When you commit to a strong Web content strategy, you need to develop repeatable processes to consistently do your best work. One of the core tools for achieving that is the editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is exactly what it sounds like – a tool for brainstorming, planning, and scheduling blogs and other marketing-focused Web content well in advance. A simple calendar helps you organize and accelerate your digital marketing.
Some basic things tracked by a calendar include:
- Content Ideas
- Production Deadlines
- Finished Content
- Style Guide Information
In addition, it’s easy to keep track of things like story title, author, publication date, the platform the content was released on, and the keywords used for its optimization.
The Benefits of an Editorial Calendar for Digital Marketers
When prospects and customers engage with a brand, they want to know what they’re getting into. Using an editorial calendar means providing a “promised experience” they can trust.
Consistency is the key – when you develop a calendar that clearly relates to your overall content goals, it’ll be easy to see where you’re headed. And when viewers can see what you’re working on, everyone will be on the same page.
- Deeper relations with customers and coworkers;
- Consistency in promoting offers;
- A more structured approach to campaign management.
Calendars not only help you keep your team organized, but make it easier to come up with creative new ideas by understanding what material you’ve already covered.
Best Practices for Launching an Editorial Calendar
It’s easy to get started with an editorial calendar:
- Begin with a Strong Collaboration Solution: There are dozens of terrific ways to collaborate, communicate, and organize. If you’re just getting started, then most members of your team are probably familiar with Google apps: Google Calendar and Google Docs are great for launching your efforts.
- Review Your Overall Content Strategy: Before you build a calendar, have your overall content strategy firmly in mind. Who is your ideal customer? What topics, such as recent product releases or industry news, do you need to capture in upcoming content? What content formats are preferred by your viewers? Let these points guide you.
- Have a Process for Making Changes: Once the calendar is established, review it periodically to make sure it still reflects your marketing goals. Plan monthly or quarterly meetings with all stakeholders to check up on strategy, then revise the calendar – otherwise, you might run into change resistance and fail to evolve.
An editorial calendar is a versatile tool that can help companies big or small. Setup is the toughest part: Once that’s done, the convenience and quality that result will easily pay off your efforts.