Everybody and their cousin agrees – quality content is the most important component of a good website or blog in terms of SEO and user experience. Google loves fresh content that gives readers what they’re looking for, and they reward it with strong search results (which hopefully leads to site traffic). Good content establishes the publisher as a credible authority or even thought leader in its subject area.
So content is king; what’s the power behind the throne?
It’s a coherent content strategy.
It isn’t enough to randomly upload a new blog post, status update, or new page on a website whenever the notion strikes just because you heard content is all the rage these days. A well-organized content strategy sets specific goals and then specific tactics to accomplish them. Some questions to ask yourself as you define your goals:
- Who is your audience?
- How do they engage with your brand?
- How do you want them to perceive your brand (subject matter expert, serious or playful, informative, etc.)?
- What action do you want to drive them to take?
Build a Content Marketing Calendar
Once your goals are defined, capture your specific tactics in a content marketing calendar. Also known as an editorial calendar, this is a tool that will allow you to systematically plan your content by quarter, month, week, or even day. The nature of your business and the goals you’ve set will drive how you plan your calendar. Think about your audience and how you can best engage with them. Your business may lend itself to seasonal subject matter that you want to emphasize or you may follow other patterns. The point is to get your plan in writing so it is actionable.
Components of your calendar should include at minimum:
- The topic
- Where it will be published and publicized (your website, blog, social media, email marketing, etc.)
- SEO keywords
- Publish date
Fill in your calendar as completely as possible, but also leave yourself open space to take advantage of current events or industry news that can inspire content on the spot.
Plan the work and then work the plan
That’s something a former boss of mine was fond of saying. Your content marketing calendar becomes the roadmap that guides everything you create and publish. It should serve as a playbook for the year (or quarter, etc.) that never leaves you at a loss for something to write about.
How about you? What’s in your content marketing calendar? What advice do you have to add?
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