Whys and Hows of the Editorial Calendar for Content Marketing
- Sep 18, 2014
- Upasona Banerjee
Being in the hullabaloo of the content marketing industry, you must have heard this a thousand times before: to build a successful content marketing strategy, you need to think like a publisher. But how will you transform this advice into action?
Content marketing itself needs a few strategies to be successful. But if you are trying to go beyond the strategy of one content at a time and think of a bigger aspect, you need an editorial calendar. It will help you in multiple ways:
- To keep a track of the contents you have already delivered
- Ease the confusion about your upcoming content planning
- To free yourself from the mess of choosing the content topic at the last moment
Why an Editorial Calendar?
For almost all occasions and festivals, your business will need specialized content for promotion. And you can use it across a wide range of platforms. If you want to post a content on that occasion, then you need to plan it ahead. At least two months ahead.
If you want to post a content in various dimensions like video or infographics, then you or your designer needs to start working on it early. Only then you can expect the end result to be perfect as well as visually appealing. To achieve that desired perfection, you need to plan ahead. This is where an editorial calendar becomes relevant.
Plan the Topics Beforehand
The reason to maintain an editorial calendar is to help you and your team to have an idea of the route you are traveling. You, being the editor, must have heard your contributing writers complaining about lack of topic. Probably, it’s the search for topics that’s taking up majority of their time. If properly planned, that time can be utilized to generate more and better content.
Not only that. You know that you should interact with your readers who are leaving comments in your blogs, asking question about your content. You need to provide them with answers. To retain their interest and to build trust, you need to communicate with them. But you have no idea when you will do that. And no wonder, you are blaming your ever busy schedule for your time constraint.
Or worse, you have a very clear idea about re-purposing your content in social media. You know how it will help you in content marketing. But you are far from managing your time for that. You are all tangled up in the web of a content.
Here, an editorial calendar will come to your rescue. It will schedule the daily job for you and your fellow writers, thus making the process easier and faster. It will also provide you with a free space, which can be utilized for many a thing.
How to Make a Content Calendar?
I am going to talk about three easy steps that will help you make a calendar for your content marketing strategy.
#1. Identify Your Topic and Audience
Who are your target audience? What are you planning to convey to them? These are the primary questions that you need to ask when planning a content marketing strategy. Depending on these, you will need to find your topic. However, you won’t possibly produce content only having a single set of audience in your mind. You want to promote your brand across a larger audience. But, at the same time, you need to care about the fact of making your company better. That can attract a quality number of writers and employees who will contribute to your marketing.
Make Your Audience Return to You
How you will make your audience come back to your webpage or your blog? For that, you need to make sure that you answer all their queries when they are reading your content. Be the thought leader. Provoke them to ask questions and help them to find answers in your content. Once they get the feeling that you are guiding them through, they will come back.
Plan Interrelated Contents to Generate Interest
A calendar will be helpful because with it, you will be able to make a series of interrelated contents. Suppose, you are writing about buying a car. You can start a content with a topic like what should a customer look for while buying a car. After this, you can write about types of cars that can serve various interests of the customers and fit within their budget too. And then, at the next step, discuss about an automobile brand that you prefer. If your readers get the series of answers they are looking for, they will stay with you for sure.
#2. Organize Your Assets
Planning your contents? You can use a single topic across a wide range of platforms, such as blogs, articles, infographics, and so on. You can also re-purpose an already popular content on different platforms. To do that, organize your assets from the early phase.
Ask your contributing authors about what type of content they will deliver. Ask the graphic designer to make a relevant image or infographic. And then make sure they follow the deadline, which is set in the calendar from the beginning. The deadline probably is the most important thing here. What’s the use of promoting a Valentine’s Day gift through your content a day after the occasion? So, you need to post them at the right time to ensure that they are effective enough.
This is where your content marketing calendar will come in handy.
Recommended Read: Content Marketing through Social Media
#3. Publish, Promote, Interact
Once the contents are conceived at the right time, publish it. But your job is not done yet. Promote the content through various channels and at regular intervals. The attention span of people is quite limited. They tend to forget what they have seen just once. So, make your presence felt in the world of promoting brand through content. Post and re-purpose. Tweet and retweet.
Make it a habit to sit with your content team, discuss the issues, what might have gone wrong the previous month and how you can rectify them. Focus on what jobs are ahead of you and how will you develop them. Schedule them again for the next part of your calendar.
What Your Calendar should Contain?
- The content marketing calendar of your business should be focus driven. And it needs to be specific about what you are going to write on.
- It has to specify the dates of delivering, modifying, and publishing the date of the contents.
- It will contain the topics that are going to be covered, the current live topics, and what your next topic is going to be about.
- Mention the types of content, as in descriptive, image, infographics.
Once you sort this out, it will be easier for you to manage the content burden for the coming months.
Content marketing isn’t easy, true. It is tricky. A few strategies at place and a few ground rules are all you need to help take your business to the next level.
A content writer by profession, Upasona Banerjee writes for Softz Solutions. She takes interest in social media, content marketing and digital marketing. Being a blogging enthusiast, she chooses writing blogs to share her ideas and views on these areas of her interest.
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