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?
– 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
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
- 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
- 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?
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.
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