An editorial calendar has been commonplace in magazine journalism for decades. Stories would be planned before being assigned and final versions readied weeks in advance of publication dates. The Internet does not demand such strict deadlines but devising and even publishing an editorial calendar can prove highly beneficial for your website. An editorial calendar can include everything from paper publications to your website and blog, social network updates, and any other online real estate that you publish to. Setting a calendar and sharing it will help ensure that you meet your own goals as well as the expectations of your readers. Let’s have a look at top benefits of editorial calendar for successful content marketing:
1- Website Content
Website content, in its various guises, is all around us. It isn’t just the page content that we see when we visit business sites – it is the blog posts we read, the news we consumer, the videos we watch, and the social media streams that update on our mobile phones. As a business owner, or content publisher, producing the amount of content that is required and publishing it regularly can be a major challenge.
2- Setting Goals Early
Set your own goals before you start writing or producing images and video. Do you want greater brand exposure or more visitors to the sales pages of your website? Do you want additional Facebook followers, blog subscribers, and newsletter readers? These are all viable goals and you won’t necessarily have one single goal. Be realistic when determining whether a particular goal is short term or long term and whether it is achievable.
3- Creating Targets
When setting your goals, create tangible targets. 1 blog post a week, 5 Tweets, and 3 shared Facebook links may be a good starting target. Build up the amount of content you publish over time. As you become more experienced you will have a greater understanding of where to find information, you will get quicker as you become more experienced, and as you realize the benefits of content publishing and marketing you may be more willing to invest in outside help or in employing dedicated content creators.
4- Planning Your Calendar
Consider seasons, events, and any holidays that you will need to cover and base some of your editorial calendar around this. Leave some room for flexibility. Breaking news stories, changes in legislation, or a change in your organization may mean that it is necessary to alter or amend the editorial calendar from time to time. A more flexible calendar will allow for this to happen.
5- Publishing Your Calendar
Setting goals helps us to achieve targets and we should have short, medium, and long term goals. Studies also show that by sharing these goals we become considerably more likely to reach them. This is where publishing an editorial calendar can prove especially useful. Publish your calendar internally and a part of it externally. Not only does this make you more accountable but it encourages you to commit to your plan.
6- Tools To Help
There are a number of tools that you can use. Excel and even Word can prove viable methods of creating and managing an editorial calendar but there are both free and commercial desktop widgets, WordPress plugins, mobile phone apps, and online cloud based tools that you can use. Some may require a little adaptation but they can even be integrated with a project management tool so that you can incorporate external content publishers into the project as a whole.
7- Content Producers
Don’t be afraid to use some outside help. You are an expert in your own field but having somebody else write or create content can give your readers a fresh perspective and a different voice. Professional content producers, industry experts, and interviewees are some examples. Be creative when choosing the people that create your creative content.
Benefiting From an Editorial Calendar
Once your editorial calendar is set and published, be sure to stick to it. Some readers will subscribe in order to ensure that they receive the posts and content that you are essentially advertising. If you fail to deliver then they are likely to unsubscribe and are unlikely to convert to clients or customers. You may lose face, business, and reputation by missing your own deadlines.