Content marketing, copywriting and blogging efforts fail because there is no plan in place, or there is a plan, and it’s unsustainable, unrealistic or the expertise to work it does not exist. As a result, the business experiences the usual content marketing pathway – 

  • Week one – An awesome blog is published
  • Week two – Another awesome blog is published and shared on social media
  • Week three – Edition one of the monthly newsletter
  • Week four – Who is supposed to be doing this again?
  • Week five – “It didn’t get any results, let’s just forget the whole thing”

Inbound marketing and content marketing require an attitude of short-term accountability and expectations of long-term results. When we first joined Hubspot as a client, previous to becoming a Hubspot partner, we spent days creating calls to action, landing pages, blogs and social media posts to increase our following. What happened immediately? Nothing. But gradually we started to see an increase in critical numbers:

  •  A 37% increase in daily web traffic
  •  A reduction of 29% from our original 83% bounce rate
  •  An exponential increase in keyword rankings (partnered with a backlink strategy)
  •  A 464% increase in newsletter subscriptions over eight months

But none of these results happened within the first three months. Sure, there were some clues that good things were coming but we had to remain faithful to our belief that content marketing, and communicating information that is useful, will get results.

I’m pleased we waited.

A critical tool that we still used to this day is the editorial calendar. It has only changed slightly since we first opened, and remains the least automated part of our business; sometimes getting printed off, highlighted and drawn on before being reworked and packed away in Excel where it belongs.

Download Editorial Calendar

The above download is an exact copy of the calendar we use, and part of our toolbox for content marketing effectiveness. Before you download and begin to transform your content marketing efforts, here are a few critical points to keep in the back of your mind:

  1. Dates and names are the most important part of the calendar – make sure you and your team are accountable for getting what needs to be done, done. Get it assigned to a person (not a team) and dates set.
  2. Don’t worry about what you know when brainstorming blog topics. Just write a title that fits in with your keyword strategy, and the knowledge will come to you. Just in case it doesn’t, feel free to reach out to us and we will sort it for you. In exchange for money. You’re welcome.
  3. Don’t just skip over buyer personas, in order to define exactly what your target audience wants to read you need to know who they are. If you don’t have defined by personas, click here for a free guide just for you.

Finally, remember to keep in mind – and explain your team – the reason you are taking a long-term view and embracing content marketing as a business strategy. Explain to them the cost effectiveness, and how becoming a knowledge business will impact on client engagement, and how it will give everyone the opportunity to expand their skill set. Most of all, have fun and stick with it.