If you own a small business or you are the marketing director of a medium size company, chances are that you are responsible for the content marketing strategy, content creation, and distribution.
It’s easy to get caught up in the thick of things and get overwhelmed.
There are so many things to write about, you cannot come up with a single topic to actually focus on. You are stuck in analysis paralysis.
Time to get all your ducks in a row and get organized!
What is an Editorial Calendar?
You might be asking yourself now, what on earth an editorial calendar is. Or you may know of it and find it complicated. Don’t worry.
According to Wikipedia, an editorial calendar “are used to define and control the process of creating content, from idea through writing and publication.” It enables content creators to “download” their brains, get all ideas on paper and structure them.
It can be an Excel sheet, a piece of paper or a Google Drive document. We made you a handy template to download to get started.
Depending on industry and audience, your editorial calendar might be adjusted or changed slightly.
The most important elements are:
- Working headline
- Short Description
- Proposed publishing date
- Targeted long-tail keyword
That sounds simple enough, right?
Benefits of Using An Editorial Calendar
Using it on a regular basis to plan and execute your content marketing strategy will truly benefit your blog and your readership.
1) Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy
An editorial calendar forces you to capture all the great ideas on paper first before you start writing them. You have to develop them thoroughly enough that you have to know who exactly you are writing for, what keyword you are targeting and what the goal of the blog post is.
Seeing everything written out, let’s you prioritize certain blog topics above others as well as ensures that you focus on your primary buyer persona and cover all stages of the buying cycle.
2) Document Your Content Marketing Strategy
Almost all B2B marketers (93%) are using content marketing, but only 36% of them feel they were effective at content marketing according to the Content Marketing Institute Benchmark Study 2014.
3) Targeted Communication Results In Greater Value
But if you truly want to provide value to your readers, you need to consider who is your blog post for. What buyer persona are you writing this content for? What is the one question your blog post is answering for them?
Let’s say, you are selling dog food.
Someone who is thinking of getting a dog is looking to research the monthly cost of owning a dog and might not know what different kinds of dog foods you are offering. He might be searching for “monthly cost of dog food”. A Siberian Husky dog owner, on the other hand, might look for “high protein dog food” instead.
Both buyer personas have different questions and needs and are in a different stage of the buying cycle. The husky owner is making a decision between where and how to buy while the one researching dog ownership is possibly a good lead with some targeted educational material such a guide on how to buy a dog.
Are you using one? Alone or with a team? How do you keep it updated? I’d love to hear how you use your editorial calendar. Please share any best practices and questions you might have in the comments below.