So, you feel like you’ve nailed your brand’s tone of voice. And you’re on board with content marketing, too — you know that by creating and sharing content that’s valuable to your audience, you can draw people to your business or organisation. Ultimately, that means you’re better positioned to meet your goals.
But, where does all that content come from? Whether you’re maintaining your company’s blog and social media or producing more in-depth content to share, it’s easy to feel stuck. Or overwhelmed. Or constantly behind. Or a bit of all three.
That’s where an editorial calendar comes in. (Queue the epiphany-moment music…)
How an editorial calendar can help your organisation
With an editorial calendar, you’re less likely to find yourself scrambling at 4 pm on a Friday for a Facebook-post topic to get scheduled for the weekend. And you’re probably less likely to decide to just share another pic of a LOLcat… though we have nothing against that. (Seriously, we share plenty of cat pics around here.)
With an editorial calendar in place, you’ll be able to:
- Plan ahead (and get ahead by writing and scheduling content such as blog posts and social media posts in advance)
- Improve delegation — with content buckets determined, you can recruit the right people within your organisation to create content (again, ahead of time)
- Stay organised and save time – need we say more?
- Be more strategic – with your bread and butter content created in advance, you’ll have improved ability to pivot content when relevant, timely opportunities come up
- Engage your audience more consistently, driving better engagement over time.
Tips for building an editorial calendar
Crafting a long-term schedule for content can feel a bit daunting, so start small. Rather than tackling the entire year, start by building a schedule for the month. Then you and your team can assess what worked, what didn’t and go from there.
Your editorial calendar will tie in to your overall content marketing strategy and goals. So you should already have a clear idea of whom you’re talking to, what channels you’re using and how frequently you’re sharing content.
Then you’re ready to start determining what your actual content will be about. Here are a few different content directions to leverage as you get started:
- Your brand pillars — start with the basic foundations of your brand. Use your core messages as content buckets. For instance, if caring for the community is one of your brand pillars, then you may highlight a story on social media once a week that shows your organisation working side-by-side with people locally.
- Milestone events, celebrations, relevant holidays, conferences, etc. – does your organisation have a major anniversary coming up? Or is there a commemoration such as Breast Cancer Awareness Month that relates to what you do? Use those opportunities to come up with some timely content.
- Evergreen content – what topics are always relevant to your target audience? Brainstorm ideas based on knowledge your organisation has (that your audience needs). These are topics that you can leverage any time of year, especially when there’s a hole to fill in your editorial calendar.
Depending on your audience and the channels you’re using, you might also throw some light-hearted topics into your editorial calendar. Maybe #ThrowbackThursday gives you a great opportunity to show your brand or organisation’s history in a fun way. Or perhaps a LOLcat is exactly what your target audience needs on a Friday afternoon. Plug those content buckets into your editorial calendar too. In addition to making life easier on you since you’ll know what content is coming up, your audience will start to look forward to those regular posts too.
One more thing
An editorial calendar can make a world of difference for anyone with content-creation goals. Are you a single-person business with a blog that’s just getting off the ground? An editorial calendar can help. A non-profit organisation with a large donor base and successful content already? An editorial calendar will work for you too. Or a B2B company aiming to improve brand awareness? Yep, you guessed it — get calendaring! And if you want to be a better proof reader of your own work, then visit this blog for tips on how.