I used to plan what I was going to write to avoid duplication but when I come to think of it, it’s really not planning at all. Choosing when to post articles and through which channels is as important as what topics you are going to write about. I realised that content and work flow management is harder without a proper system in place. That’s why I came to appreciate the importance of an editorial calendar.
How Necessary is an Editorial Calendar for Content Creation and Planning?
An editorial calendar can come in handy for many things that you have to organise like:
- Schedules of weekly or monthly posts
- Schedules of releases or deployment of other content like: videos, infographics and presentations
- Schedules and management of social media posts
- Schedules of events, conferences and activities that you keep track of for content generation
What Should You Include in an Editorial Calendar
Basically, we want the content to remain fresh, relevant, and we want it to have a wide reach. Your editorial calendars can be different but there are elements that should not be missed if you are after epic content planning, like the following:
- Details of the Topic
- Who will be the contributor or author
- How do you plan to promote it
- When and where you plan to publish or promote it
- Indicators to measure its success
Benefits of an Editorial Calendar
More than organising, of course, an editorial calendar can help in many other ways. Some of its benefits include:
1. Improvement to Over-all Content Creation
Unless you are a prolific writer who can craft high quality content in a snap, I would suggest that you plan ahead with your content. Hastily written content often results in poor sentence construction, irrelevant or missing information and poor organisation and quality. So in order to avoid these mistakes, a content calendar must become part of your content planning routine.
Aside from the fact that you can avoid poor quality content, you can also research keywords in advance. Relevant keywords can go a long way. Optimising your content to include proper keywords will definitely help for search engine indexing and getting the right kind of audience for your website or blog.
Moreover, you can, most likely, prepare for evergreen content. Evergreen content is known to last longer in circulation and tends to get more eyeballs overtime.
2. Allows for More Flexibility
For some people editorial calendars can be constricting because they follow it blindly. Editorial calendars can be a positive tool for creating a flexible content workflow.
Plans can change. Flash or trending news in your industry may come about and you need to write about it. If you have an editorial calendar, it is easier to shuffle topics around because you already have a bird’s eye view of the topics and content you plan to write.
3. Provides for Proper Management of Topics for Multiple Contributors
If your website or blog has multiple contributors and you post several articles in a day, having an editorial calendar can help even out the topics you cover. It also prevents duplicity of topics.
4. Alignment of Topics with Business Activities
If your business or company has new products or service to launch, having an editorial calendar will greatly help in your marketing efforts. Your topics can revolve around your activities in support of or to promote them. You can also write and distribute them in advance and have similar topics written ahead, so that when event arrives you don’t scramble just to get articles written and published.
5. Creates Consistency
Consistency is important for blogs and websites to get noticed. If you want to build loyal followers, aside from creating relevant content, you must follow a consistent posting schedule. Posting regularly and consistently is important to keep your followers engaged.
Where You can Download Editorial Calendars
CMI has a spreadsheet that they are giving away for free to schedule your blog posts, organise content ideas and to keep track of existing content. The CMI editorial calendar is detailed to a great extent and provides both a spreadsheet for overview of scheduled content and a schedule that provides specific details like topics, author, category, call to action, status, keywords and tags.
Another editorial calendar template that you can use for your blog is from My Marketing Café. This is a pre-filled calendar which includes extensive elements including keywords, call to action, promotion channels and person in-charge of posting/uploading.
Brandeo also has an editorial calendar that you can use for your annual marketing plan. Although this is specific to marketing campaigns, you can use the same format in content marketing, applying each categories provided in the template. It includes a pre-filled example so that you will know how to fill it in and properly use the template.
Do you use editorial calendars for your marketing plans? Do you know of any editorial calendar that can greatly enhance a content marketing campaign? We would like to add them to our list.
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