How to Incorporate Outreach into your Editorial Calendars
Editorial calendars are the glue that holds any content marketing strategy together. They determine the content produced, who it’s for, and when it’s completed. Making sure to structure your calendar for success is vital to your online branding.
That said, the foundation of a good calendar is learning how to incorporate outreach into your planning. To help get your started, we’re bringing you our four step plan to organizing a foolproof editorial calendar.
1- Build Your Buyer Personas
Each piece of content we create targets a specific demographic. We’ll call those demographics “buyer personas.” These are the specific groups of people we’re targeting. We could define very narrow groups, or broad ones, so long as we have some focus.
When we make our editorial calendars we include these groups in our outreach planning. For example, one target group are marketing officers. CMOs are a demographic that uses our product, and so we create content that caters to their interests.
You need to do the same when you’re creating your own editorial calendar. Take a second and brainstorm who your main demographics are. Got them? Those are the people your editorial calendar revolves around. Not every group at once, but a consistent flow of content targeted to each individual group.
It pays off to keep each demographic happy with custom content.
2- Research Trending Topics in your Niche
So now that you know how to structure your editorial calendar, it’s time to look into what kind of content you should actually produce. The key is determining what your demographic is already consuming. If video is popular, you make videos. If blog posts are in, get to blogging.
An excellent way to find “hot” content is through a tool called Buzzsumo. For those not in the know, Buzzsumo lets you search a topic or domain, and view what content is popular in that particular niche.
For example, go ahead and search content marketing. What appears is the content with the most shares. You can also filter by specific social media stats, or content type. Read through the top results and you’ll gather a good idea of what kind of content your demographic is interested in.
Once you know what the consumers want, you just need to produce similar content. The thing is, your editorial calendar will always evolve. As new content types become popular you’ll have to adjust your creation schedule to account for trends and other shifts. Frequent trips to Buzzsumo are mandatory to stay relevant.
You can create keyword alerts so you get pinged every day with new articles created across the web for your most relevant keywords. You can then review the articles and get an idea of what people are writing about, who is writing it, and how many shares each one has. It’s a great way to keep your pulse on your topical space.
You know have targeted, relevant content in your editorial calendar. It’s essential that you have these assets before you start outreach as you’ll need to have powerful, linkable assets that people will be happy to include in THEIR content. These editorial links can only be earned on the foundation of POWERFUL content.
3- Content For The Buying Funnel
If you don’t know already, the buying funnel explains the process that consumers go through when making a purchase. Or put another way, the steps marketers take when influencing customers to buy products.
The top of the funnel consists of the awareness phase, the next step is the consideration stage, and the final stage is decision. You need to tailor your content to fit into some phase of the funnel.
For instance, we sell marketing services.
As we mentioned before, CMOs are one of our demographics. We’ll scour Buzzsumo and find out what content they’re consuming. Our search will probably have something to do with content marketing or SEO.
Next, we’ll decide where our content will appear. This information gets added into columns next to the demographic and their interests. Finally, we’ll have to decide what subset of CMOs we’re targeting with our content.
Are we aiming for CMOs at the top of the buying funnel? If so, we’ll produce content that attempts to grab people with a common issue (find these frequent problems on Buzzsumo!).
How about CMOs at the bottom of the funnel? Here we’ll attempt to explain why our product is superior.
At this stage, you are building content specific to your buyer personas, at different stages of the buying funnel, and relevant to what’s trending in their niche. You’ve got the foundation in place, now let’s move on to the 4th and final st
4- Creating Supporting Assets
The final piece involves adding supporting assets to your targeted content. We’re talking infographics, images, embedded slideshares, etc. These extra elements supplement your content. They keep things fresh for your consumer groups.
Why not create an infographic to accompany a report you are releasing with custom metrics and statistics? Or perhaps an animated gif with an inspirational quote? These are the assets that will help you stand out from the crowd!
Schedule in semi-regular supporting content to give your posts some substance. Video and images especially work well for content that’s social media bound. Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times the engagement of plain text.
Above is an example of an infographic created by our team talking about nurturing leads down the buying funnels.
Now you are Ready for Blogger and Influencer Outreach!
Having created powerful content for your buyer personas, with engaging visuals and supporting assets, talking about relevant news, you are ready to start outreach. When you reach out to other bloggers to promote your content, you will have done enough of the legwork to have guaranteed success.
Next, you need to make sure your pitch letters grab their attention – but that’s a subject for another blog post!