Six reasons you need to blog, blog and blog some more
It's a leading content marketing activity to generate leads
Most corporate marketers recognize the importance of blogging for B2B companies. It is a leading content marketing activity for establishing thought leadership, increasing awareness, driving website traffic, building credibility, improving organic search engine rankings and generating leads.
In fact, according to the Content Marketing Institute, blogging is surpassed only by social media and articles as the most popular form of content marketing.
The key to effective blogging – in addition to ideation, writing and promotion – is keeping your blog active. And by active, we mean publishing at least 11 posts per month consistently. If Hubspot’s extensive research is accurate, B2B companies that publish 11 monthly posts get nearly three times the website traffic as compared to ones that publish only occasional posts. Post 16 times per month and you may very well see nearly five times more lead conversions compared with those who post only weekly.
But this volume of content creation requires preparation and hard work. How do you make sure your blog is continually fed quality content? With an editorial calendar, of course.
An editorial calendar provides a framework to build a successful blog. In simple terms, it is a schedule of the specific content you intend to write and publish for the upcoming month, quarter or year created in advance. This is the “ideation” phase of the blogging process.
No matter the size of your content marketing team, an editorial calendar will help you maximize your content pipeline, drive better engagement with your audience, and serve as a roadmap for the months ahead to ensure your content is optimized to meet your business goals.
Here are six key reasons why you should consider building an editorial calendar for your corporate blog:
Roadmap for content production
It’s important for the person ultimately responsible for the success of a blog to layout a roadmap for all writers. This roadmap generally covers time periods ranging from monthly to quarterly or even yearly, depending on how much time you can devote in advance to ideation.
Editorial calendars typically include specific topics you intend to write about and a timeline of when they will be published; a list of sponsored content you plan to receive from other brands, advertisers, corporate partners, and vendors; and theme-based coverage that coincides with holidays and other notable days on the American calendar.
The vast majority of the content outlined in your editorial calendar should be entertaining or educational in nature, however, 10 to 15 percent of your blog posts should be promotional with strong calls-to-action. The goal is to not alienate your readers with too much blatant promotion.
Consistent flow of relevant content
All blog managers need a consistent flow of relevant content. Rather than you or your contributors writing about something that doesn’t resonate with your readers, a pre-built editorial calendar helps ensure relevant content is produced on-time, every time. A calendar is key to consistently generating content that your audience values, resulting in your organization being viewed as an industry thought-leader.
Maintain corporate tone
Every organization has a somewhat unique voice – your corporate tone. Among the most important responsibilities of a blog manager is setting a tone for the blog and giving editorial direction to the team. An editorial calendar is the right tool to carry that tone forward and get everybody associated with the blog on the same page. In setting the tone, you choose the most important general categories for your blog and what specific content you will create for each category. When doling out writing assignments, make sure they’re relevant to one of the general categories, thereby ensuring adherence to your corporate tone.
Delegation of tasks
An editorial calendar is most helpful for blog managers with large teams and multiple contributors. One of the biggest challenges in working with a large team of writers is setting multiple deadlines. Using an editorial calendar, you can outline the content to be created, assign the writer responsible for creating that content, and establish deadlines.
Your editorial calendar should reflect content divided in various categories and content types. After all, variety is the spice of life. Group your content ideas properly in these categories and types, and if possible, keep a tally of how much content you are producing in each of them.
To get more readers, you need a few different types of content – news, opinion, surveys, promotions, infographics, etc. This ensures the content on your blog doesn’t become stale, while your main content categories are getting fed regularly. A well-planned editorial calendar helps make sure you’re producing a steady-stream of diverse content, reaching as many people as possible in the process.
Transparency and accountability
Transparency is important to a successful blog. Every team member should be able to see clearly what content is planned for the upcoming weeks and months and who is responsible for each piece of content. A well-maintained editorial calendar facilitates this level of transparency and helps your team stay focused on your blogging goals.
Remember that an editorial calendar isn’t a blueprint that can’t be changed. Your calendar has to be flexible enough to incorporate new content ideas as business circumstances warrant. But with a pre-planned calendar of content, you’ll work smarter, not harder, at building the long-term success of your corporate blog.
Peter Masi is the partner-in-charge of the Denver office of Manzer Communications, an Austin-based PR and marketing communications agency serving B2B technology clients. He can be reached at Peter@ManzerCommunications.com.