10 Jul Airo Security Divulge: Create an Editorial Calendar to Keep Your Content in Check
There are no shortcuts to engaging your audience with content.
Marketing automation takes care of a lot for digital marketers these days. But there’s at least one thing you can’t automate: the personal touch of great content. Good content engages, convinces, and converts.
It’s not easy. There isn’t a magic ‘create winning content’ button. But you still have plenty of content marketing tools to support your efforts. And of the most powerful tools in your arsenal is the editorial calendar.
You ultimately decide what content your audience will find interesting and compelling. An editorial calendar helps you fill the gaps, lay out a roadmap and stay consistent.
What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a centralized, visual working doc that organizes the activities of an entire content team. With an editorial calendar, content marketers can schedule out marketing materials on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Beyond publish dates, editorial calendars help content teams track content type, purpose, authors, channels and more.
Content marketing was never simple, but now it’s more complex than ever. Content teams produce content for SEO, blog posts, newsletters, guest posts, podcasts, social media, and more. Figuring out how to balance content between awareness, engagement, and conversion makes content production even more complicated. Having an editorial calendar visualizes this breakdown for a more efficient workflow and better content in the long run.
Who needs an editorial calendar?
Well, almost everyone. At least, everyone who has a direct role in the content creation process at a company.
Editorial calendars aren’t just for the Director of Marketing or Head of Content. Marketers have been repeating a telling phrase for years now: “Every company should be a media company.” Whether you sell lead generation services or enterprise cloud software, content is key for engaging prospective buyers.
Half of buyers view at least five pieces of content before they make a purchase. Are you doing everything you can to curate the sales and marketing content your audience is looking for?
You need (yes, need) an editorial calendar if:
- You’re the sole marketer in the company, figuring things out as you go.
- You’re building a marketing team around CX, product, SEO, and social media.
- You’ve been tasked with increasing organic traffic to your company website.
- You know you should work more closely with sales, but haven’t figured out yet.
- You’re facing the herculean task of giving all of your company’s content a refresh.
You get the idea. There’s not just one use case for an editorial calendar. Getting (and keeping) things organized will make a huge difference in your workflow no matter what projects you’re focused on.
If none of these apply to you, it may be a good idea to revisit your approach to content marketing. “Planning out when and where you’ll post your content can be overwhelming to even the most experienced marketer,” writes Alexa Drake. The key, she says, is to segment your content, make it a collaborative process and get a schedule going. “Organizing content ahead of time can save you the headache when important deadlines come up abruptly.”
But saving your own sanity is not the only benefit that editorial calendars carry.
Why is an editorial calendar necessary?
- Only 30 percent of marketers document their content strategy.
- 60 percent of marketers create at least one piece of content every day.
- Content marketing generates over 3x more leads than outbound marketing.
- Companies with active blogs see five times more conversions.
Whether your goal is daily content or biweekly reports, an editorial calendar will help you get the most out of your content marketing efforts. You’ll keep content aligned with your strategy, post more consistently and (most importantly) create space for better content.
Marketing teams can use an editorial calendar to create content that is:
- Relevant. Without everything in one place, content creators can quickly get stuck in the weeds. Visualizing upcoming content in an editorial calendar means you can see which buckets you’re covering, uncover duplicate topics and home in on the purpose behind each piece you create.
- Consistent. Keep your cadence and get ahead of your workload by keeping your topics and deadlines straight. Most of your writing will be in one sitting, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make things easier by outlining and researching posts ahead of time.
- Recycled. Extend the impact of your content by using a single, longform post to create slide decks, infographics, webinars, videos, social media posts and more. Robust editorial calendars will pull all of these channels together, squeezing every last drop of value out of every piece you produce.
- Collaborative. The best content gets input from multiple teams. You don’t have to have your CX manager write a full post in order to get their perspective. Just keep an eye on upcoming topics and send a few questions to your internal SME a few weeks before it gets scheduled. The same goes for product marketing, sales content and social media.
- Aligned. Marketing teams should never create content just to get something out there. Each and every piece should serve a purpose. Is it meant to land on page 1 of Google? Do your Account Executives need collateral for their sales calls into a new market? Start with your sales and marketing goals, using those to populate your editorial calendar.
How to create an editorial calendar
If you ask any SEO what the right way to do something is, the answer is invariably “It depends”. Like it or not, the same applies to creating and getting the most out of an editorial calendar.
There’s no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ way; creating a working editorial calendar depends on your workflow preferences,…