The New Year brings with it an opportunity to refresh your approach to both work and life. For those whose work involves content creation, the process by which content is created is just as important as the topic.
As you shift your gaze to 2023, think about the “how” of content creation and planning your editorial calendar. Develop a content creation framework that takes the guesswork out, ensures accuracy, and drives brand-building results.
1. View past performance
Just because the New Year offers a clean slate doesn’t mean you should create content without thinking about what came before. You want your new content to fill gaps in your current asset inventory. You should also want to build on the success of content done right. So before you start, spend some time researching your performance data and analytics.
If you already have a solid content base, take a look at what pieces have engaged your audience. View your website stats, social media sharing, and SEO performance. Identify themes in high-performing content and consider what they tell you. For example, if you’re in the financial industry, look at all the different ones financial publications to see which content performed best. These media sites are totally focused on creating engaging content. There’s probably something you can learn from how their content is performing.
Sometimes it is a topic that is well popular due to industry interest or news value. Other times, your items drove traffic because of size, readability, or findability. Pay attention to details such as images, videos, and number of links, all of which can be performance factors.
2. Set meaningful goals
Simply creating content is not enough; it is essential to align each published piece with a purpose. Assign both new and old pieces with a strategic goal that the rest of your organization is working towards.
For example, if you want to upsell your existing customers to a higher level package, identify which components can help you do that. Your customers may be won over by case studies that show how other customers have used your enhanced offering to cut costs or increase revenue. Or a side-by-side comparison of features might prompt them to take the plunge.
Keep in mind that focusing only on views will do little for monetization. Set goals that align content with customer action, using click tracking and cookies (where possible) to monitor customer engagement. Review customer feedback data to identify potential pain points, with a focus on qualitative feedback. Use what you learn to clarify your objectives, which can be used as a checklist as you develop content.
3. Plan your content strategy
Creating targeted content that responds to your customers’ needs and wants is only half the battle. Making sure it reaches them is the other half. To prevent your content from ending up in an internet black hole, prioritize the distribution component of your content strategy.
Depending on the goals you’ve set, you may be publishing your content on your own channels, third-party sites, or most likely, a combination of both. If your goal is lead capture, a gated white paper on your website could be key. To boost your brand’s credibility, collect mentions in trusted third-party publications. Earning backlinks to that whitepaper from high-authority external sources can help you achieve both lead capture and SEO goals.
So your content strategy should include what kind of content you will produce and where you will post it, but don’t forget to think about how else you can use it. A how-to article can be the copy for an infographic, social media carousel, video, or all of them. Think of each piece of content as the framework for multiple iterations, which can extend your reach and get the most out of your content. Moreover, by using already created content across multiple mediums, you can attract different persona groups.
4. Set deadlines to maintain momentum
Deadlines make a difference in almost every facet of life. A concrete due date can drive results in a way that “as soon as it suits you” won’t. But your deadlines will depend on more than just the speed at which content can be developed. For example, if you work in a highly regulated industry, you should build in time for legal review. Establish a deadline-driven review process that will keep you both compliant and agile into the new year.
Think about your strategic goals and the stakeholders involved in your process. Identify which types of content need to be reviewed, by whom and for how long. Determine acceptable turnaround times with the relevant parties, which can help your content team plan. If subject matter experts take three business days, your team will know when to submit a copy for review. Make agreements about what to do if certain people are not in the office.
Plan for the unexpected and create backup plans for every variable you can think of. Manage delays by storing evergreen content and identify types of content that don’t need to be reviewed. The more contingency plans you can create, the more consistent you can be with creating and distributing your content. Use your team’s collaboration tools to allocate deadlines and create accountability between departments. This can keep your cross-functional team on track and on track.
Deploy your content to grow in 2023
Content complements your business, but it’s also a means of serving others. You may be striving to gain more customers and increase your revenue, but your reader probably needs answers or a solution to a problem. Keep your readers’ needs in mind as you align your content with your 2023 goals.
When you use your expertise to address their problem, you help achieve their goals as well as yours. The more value you can provide, the greater your brand credibility and revenue in 2023.