Editorial Calendar

If you work in marketing or public relations, you already know that content marketing is highly strategic. To engage your audience, you not only need to understand their needs, you need to know what motivates them, what channels are best for driving communication, and what topics best engage their attention.

A content marketing calendar allows you to outline your engagement strategy and stay on top of communications, so you never miss an opportunity to make a connection. It should be your go-to tool for planning and tracking content publication and social media posts – just like the editorial calendars used by traditional media experts and journalists.

Your content marketing calendar should not only provide you with a broad overview of your communication plan, but also provide a platform for team interaction. It’s a great place to organize ideas regarding targeted topics and future posts, as well as assign writing and tasks to team members.

When used as a strategic tool, your content marketing calendar will help you clarify and visualize your your plan of action, so you can maintain a consistent and intentional approach to branded communication. Your content marketing calendar is an excellent tool for tracking the subject, channel, and frequency of communications – helping you establish the authority, trust and reliability that builds and encourages brand loyalty.

In this day and age, it is not enough to simply publish content – a strategic approach is required to ensure that your posts and communications stand out from the masses. By utilizing a content marketing calendar, you’ll find that you are more capable of measuring and tracking the success of your branded communications. You’ll also increase employee accountability, and eliminate cross- and duplicate-posting, by encouraging more effective communication between team members.

How to Create a Content Marketing Calendar

If you already recognize the need for tracking your communications using a content marketing calendar, but aren’t sure how to get started, these tips will point you in the right direction:

  • Keep it simple. There is no need to make your editorial calendar complex – a simple spreadsheet or Google calendar will suffice, as long as it is well-planned and used consistently.
  • Identify your posting schedule. Should you post daily? Weekly? Monthly? Determine your timeframe first, and create your calendar to reflect it.
  • Block out calendar dates which might affect your publishing schedule – holidays, seasonal occurrences, or industry-specific events. You don’t want to waste effort by posting when your audience is unlikely to be paying attention.
  • Include organizational events such as conferences, trade shows, and product release dates. This will allow you to plan content around key dates and occurrences.
  • Provide space for each channel. You’ll gain more from content planning if you include all of your audience’s preferred channels. This practice will help you stagger content, identify gaps in communication, and avoid repetition.
  • Fill in content ideas. If you have current content assets, use those first. Use the calendar to map out a plan of approach. Fill gaps in with keyword-based ideas which can be expanded later.
  • Use color-coding to differentiate and track content by topic or audience.

Once you’ve created your content marketing calendar according to these guidelines, you’ll find it simple to identify topics and keywords which are currently under-represented, and channels which are not being utilized to their full potential. You’ll be able to fill in content gaps accordingly, and provide fresh, unique content which improves your SEO rankings and results.

To learn more about how you can use a content marketing calendar to organize and streamline your content please Strongpages today.