Content marketing is an interesting game. With the rise of search engine marketing (SEM), keyword search, trending topics and social, providing fresh content to the market and your clients is more important than ever. If you don’t believe me, check into some of the things Matt Cutts and the Google Webmaster team has been saying recently regarding content marketing and Hummingbird.
With digital marketing shifting towards fresh content designed to answer search questions, digital marketers have to make a choice: to use an editorial calendar or not to use an editorial calendar? For the past few years, a hard and true rule of content marketing has been the editorial calendar. The editorial calendar, a content posting plan for the month, is tried and true. Without one, brands say, you can’t keep track of the content your posting and you won’t be able to track analytics behind the content you are posting. While the editorial calendar might be looked at as mandatory for a lot of digital marketers, I am here to tell you it isn’t. I am here to tell you to ditch the editorial calendar because it sucks. Here’s why:
1. Have Something To Say
Let’s say you set up your editorial calendar to schedule regular blog posts on a specific topic every Monday at 2 pm. For the first five or six weeks you stick to your content calendar and every Monday at 2 pm you post content concerning your specific topic. What happens though when you have nothing to say. What happens when you reach the point in time where you have nothing more to say on a given topic? Do you continue to post because you have an editorial calendar or do you wait until you have something worthwhile to say?
Content marketing only works when you provide your community with solid informative entertaining content. If you post content for the sake of posting content due to an editorial calendar, your content is going to suck. Rule number one of content marketing: have something to say. If you have nothing worthwhile to say, don’t post anything. It’s the old saying: “Better to Remain Silent and Be Thought a Fool than to Speak and Remove All Doubt”.
2. Don’t Oversaturate
Wonderful. Due to your imposed editorial calendar, you are posting to your favorite social media network four times a day. It’s really great that your brand has so much to share but remember, like that friend who talks too much, after a while, your consumers are going to get burned out. Editorial calendars are excellent when they are used appropriately. They can be a great tool for interaction and connection when used smartly and sparingly. The moment you rely on them too heavily – the moment you oversaturate your market with content – is the moment when your brand jumps from cool to annoying.
Rule of thumb for content marketing: if you want to use an editorial calendar, don’t over post. Pick and choose your posting times wisely. Be smart about frequency and the reaction to your posting frequency. If you find the more you post the less interaction you get, it might be time to lay off the mandatory editorial calendar posting and cut back. No one likes over saturation.
3. It’s Always About Quality, Stupid
Lastly, it’s about quality. It’s always about quality. Quality plays into having something to say. Quality plays into not over saturating the market with useless dribble. Quality plays into understanding quantity isn’t always the right way to go about things. Quality means quality. The moment your blogs, vlogs, infographics etc. turn into quantity over quality, your brand has a major problem.
Google rewards content for answering search. The more quality content you produce, the more you will be rewarded by Google with natural search rankings. The same goes for your clients. The more quality content you publish, the more your clients will trust your brand and have you in mind when it comes to buying product. Quality, in terms of content marketing, trumps quantity every day of the week. For this reason, strictly adhering to an editorial calendar which preaches frequency over solid content is insanity. Don’t do it.
In summary, editorial calendars can be your content marketing downfall. If you use one, have something to say, don’t over share and rely on quality over quantity. If you follow these simple steps, your content marketing won’t suck. Well, hopefully.
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— Brad Leibowitz (@bleibowi) April 24, 2014