While I enjoy crafting content and editorial calendars, I understand this isn’t a fun task for many marketers. In fact, for many, I’ve heard it’s a dreaded task.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to be a dreaded task that takes hours. Here, I share a few strategies to streamline content creation by crafting an editorial calendar that does all the heavy lifting.
Start Big and Go Small
One way to create a powerhouse editorial calendar for your B2B content marketing strategy is to start big and then go small. This means starting with a big piece of content – maybe a white paper or guide. From there, break down the guide into chapters or sections. Each of these sections can then be written as a blog or as a case study or as a use case.
Starting big is a great methodology when you don’t have a lot of subject matter experts at your company or you have a limited amount of services or products. By looking at the big picture first and then drilling down into topics, you can have a cohesive content strategy that includes various types of content.
Group or Cluster Ideas
One of the more common ways to draft an editorial calendar is by looking at groups or clusters of ideas based around a theme.
Common themes for grouping ideas can include:
- SEO strategy (grouping by keywords/phrases)
- Subject matter expertise
- Service or product line groups
- Type of content
- Stage of the buying or decision-making process
- Seasonality or timeliness
- Conference or trade show themes
How this grouping approach works is somewhat self-explanatory. You determine the group or theme idea and then brainstorm topics to roll up under that theme. In many cases, you can get one subject matter expert to provide information for several interrelated topics at one time – a win for you and a win for the SME!
Another approach to building an editorial calendar is to simply answer questions. This does not mean building a FAQ page or blog post, but it answers questions your clients, prospects, or partners have for your company. For example, you can ask one or more of these topics and generate a slew of content ideas:
- What do our prospects struggle to understand about our industry or service offerings?
- What are the main challenges that our products or services address?
- What are the common issues that our sales team addresses during the prospect decision-making process?
- What are the best use cases for our products or services?
- What advice would our engineering or customer delivery team give to our clients?
- What do prospects and clients need to do their jobs better/quicker/sooner?
As you can see, each of these questions can generate multiple answers/topics to include in an editorial calendar.
Building Now Saves Time Later
An editorial calendar can be a living content resource that is continually adapted, updated, and changed – but it’s a great place to start. When you are looking to schedule subject matter experts, you can reach out to multiple people in your organization and arrange them based on their availability. This ensures you don’t have to delay any content creation. Additionally, it streamlines interviews by giving a copywriter time to prepare with questions and gives the SME direction for their topic.