Evolve to a 2.0 Content Marketing Calendar to Drive Content Effectiveness
In today’s world of infobesity, the current generation of content marketing calendars, found in marketing automation, social media and CRM platforms, often fall short of helping marketers effectively execute a content marketing strategy that will break through the clutter while engaging and converting target audiences into customers. While they provide the utility of scheduling, persona targeting, channel distribution and theme designation, they just scratch the surface in helping brands with precision content execution, content positioning relative to the competitive set and relevant content that engages and delivers maximum value.
Content Timing Can Be Everything
The vast majority of today’s content calendars don’t include any type of competitive content intelligence. Incorporating competitive intelligence into your content calendar is critical for executing an effective content strategy. Also, in order for your content marketing calendar to be effective in helping execute content at precisely the right time it needs to provide you with visibility into the best times to execute specific content. In order to maximize the performance of your content marketing, your content marketing calendar should include competitive content marketing tactics and other relevant events, including:
- Industry Events: most industries have large annual events with key themes that often capture a dominate share of voice during the days leading up to and following the events. Preparing content with unique and strategic perspectives on these themes can help you leverage the themes to your advantage.
- Regulatory Events: if your industry is impacted by government regulations then you should overlay key dates and anticipated legislative topics on your calendar and be prepared to execute content that helps your audience comply.
- Competitive Content Tracking: monitoring the competition and including competitive tactics and themes on your content marketing calendar can help you develop shielding and attack strategies that will help you win the battle for the cognitive real estate in the minds of your target audiences.
Overlaying these key elements on your content calendar can help you identify optimal times to execute your content marketing tactics and ensure a greater reach of your target audience. You’ll also be able to quickly identify times of high content clutter which will negatively impact your content performance.
Emerging Content Trends
Lastly, it is important to identify and incorporate emerging trends into your content strategy. Not surprisingly, good sources for emerging trends are industry publications, associations, government agencies, top industry bloggers and analyst organizations. Overlaying editorial, research and regulatory calendars on your content calendar not only helps you develop content that supports your Public Relations and Analyst Relations strategies but also helps you identify trends that warrant consideration for content development. The editorial calendars of industry publications often lack sufficient detail to identify emerging topics and you might have to engage with editors and reporters or your PR firm to glean additional detail. Emerging regulations are often hot topics and compliance content can generate a high level of engagement. Make sure you’re dialed into government sources of when regulations will be going live. Becoming a source of compliance best practices prior to your competition can position your company as the go-to trusted advisor in the category.
Instead of taking a spray and pray approach based on monthly or weekly content themes that are aligned with product releases, requests from sales or succumbing to the pressure to get something out the door just because saying something is perceived as better than saying nothing, marketers need to take a more strategic planning approach with a more effective content calendar.
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Jeff Fugitt is the founder and CEO of AuthorityForce. AuthorityForce is a content marketplace and software-as-a-service (SaaS) that matches subject matter experts (Authorities) with Brands and equips them with content collaboration, conditioning, amplification and assessment tools to create and execute powerful and relevant stories. To learn more, visit AuthorityForce.com