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5 Steps to ContentCal Mastery: Step 5 - Creating your 'Content Flywheel’

Sophie Thompson
5th October 2020

Welcome back to our five-part journey to ContentCal mastery. In our four previous guides of the series, we covered:

This is our fifth and final guide in the series and by the time you reach the end, you should have a thorough understanding of how to use ContentCal to its full potential. Not only that, but you’ll also have the perfect process in place to maximize the power that’s inherent in social media.

It’s here that we’re going to focus on contribution and collaboration - that is, the contribution of content ideas by collaborating with the team as a whole - as well as how this can easily be put into place within the ContentCal platform.

The importance of contribution and collaboration

Social media and content marketing perform best when they work together, and what’s often missing from many businesses’ strategy is the contribution of ideas around what content to share with their audience. All too often, the social media campaign is kept in a silo within the business, where one person is responsible for putting together all of the content ideas as well as defining the strategy.

In reality, the best ideas come from across the business, utilizing input from sales and marketing teams, customer service and management. Everyone has a valuable contribution when it comes to social media content, based on their different areas of expertise and experiences.

The ContentCal platform is a great space to facilitate this type of team collaboration and to create a funnel of content that drives the strategy, through creating a system and process that allows your wider employee base to contribute content ideas. There are a number of ways in which you can set up ContentCal to do this, all of which are based in the Content Hub.

Contribute ideas directly to the content hub

The content hub is the go-to place for any and all ideas that team members want to put in. Here, everyone can collaborate within one big melting pot, ready for you to curate all of those ideas and build your content calendar plan out (which you might remember from the first of our five steps to ContentCal mastery).

This is where anyone within your team, with access to ContentCal, has the ability to contribute content, simply by clicking the ‘add content’ button in the top right-hand corner.

It could be a link to an article they found, an engaging image or a simple text-based idea from their own thoughts. Whatever it is, they simply need to click the ‘add’ button and include a few details of the idea or contribution when the pop-up box appears. For more detail, they can even assign categories to their contribution using the category tags section, before saving.

How to add content to the content library

We’ve made contributing even easier with the web clipper extension

Contributions can be made even more quickly and conveniently when using the ContentCal web clipper, which is a Google Chrome extension. Once installed, you have the ability to add anything on the web you find useful for your business to repost or add some unique commentary to.

Just press the extension shortcut before choosing which calendar and channel it’s relevant for, adding category tags and hitting ‘add to library’. That content will then be saved to your content hub ready for you to use at a later date. Again, this is available for everyone who is using ContentCal, so long as they’ve installed the Chrome extension.

How to use the web clipper

The web clipper is also available as a mobile app, which is perfect for those surprising moments when you read something or think of a genius idea when out and about. You’re able to save interesting content to your library, by using the share pane on your device (iOS or Android) and clicking the share to ContentCal option.

This works not just for articles but for any tweets that you think would be really useful, anything you find on Facebook, or any chunk of text that you want to copy and paste to save to the library for later use. For example, if you receive an email that sparks an idea for a piece of content, you can easily add that to your library as a contribution.

Here at ContentCal, we want to make sure a good idea isn’t lost before it’s even started, by providing you with as much support as possible to avoid any ideas slipping away.

Use integrations to minimise disruption

Successful contribution and team collaboration directly through the content hub depends on your team actively using ContentCal or one of its products, which we understand isn’t always convenient. What you don’t want to do is force your employee base to change their existing behaviours and the systems they’re already using. Despite how meaningful collaboration is, behaviour remains one of the hardest things to change within business and marketing in general - so here’s what you can do instead.

Use the integrations that exist within ContentCal to begin connecting the platform to other systems that your team already uses, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams. You can easily set up an integration in ContentCal by clicking ‘integrations’ in the navigation menu. We utilise a free-to-use third-party tool called Zapier, which allows you to quickly build the integration you want.

Social media integrations

By making your way through a number of steps, you’re able to define how exactly you want that integration to work.

Example 1 - An integration which allows complete collaboration

If you use Slack as your team’s main communication channel, it can be useful to allow some flexibility as to how team members are able to submit their ideas. With Zapier, you can create a separate channel called ‘content ideas’, which could act as a space for everyone to simply throw in their ideas, quickly and conveniently.

This could prove more effective than, as we mentioned earlier, trying to force a new way of working among team members. If your team is already using Slack day in, day out, this method creates the slightest of additions to their existing routine. Any individual messages that a team member puts into this Slack channel will automatically be brought through to your content hub, thanks to the integration.

Example 2 - An integration which allows for your curation

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a process which allows you a little more curation, you can set up an integration in a slightly different way.

If we take Slack again as the integrated channel, you’re able to set up the integration in a way that only sends content ideas to the hub when you actively save a message of interest, as opposed to setting up the dedicated channel like before. Let’s say someone has sent you a Slack message with a link to a post that you think could be really useful, you can simply click the save button, as seen in the screenshot below. This will deliver the content within that message directly to your content hub in ContentCal.

Social integrations using contentcal

Slack is just one of the tools that’s available as an integration with ContentCal. In fact, there are 2,000 integrations available on ContentCal, all made possible through Zapier. That means that if you don’t currently use Slack or Microsoft Teams (whose functionality works exactly the same way as Slack), you’re more than likely to find a communication tool that you do use and that’s critical to your processes, within our integrations feature.

Integrations are so easy to set up and in no time at all, you’ll be able to leverage the input of your wider employee base, to create the perfect content marketing funnel with ideas from numerous different sources. Whether that’s a link, something you found on your mobile, something that’s been added directly to ContentCal or something that’s been added to Slack, for example.

Try out a new collaborative way of working

Our system allows you to quickly and conveniently fill your library with a whole host of amazing ideas from various sources which you have the ability to search, curate and create your perfect content marketing plan.

So, there you have it - the five steps to ContentCal mastery and the five steps of a content marketing flywheel. If you have any questions at all, we’re always here and happy to help.

If you want to put your new knowledge to the test, sign up for FREE to our brand new ContentCal Academy - the ultimate learning space with courses that cover all aspects of digital marketing.

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