One of the most important aspects of a Content Playbook is the Content Calendar. The Content Calendar is really the meat of the content strategy which is developed from the Content Audit. A Content Calendar typically includes format, topics, target keyword phrases, due dates, etc. We’ve found that more effective programs have calendars that also include specifying the buyer’s journey stage for the content and its specific content goals. In this blog post, we list the most important aspects each content calendar should include.
There are many different takes on the Buyer’s Journey, for this blog post we’ll be using the 3-stage buyer’s journey: Awareness, Consideration, and Decision. Understanding where each piece of content you’re developing fits in the Buyer’s Journey will help you identify areas in which you may be neglecting. For example, if most of your content strategy is primarily to create blog content, but not create more in-depth manuals or case studies, you may be missing out on a large portion of your audience in the Consideration stage, who are close to making a decision. Those people are looking for more information so that they can feel comfortable they’re making an informed decision. As an example, product comparisons are great content for people in this stage.
The goals you set for your content aren’t the same as the goals you have for your business, but content goals should support your overall business objectives. For example, if your overall business goal is to sell more products on your website, you’ll have a content goal for attracting your target audience to your site and a content goal to get them to dive deeper into the site and ultimately to a product page. Looking at key performance indicators like page entrances, bounce rate and time on page can help you determine how well your content is at attracting your target audience and keeping them on your website. This is also why it’s important to specify up front which KPI’s will be used to determine whether your content goals were achieved.
Maintaining regular content development is extremely difficult without a process in place. The Content Calendar is a great place to document that process by including information about the workflow for each piece. For example, if it’s a blog post, you’ll want to make sure you include who the writer is, who will be editing the piece, and who will be optimizing and uploading it to the website. Not having a clear idea of who is responsible for each step can quickly lead to a breakdown in the process.
We often get asked how much content we should develop and there is no limit, the more original, quality content, the better! Frequency of posting often comes down to weighing your budget vs. your need. We recommend creating as much original, quality content as possible, but we also know that creating original, quality content is time consuming. This is where having achievable goals really comes in handy. Give yourself an achievable goal of one blog post per month. Once you’re regularly achieving that goal, try doubling it. It will require some testing to determine what works best for your team and provides the best return on investment.
Selecting topics to include in your Content Calendar is hard. That’s why we recommend at the top of your content calendar, you write out who your target audience is, and their primary pain points. Quality content is content your target audience finds useful. Once you understand what their pain points are you can use keyword research to figure out what keyword phrases they use to search for relevant topics.
Don’t forget to test different tones and topics to see what resonates most with your audience. These calendars aren’t set in stone, so you can always revisit them if your original strategy isn’t yielding the results you had initially envisioned.