If your content strategy is the lifeblood of your content program, the editorial meeting is the system that frames it from month to month.
When you don’t approach the editorial meeting as part of a process in your content plan, you’re missing out on an opportunity for your team to see the successes and growth of their efforts. Of course, it’s also the time to see what content misses the mark as well. Both are equally important in shaping the editorial calendar and its upcoming topics.
How do you identify the wins and losses each month? Follow the steps below:
1. Gather the Data
Monthly or even bi-weekly reports should suffice when looking at content performance. You can, of course, do this manually by gathering the relevant data through your Google Analytics dashboard and native social channels. However, to save time – we’d recommend an automated solution like our content intelligence solution for custom reports, as well as a social media analytics tool to glean complete insights.
2. Review the Metrics
Depending on how much content you’re publishing, identifying the top five best performing pieces and the top five worst performing pieces should give you an indication of what’s working and what isn’t. How do you identify these? Depending on the KPIs of your content program, you’ll have to review the metrics that make the most sense. For our internal program at PowerPost, this means looking at goal completions, organic search results, social shares, and time on site.
3. Look for Outliers
When you’re using multiple metrics to identify a successful or unsuccessful piece of content, you have to look at multiple data points and weigh each one based on importance. For example, a post that got high social shares but low goal completions or time on site wouldn’t be considered a ‘winner’ for our team. A piece with high goal completions and low time on site would warrant a closer look at the CTAs and how we can duplicate them elsewhere. Too much time on site with no click-throughs to other pages probably means the subject matter was too difficult to understand or not properly explained. Finding these outliers with poor or exceptional performance will lead to the removal of a topic, new graphic ideas, further expansion of a topic, and much more.
4. Send Your Reports to the Team
Another set of eyes may catch something you missed, or a team member might interpret the data in a way you didn’t. Send your findings and the reports ahead of the editorial meeting so all parties can be prepared for the discussion.
5. Set the Agenda
Reviewing last month’s metrics is just one part of the editorial meeting. Have an agenda with standing items such as reporting, new asset development, upcoming topics and themes, discussion of new marketing initiatives, etc., but always leave time at the end to open it up to new ideas or potential questions.
Let the brainstorm begin! Where did things go wrong? Where did you get it right? What can be applied to future months? Keep it structured, but free-flowing so as not to stifle any creativity. Content atomization should be at the forefront of the brainstorming here, as you’ll want to build off the top pieces and think of new ways to expand on or reiterate them.
7. Plan and Assign
Your team should come out of the editorial meeting with a good handle on what upcoming content will be about, as well as a sense of the other initiatives your top-performing content will be formed into through content atomization. From there, your department lead should have the information needed to start new workflows for assignments and deadlines to the graphic designers, editors, writers, and other staff.
With the upcoming content plan in place, it’s time to get to work! Your already-established processes should take it from here.
Once you’ve got the steps to the data-driven editorial meeting down, the meeting practically runs itself! Analyzing the historical data is the most critical part, but then you let your team do what it does best: offer ideas and create content!
Not sure your team is running quite so efficiently? You might be making one of these mistakes.
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