Setting up a content marketing schedule
One of the most difficult things about content marketing is the planning and scheduling process. I use the word “Process” intentionally because it is a recurring job. You don’t simply plan and schedule your content and then sit back. It’s an ongoing job. How often you perform this process is dependent upon how far in the future you are able to look and plan.
For most companies, I recommend monthly planning. On the 15th of the current month, you need to have planned out the next month’s content. This works well for business blogging which needs content that is fairly current.
For other types of content marketing, such as Infographics, video or whitepapers, you may need to plan much longer in the future, perhaps 6-8 weeks in advance. This is because the greater effort required to produce high quality versions of these pieces of content marketing.
They key to any successful content marketing planning, however, is deadlines. We are wired to consume the time allotted to us. If given a week to accomplish a job, we usually get it done in a week. If we have a month, we take a month. If there is no defined deadline, chances are the job just won’t get done at all. The same holds true for content marketing. You want to give your team a reasonable amount of time to accomplish their goal. Too little time results in a poor deliverable. Too much time results in inefficiency. Estimate how much time is actually required and plan accordingly.
One trick we use for larger pieces of content is to estimate best case, worst case and most likely scenarios. The best case scenario is how much time it will take if everything goes according to plan. The worst case scenario is how long it will take if the wheels come off during execution. The real time frame is somewhere in the middle.
Lastly, be sure your content marketing team is INVOLVED in the content planning process. This accomplishes two goals. First, you get to tap into the brains of very smart and creative people who may uncover new ideas for content marketing. Second, when people are involved in setting their own deadlines, they take PERSONAL OWNERSHIP of those deadlines. By helping to set the schedule, they are automatically invested in the process and are taking ownership for delivery. This is infinitely better than a manager or director handing down the schedule full of deadlines blindly to his or her team.
I hope these tips for planning your content marketing are helpful. Got some tips of your own??? Drop them in the comments below!
- Content 101 | The 3 C’s of Content Marketing Strategy
- Backwards Content Marketing: Start With the End in Mind
- Content Creation for Business Blogs