I see you there, beaming proudly as you tell your boss about your winning content marketing strategy. You’ve got a blog! You’ve got social media channels! You’ve got a color-coded posting schedule that stretched your Excel skills to the limit!
But I’ve got some bad news:
Content Calendars Are Not a Strategy
What you have there is a content calendar and tactical execution, not a strategy. And while building a content calendar is an essential step in the process of developing a comprehensive plan that follows a strategic direction, it’s not enough on its own.
Create Engaging Content
Maybe you’re the type who’s always making to-do lists and jotting notes in your planner. Good! Scheduling content and consistently posting are essential. But the real foundation of your content marketing strategy is high-quality content. A content calendar isn’t useful if the content you’re publishing doesn’t provide value to your target audience, and accomplishing that takes much more than a posting schedule.
Close the Content Marketing Loop
Content marketing strategy is a cycle, with content creation and publishing in the middle. Strategy starts long before the calendar is created with audience research, message creation, voice and tone guides, and more. This is all used to devise strategic direction to determine content types, topics, and channels. Without strategy up front, you will waste time creating content that’s not targeted to the audience you want to reach and has an inconsistent or unclear message. Do this research, make these decisions, and share the strategy first; then valuable pieces of content can be created. After the content is posted, strategy comes in again to measure how your content is working — using metrics you’ve chosen that make sense for your goals — and optimize your content going forward.
You should always be evaluating your efforts and adjusting your content to make the biggest impact. If you stop with creating your calendar, you’ll never be able to tell whether your content is working or know how to make it better.
So move beyond the content calendar and develop a robust strategy to help you meet your goals. Produce and publish compelling content and constantly reevaluate what it’s doing for your brand. You can still show off that beautifully formatted content calendar, but now you’ll have a lot more to be proud of.
To find out more about developing a winning strategy, contact us.