Take one part blog post, three parts social media, and a dash of monthly email newsletters.
Stir until just combined, pop into the oven for 20 minutes, and ta da! — you have a perfectly delicious content strategy that your audience loves.
If Mary Berry said this to us about anything, we would die of happiness.
But in reality, putting together an editorial calendar you’re happy with probably feels more like this.
If only creating content was as easy as following a recipe and being halfway decent at baking.
Worry not. We have some easy tips for you on how to cook up an interesting mix of content for your brand.
Ingredient #1: Define your content
To start, you should already have some content ideas mapped out. No, not even mapped out. Haphazardly scrawled on a napkin or dumped into a Google Doc will work, too. If you’re clean out of ideas, read our blog about brainstorming content first.
Once you have your ideas, read through them again and define each one’s purpose. What do you want to achieve with this idea? Do you want to inform your audience? Entertain or inspire them? Start a conversation?
If you’re not completely sure what you want to do with an idea, take a look at these examples of content we’ve created on our Instagram and what their purpose may be:
- Share a tip on repurposing content – inform
- Post behind-the-scenes team photos for Galentine’s Day – connect
- Voice a possibly controversial opinion – start a conversation
- Post a fun GIF to kick off our end-of-the-year break – entertain
- Ask for help finding writers – encourage action
Get the picture? To keep things easy, stick to one purpose. No more, no less. If you start arguing that one idea has two or three purposes, you’ll get nowhere. And you’ll water down the true purpose of that idea.
Get creative with your presentation
After you’ve defined the purpose of each idea on your list, assign a format or platform to each one. Will this idea work best in a blog or would you rather talk it out in a YouTube video? Can you get your point across in a short social media caption or do you need room to talk about your idea in a longform article?
Remember that choosing a format now doesn’t mean you’re stuck with it until the end of time. You can always change the format or platform if you’re struggling to flesh out your idea when it comes time to write.
Plus, you can repurpose your initial piece of content across multiple channels later; e.g., turn one blog into a series of emails, a bunch of social posts, a vlog or podcast, a tutorial, or an infographic. You can get a lot of mileage out of one little idea.
Mix it up and schedule it out
Now you’re ready to mix things up and schedule your ideas out in your editorial calendar. (Here’s our free Content Planning Spreadsheet, if you haven’t gotten it yet.)
Plug in your topics, the format, a short and sweet outline of the purpose and what you envision content-wise, and your audience if appropriate. Then assign some dates.
Go back and look at each individual platform, like your blog or Instagram feed, and review your content purposes. Are they all inform, inform, inform? Do you have too many ideas meant to entertain your audience and nothing more? Switch some dates around so that you have a better mix of content.
There’s no perfect ratio of content purposes out there, because every brand has a unique audience with unique expectations, interests, and needs. However, we suggest providing content of value most often. Content that informs, teaches, builds trust, inspires, persuades, or shares resources.
Entertaining posts are fun, but they’re often filler, as we explained in our blog about social media. Avoid stuffing your editorial calendar with too much of this content, because they generally don’t do anything for your business or your audience.
See how your audience responds
Hurray, you created a great mix of content! Now you can walk away and be done with it, right?
Of course not. Continuing our baking metaphor, that would be like failing to monitor that beautiful cake you made in the oven and now oh god, you’ve ruined it.
Monitor how your audience responds. See what content they like best or engage with the most. You may find that your social media followers prefer informative pieces in videos, but your blog readers like content in infographics or tutorials.
Make adjustments as needed. If something didn’t work as well as you hoped, try a different format or tweak your content schedule again.
And if some pieces of content still underperformed, it may just be the idea itself not resonating with your audience. Nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve all been there. Just keep baking…er, trying out new content. You got this.