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Content Marketing Editorial Planning Guide

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With a disconnected pile of assets, we're unable to measure the efficacy of the program because it's not a program. It's a collection of disjointed assets. How do we change that? Begin with the end in mind.

In this guide you will document your editorial strategy, including:
1. Mission statement
2. Categories
3. Topics
4. SEO keywords
5. Editorial guidelines
6. Imagery guidelines
7. Quarterly, monthly and weekly planning calendars
8. Key metrics to track and when

Published in: Marketing

Content Marketing Editorial Planning Guide

  1. 1. CONTENT MARKETING EDITORIAL PLANNING GUIDE
  2. 2. With a disconnected pile of assets, we’re unable to measure the efficacy of the program because it’s not a program. It’s a collection of disjointed assets.
  3. 3. How do we change that? Begin with the end in mind.
  4. 4. First thing’s first Required checklist BEFORE you start planning your editorial calendar 1.  Mission statement 2.  Categories 3.  Topics 4.  SEO keywords 5.  Editorial guidelines 6.  Imagery guidelines
  5. 5. MISSION STATEMENT
  6. 6. What is your editorial mission statement? Brand Purpose Editorial Mission Statement Brand Mission Statement Target Audience What Customers Want Content Marketing
  7. 7. What is your editorial mission statement? Brand Purpose What are you going to do? (You can probably find this on your company website) Who are you trying to reach? (This may or may not be your buyer) What Customers Want Content Marketing
  8. 8. Editorial mission statement components 1.  The core target audience 2.  What will be delivered to the audience 3.  The outcome for the audience. Sample Mission Statement: Inc. magazine “Welcome to Inc.com, the place where entrepreneurs and business owners can find useful information, advice, insights, resources and inspiration for running and growing their business.”
  9. 9. Your editorial mission statement “...”
  10. 10. CATEGORIES + TOPICS
  11. 11. How will your content be organized? 1.  What are different ways you could organize your content? 2.  What perspectives can differentiate your brand from others? 3.  Draw out common themes 4.  Can double as site navigation 5.  Show visitor what space you’re in 6.  Have a goal of ultimately publishing 1 piece of content per pillar per day
  12. 12. How will your content be organized? CATEGORY CATEGORY CATEGORY CATEGORY CATEGORY CATEGORY Description Description Description Description Description Description Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic Topic
  13. 13. SEO
  14. 14. KEYWORD CURRENT RANK COMPETITOR #1 RANK COMEPTITOR #2 RANK keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank keyword current rank competitor #1 rank competitor #2 rank SEO keywords
  15. 15. EDITORIAL GUIDELINES
  16. 16. People don’t always remember what you say or even what you do, but they remember how you made them feel. Maya Angelou ” “
  17. 17. QUESTION What is tone in relation to writing? ANSWER Expressing personality through vocabulary.
  18. 18. Developing your brand’s tone: •  Look at internal communications and how formal people are •  Commonly used words, greetings and sign-offs •  Always keep in mind that brands are people, not services and products •  Examine how the thought leaders at your company communicate •  Employees who truly understand what a brand stands for tend to communicate in the same manner •  Always remember the KISS method – Keep It Simple Stupid
  19. 19. •  Distinctive •  Recognizable •  Unique Abrand’s tone should be:
  20. 20. STAY AWAY from having your brand seem robotic. It’s possible to be professional AND human.
  21. 21. Approachable Tone + Insightful/Actionable Advice = Tapping Into Your Readers Emotions. •  Listen to your audience, don’t just speak to them. •  Goal should always be to tap into your readers emotions. •  Hook audience in with opening sentences and continue to play off of their emotions throughout the article.
  22. 22. An editor should be an integral part of your content marketing team in order to align the language.
  23. 23. Formal versus informal language FORMAL PROS CONS Professional Stiff Authoritative Lacking personality Respectful Boring INFORMAL PROS CONS Personable Reckless Warm Lacking professionalism “We wish to inform you of a new offer currently available.” “Watch out! We gotta great deal for you.”
  24. 24. No matter the industry you’re in, a good writer can communicate complex topics in an accessible manner and in a way that doesn't feel like it's dumbing the subject down or overwhelming a reader with jargon. 1  Use everyday language your audience will understand, wherever possible 2  Remember journalistic principle KISS – keep it simple, stupid 3  Customers favor more naturalistic language in marketing copy 4  Obscure terms may alienate customer who will find text overly difficult to read Technical language
  25. 25. 1. Focus on “quality of insight” A really important aspect of content, particularly on the web, is the quality of insight. And insight doesn’t need to be surprising. It can be insight about things that are very familiar, and that give us a frame for things that are already top of mind. ” “
  26. 26. 2. Hold yourself to a high standard Brands should hold themselves to an awesome standard. If a brand wants to make a powerful piece of content, they should make something that is truly exclusive and inherently fascinating and not just their take on what everyone is talking about. I think brands should be doing things that are awesome, new, original and totally fitting with the brand. ” “
  27. 27. It’s most important to know what they have read. People want to read stories that they’re a little familiar with. It’s important to know what they’re aware of, to know what to talk to them about. 3. Think about your audience ” “
  28. 28. Emotion is a really important part of successful digital pieces. People are hunting for positive or negative emotions they can share with other people. Since emotion is really important in articles but absent in economics, I often have to inject emotion into the headline. Like, “17 Astonishing Facts about U.S. Inequality.” Statistics about unemployment aren’t inherently emotional. You have to give the reader a bit of a preview, and say, “Here’s the emotion you’re going to feel when you read these statistics.” 4. Weave emotion into dry subject matter ” “
  29. 29. 1.  Look at your internal communications 1.  How formal are they? 2.  Any commonly used words or phrases? 2.  How is the way you work different? 3.  How you might tell a customer about your business over the phone or face-to-face? 4.  Describe your company is three different ways, using different degrees of colloquial language? If one way sticks out, try to identify what you like about it. 1.  An economically priced hotel located in the city center 2.  Easy on the wallet, this hotel enjoys having the city on its doorstep 3.  This cheap as chips hotel gives you a night’s shut eye, slap bang in the city Exercises to help you identify your tone of voice
  30. 30. 1.  Technical execution 2.  Tell a human story 3.  Make it relatable Don’t forget imagery
  31. 31. 1.  Will it interest your audience? 2.  Can it be distributed effectively to reach them? 3.  Does it align with your engagement goals? 4.  How is this an original idea? 5.  Does it fit your brand? 5 question editorial final gut check
  32. 32. PLANNING YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR
  33. 33. No we’re ready to start planning •  Quarterly •  Monthly •  Weekly
  34. 34. QUARTERLY
  35. 35. Things to think about quarterly Anything inflexible event (industry events, webinars, employee vacations, etc.) •  These are going to happen whether you want to or not so best to plan around them! •  Engage in the conversation for industry events •  Drive registration to any company in-person or online events •  Coverage plans for employee vacations Big rock content •  Far enough in advance to allow for creativity in brainstorming larger pieces of content •  Think of how each piece of big rock content can be broken into smaller themes
  36. 36. QUARTER MONTH 1 WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 INDUSTRY EVENTS WEBINAR THEME Big rock content MONTH 2 WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 INDUSTRY EVENTS WEBINAR THEME Big rock content MONTH 3 WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 INDUSTRY EVENTS WEBINAR THEME Big rock content MONTH 4 WEEK 1 WEEK 2 WEEK 3 WEEK 4 INDUSTRY EVENTS WEBINAR
  37. 37. MONTHLY
  38. 38. Things to think about monthly Themes •  What overarching topic do you want to talk about that fits within your big rock piece of content? Titles and descriptions •  How will they fit together? •  What value will they provide to your audience? Ownership •  Assess bandwidth of your contributors •  Gives guest contributors enough notice to prepare
  39. 39. MONTH WEEK 1 MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY TITLE DESCRIPTION OWNER Theme WEEK 2 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday TITLE DESCRIPTION OWNER Theme WEEK 3 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday TITLE DESCRIPTION OWNER Theme WEEK 4 Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday TITLE DESCRIPTION OWNER Theme BIG ROCK CONTENT Big Rock Content
  40. 40. WEEKLY
  41. 41. Things to think about weekly Tactical execution •  Most granular level •  Make sure all pieces of content are correctly tagged and organized within your CMS. This will make future content audits and analysis much easier. Categories and topics and SEO keywords •  Are you covering all categories, topics and SEO keywords relatively evenly? Buyer stage and call-to-action •  Ensure you are providing content that moves reader through the buyer journey •  60 --70% top-of-funnel •  30 - 20% middle-of-funnel •  10% bottom-of-funnel •  What is your desired action for the reader (subscribe, continue reading, product page, etc.)
  42. 42. SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY ARTICLE TITLE SOURCE/ WRITER CATEGORY TOPICS SEO KEYWORDS BUYER STAGE CALL-TO- ACTION THEME
  43. 43. WHAT TO TRACK WHEN
  44. 44. Content marketing is not a one and done effort. You must always analyze your data to continuously optimize and influence your editorial strategy.
  45. 45. Monitor your traffic as frequently as possible •  Weekly…daily…hourly! •  Track patterns tied to publishing times •  Notice spikes by the hour, day and month in reports •  Always take a look at referrer types and domains
  46. 46. Questions you should be able to answer on the fly •  What time during the day does your content perform best? •  What time during the week? •  What topics are shared most on social media? •  What article formats receive the most page views? •  When is the typical spike in traffic during the week? •  Which one of your writers or sources generates the most page views?
  47. 47. A/B testing your content: •  Article formats: Q&A vs. Listicle vs. Opinion •  Publishing times throughout the day, week and month •  Effectiveness of content featured in newsletters •  Different formats shared on different social platforms •  Covering halo topics of interest to your readers
  48. 48. What to track quarterly •  Cost per lead •  Percentage of leads sourced by content marketing vs. other marketing tactics •  Total conversions
  49. 49. What to track monthly and weekly •  Time on site •  Repeat visitors •  Social likes •  Subscriptions + unsubscribes •  Newsletter CTRs •  Bounce rate •  Paid vs. organic search traffic •  Social shares/followers •  Share of voice/offsite SEO
  50. 50. What to track daily •  Paid vs. organic search traffic •  Unbranded organic search traffic •  Organic search share of voice •  Visitors •  Views •  Shares •  Leads from gated content •  Visits per channel
  51. 51. THANK YOU

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