Written By: Marissa Luznar, VP of Client Services

When executing things like blog posts, social media posts, press releases, videos, and more, the biggest and most successful names in business don’t do anything off the cuff. When establishing an online presence in the age of scroll culture, where people only dedicate 5 or 10 seconds of their time to any one post, you must be consistent and engaging. An editorial calendar allows you to step back and ask “Are we reaching all of our different target audiences? Are we reflecting our brand? What are the gaps that we need to fill?” 

 

Once you begin using it, you will quickly learn why an editorial calendar is essential. An editorial calendar allows you to plan ahead and avoid playing catch up. It allows you to strategize what you will create and when you will release it several months in advance. This will give your business a better opportunity to accomplish long-term goals and see substantial growth.

Stage 1: Where Do You Want To End Up?

“If you don’t know where you are going, any road will get you there.”

– Lewis Carroll

 

Before you can jump into creating or posting any content, you must first establish your content marketing objectives. This stage of planning is where you set your goals. These content marketing objectives can be things like:

  • increase website traffic
  • heighten brand awareness
  • generate new leads 
  • attract new clients or customers

Stage 2: Research, Research, Research

After these goals are established, the nitty-gritty research can begin. Learn who your targets are and what content they will find valuable. Conduct a competitive analysis to learn what others are doing right in your industry and to establish best practices. Consider your team size and the resources that you have to take on some of these more technical or time-consuming content pieces. Brainstorm what kind of content you want to create. Once content is decided upon, clearly assign tasks to different employees. All goals should be realistic and achievable. 

If you are looking to improve your company or client’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization), it will be essential to establish a list of relevant and strategic keywords during this stage to include in your content. Doing this will organically move your client or company up in online search results for those keywords, saving you money that you may have ended up having to spend on advertising.

Stage 3: Formatting the Calendar

There is no one right way to create a calendar, and choosing the most effective formatting may be dependent on how long in advance content is being planned or what timetables or specific occasions content is being planned around. Traits of an effective editorial calendar often include:

  • Thematic topics
  • Important dates (Events, holidays, etc.)
  • Timeframes and deadlines for production of content
  • Post frequency
  • Chosen channels (Social media platforms, website, blog, etc.) 
  • Clear and consistent formatting
  • Clearly written timetables
  • Color-coding (For assigning tasks or differentiating content platforms)
  • Ample room to add or edit content

Perhaps the most crucial question to consider during this stage is this: How will each piece of content in this editorial calendar help us achieve our overarching goals? 

Stage 4: Timing Is Key

You didn’t think you were done after Stage 4, did you? An editorial calendar will never truly be set in stone. By closely monitoring your content’s results you can make adjustments accordingly to optimize your calendar, and ultimately your content marketing strategy. A few months into the campaign is a good time to assess the editorial calendar’s effectiveness to ask yourself and your team:

  • Are we making significant progress toward our marketing objectives?
  • Are we creating valuable content that is consistent and on brand? 
  • What content receives the most engagement?
  • Are we reaching our target audiences? 
  • Did we consistently meet deadlines and adhere to post frequency?
  • What could we be doing better? 
  • Overall, did we save stress, time, and labor we would’ve otherwise expended without the editorial calendar?

In Conclusion…

If done right, an editorial calendar can be your best friend in navigating the worlds of content marketing and social media. It can save you time, money and stress by focusing you and your team on a set of goals, while providing you with a map of how to achieve them. If social media and content marketing have overwhelmed you in the past, look no further than the editorial calendar to ease your troubles. 

Start Planning Today

Contact Premo’s team of content marketing experts today to  begin creating your editorial calendar.

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