You might be wondering, “Do I really need an editorial calendar?” Editorial calendars are a way to keep yourself organized, and they can help save time and effort in the long run. Building an editorial calendar is a lot less complicated than it sounds. Creating an editorial calendar should be a part of your content marketing strategy. There is also no right way to create an editorial calendar. What works best for one company may not work as well for another. To find what works best for your specific company, you will need to create and regularly maintain your editorial calendar. This article will explain what an editorial calendar is, what it’s used for, and how to create one.
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What is an Editorial Calendar or Content Calendar?
An editorial calendar (also known as a content calendar) is an organized schedule of when and where to post content. Your company creates content for various marketing platforms, whether it’s for social media, emails, or blogs, to name a few.
A big mistake made by content marketers is lack of organization for posting content. If you’re new to using a content calendar, make sure you find the best content calendar tool that meets your needs. A tool you don’t want to use is Google Calendar, as it isn’t as advanced for content calendars as some of the other tools out there. There are plenty of editorial calendar templates and examples you can use.
However, if you’re more adventurous, you can try building a content calendar for free by starting with an Excel spreadsheet. If you are less familiar with using Excel spreadsheets, you can use a content spreadsheet calendar template.
There is also more to planning a content calendar than assigning content to days and time: you have to have a strategy. Part of creating this strategy is experimenting. Your best content calendar strategy isn’t likely to happen on your first try. You’ll need to find out who your audience is, what times they’re online, and what they’re interested in. All of these components take time.
Social Media Content Calendar
A content marketing strategy your business can take advantage of outsourcing your social media content. Your social media content should be included in your content calendar. Social media professionals are able to calculate beneficial content schedules.
Outsourcing your social media content calendar can be helpful because content calendars involve a lot of planning and regular updating–something a company may not always have time for. When your business outsources your content calendar, you’ll have more time for other aspects of your company while advancing your customer audience and associations.
Planning and maintaining an editorial schedule can improve your marketing strategy. There are several tips to help your business stay on top of your editorial schedule:
Keep a Planner
Not everyone is fond of planners. However, they can be beneficial in maintaining an editorial schedule. Whether you prefer a planning app or paper copy, a planner can be a central location for all of your dates and time. If a physical planner isn’t your style, there are several content marketing planning apps out there. While keeping a planner, you should note the purposes of your editorial calendar and your goals. You might need to publish content more frequently than you initially expected. Do you need to plan content monthly? Weekly? Daily? Several times a day?
Sort Out Your Types of Posts
Your company should have an array of posts that are relevant to your company’s audience. If you manage posts, where every day or week is a different topic, then you can organize your calendar based on those days.
Plot Future Post Topics
Sorting out your post topics can help organize your seasonal and backlog posts. This is especially critical if your company has seasonal products. It’s crucial to come up with plenty of social media post ideas for your company.
Once you are familiar with your editorial schedule, you can get work done earlier. You don’t have to sit down every day and write for that day. You can write about the topic earlier. If you have specific times you post (for example, noon on Wednesdays), you can finish your post the day or week before so that you aren’t struggling to finish Wednesday’s post at 8 a.m. This leaves more time to relax, instead of time to stress.
Manage Your Time Wisely
When you have an editorial schedule, you can take control of your time and topics–you don’t have to spend a lot of time trying to come up with what to write about because the topic is already in place. If you find something interesting to write about on Monday, for Friday’s topic, you can begin to write about it, giving you more time to think and write.
Share Your Editorial Calendar Workload
Maintaining a well-constructed editorial calendar gives you the opportunity to split up the workload among co-workers. If you’re working with a team of writers or have guest posts, you can keep everyone on track by giving them all something to do. It also gives everyone a lighter load.
Coordinate Sponsor Activity
If you work with sponsors regularly, maintaining an editorial schedule can give you more time to search for more sponsors and provide them with space to post.
As you have more practice working with your editorial schedule, you will learn what works the best for your specific company and how to align your schedule with your company’s content marketing goals.
Creating an Editorial Calendar
Before settling on a specific plan for creating your editorial calendar, do your research on your content. Part of the research might involve hiring a content marketing agency.
In order to build a powerful editorial calendar, there are several things to keep in mind as you plan:
Content Marketing Objectives
Before you start anything in your business, you need to establish what your marketing and business goals are for having an editorial calendar. Once you understand your goals, you can apply them to your editorial calendar. A couple of goals you might have could include: improving your brand awareness, driving more trafficking to your business website, improving your SEO, generating and keeping new customers.
Research Possible Topics
When you’re first establishing an editorial calendar, your focus shouldn’t be on creating headlines, but, rather, coming up with topics that will best achieve your goals. Once you come up with topics, creating headlines will become easier.
Understand Your Analytics
In order to build up your content strategy, you need to understand your company’s analytics. For example, what type of content or topics generates the most views? What content generates the most traffic? If one of your goals is to improve your SEO, you need to research and understand which keywords are most efficient.
Now that you’ve done your research and planned potential topics, you can think about specific headlines. Collaborating different headlines with different people can help you come up with ideas you might not have thought of before. Keep your marketing goals in mind and think about how your chosen headlines can help you achieve those goals.
Monitor Your Results Regularly and Optimize Your Strategy
Your content marketing strategy won’t be perfect your first go around–it takes practice. Luckily, no editorial calendar is set in stone. You can constantly edit and change it as you learn what works best and what doesn’t work for your company.
Tips for Creating a Successful Editorial Calendar
There are four main tips to creating a successful editorial calendar, no matter how often you plan content:
- Open your calendar to everyone: This means that you should let everyone know where to find your content calendar and have viewing access.
- Change your calendar constantly: Your editorial calendar should change and grow as your company needs it to.
- There is not one right way to create and manage your company’s editorial calendar: There are multiple ways and templates to create a calendar. You should experiment with various approaches and modify constantly, until you find the best way that suits your company’s needs.
- Create a content repository: This gives you options as your calendar changes. You can also add ideas that you can implement later, once your content calendar is more established.
Part of creating an efficient editorial calendar is creating engaging content. Without engaging content, your editorial calendar isn’t going to matter as much. You need to interest your audience in posts so they have something to continually look forward to. The experts at SEO Design Chicago can help you with creating interesting content to capture your audience.
Need Help with Your Editorial Calendar?
A lot goes into your content marketing strategy. In order to create an engaging editorial calendar, it will take time and you will have to update it constantly. Our team of content creation experts at SEO Design Chicago can help answer any questions you might have about creating and maintaining an editorial calendar. A content marketing agency, such as SEO Design Chicago, can help you with creating your content calendar. Contact us today!