3 Steps to Creating A Business Editorial Calendar

Even the shortest and most singular-objective brand campaigns require compelling content, and a strategy for creating and publishing that content to take advantage of every opportunity to deliver consistent messaging, align campaigns, and reduce marketing spend.

The more you can plan content ahead, the better – and an editorial calendar may help. An editorial calendar is a tool to manage the process of creating, publishing and planning a comprehensive content strategy. No matter what technology you use, from a sophisticated content marketing CMS to an Excel spreadsheet, follow these three steps to create an editorial calendar for your business.

1. Know Your Content Options

You can’t plan for content unless you know the content types that are available to you, and there are plenty. Having an arsenal of content ideas can help you diversify your message, optimize it for different platforms, and target segments within your audience. So you’re getting more content that is also more targeted. A good way to approach content is to categorize it by stages in a typical buying cycle:

Early Stage – Awareness. Content includes: blog posts, press releases curated lists, best practice guides, influencer webinars, infographics, social media posts.

Middle Stage – Evaluation. Content includes: customer case studies, analyst reports, webinars, advanced best practice guides, interactive content (for example an ROI calculator), and newsletters.

Late Stage – Purchase. Content includes: product demos, trials, product comparisons, pricing guides, customer case studies, and analyst reports.

Customer Stage – Retain. Content includes: personalized recommendations, customer case studies, product news, tutorials, and eBooks.

2. Pick a Calendar Type

Content Marketers typically use one of three calendar templates: a Blog Editorial Calendar, a Premium Content Editorial Calendar, or a Social Editorial Calendar.

A Blog Editorial Calendar is best for high traffic blogs and blog-news sites that publish frequently (multiple times a day by multiple authors). The goal of your editorial calendar is to support your brand in becoming or remaining the #1 resource and authority in your industry and audience. Content/blog post topics focus on thought leadership, brand culture, and your best-selling products.

A Premium Content Editorial Calendar is optimal if your content requires readers to take an action, like filling out a contact form, or opting into something. If that’s the case you’ll likely be collaborating with your web designer/development team-members to integrate copy, graphics, and website functionality into your content marketing.

And a Social Editorial Calendar is a good idea if you manage many social media accounts and/or run social media advertising for your campaigns. In addition to scheduling, you might also indicate what the key performance indicator (KPI) is for each piece of content – is it shares across social media, comments, traffic to a webpage, registration?

After deciding which calendar is right for your business, some of the organization fields to include are:
• Call to action
• Target audience
• Topic
• Title
• Author/ Responsibility
• Deadline
• Publish date
• SEO Keywords
• Channels for promotion – and copy for each
• and Lead Goal or conversion metric
• Follow up

3. Choose a Platform

The rise of Content Management Systems that focus exclusively on content marketing and digital publishing has been explosive in the last year or two. If your business has a large content marketing team, or many divisions that require content integration, investing in a content CMS may be a good idea.

Some products you might look into, depending on your budget, are Google Docs, Excel and HubSpot templates, and WordPress Editorial Calendar (all free); Kapost, Social Cast, Marketing AI, Content DJ, and Loose Stitch – just to name a few on market.

Agencies, of course, have much more robust needs in an editorial calendar platform, due to the high volume of clients served, all with unique content needs, and the fact that content marketing is now an essential part of almost all digital marketing, spaning across web design and development, SEO and social media services, like our SEO Priority™ and Social ROI programs.

Liqui-Site is actually in the process of demoing platforms right now to find one that meets our needs. It must have integration with a high number of websites sites/social media networks, easy organization and management, direct publishing, and very important, client access – because we are all about client transparency and communication! We welcome your recommendations, as well as your questions and comments about setting up and using an editorial calendar to advance your content marketing and business goals.