Idea Management for Content Marketers

If you’ve been a content marketer for any length of time, odds are you’ve had the quintessential content nightmare: an empty content calendar. Whether you’re setting up a new editorial calendar or managing a content marketing calendar that’s been running for years, it’s on you to fill those publishing slots with content that will engage your target audience in alignment with your marketing objectives. And to fill those slots, you’ll need a boatload of good ideas.

Catching More Content Ideas

The sources of those content ideas are everywhere and anywhere. And, according to research, your best ideas are often your last ideas. Some content you schedule will be obvious and aligned with recurring events you can identify long in advance, such as a year-end recap or a company anniversary. Others will be based on your organization’s business cadence, such as product and service announcements and company events.

Brainstorm sessions can be valuable, as employees typically don’t have time blocked in their calendar for creative thinking. But a productive brainstorm session is an art unto itself.

Oftentimes the best ideas are not so linear, and they often show up when you least expect it: in the shower, walking the dog, or even in the middle of the night. It’s not uncommon to find those ideas strewn across the organization on sticky notes, whiteboards, email threads, messaging apps, and a host of other ratholes where they can be hard to find when you need them. The random and unpredictable nature of ideation is one reason why it’s important to have a handy place to capture those ideas to later review, share, and evaluate. Idea management software provides a centralized location for this very purpose.

From Chaos to Creative Execution

No matter what themes and topics you pursue, planning the content you’ll create is an invaluable process for managing your content team and keeping management in the loop, according to Michelle Linn of the Content Marketing Institute. “Regardless of where you are in your content marketing efforts, it’s important to have an editorial calendar to keep your content consistent and relevant. It also helps keep your marketing team on the same page and is a great reference for your management,” says Linn.

If you have a way to manage the flow of content ideas, it can transform how you populate your content calendar from a chaotic scramble to an efficient and strategic process. Software that helps you to collect, evaluate, prioritize, and track content ideas is key to managing them. You can set up the collection so that you can easily enter ideas from a variety of sources such as email, Slack, Microsoft Teams, or web forms, or even on the go via mobile, so that no matter when inspiration strikes you can collect and store those ideas. This allows your content team to add ideas with ease, but also extends that opportunity across your organization. With all your content ideas in one place, you can evaluate them against your criteria to prioritize the best ideas and keep a backlog of other ideas for the future.

Ensuring the Best Content Idea Wins

Whether you’re pitching your manager, the CEO, or a cross functional stakeholder, the ability to defend your ideas strategically is key to getting them approved. Centralizing where you store your content ideas will allow you to compare them to each other, gauge alignment with your content strategy, and assess the performance of previously published content by topic, type, and other attributes. Such a systematic approach to managing content ideas can empower you to identify the best ideas and build a solid case for their approval.

Optimizing Your Content Performance

Once approved, integrations with platforms such as Asana, Jira, Airtable, and Monday.com, enable you to immediately assign those ideas to content creators. Plus, you can track content performance with apps such as Google Analytics, so you can see key content insights such as the optimal video run time or ideal blog post length, assess the themes and topics that resonate with your audience, and discern the days and times that are best for publishing.

By adopting a strategic and holistic approach to tracking, evaluating, and managing your content ideas, you’ll position your team to select the best content to fill the slots on your calendar, and ensure your content marketing program adds maximum value to your organization.

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