Building a Strategic Fintech Content Calendar, Part II

Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by admin

If you’re just tuning in, be sure to check out Part I of this series on building a strategic fintech content calendar. In Part II, we’ll walk through the final four steps of building out your calendar. With the proper framework in place, you’re ready to start honing in on some of the finer details that will bring your calendar to life. 

Step 4: Add Details to Your Content Marketing Roadmap

Populating your calendar with the volume of content you’ll publish is just the beginning. It’s also important to add essential details that help your content team stay organized. Adding details means reverse-engineering every step and person involved from the publish date all the way back to the assignment itself. If you’re using Excel or Google Sheets, consider adding a column for the following information next to every content piece:

  • Topic Approved (Y/N)
  • Author
  • SME Interview Needed (Y/N)
  • SME
  • First Draft Due
  • First Edits Due
  • Second Draft Due
  • Second Edits Due
  • Status (assigned/in progress/in review/editing/approved/published)
  • Next Step (send to legal/upload to CMS/schedule)

You’ve now created a content marketing roadmap. It is also a single source of truth for everyone from writers and creatives to external teams who need to stay in the loop. It makes content execution and governance a whole lot easier. 

The items above can be modified for your organization’s unique needs and you can augment the calendar with additional details, including important dates for campaign launches, holidays, and other events. 

Step 5: Do Some Intelligent Brainstorming

Now that you have the nuts and bolts of your content strategy in place, you can do some intelligent brainstorming. What is intelligent brainstorming? It’s more than just throwing topics at the wall to see what fits. 

You have a pretty good idea of timelines for content creation as well as the people you’ll need to complete each piece (from a high level). Now is the time to dig deeper and determine what you’ll create content about

It’s much easier to brainstorm topics when you understand how each piece of content relates to the overarching strategy. You know how many blog posts and drip campaigns are needed to support each piece of lead gen content.  You also have at least a bird’s eye view of who will author each piece and which SME will need to add input. 

Intelligent brainstorming means using the content marketing roadmap you’ve created to ideate the most impactful stories you can tell within that framework. To be most effective, make sure you conduct structured brainstorming sessions. While “structured brainstorming” may sound like a buzzkill, it can actually help your team be more creative by introducing some foundational guidelines for how the meeting will go. For example: 

  • 10 minutes: Monthly calendar overview/review
  • 15 minutes: Blog-focused brainstorming
  • 15 minutes: Guest post-focused brainstorming
  • 15 minutes: Content calendar updates with topics, deadlines, responsibilities

Keeping things organized frees up the mind space needed to dig deep into creativity. This is how strategic content marketing plans are born. 

Step 6: Expect the Unexpected

Consistency is key with content marketing – but flexibility is, too. You’d be hard-pressed to find any organization that created a solid content calendar upfront and stuck to it 100% for the entire year. 

Things happen. New ideas arise. Executives want to switch gears. 

The best plan is a flexible plan, so it’s a good idea to bake some flexibility into your editorial calendar and your resource allocation. Your content marketing roadmap should be able to accommodate any unforeseen content requests to arise. 

Step 7: Measure, Measure, Measure

A truly strategic content marketing roadmap tracks and measures progress against the original objectives. Build in a place to track and analyze metrics so you can evaluate your content’s performance and make adjustments as needed. Consider the appropriate metrics based on your objectives: 

  • SEO – Measure keyword rankings, organic traffic, backlinks 
  • Brand awareness – Measure social clicks to your website, engagement on social media and guest post articles, new followers and connections on social media, blog post views
  • Lead generation – Measure clicks from social posts and guest posts back to your website, leads generated from gated content, conversions from content promoting gated content

Strategy is in the Details  

Your content calendar is a living, breathing thing. Details will change and need to be updated – and it’s those details that bring your calendar to life and make it truly strategic. 

Starting with a content marketing roadmap that also allows room for change is the best way to pull together an effective, strategic content marketing program. From there, measurement and making improvements based on your analysis will keep your strategy effective over time. Remember to set aside time each quarter to dig deeper into metrics and use that information to plan for the upcoming quarter. 

The initial content calendar build-out is the most time-intensive part of the process; but once you have that framework in place, you have a standardized roadmap that can be iteratively improved at each turn.

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