In order to keep up with their fast-paced publishing cycles, newspapers and magazines keep an editorial calendar of who is writing what — and when. Taking this same approach, content strategists can use content calendars to set out a client’s content strategy, plot what’s coming up well in advance, and ensure a smoother and more organised publishing process.
Step 1 of the process
The content strategist will populate the Content Calendar tab, located in the client’s campaign centre.
Step 2 of the process
In a meeting with the inbound marketing strategist, the content strategist should review the client’s inbound marketing plan to familiarise themselves with the wider inbound strategy, the client’s target personas, and the campaign goals.
Step 3 of the process
The content strategist should define the topic that will form the theme of the 90-day topic cluster. Often, this will have been discussed during a recent content workshop or put forward by the client.
Step 4 of the process
The content strategist should undertake competitor analysis, reviewing competitor blogs, content offers, videos, and more to determine how they are tackling the theme or topic and note any recurring or popular subjects. This competitor analysis and keyword research (see below) templates are saved here. Please create a copy before populating.
Step 5 of the process
The content strategist (or SEO specialist, where appropriate) should undertake keyword research into the theme or topic to identify primary keyword opportunities and supporting secondary or semantic keywords. (This is a particularly important step if the campaign includes organic traffic goals.) These should be built into a seed list to which the content strategist can refer when selecting suitable keywords for specific titles in the calendar.
For a more in-depth look at how to conduct keyword and competitor research, follow our process document.
Step 6 of the process
Pulling together the finding from each of the previous steps, the content strategist should draft a series of titles in the content calendar extending as far as 90 days.
Titles might be inspired by content that competitors have created, popular articles within the predetermined theme, lucrative long-tail keyword opportunities, and any frequently asked questions or ideas produced off the back of a recent content workshop/client conversations.
The volume of production will depend on the client’s budget, but we typically publish between two and four pieces of content per month for a client. (Any more than this becomes unwieldy and demanding to implement.)
Ensure all of the rows and columns are as complete as possible.
Step 7 of the process
The content strategist should run the content calendar past the inbound marketing strategist, the SEO specialist, or the head of content for a second perspective.
Step 8 of the process
Once we are happy with the content calendar internally, it should be sent to the client for their feedback and review. It often helps to present the calendar back to the client in a short video call to explain it and ensure it is understood, or offer to walk them through it or answer any questions via a brief phone call.
Step 9 of the process
Once the calendar is approved, the content strategist should use it to track the content writer’s progress and monitor content production over the course of the 90 days.