customers and prospects across all of your marketing channels, so they don’t get confused about who you are or what you do. In addition, your message can make a greater impact and have a wider reach if people see it in more than one place.

Tracking the Stats that Matter

When evaluating the performance of your email campaigns, which stats are most important to track? We recommend you start with the following:

  • Clicks
  • Growth Rate
  • Bounces
  • Complaints

Let’s take a look at each of these stats in more detail.

Mastering the basics of email marketing

Most of us are fully aware of the fundamentals of email marketing, and can execute an effective campaign pretty well. And when things are going smoothly, many of us stop thinking about how to improve our processes–you know, the old, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality.

But improving your current skills and processes can be the difference between good campaigns and great ones: campaigns that win you lots of new subscribers and even new customers.

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