One way your small business can gain an advantage in a highly competitive, digital marketplace is by using an editorial calendar to implement an organized content marketing plan. Many companies just publish content haphazardly, using no more guidelines than, “Oh, time to publish a new blog post — write about something.” Content marketing is immensely more effective when what you publish is carefully thought out, with specific marketing goals and according to an editorial calendar. Editorial calendars can help you stay on track with your overall marketing strategy, and also ensure that you publish content regularly. This keeps your site fresh with new material to attract new visitors and customers.
Benefits of Using an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar is a simple, but nonetheless very important tool. You can create content calendars in programs like Microsoft Word or Excel. There are also templates and software programs available for creating an editorial calendar.
The benefits of an editorial calendar are numerous. First, by planning out publication of content marketing material on your small business blog or elsewhere, calendars help you produce material more efficiently since it’s scheduled in advance of publishing dates. It also avoids having to scramble at the last minute to produce what might be lower quality material. Publishing regular content increases your online reach and strengthens customer relationships. Second, an editorial calendar denoting what, where, and when you want to publish makes it easier to coordinate implementation of a total online marketing plan. For example, by reminding you to publish links to a new blog post on all your social media channels. Without an organized, written plan, it’s easy to overlook such important tasks.
With an editorial calendar, it’s much easier to do an organized roll-out marketing campaign where you wish to publish separate, but related, items over a defined time frame. For example, when launching a new product, you may wish to publish an article about the product on your company blog, publishing product ads, and publishing additional postings on Twitter and LinkedIn. Having a set schedule for all of content, rather than random postings, is likely to result in a significantly greater audience reach and impact.
Finally, an editorial calendar helps you produce more impactful material that is more likely to engage your audience and attract new business. For example, an independent accountant, rather than just randomly posting occasional articles on tax deductions, can plan out an organized series of articles that cover all areas of tax deduction.
Keys to Creating a Good Editorial Calendar
Putting together a good editorial calendar is all about looking and planning ahead. This involves examining your basic content marketing strategy, such as who your target audience is and the purpose of content. Proposed content varies if your main goal is generating new leads versus strengthening existing customer relationships. Other considerations should include the tone of your content, branding guidelines, and recommendations for article length. Over time, you can develop a style guide that can be used as new contributors create content.