Creating effective content once is a challenge. Sustaining that level of content over time in order to keep your site fresh and relevant is an even greater challenge. Typically, the process of developing a content plan or editorial calendar that will enable you to deliver an regular flow of consistently effective content to users begins with a content-planning workshop.
The workshop is a chance to gather together key stakeholders and answer key questions about content ceation goals, resources and processes. If you’re planning one, here are the questions you’ll want to make sure you cover:
- What are your goals for your content? How do these support your overall business goals? How can content support these goals on an ongoing basis?
- Who are our audience(s)? What are their content needs?
- What can we learn from our existing content? What are its strengths and weaknesses? (A content audit is a useful tool to have prepare here.)
- What do we want our content to focus on? What are our messaging priorities?
- What’s a realistic frequency for the creation and publishing of new content?
- What content channels can we use? How can we rank their importance in terms of our goals and our audiences?
- Where can we source content? What content creation resources do we have internally? Is there existing content that can be repurposed/content that is planned from other purposes which could be reworked for the website? Who are our subject experts? Do they have time to create content or are there other ways we could share gather their insights (eg by interviews)? How much of our content creation needs to be outsourced?
- Can we break content down into thematic areas and content types?
- What are the seasonal triggers and opportunities for our content? How can we make sure we are set up to respond to ad-hoc topical content opportunities?
- How can we measure the effectiveness of our content? Of all the available metrics, which ones are most relevant to us? Which metrics can we technically support? And how would we use metric data to improve content over time?
Once we have answers to questions like these, you can go away and start to draw up a content marketing plan. Typically this will include:
- a framework for working out what content is right for you to create
- an editorial calendar to help you plan resource and stay strategic
- loads of great ideas for content items, formats and series to populate the calendar