YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR FOCUSES YOUR CONTENT STRATEGY
While the most obvious reason to have a calendar is to organize your content flow for the next several months, developing an editorial calendar is more than writing due dates into a spreadsheet. But through a combination of open dialogue and contribution from all writers involved, it can be the blueprint to the future of your digital brand.
THE FEATURES OF AN EDITORIAL CALENDAR
There are basic features that make up an editorial calendar, including: who is writing the content, the topic of the article, due date, and publish date. Beyond that, you could go one step further and include details like why you’re writing on the topic and through what channels the content will be promoted through.
A content calendar can also hone specific details by forcing you to examine the goals of the clients you’re working with. You can begin by asking who the audience for your content is, then dive deeper. Are you looking to generate leads? Become a thought leader? Promote your services? The answer to each of these questions will lead to different paths on your editorial calendar.
Outside of these initial details, the most important aspect of your content calendar is the ability for all writers and editors involved to communicate. This makes your calendar more than a series of topics and dates but a direction of where your brand is heading in the following months.
YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR DICTATES DIRECTION
A well thought out content calendar not only helps clarify the direction of your clients, but also helps puts into view aspects of the digital marketing process you can improve upon. You can easily analyze what content is resonating with your audience, which often is different from what you like the most or think is best.
In terms of creating discussion amongst your writers, content meetings can go into tweaking future articles and topics based on engagements. Instead of one editor being in charge and dictating direction, the availability of analytics creates an environment based on performances and results (as far as content planning meetings go, you can hold them as often as you want – but the calendar itself should be fluid based on what’s relevant).
At Nao Media, we try to plan our content two or three months in advance. We take into account holidays, events, and other important dates to make our content relevant, while keeping in mind that our content (and how we publish and promote our content) keeps up with social networks and technology.
TOOLS TO ORGANIZE YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Our team uses spreadsheet feature on Google Drive to house our editorial calendar. It’s free and easy to use – and most importantly, it has the sharing capabilities amongst users that is essential for discussion.
Also, since you’re most likely using WordPress to post your content, the Editorial Calendar plug-in is an excellent resource that is built right into your content platform.
That’s all you really need to create an effective editorial calendar. In fact, the simpler the better. Regardless, an editorial calendar is more than just a series of due dates – it determines the content and marketing direction of your company.