The Importance of an Editorial Calendar in Marketing
01.22.2018 / Posted in Articles, Content Marketing
We’re sure that you have exceptional content that your audience wants to read. So why do you find yourself at a loss when it comes to achieving long term content-marketing success?
While many factors may play a role—including a lack of strategy and inadequate frequency—we see one frequently overlooked solution: Content marketing more often hits its targets when there’s an editorial calendar in play.
What Exactly Goes into an Editorial Calendar?
In definition, an editorial calendar seems simple: It’s a calendar that outlines your content marketing plan.
In actuality, an editorial calendar requires a number of components to serve you well.
Effective editorial calendars go beyond simply associating content with dates. A functional calendar maps content production to your audiences, the engagement cycle, and the channels you use.
Every calendar should include the following components, which can vary based on your goals:
- topics, listed alongside the owner of each topic
- a prioritized list of content to publish, based on the content strategy you’ve developed
- assignments for who will write, who will edit, who will layout, who will publish, and who will schedule and distribute the content
- lists of the branded channels through which you will distribute each piece of content
- a listing of metadata, also known as the “tags” you assign to your content to track the role each piece plays in your marketing plan, and which content will get tagged with which metadata
- dates for creation, publishing, and distribution
With these fields in place, you and your team will avoid messy guessing games.
What to Know about Content Marketing Plans
Of course, to have an effective content marketing calendar, you need a content marketing plan.
Your content marketing plan is the overarching program that connects all the “content” dots for your brand. A content plan aligns with your company’s overall marketing strategy, plan, and messaging to develop and curate information that is relatable, findable, actionable, sharable, and usable in a variety of ways across multiple platforms and channels.
With these elements in place, the editorial calendar serves as a visual form of planning and communication that aids each member in contributing new ideas and keeping track of deadlines. The editorial calendar functions as a content roadmap, if you will.
So never start your editorial calendar without visiting your marketing plan.
We repeat. Never start your editorial calendar without visiting your marketing plan.
Content Marketing Calendar Structure and Content Considerations
While all content-marketing calendars should have the components outlined above, the FrogDog team has learned through years of experience that how you structure the information, the types of content you include in your content-marketing plan (and list in your calendar), and the deadlines you provide are three important considerations in a valuable, usable editorial calendar:
- Structure: First, content marketing can be unpredictable, so you must create a tool that allows room for adjustment. What if the product team announces a last-minute update? Or a viral moment takes over the social-media landscape? Second, beware shortcuts and abbreviations. With multiple users, shorthand that makes sense for one person will leave a cloud of confusion for another.
- Content: Having a healthy balance of timely material with evergreen content will help bring repeat visitors to your site. A good content mix secures your brand reputation as a useful resource year-round, and it makes efficient use of the time and funds you have invested in developing content assets. (Don’t forget: As you plan your content, place yourself in the readers’ shoes. Think like they think. Understand and research what they like.)
- Cushion: You’ll find yourself continually revising your calendar if you leave inadequate time to create quality content. The writer will not be the only person involved. How long will your design team need to layout the article? How long will it take for the full review process of your white paper? Ensure all deadlines have ample time for each person—each of whom has other things on his or her plate.
Sold but Stuck?
Find yourself little lost on where to start?
If you have questions on how to ensure an orderly editorial calendar, contact FrogDog today!