What is an editorial calendar?

What is an editorial calendar?

When you start publishing – whether through blogs, social media, or a company website – it can be tempting to simply open up and push out the content piece by piece as it comes to hand.

However planning is essential to ensure your publishing efforts are effective, measurable and sustainable.

Editorial calendars are vital in solving this publishing puzzle.

They are the planning tool to use in linking your business and brand strategy with the day to day work of development and implementation.

They map out the content your business will share and distribute over the coming days, weeks and months.

Before you create your editorial calendar, you need to know the audience your company is targeting. Check your strategy and work with your target audiences in mind.

It is essential to understand your goals in publishing content and to set some clear targets – would you like a 20% increase in product sales? Or would you like 20% more people to sign up to your newsletter?

Once this is agreed, it’s time to get started. Here are four important tasks which aid in assessing and placing your content to create a clear pattern – whether it is writing, audio or visual storytelling; stored or live access.

1. Choose which platforms you should use

Will this content be housed on a blog? On your company website? Or, will you use a blog for less formal posts and your company website for the core factual information?

Will you be using social media? If so, which platforms will you use? There are dozens of options out there: Which are most appropriate to your audience?

2. Brainstorm content ideas

Think of the questions your audience will ask about your product or service? Draw on your market research, and for more insights ask your colleagues who speak or communicate with your customers and stakeholders.

Try to answer these questions through content including ‘top five tips’ or a ‘how-to’ posts.

How do you want your social media platforms to be used? Are there significant dates or events coming up that will affect your business? Make sure to let your followers know through social media updates.

Would you like to connect with your audience on a more personal level? Perhaps your colleagues could submit ideas for content that will help your audience relate to them. Over the past months, here at contentgroup we have written blogs about our favourite brands.

3. Allocate staff to manage the company’s publishing

How will the editorial calendar be run? Here at contentgroup all our staff contribute to creating weekly blogs which we then distribute through our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ pages.

However make sure you know who is responsible for the company’s publishing to ensure the editorial calendar is delivered and developed.

4. Create a sustainable and realistic plan

There is no point creating an editorial calendar if it is impossible to follow.

The calendar should set out what content will be posted, how frequently, and on which platform.

This will mean a discussion about the resources and key personnel who will write, produce and edit for the publishing manager.

It’s also important to regularly review the calendars throughout your company’s publishing efforts – be flexible enough to respond to change and market developments.

For example is there something in the news that would be appropriate for your company to write about or link to?

What do you think? Will you start creating an editorial calendar for your company?

(Image: Power of Positivity)

Each week a staff member puts pen to paper to write about an aspect of content communication that speaks to them, and hopefully, informs you. This is a space where our passion for writing, learning and sharing information comes to shine.

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