Happy Tuesday, folks! As you may already know, on Tuesdays we like to talk about tips of the trade – to share our wealth of knowledge and help other businesses succeed. We love today’s topic because it is something that we utilize here at The Storyteller Agency on a regular basis and our clients reap benefits of daily. Let’s talk about editorial calendars – how to create one and why your company needs one. If your company is developing and/or implementing a content marketing strategy, utilizing an editorial calendar can be a total game-changer.
The Content before the Calendar
An editorial calendar is like your content marketing strategy’s dream come true – it’s the bread to its butter. It allows you to plug in and visualize your content marketing strategy for the entire month and allows you to organize all of your thoughts and ideas. Speaking of organizing your thoughts and ideas - that is the first step to creating your calendar. Ask yourself these questions before diving in to creating your calendar.
1. Who am I creating content for?
Discovering your target audience is a large part of developing a plan for your editorial calendar. You have to figure out who your company is trying to reach and which platforms are best for reaching them.
2. What is the purpose of my content?
Are you looking to generate more leads? Do you want to drive more traffic to your website? Promote an event? This is where you get into determining the goals of your content. In order to create an editorial calendar you must first figure out what content you want to publish, where you want to publish it and how often it should be published across each individual platform.
3. Who is in charge of publishing your content?
If there is one designated person in charge of creating the editorial calendar and publishing its contents, that definitely simplifies things. However, some companies require multiple hands on deck, and that will need to be incorporated into the design of your calendar in order to keep things organized.
Creating Your Editorial Calendar
Now that you have a better idea of the purpose of your content, which platforms your company intends to utilize and the audience that your company is trying to reach – it’s time to make the magic happen and organize all of that information into one place!
1. Choose a Template
First things first, you will need to choose a template for your editorial calendar. Google Docs and Microsoft Excel are both good tools to use and are user friendly for the average techy.
2. Include the Key Elements
The content that you include in your editorial calendar will depend on your company’s specific goals and marketing strategy. However, there are some basic key elements to be included in any given calendar.
· The date that the content will be published
· The title or topic of each content piece
· The author of the content – if applicable
· The social channels or platforms where your content will be published
· Key words, meta-data and topic categories
· Calls to Action
3. Plug in Your Content
Depending on how your company is choosing to utilize its calendar, you can be as specific as you want when plugging in your content. The more specific you are with plugging in your content, the easier it will be to transfer and publish across your social channels.
5 Benefits of an Editorial Calendar
So, we’ve talked about developing a strategy for your calendar and how to create one – now let’s talk about how your company can benefit from utilizing an editorial calendar.
1. Consistent Blogging and/or Publishing
Consistency is key when it comes to content marketing and consistency requires planning ahead. An editorial calendar will allow you to plan ahead and stay consistent with your blogging and publishing efforts.
2. Focus Your Content Marketing Efforts
An editorial calendar allows you to micro-manage the focus of your content marketing efforts down to a specific month, week or day.
3. Balance Your Content
Your editorial calendar will allow you to keep track of the content that you have published in past months and that you plan to publish in the future. This will allow you to keep your content topics balanced to avoid pumping your audience full of the same content over and over.
4. Forward Planning Relieves Stress
We all know that planning ahead makes life a lot easier – it’s just a matter of doing it. Having your content marketing strategy planned out a month in advance will relieve the stress of providing your audience with quality content on a regular basis.
5. Take a Good Look at the Big Picture
One of the best things about an editorial calendar is the ability to visualize the big picture of your content marketing strategy all in one place, allowing your company to see what is working and what isn’t.
Is your company reaping the benefits of an editorial calendar? Reach out to us at The Storyteller Agency. Call us at 850.267.0931 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you develop a content marketing strategy and put that plan into action - utilizing a creative and well-thought out editorial calendar, of course!