You’ve probably heard it many times by now: Content is King.
But exactly what kind of King would be appropriate for your newly founded kingdom?
If you’re just starting up with your small business or have a fledgling startup, figuring out your content needs can be overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be!
Even if you’re not a content marketing guru (yet), you can still create an editorial plan that works for you — and execute it in stress-free way, without investing a ton of your time and money. Just follow these simple steps:
Decide what your content marketing needs are
To get back to the “type of king” metaphor: do you plan on conquering the world... or just creating a prospering kingdom where people can choose to migrate to?
How aggressive your marketing goals are, will play the biggest part on finding the right content strategy for you. So take a few hours with your team (or by yourself, if you’re a team of one) to consider your goals.
Do you want to bring in more clients? Engage more with your existing audience? Better position your brand in the market? Once you have your answer, write it down somewhere you can see it at all times; on a physical whiteboard, or on the board of a project management system such as Trello, Basecamp or Asana.
Now it’s time to start planning towards it.
Check (but don’t obsess with) what the competition does
You’ve most likely already identified the key players in your industry, the ones your product/brand/startup is competing with.
Your second step in creating an editorial calendar is doing some light (emphasis on light) competitor analysis: just a simple spreadsheet with your top 3-4 competitors, where you will take notes of their content outlets, frequency of posting and number of followers.
Create columns for different content channels such as “blog”, “Instagram”, “Facebook” etc and note how often they are posting on each channel. This will give you some idea of the amount of content you can put out there, but remember: Each business, and each business budget, is different.
You don’t have to write five blog posts per week or do daily Instagram stories just because your competition does.
Create an ecosystem that works for you and your audience
This step is two-fold. First, you should identify (by using any analytics tools you have) where your audience mostly “lives”. Do they visit your website more from their desktop PC or their tablets? Do they mostly engage with your brand on social media on their phones? Learning your audience’s preferences means you can create content that’s optimized specifically for them — not to mention it will also help you strategize your paid media spending better.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to create a content planning/producing/publishing system that really works for you.
It doesn’t have to be super-complicated — and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive. You can use a simple excel or google spreadsheet, Google calendars, a project management app... or a combination of all the above.
Create a template week with notes of when you will be posting and where for each day, and then simply use that weekly plan for the rest of the month. Set up notifications on your phone or on your Google calendar, and automate social media posting as much as possible (through apps such as Hootsuite for instance).
Make sure however to account for seasonal content. If Valentine’s, or Mother’s Day are fast approaching and you believe these holidays can be relevant to your audience and brand, you should create extra content for those occasions — or post outside of your “regular” hours.
Find your editorial mix
So what should your content actually be about?
Ideally it should be a mix of promotional content, content that is of value (problem-solving) to your readers, content that reflects (yours and your audience’s) values and community building content.
Let’s say, for example, that you are a startup whose software helps freelancers and small businesses track working hours. Your content can be a mix of social media posts about your actual product, blog-posts with advice on relevant matters such as how to increase productivity at work, funny memes about the passage of time and shout outs to particular freelancers/members of your community who use your software.
Let the experts do the heavy lifting for you
The best part? You don’t necessarily have to create all that content on your own — or any of it, for that matter.
You can identify bloggers within your niche and make a content syndication agreement with them; you can repost memes and photos that feel right (always carefully giving credit, of course), you can reach out to influencers and ask them to try your product (which means they will probably create content about it, all you’ll have to do is share).
By simply utilising and repurposing the content that’s already out there, you can take your first steps in your content marketing journey...
...What? Is that not enough for you?
If you want to get a step ahead from your competition and really ace your editorial game, you need to invest in the right talent. Have at least one copywriter on board who can help you create your brand’s unique tone of voice, identify your audience’s needs and tweak your editorial calendar as needed to keep your content fresh (and optimized for SEO).
Or you can let Scribly take care of all your copywriting needs.
We can get our team of talented, professional writers work their magic on your brand and keep your editorial calendar run smoothly at affordable prices — and with zero stress. That way, you can focus on doing what you do best: create great products and services.
Now that’s how you conquer the world.