Creating content over the long haul takes dedication. To guarantee you stick to your plan, the best tool at your disposal is a well-organized editorial calendar.
A good editorial calendar will:
- Cut down on the time and effort involved in creating content
- Act as an internal to-do list that everyone can rely on
- Help you frame the content required for campaigns.
Here are four tips to help you create a solid editorial calendar:
1. Create a communications goal
In many ways, creating an editorial calendar is just like any other project. Put together a work-back schedule with S.M.A.R.T. (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-based) goals and give key stakeholders an early heads up.
Outline what you want to achieve with your content. Is it higher engagement? Increased sales? To build a positive reputation around education? Your answer will drive your creative, so make sure you’ve got buy-in from the whole team.
2. Focus on bench strength
Content marketing is an ongoing commitment. To keep readers engaged and interested, you’ve got to publish through good times and bad. The best way to ensure you stick to your schedule is to create a reliable team of all-stars who can make things happen.
Consider looking outside your usual marketing communications team — including accessing individuals from your executive, sales, operations and finance teams for fresh ideas.
3. Time to brainstorm
You know your goals and you’ve put together your content team. Now what are you going to write about? We’ve found it helpful to build a database filled with as many content topics/ideas as possible.
If your plan is to post one article per week, try to leave your brainstorming session with at least a dozen ideas. Keep any extra ideas you don’t plan to use in the near term — they might get you out of a pinch one day.
If you’re looking for some guidance about leading effective brainstorming sessions, click here to read our post on the subject.
4. Stay flexible
Even if you’ve built out your editorial calendar for three months, six months or a year, you still have to expect the unexpected.
Let’s say something dramatic happens in the markets, but your scheduled content that week is on health and wellness. Gather the troops: it’s time to produce something fresh. Find an expert to give you a few talking points and give your readers something timely. Write about what’s happening in the news, and save the health and wellness post for another day.
We hope you find these four tips useful as you prepare your next editorial calendar.
Can you benefit from a solid editorial calendar? Contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 416.925.1700 or 844.243.1830 to discuss your editorial needs.