Creating engaging new content on your business’ website and social media accounts is one of the best ways to grow the number of visitors to your website and excel in Search Engine Optimization. Google likes it. Your customer likes it. And fresh content gives you a chance to promote yourself and your business on many different levels. But coming up with engaging, relevant content can be a daunting task. That’s why the use of editorial calendars is one of the best ways to stay ahead of the game and on task.
What Is An Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is an easy way for you and members of your team to know what topics and content you plan to publish, on which days they will be published and where they will be published. It is a mainstay of most successful marketing strategies for small and medium businesses these days.
Why Use An Editorial Calendar?
A robust editorial calendar will not only save you time and energy, but it will also help you think about the content you publish in a new way. It gives you a 30,000 foot view of what is going on holistically across all your social media, website and blog platforms. It offers context and a step-by-step plan at the same time. And if you are sharing the duties with different staff members, it becomes a place for everyone to stay on message and on topic, while making sure you don’t present duplicate information to your audiences.
What Should An Editorial Calendar Look Like?
What your calendar looks like mostly depends on you, how frequently you publish, and your style. You can create a weekly, monthly, or even yearly editorial calendar. A good place to start is with a monthly calendar, and to fill in any events and special happenings you may have. The most important items to have on the calendar will be the date, theme, subject, who is responsible, and where it should be posted. Of course you can add many other customizations such as images, categories, keywords, or calls to action. It’s also great to have some reporting fields in there as well, so you can go back later and see what worked and what didn’t.
There are dozens of different templates out there for you to use: from the simple shared Excel or Google Sheets versions, to calendars like Google Calendar, to the WordPress Editorial Calendar and CoSchedule. Many online services also offer templates, such as Kapost and DivvyHQ. Some companies even use sticky notes on a bulletin board. Just use whatever suits you and your team’s habits.
Always Keep The Basics In Mind
When you go about creating your editorial calendar, either by yourself or with your team, try to remember your audience and who you are trying to target with your content. It is also paramount to remember why you are creating content – do you want more clicks on your homepage, to position yourself as an industry leader, sell more widgets, or let people know more about an event? Nailing down your Call to Action is key to being able to effectively create compelling content and being able to measure your success.
Next think about what content you have to pass on to your audience? Is one of the team a photographer and you have loads of great photographs? Are you an amateur comedian who sparkles on Twitter? Is your twenty-something intern a whiz at Pinterest and Facebook? Take stock of your assets, both physical and talent-wise, and make the best use of them by assigning the right content to the right people.
How are you going to be different? Have you looked around in your niche and seen where your knowledge can meet an unfilled need? How are you better or different than the industry leaders? Do you excel in customer service, or providing a better product? Pick a theme that you are proud to stand behind and have that theme recur on your calendar to promote your brand and business.
Hopefully with these helpful tips you can begin to use an editorial calendar to help expand your businesses, and help grow your presence with the most effective use of you time.