How far in advance does your marketing team plan content? Planning content in advance helps marketing teams avoid gaps and allows them to better target potential customers by producing thoughtful, enlightening content that keeps the audience engaged. In 2013 MarketingSherpa conducted research that found that 82% of potential customers considered industry-related content to be more valuable to them.
Busy marketers know how difficult it can be to consistently put out top quality content. There are at least a dozen other tasks and requests they must juggle while they’re brainstorming ideas for the next article or infographic. Thankfully there is something that any marketing team can use to keep themselves on track and thinking about future content: an editorial calendar.
By creating an editorial calendar marketing teams are better able to assess their goals and available resources to determine the best tactics to use and the types of content that are most relevant to both their industry and their own business goals. It also helps marketers to think about their strategies in a more long-term scope. By the year 2015, American media consumption will average 15.5 hours per day. Marketers need to meet those content demands.
Editorial calendars should include enough topics and ideas to develop a consistent schedule, such as publishing two blog posts a week or one post per day on social media sites. When putting together a successful editorial calendar marketers need to consider a variety of things, including content type, potential topics, due dates, publishing dates, and any appropriate keywords.
Keywords should not drive the editorial calendar, but they are vital for creating high quality, search engine-friendly content. Keyword research is an important step that helps marketers optimize content.
What are the best practices for marketers that want to develop a strong keyword research strategy?
Make a list.
The first step is to think about topics that are most relevant to the industry and the business. Marketers should think about the broader range of topics that they want to rank for in the search engines. These more generic topics can then be used to create a list of more specific topics that are relevant to the business and can be used later to create more specific keywords. Marketing teams may want to check with their company’s sales reps to see what terms customers are using.
Using the more generic and broad topics collected in the first step, marketers can now drill down and think about more specific keywords. Marketers should think about keywords that they want to rank for in search engine results pages. These will be the keywords and phrases that customers will be using to perform searches.
Consider related search terms.
What other terms are potential customers searching for? Go to Google and check to see what related search terms appear when you type in a keyword. You can see them by scrolling to the bottom of the search results. If they are relevant to the business or can help to generate topic ideas, marketers can add them to the list.
Perform competitive analysis.
Marketers should check to see what keywords their competitors are ranking for. By understanding what keywords competitors are trying to rank for, the marketing team can better evaluate their own keyword list and decide how this affects their own strategy, if at all. Are competitors ranking for some of the same keywords? Marketing teams can work to improve their own rankings for those keywords. They can also capitalize on opportunities to rank for keywords that competitors aren't focusing on.
By regularly reevaluating the keyword list, a marketer can alter strategies and make new gains in search results. Keyword-rich editorial calendars help marketing teams with big-picture content marketing strategies. Creating a powerful keyword research strategy lets marketers focus on more engaging content topics and types for their business and help to establish and reach related business goals. In addition to this, the content is more easily amplified, due to its poignancy.
Nick Rojas is a business journalist from Los Angeles, CA. His work as a content marketer is often reflected in his writing. Follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.
This blog was written by Nick Rojas for The Social Media Girl community.