With your resolutions to be a better, faster, leaner, more effective marketer still fresh in your mind at the start the year, there is no better time to begin planning out your editorial calendar. While the prospect may seem daunting at first, once you begin populating it with items and you can visually appreciate how your content efforts are going to proceed over the next 12 months it triggers a snowball effect of cascading content ideas.
The following are some tips to help you get started with filling out your calendar:
1. Take Stock of Your Current Composition and Gaps
Begin by evaluating how your content current stands: the good, the bad and the non-existent. This is achieved by performing a content audit to determine where your content is strong and where there are weaknesses. Plan to bolster the areas that are less well serviced by providing content to address your visitors informational needs at each stage of the buyer cycle.
2. Plan Dates for Monthly Items such as Newsletters
An easy place to make an impact on the face of your editorial calendar is by including regular items such as monthly newsletters. These can be a review of developments within your company and industry over the previous month, or could be looking forward to upcoming milestones over the coming weeks.
3. Plan Target Dates for Press Releases based on Product Release Roadmaps
By taking a look at product release schedules for the upcoming year you should be able to anticipate when the appropriate time to issue press releases to coincide with the launch. Press releases can be scheduled for the weeks prior to a major launch to prime the market for your upcoming news, which can help to generate a buzz about your company and have journalists and analysts dealing with your industry awaiting the final details when you officially launch to the public.
4. Make Sure you Have Enough Post-Sale Content (Support, Loyalty and Referral)
Many marketers concern themselves only with raising interest and awareness of their companies products. Once a lead has been passed to sales or the purchase has been completed they wash their hands of the customer. Vital to customer retention and continued growth is providing content post-sales.
5. Find out What What Worked Last Year and Plan More of That
If it ain’t broke don’t fix it! Make a review of the most successful content that you produced last year and either update it for this year or find ways to expand on the themes you had previously addressed.