What comes first: your editorial calendar or your content strategy? What’s the difference? An editorial calendar plans what you will talk about, the audiences you want to reach and the channels through which you will communicate. The best content strategy guides your writers as they produce the appropriate type of content to execute this plan. Without a content strategy, their writing could be missing its mark and you could be losing business.
A lot is riding on your content strategy
People will form opinions about your company and products based in part on what you tell them on your website, and in your emails, blogs, social posts and by-lined articles. If you conduct your own media outreach, the media will also form an opinion of you based on all the above PLUS the writing caliber of your press releases.
The quality of what you write could influence whether or not you draw people into your sales process or earn media coverage.
The best content strategy includes these five elements
- It ensures everything is written in a consistent voice. You want audiences to feel like they know you. You want them to like you and trust you. It can be confusing to readers if you have multiple writers each using a different writing style. Make sure your writers can capture your desired company persona whether they are producing content for your website or customer emails.
- It uses Media-Grade Content®. A well-constructed media story nurtures trust and product loyalty because it is informative, interesting and authoritative. It is written in complete sentences and not riddled with punctuation errors. Ideally, it follows the media’s preferred AP Style. When your content would pass the media’s stringent high standards, it is more credible.
- It ensures content is written for the desired market(s). For each piece of content written, your writers should understand the audience’s demographics as well as where they are related to the Innovation Adoption Curve. Content that would easily resonate with a baby boomer might not even attract the attention of a millennial. Similarly, you would speak differently to someone who always wants to be the first to try a new product than someone who is typically and fiercely brand loyal.
- It ensures content is written for the specific channel. In addition to varying word and character counts, blogs and newsletters will have different writing parameters than articles, social posts and press releases. You may want your owned digital content, for example, to be more casual than your press releases and articles.
- It ensures content is focused on predetermined product(s) and primary value points. As you follow your editorial calendar, you will cycle through your products, value points and other criteria. Writers should have guidelines to ensure they stay on point with these details. (Elements 3, 4 and 5 are incorporated into Step 5 of our Strategically Aimed Marketing® process, Control Templates.)
Every time someone reads about your business or products, it’s essential to make that contact positive and high value. Contact us online or by calling 952-697-5269 to discuss how our writers can strengthen your connections with your audiences.