With 92% of organizations believing that content is an asset to their business, content creation is at the forefront of many marketing strategies. With so much content being created on a regular basis, having an editorial calendar is essential to stay organized and keep track of what needs to be created and published online.
If you’re looking to learn more about what it takes to manage an editorial calendar, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll discuss the ins and outs of an editorial calendar – how to manage one and tips for keeping your content fresh and relevant.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is a detailed schedule that is put together to lay out content that needs to be created (or has already been created) and published for a blog, social media or other platforms.
A good editorial calendar will show what content needs to be created, when it will be posted, who will create it and on what platform it will be shared (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, blog, etc.).
Marketing teams create editorial calendars as a way to organize their content and to establish ownership in order to maintain a sense of accountability for the content that is to be developed.
There are many different ways in which an editorial calendar can be created and managed. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
How to Manage an Editorial Calendar
1. Discuss what types of content you’d like to create.
When exploring topics and mediums, consider your audience and what it is they like. There are many different tactics to help you with the brainstorming process (see our list of ideas below) but when managing your editorial calendar you will need to consider what you are hoping to create overall.
Will you be posting blog articles? Creating social media posts? Would you like these to be educational? Funny? Discuss this with your team so everyone has a general sense of what your content should look and feel like.
2. Decide who will be responsible for what.
It’s always best to have an expert or someone familiar with a topic to be the one creating content about it. Assign roles based on expertise and knowledge i.e. the marketing guy should write the marketing articles. Make sure you cover who will be responsible for creating the content, as well as editing and posting it.
3. Decide on a schedule.
Come up with a plan as to how often content will be posted. Be sure to consider what is actually possible for your organization, as you want to be consistent with your planned schedule. Assign due dates so that you can ensure your content will be ready when it’s needed.
Keep in mind, setting a publishing schedule doesn’t mean your content is set in stone.
Leave some room for flexibility so that you can include timely material and current events when they occur.
4. Decide how you’ll manage your calendar.
There are many ways you can manage an editorial calendar. A simple excel spreadsheet will work or you can adopt one of the many available tools for editorial calendar management.
Tools can be a great help with the organization of your calendar and accountability, ensuring that everyone stays on top of their task.
Some common editorial calendar tools include:
Now that these important management considerations have been made, you can move on to the most exciting part of creating an editorial calendar – the content creation. You’ll probably have an abundance of ideas come to you right off the bat but how do you make sure you keep your content interesting, fresh and relevant down the line? Here are some tips!
Tips for Creating a Fresh and Relevant Editorial Calendar
1. Brainstorm with your team.
Having a discussion with your team can be very helpful for creating new, fresh ideas – different perspectives are always great to have! A monthly content meeting with your creative team will provide you with inspiration and set a schedule for the rest of the month.
2. Learn about your audience.
What do your customers like? What needs, wants and problems do they face that your product or service can address? What are common questions they have about your product or service? Learn more about your audience by doing some research online (e.g. using social media to see what content they interact with most) or by asking them!
3. Invite guest bloggers and influencers to participate.
Outside sources like guest bloggers and influencers offer a fresh perspective that can help to keep your content relevant and interesting. Additionally, featuring guests in your content is a good avenue for link building and driving organic traffic towards your site.
4. Repurpose your content.
Review your previous content to find opportunities to repurpose. What content has been the most successful? Can you spin that content into something new and fresh? Reworking old content into something new and exciting can be a great way to save time while also developing fresh content.
5. Talk to your sales and customer service representatives.
Your salespersons and customer service representatives are on the front lines dealing with clients and customers. They’re knowledgeable about the audience and what they need and want to know.
What questions and comments do they most often get out in the field? Gather this information for a wealth of topics and content ideas for blog posts and social media!
6. Check out your competition.
Take a peek at your competition’s best performing material and the topics they cover. This will provide content ideas that are sure to be a hit with your audience!
Have a look at other, top performing content such as blog posts and articles to get a feel for what works and what doesn’t. Reiterate on the positives and cut the fat on the negatives to create even more engaging content that outclasses the competition.
Key Takeaways on Editorial Calendars
An editorial calendar is a great way to keep your content organized, relevant and interesting and is a must-have for any content marketer.
In order to effectively manage an editorial calendar, make sure to:
- Discuss what types of content will be created e.g. blog articles, social media posts
- Decide who will be responsible for creating, editing and posting content
- Decide how often you will share new content
- Decide how you’ll manage your calendar e.g. an excel spreadsheet, formal calendar tool
Keep an eye on your content to see what works and what doesn’t and adjust accordingly. Gather outside perspectives whenever you can and you’re sure to be on track for creating an awesome content marketing strategy that is driven by a well-managed and highly relevant editorial calendar.