Before diving into the details of the creation of an Editorial Calendar, let’s first check the basics. What is an Editorial Calendar, and what is it all about?
An editorial calendar is also known as a publishing schedule. It is a tool that comes in handy for bloggers, groups, businesses, and publishers. It helps control through scheduling, the publication of content across the different media they use, such as newspapers, email newsletters, blogs, and social media outlets.
The needs of your team will determine the editorial calendar you would need. A few factors that will guide you on the calendar to come up with includes the frequency of publishing, the different categories of content you create, the number of people who will use the editorial, the stages your content has to go through before getting published, and the format you will use to get the calendar organized.
There are different formats of editorial, each for different purposes. The calendar App helps in basic deadline tracking. It is not great when you have more than one project.
The Kanban format is used in editorial management, helping move cards between stages.
Then there is the spreadsheet format for neat data organization. It easily pairs with calendar apps.
What Should An Editorial Calendar Include?
When you consider creating an editorial calendar, it’s critical to understand what it should entail. The contents of the calendar depending on the complexity of the content plan.
To get a quality calendar, there are several things to include:
• Show the target persona
• Include the target engagement cycle
• Name of the specific team member responsible for each task
• Show the keywords
• Include topics
• Show subtitles, even if it’s a working title to be completed later
• Include the call to action
• Show the initial date when content is due
• Include the editing date if it applies
• Include the publication date
• Include the format or rather the type of content, for example, video, text or image.
• Add the delivery channels
• Include notes- This would include reference citations, links to include, plus key talking points.
• Think tank- Ideas will keep coming for future content. Store them here, let everyone see them, and continue to contribute to them as ideas flow.
• Keep track of each and every rising opportunity. It would include trade shows, campaigns, or any company milestones.
Your content plan is not fixed, you will need to keep taking in changes from time to time. Be ready to go off-schedule whenever the need arises.
Content creation never ends, so it’s advisable to take time and celebrate the small wins!
Treat the calendar as a tool, so that it works for you.
How Do You Create An Editorial Calendar?
Creating an editorial calendar is not as complex as it would sound. See how doable this is!
1. Decide on your tools
The best way is for the content manager to combine the tools based on the needs of the team. Would you prefer to start on free tools before you try the paid ones? Such tools include Trello, Google Docs, and Excel.
Paid tools would include Asana, BrightPod, Airtable, and Monday.
2. Create your Content Backlog
This is where you lay down your ideas in a way people can view. The list should be clear and organized.
3. Develop content strategy
This is making sure your content strategy touches all bases. Determine your monthly content volumes, target clients, and the topics to cover. Then add strategic phases e.g managing your present content, as well as goal tracking.
4. Schedule your content on time
Creating content, at the last minute is not advisable. Instead, schedule it way before, a month ahead is great.
Here, Trello comes in handy to help determine the stages each content will undergo before publication.
6. Content Queue
Get a few articles set for publication. Get a team of writers to create content to publish in the next 4-6 weeks, or take a few months prior, to create the content.
7. Optimize your process
See what tools your team does not need, and the process details that need to change.
How Do You Create An Editorial Content?
Decide on the type of editorial you want and the basics to include. We discuss five steps that help create amazing editorial content:
1. Choose your topic
Editorials are based on opinion, so choose a topic that has multiple views. Since your writing will be biased to your opinion or that of the team, take note of the readers who would have a contrary opinion.
Ensure you are writing about what you are passionate about. Focus on reasons why your readers would have a contrary view.
Keep the reader focused, by making your topic-specific. Develop multiple paragraphs to support one idea.
2. Research widely
Support your content with facts. Showcase what other strong voices would say about the topic. Choose a stance that will allow room for many opinions.
3. Create an outline
An outline will keep your ideas organized and flowing. Organize the body paragraphs based on the format you choose. List your main ideas as you provide evidence for each.
Put your content down in an organized creative way. Write your intro, the body, and the conclusion.
Go through your content and do all the necessary editing.
How Do I Create An Editorial Calendar In Google Calendar?
It is critical to have a schedule of what you would be posting next week, two weeks from now, or even next month. A Google Calendar is your all-time friend for this. Below are the steps to follow:
1. Create a Google Calendar
2. Decide on your posting frequency. It could be once per week, twice a week, thrice a week, or any frequency that works for you.
3. Think through a list of blog post ideas. It will help you to never be blank when you need to create content.
4. Start plugging the post ideas into your Google Calendar.
5. Use the description box. It will help you to go from general content to more specific. The description box will help you store your ideas, resources, and thoughts which you will use in your post. This is a good place to keep the basic idea you got for the post, the main points you would want to touch base with, the list of things you would want to do before posting, and possible links.
6. Make use of the attachment option for the stuff you would need to attach.
7. Last but not least, create time to write.
How Do You Create An Editorial Calendar For Content Marketing?
To ensure the process is seamless, use the below steps:
1. Use an editorial calendar template. It will be an actionable system to help coordinate the various content marketing details. It also helps every team player to be aware of their tasks ahead of time. It helps everyone to work stress-free, avoiding the last-minute rush.
2. If you hadn’t done so, decide on your blog post categories. Create a different range of topics to handle, and do not try to be everything to everyone. Be specific and purposeful with your content.
3. Focus on keyword research, so that you drive traffic to your content.
4. Create actionable briefs for every content asset. At this point, you are already creating your editorial calendar, congratulations! For each planned topic, create a detailed brief.
5. Use other mediums to market your content. It gives room to use cross-promotional actions across different platforms. Utilize all options such as social media posts, email marketing, webinars, social ads, and lead magnets e.g., e-books.
Employing the right approach will help simplify your content marketing process significantly. When you plan well, your output will be more predictable and useful.
How To Structure An Editorial Calendar
Content marketing comes with enough moving parts, you would need to be very organized to keep everything in sync.
Steps to get an excellent editorial calendar:
1. Determine your key dates.
Your editorial calendar should include ideas from across your entire company. Keep track of all the dates when different events are taking place, both for internal and external events.
2. Think evergreen
Do not keep all your content is time-sensitive. Find a balance between time-sensitive content and evergreen material. It keeps you resourceful all year round.
3. Don’t leave out details
Avoid shorthand abbreviations. Keep everyone on the same page. Each entry should include all the people involved, and the full title of the project. Link every content that goes live, to the calendar.
4. Plan for the entire process
Show the different timelines you will spend to prepare and refine each item your team produces. The calendar will help centralize all activities around the content strategy. Ensure the initial writer’s date reflects the editor’s timeline as well. Estimate resources the designers will need.
Leave room for those changes that you may not have control over. For example, when something goes viral on social media. It gives room for the content marketing leaders to breathe, and make necessary changes.
6. Consider the reader
Keep the content within major industry topics. While at it, give the reader material that keeps them engaged and interested. Your reader determines your success.
What Is Your Social Media Strategy
The social media strategy is the plan that maximizes interactions and engagements across social media. The purpose is to achieve the company’s objective. The goal includes generating leads, enhancing brand awareness, or introducing a viral effect.
The social media strategy considers how you can make use of social media, and whether you need it.
Social media does not only keep conversations going, it also forges relationships. How you develop these relationships, and what value they add to your business, is what makes the difference.
Social media strategy defines why you want to forge those relationships. It helps define these relationships and their value.
Since relationships vary, the brand becomes a key pointer to how business is done.
Your business can align the social media strategy to different business goals. Such goals include acquiring customers, saving operation costs, gaining crowdsourcing investment, and improving knowledge management.
You need to tie social media to business goals which ensures significant benefits to the business.
Small businesses benefit greatly from social media strategy. It helps form alliances and collaborative local spaces. The collaborations increase the revenue for the SMEs, helping them to gain a competitive edge with the larger firms.
Bill Gates is quoted as saying “content is king”. This stands true today, and the power of content cannot be underestimated. But relevant, quality content is what we all should be striving for, and using an Editorial Calendar will help you achieve this.