As content strategists, we don’t like to talk too much about editorial management—it reminds us of the days when we were relegated to the role of writer or editor without a say about how content aligns with the company’s strategic objectives. Content is the verbal alter ego of UX and can’t be sketched out as an after-thought.
But, truth be told, overseeing the process of content creation and distribution is still an important function of the content strategy role. Here are five ways to optimize your editorial strategy:
Define business goals
What, exactly, do you want your content to accomplish? Without clarity on the strategic direction of the company, your content will miss the mark.
List no more than three business goals and rank them.
If you have multiple product lines, widely differing services, or global markets you serve, make sure to go through this exercise multiple times to ensure that your business goals reflect the needs of different divisions or stakeholders.
Prioritize topics and define content goals
Once you have defined your business objectives, figure out which two or three topics are the most relevant. Determine how often you want to publish on those topics and in which formats.
Make sure your web analytics (and CRM) are configured to give you data that allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of your content: from pageviews and press mentions to leads, sales, and number of new clients.
It pays off to repurpose the high-quality content you create for different audiences, contexts, and distribution channels. Your longer pieces can easily be cut in multiple shorter, snackable pieces. Video, too, can be cut into one-minute snippets, increasing the likelihood someone will actually watch.
An often-forgotten tactic is to create transcripts for all video content. Text will make videos more discoverable and will allow users to scan the content quickly.
Create a comprehensive editorial calendar across all markets
Make sure you have a calendar that covers both content creation and content distribution. Unless you are in a news organization, the former is rather fluid, especially when you work with subject matter experts who are not always available to deliver on deadline.
Your content distribution calendar should have some redundancy built in, so that if one piece doesn’t materialize in time, you still have enough content ready to serve up.
Build a team
Make sure that your content roles are clearly defined and that everyone sticks to content workflow processes. Otherwise, you will end up with needless typos or with videos that were uploaded to YouTube but never went live.
If your content requires deep expertise, make sure you determine the availability (and writing abilities) of your subject matter experts. This will help you plan and will make clear if you need to bring in writers to ghost write or simply interview your experts.
Finally, someone needs to manage the overall content process to ensure the right content gets created in the right way for the right channels and aligned with the right objectives. It doesn’t need to be a content strategist—a managing editor will do in a pinch.