4 smart strategies for creating the perfect content marketing schedule
When individuals and brands first begin blogging, they often start out with a grand plan for scheduling well-researched content with clearly established goals and deadlines for each piece. Then — of course — life gets in the way and the idea of maintaining and updating an editorial calendar seems like a huge chore, one that eventually falls by the wayside in favor of a more spontaneous approach to content creation and curation.
Even if you still follow an editorial calendar to some extent, there are likely areas in your content strategy that could use improvement when it comes to your scheduling practices. Here are some strategies the most successful content marketers use to optimize their editorial calendars:
Create Daily or Weekly Themes
Do you write and publish whatever feels relevant to your brand in a given moment, or are there clear themes you’re covering each day or week? For example, you could conduct weekly interviews with industry experts that are published once per week on the same day (preferably in written and audio formats, if possible).
Alternatively, you could announce a theme at the beginning of each week and incorporate that theme into your blog posts, social media posts, and other content published throughout the week. Even with content themes, however, you’ll still want to mix up specialized content with evergreen content to ensure at least some of your blog retains a bit of longevity 3, 6 or 12+ months from now.
Stick to a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar
Do you currently have a content marketing editorial calendar? If so, is it in an Excel spreadsheet, Google form, content scheduling platform, or elsewhere? To maximize the likelihood of following your editorial calendar — and maintain your team’s motivation to stick to the calendar — you should consolidate all of your editorial notes, deadlines and other information in one easy to access location (bonus points if you can schedule upcoming blog and social posts from the same platform).
Write Content 2+ Weeks in Advance
Some people work better under the pressure of an impending deadline, but this is not an ideal strategy to rely on for the long-haul. Instead, your content writing team should be producing content at least two weeks in advance, which gives your design and editorial teams plenty of time to optimize the content for audience engagement and catch any mistakes before publication.
Even if new information comes out within that 2+ week timeframe that necessitates changes to the content, you’ll still be in a much better position if all you have to do is add or erase a sentence here and there, as opposed to writing, editing, and designing an entire blog post within a couple days.
Get Everyone Onboard
A final must-have in any successful content marketing strategy is team cohesion. In other words, you want everyone to be on the same page about each step of the content production and publication process. Even if you’re working with a remote content team, you should still schedule weekly or monthly team meetings to give everyone the chance to vocalize any issues or concerns they’re experiencing, which other team members could potentially help resolve.
This also requires consistent attention to your brand’s content guidelines, so that you’re always maintaining the same “voice” for your brand across channels (even if you have multiple content writers) and you can readily adapt to changes (e.g., SEO practices) whenever necessary with minimal disruption to your team.
Gen Z is on the rise. Here’s how to market to them.
Comprising of 25 percent of the U.S. population, Generation Z is the country’s first all digital-native group. Gen Z is the generation born between the mid-’90s and 2010. So how are brands catering to this audience?
Generation Z is synonymous with technology. While Millennials were digital, Generation Z is the first generation to grow up with technology from the start. That’s why audience segmentation is so important when marketing to this highly fickle group. Marketers need to understand who they are and use audience segmentation to customize their Generation Z marketing strategies accordingly. They’re also more likely to readily filter through promotional content and advertising. The key for marketers is to create value.
Humanize your brand.
Gen Zers conduct extensive research before buying and are selective in their purchase decisions. They want to see how brands talk to consumers and if they address any issues or feedback. It’s key to keep your reputation management up to date on all these common sites.Make sure to communicate on positive and negative reviews on your posts and on popular review websites like Yelp and Google Business.
Authentic experiences and two-way conversations are a must.
Initiate two-way conversations online, and create a social presence that Gen Zers can engage with. They value the opinions of their peers, but it must appear genuine. They look for realistic and relatable and can see through disingenuous promotions and influencer marketing.
Keep the message quick and to the point.
The average Gen Zer has an attention span of about eight seconds. They’ve grown up with loads of information at their fingertips and are accustomed to quickly filtering through content. In this era, brands must communicate with easy-to-digest content that cuts through the clutter and captures their attention.
Show you care, too.
Gen Z consumers want to hear how your business is helping the community and promoting social responsibility. They want to see that you’re truly committed to that cause. According to a recent report, 60 percent of this generation wants their jobs to impact the world, and 76 percent are concerned about humanity’s impact on the planet. Look into community outreach programs, especially during the holidays and during slow seasons.
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