CreativeTechnology

Building an Editorial Calendar

By November 6, 2014 No Comments

What is an editorial calendar, who needs one, and what value does it add to your business? In the world in which we live, it’s been said that every company is a media company, and that every brand is a publisher. We all curate content as a standard part of our online marketing efforts, and it’s been established to be one of the most effective things that you can do for your brand in the digital marketing space.

What is an Editorial Calendar?

Simply put, your editorial calendar is a list of scheduled posts that you intend to make over the next 3 to 6 months. An editorial calendar can be utilized for your social media, your blog, any other online publishing platforms that you use, your newsletters, your email marketing, and any other place where you’re putting content out into the world. The goal of the calendar is to help you organize your thoughts and publishings under themes, which is crucial to showing both your clients and Google that you have specialties (essentially, long-tail semantic keywords for which you’re optimized). The secondary role is to automatically and effortlessly schedule a relatively large social media campaign in just a few minutes a day. This’ll amplify your voice and help you to develop a community of followers online.

Do you need an Editorial Calendar?

As a result of this disintegration of media, it’s likely that everyone needs some form of editorial calendar. Sure, you are publishing content on your blog, but are you publishing the right content, and are you publishing it regularly? An editorial calendar helps you answer all of these questions. By scheduling your content 3 to 6 months in advance, you’ll ensure that you have ample pieces coming forward to support your messaging efforts, and you’ll be able to develop your messaging efforts around themes. For example, here at Limitless Interactive, one of our primary themes is tactical articles on intermediate to advanced digital marketing techniques. This article on building an editorial calendar supports that theme.

What are the real benefits of scheduling posts?

So what value does having all of this information about your content and your business? Well, by itself — not much. An editorial calendar is the amount of work that you would be doing anyway. It requires you to continue writing the articles you would’ve had to write anyway. But it does allow you to think critically about whether or not that article fits into the brand voice that you hope to convey. By scheduling out a dozen or more articles at once, it means that when it comes time to write, there’s less strategy and more execution. This ensures that your articles are on message and on brand, it allows you to optimize your time by getting all of the strategy out of the way at once, and it allows you to creatively utilize different multimedia opportunities such as video or social media in order to deliver the same story across a different or unexpected platform. Your editorial offers the topics of your upcoming stories, and with a little bit of creative media selection, you may also release a series of tweets coinciding with that topic days before and days after the story itself.

Building Your First Editorial Calendar

First things first. Before you start building an editorial calendar, you’re gonna need to know what it is that you want to write about. Analyzing your content strategy is something that is relatively straightforward. Identify five or six themes that you’d like to cover in your blog, typically themes that are related to what your target market might be searching for. For example if you sell paper napkins, you might have a theme that discusses the impact of using paper napkins on the environment. This theme might be called “environmental concerns.” You  might also have a theme the targets restauranteurs; for the sake of this blog post, we’ll call this theme “restaurant napkins.” Under this theme there are a number of blog posts where you can discuss research and statistics related to customer satisfaction when given paper versus cloth napkins, you can discuss the costs of using paper napkins compared to the cost of laundry for cloth napkins, and you can discuss the options available when it comes to picking paper napkins. It’s likely that you have several other themes that are directly related to your target market’s persona, and you’ll want to schedule blog posts that coincide with these themes as well.

Now that you’ve identified the themes, you can identify the keywords you might want to target. By using a keyword research tool such as WordTracker, you can identify the key words that are least competitive with the highest amount of volume. This will allow you to write article surrounding those keywords and deliver relevant and timely content to your audience that they are interested in reading. By searching for your themes in your keyword research tool, you can begin to identify specific topics that customers are interested in reading about.

Finally, the last step is to amplify your voice. Typically we use social media to amplify voice. By scheduling a robust social media campaign around each article that you publish, typically recommended to be the day of publishing and then a week, a month, and a year afterwards, you can keep customers coming back to your older, but evergreen, content month after month.

Having an editorial calendar can ensure that your content goes out on time, on message, and on brand. It’s a crucial part of any digital marketing plan, particularly inbound marketing, and your readers, your writers and your boss will thank you for implementing one, because it really does make everyone’s life so much easier.

Building and managing your editorial calendar is a service that Limitless Interactive offers starting at just $199/month. If you’re planning on managing your own editorial calendar, and you use WordPress as a CMS, we strongly recommend CoSchedule.

Using CoSchedule is simple. You can access it by logging into your WordPress blog and clicking “Calendar” on the left — here you’ll see all the blog and social media posts that are scheduled. Wherever you think it’s imperative to keep your existing network up to date on the goings-on of your business. Typically, we recommend Facebook, Twitter, G+, and LinkedIn. If you have any of these existing platforms, you can go on and link them up by clicking on Calendar -> Settings -> Social Profiles.

The real benefit of CoSchedule that I’ve found is in resurrecting evergreen content. As we build out some of these new articles, we’re trying to build things that are evergreen, rather than time sensitive. Evergreen articles can be reshared on social after a month, three months, six months, a year, etc. This means we get way more social bang for our buck, and we can get people coming back to stuff you wrote years ago. This turns your content budget into an investment, rather than an expense.

Our Editorial Calendar Services

Calendar

$ 199

Per Month
  • Keyword research
  • Targeting recommendations
  • Theme research
  • Titles and Topics (5 per month)
  • Content scheduling (5 per month)
  • Social media scheduling

Content PlusBest Value

$ 649

Per Month
  • Keyword research
  • Targeting recommendations
  • Theme research
  • Titles and Topics (8 per month)
  • Content scheduling (8 per month)
  • Social media scheduling (full service)
  • Article content writing (8 per month)
  • BONUS: Creative assets from Shutterstock

Extra Attention

$ 1999

Per Month
  • Keyword research
  • Targeting recommendations
  • Theme research
  • Titles and Topics (10 per month)
  • Content scheduling (10 per month)
  • Social media management
  • Article content writing (10 per month)
  • BONUS: Creative assets from Shutterstock
  • BONUS: Influencer outreach strategy
Content is about customer service, not marketing.
Limitless Interactive
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