If you are a content writer or marketer, you are probably jumping across at least 10 browser tabs, scribbling your ideas across a notepad, and have a myriad of sticky notes stuck around your desk.
If this sounds familiar to you, it’s time you bring in the power of a content editorial calendar to save the day.
A content editorial calendar is like the Marie Kondo of your entire content marketing strategy. It sounds daunting at first but it sure is worthwhile.
In this blog post, we’ll understand the ABCs of the content editorial calendar and how you can create one to streamline your content efforts.
What is a Content Editorial Calendar?
A content editorial calendar is a visual workflow of your entire content process. It helps you plan and execute content from ideation to promotion.
Your editorial calendar is where you have the entire content process laid out. It includes what content types you’ll be creating, who’ll be creating the content, what stage your content is in the production pipeline as well as the publish dates.
Here’s an example of Buffer’s editorial calendar which is built on Trello. Their calendar describes who the author of a particular assignment is, title, publish date, and currently where it is in the company’s editorial workflow.
That’s a pretty solid calendar, wouldn’t you agree?
Why Do You Need a Content Editorial Calendar?
It is not wise to wing it when it comes to content marketing. All your content marketing plans and their effectiveness are dependent on the quality and direction of the content that you publish. You could be creating and publishing amazing content every day but if these assets are not aligned to your particular goals or your strategy, then these efforts won’t add to your business’s overall growth.
We all know the effort it takes to produce content and an editorial calendar makes it a tad easier as it helps you:
- Keep your assets organized
- Plan your marketing campaigns easily
- Identify the gaps in your content and strategy
- Track and improve your publishing schedule
- Improve collaboration among team members
- Save time by planning ahead
How to Create a Content Editorial Calendar?
Now that we know the basics, let’s check out the important steps to get your content editorial calendar up and running.
1. Establish Your Goals
The first step to creating your calendar is establishing what your goals are. Start with your business goals and think about how content marketing can help you achieve them. Once that’s clear, you can put together clear marketing goals, such as:
- Driving more traffic to your website
- Improving your search engine optimization (SEO)
- Improving your brand awareness
- Generating leads and conversions
For instance, if your goal is to improve your brand awareness through thought leadership, you can ask your subject matter experts to write guest articles or you can conduct Q&A sessions with seasoned industry experts.
2. Understand Your Audience
In order to create winning content, you must understand your audience, their needs, the types of content they prefer, what social channels they visit to consume content, etc. Once you do, create content that your audience will fawn over.
You can harness the power of personas to know about your audience. To get better insights, look at your analytics, reports, or use content research tools like Buzzsumo and Social Animal. To analyze your top-performing content look into:
- What types of content generate the best response
- Which headlines were most effective
- What content types work best with your audience (Is it videos, listicles, how-to guides, eBooks, etc)
Once you have the answers, determine the type of content you can use to your advantage, like a blog post, eBook, or infographic.
3. Identify Where to Build Your Editorial Calendar
Your content editorial calendar will act as a single source of truth for your content marketing efforts. You can build it on spreadsheets, project management platforms, calendars, etc. Choose what works best for your team, after all, it is all about improving visibility.
4. Research Keywords
To improve where you rank on search engines, you must optimize your SEO effort. This is why it’s important to research keywords before-hand and document the long-tail keywords that you’re going to use in your content, especially with voice search taking over SEO. Keywords can not only help you rank better but also give you a ton of ideas for content creation. There are a number of keyword research tools like Ahrefs, Buzzsumo, UberSuggest, etc, that can help with your content research and ideation.
5. Determine Publication Frequency
You must determine the quantity of content you should create weekly or monthly and then set the frequency to publish it. Dig into your analytics for better insights and see if your current publishing schedule is engaging your audience. Based on that, increase or decrease your publishing frequency. Try to remain as consistent as possible because you don’t want to hit yourself with a case of ‘out-of-sight, out of mind’. Ultimately, it’s important to identify a schedule that fits your audience’s needs.
6. Measure Your Efforts
And like everything else in marketing, you must measure what you manage. Keep track of metrics to gauge the success of your editorial calendar based on the goals you established. For instance, if your goal was to improve brand awareness, look into metrics like social shares on published blog posts. If you published a thought leadership guest-post, check the traffic that came back to your website.
Your content marketing efforts need consistency and that’s what a content editorial calendar helps you with. Think of it as the first step and remember you don’t need to set your calendar in stone, be flexible with it and keep experimenting. With a content calendar in your corner, you’ll be able to eliminate the guesswork and reach your audience effectively.
Want to build a solid content editorial calendar? Talk to us!
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