I was an editor of an engineering magazine, in print and online, for 20 years. With much of the stuff I was responsible for “putting into print” coming directly from companies like your own, we created an information chain where we both had our own roles. But nowadays you’re a publisher too. Some companies are putting as much content as a small magazine onto their websites each month, others only add something every now and then. Either way, you suddenly need to find many of the same skills as a magazine editor.
So can I give you any tips from the time when I had to come up with something new and interesting for my magazine every month (or even week)? I think so. Almost every magazine plans out its year in advance with an “editorial calendar”, and although these are as much for the benefit of advertising sales as anything else, they do ensure that all readers get served. You should have the same. If I could give one piece of advice to every marketing manager, I’d say it’s to work out a schedule (or at least a checklist) of items which you can go through during the course of the year. This will be your bedrock of content creation, which will be added to, of course, by anything new which crops up.
For example, let’s say you have ten major product lines, and decide that there are three types of article you’re comfortable with writing about them: product backgrounders, case studies and user guides. That’s 30 different pieces of content to schedule. There are many other types of content other than those three, of course: you might want to get a video produced about the product, create a proper online data sheet or send out a promotional email. Plenty of possibilities exist.
In the past, there was no point in writing something unless it was interesting enough for the press to pick up. Now you’re bypassing that outlet and publishing direct to your prospects. If you don’t have a schedule, it’s quite likely that nothing will get done. Every editor needs some inspiration.