How to supercharge your content calendar

Is your content calendar a little sluggish when it comes to performance? It may be time to take a critical look at this important content management tool, which is all too often – and incorrectly – considered a set-and-forget component.

Creating a dynamic calendar is similar to the process of content creation; there needs to be flexibility and adaptability in play, ready to turn on a dime if your audience is losing focus or interest. Here are 3 ways you can set your content calendar up for success:

1. Build in “wiggle room”

Whenever possible, the bulk of your topics should permit shifting days, weeks or months in either direction. Some timed content is necessary to build continuity and authority, but chances are your industry will have at least a few “hot” subjects throughout the year.

These current events make the headlines elsewhere, but your business can also tap them to ride the wave of consciousness they produce. Likewise, a topic that looks both promising and positive one day can become insensitive and culturally tone-deaf the next, depending on scandals and tragedies. Don’t let your blog get swept up in accidental association by being too rigid in scheduling or setting your posts to autopilot.

2. Choose trusted content managers – plural

There’s a reason it takes two or more keys to launch missiles – shared responsibility makes both abuse and mistakes less likely scenarios. Don’t hand one content manager the whole ring of “keys to the kingdom,” but also be selective in who can change content and the methods they are given to do so.

In addition to building a small team of trustworthy content creators, editors and managers, keep your content practices tight – try not to allow employees to post or edit on their personal tech devices to prevent unintentional cross-contamination with, for example,  personal-vs-corporate social media accounts.

For the best results, your content management software should require at least two sign-offs before content goes live.

3. Use metrics for consumer/audience feedback

As much as companies would love their audience to enthusiastically embrace every post, it’s not likely to happen. Your content management tools should link your past content performance with current planned posts in your content calendar, ideally within your content management software itself.

Did that listicle you posted last week debut to the sound of crickets? Maybe you should 86 that one planned for next week and change up the format. Was that Q&A page refresh surprisingly popular?

If you’ve built in the proper amount of wiggle room, you’ll be able to schedule a few more to capitalize on that warm reception.

Content will never stop being a moving target, which is why you should take advantage of every opportunity to brainstorm with content marketing experts that know the latest techniques.

If you really want to blow your content metrics out of the water, don’t miss the Content Marketing Conference, happening May 17-19 2016 at the Rio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. There’s no better place to learn how to hack your content planning for the better and keep your competition struggling.