If your content marketing resolutions include “improved consistency” and “better organization,” a well-crafted editorial calendar might be just the tool you need. While each editorial calendar is unique, experts recommend including several of the key features listed below to reap maximum benefit.
Let’s explore primary components of an effective editorial calendar and discuss how each factor can help propel your content marketing success.
- Calendar format. Moving your content ideas from list to calendar format can help reveal gaps in publication cadence and opportunities to tie in timely topics. If your company’s senior researcher is speaking at an industry event on Feb. 1, for example, your marketing team will know in advance and can plan to publish a blog post summarizing the key points on Feb. 5.
- Organized workflow. Know who is “holding the pen” at any given moment, who’s available to author a new post tomorrow and if you have any design resources available next week. This also helps your team see what’s coming down the pike and plan accordingly. If Jane is the final approver on all content, for example, she’ll appreciate knowing that four pieces are in the late stages of editing and will likely land on her desk in the coming days.
- Centralized idea queue. At last, you can confidently answer, “When do we need to brainstorm again?” An editorial calendar can serve as your hub for approved, on-deck and back-burner ideas, so you’ll always know if your pipeline is running dry.
- Audience targeting. Does your content target specific audience segments according to your business goals or does it skew toward one customer type? Organizing your content ideas by audience can also expose the need for better-defined personas and trigger a healthy conversation about marketing goals.
- Social media plans. Show your social media tactics some love by sketching out when posts will go live, what they’ll say and which platforms you’ll target. If you’re putting dollars behind your social media posts, an editorial calendar is also a great place to organize and track promotional campaigns.
- SEO efforts. Take your SEO conversations from “what if” and “we should” to “here’s how we’re making it happen.” Track important keywords and make sure you optimize new URLs, headers and images.
Do you use an editorial calendar? How has it helped your marketing efforts? Let us know in the comments below.