With the demand of producing a blog, a newsletter and updating your business social media accounts, you need an editorial calendar.
This tool will help you get organized, have control and never wonder “what will I write about?”.
With an editorial calendar, you’ll know what to post when, what to say and have the satisfaction knowing that your content is aligned with your company goals.
Like its name suggests, the editorial calendar is borrowed from the publishing world. Ever wonder how your favourite newspaper or magazine manages to hit the themes of the day just in time? They plan for it. They plan up to a year in advance. Each of the 12 months are sectioned into themes and sub-themes depending on what fits well for the publication and the readership.
Let’s take an example of a monthly magazine. Each month has a theme that is appropriate to the reader’s activities and the type of business being promoted. Fashion magazines always promote different styles of clothing depending on the month and the weather typical of that month.
Business magazines focus on industry awards, trade shows, year-end results, topical news stories affecting the industries the magazine covers and goals for each new quarter.
An editorial calendar in the marketing world is often also called a content calendar.
Much the same way the magazine publishers in the example would use the editorial calendar, marketing departments can use it to plan ahead for blog topics, newsletter themes and what to focus on for their social posts.
With each month (or week, depending on your company’s marketing plans) allocated for a specific topic, this will make planning and research so much easier.
For example, it is June as this blog is written. Our content calendar for October is scheduled to be about marketing technology. Knowing that, I can start my research for guest posts, interviews or a top 5 list based on that topic. I’m curating content well in advance of the topic deadline. This takes care of me wondering “what to write” as well keeps me alert to the different angles we could write about for that month’s topic.
The content calendar should be planned out in advance. If you can do it, plan the full year. If that is too ambitious, start with just the next quarter. The next three months. Get a feel for how it is to plan in advance and then execute your content creation against it.
Know that you can uses the content calendar as a flexible guide. If something in your industry or business becomes big news and is important to write about – do it. Just shuffle that month’s theme to the next month.
To be honest, starting to use an editorial calendar will likely feel a bit restrictive at first. However, it will free up a lot of time, and it will help you focus.
You’ll find you may think more strategically about your business offering (what should we focus on next quarter to write for our blog that we also sell a lot of in that quarter…) and how to tie that to the content you produce for your blog, newsletter and social media updates.
Then you’ll start to see how your content creation can help you align with and achieve your business goals. This is an example of how marketing can support your business objectives.
New Initiatives Marketing helps companies plan for and get more mileage out of the content they produce. Contact us with your questions about content, editorial calendars and how marketing can help achieve your business goals.