An editorial calendar is great. It’s definitely one of a content marketer’s most useful tools http://focalpoint.co/5-great-reasons-to-set-up-an-editorial-content-calendar. But before you can start filling out your editorial calendar for social media, tying it to your over-arching marketing themes, you’ll need some content ideas.
The good news is that this can be a whole lot of fun. You can either brainstorm on your own or better, with your team. Team not particularly filled with creative types? No worries. As long as they know the products and your customers inside and out, they will be just fine at this.
Schedule a team brainstorm
• Gather your marketing stakeholders for a brainstorming session. Include those from marketing as well as SMEs (subject matter experts) from other departments.
• Use analytics. Determine what annual or special occurrences are important for your audience and determine how far in advance that audience might be interested in that information.
• To make sure your brainstorming session will be productive, structure it with an agenda. (We find it helpful to send out our meeting agenda in advance. Some folks find it easy to brainstorm on the spot; others prefer to let ideas percolate.)
• Begin by walking everyone attending through your editorial calendar, paying attention to seasonal dates, product introductions and key cycles for your business.
• Dedicate 10 or 15 minutes to brainstorm content for each calendar section, period, or cycle.
• Make sure there’s a place to record ideas where everyone can see them (whiteboard, sticky notes, or a live working document projected in the meeting room).
• Good rule: There are no bad ideas. Seemingly odd, funny or off-beat ideas are great vehicles from which to spin off truly great ideas!
• Once everyone has shared, group together similar ideas.
• Create a dedicated place to store your ideas (no matter how half-baked they are!) You never know when you can use them – or in what ways.
• Finally, pare down to the best ideas, then move ahead.
• See which story and or media ideas work well with others and pair them up.
• Assign teams or individuals to complete various concepts and ideas during each cycle.
The more you and your organization stays up-to-date with publications in your industry, general news, and the topics that your customers most care about, the better your ideas and spin-off ideas.