Content marketing is intrinsically dependent on staying on schedule. If you want to keep your content on deadline, posting and distributing across all channels seamlessly, then you need a system for managing the operation from brainstorming to social media distribution. Here are nine essential tools to help you think up great content, organize your content, manage the content production process, and stay on schedule.
- Audience Personas – Audience personas are a great way to identify the ideal person for each piece of content you want to produce. Whether you are publishing a white paper, a case study, or a series of blog posts, audience personas can keep each piece of content focused on the actual audience you want to read it.
- Evernote – Evernote is as ubiquitous as air. You can access it from your desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. It’s great for jotting down ideas and making to-do lists. Need to brainstorm ideas for your content? Use Evernote. You can tap into it from the doctor’s office, your desk, or while taking a walk. It’s the ultimate brainstorming tool.
- Dropbox – Dropbox is the best tool for keeping up with photos, images, and other files you want to use in your content. It’s easy to organize by project. Just create a new folder. For file storage, you can’t beat it.
- WordPress – You’ll need a content management system for creating your content. Publishing a blog? I recommend WordPress. There are other systems you can substitute, but for open source, it’s as good as it gets. If you’re working on another type or project, say, an e-book or white paper, then use a simple word processing tool like Google Docs or MS Word.
- Google Calendar – For scheduling your content, you’ll need a calendar. Google calendar is free and easy to use and share with others. Use it to schedule blog posts, establish deadlines for white papers and case studies, organize your interviewing time, or for any part of the content creation process. It can be used individually or with a team.
- WordPress Editorial Calendar – If you take my suggestion and use WordPress, you can install the WordPress Editorial Calendar plugin and it allows you to schedule your blog posts from within WordPress. You can start blog posts, save them as drafts, and compose your content as you would with ordinary blogging tools. Write your posts and schedule them to publish right on time.
- MS Excel – Any spreadsheet will help you keep track of your content. I use MS Word, but you can use Google Drive or Google Sheets. Track the performance of your posts, which posts link to which other posts, keywords you use, publish dates, and other key performance indicators important to you as you progress your content marketing strategy for the long-term.
- Trello – Trello is a powerful tool that allows you to create boards and track the progress of multiple projects you have going simultaneously. It’s especially powerful if you have multiple team members working on the same pieces of content. You can do hand-offs more easily and see where each project is in its production process as each team member updates the project in real time. You can even use color codes to make organization easier.
- Hootsuite – There are several competing social media tools you can use. I like Hootsuite. Use it to post to your most important social media channels and for pre-establishing social media publishing dates and times.
There really is no right way or wrong way for staying on track with your content schedule. The key is to be organized, plan vociferously, and track everything you do. These nine tools should help you do all of that.
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