Last week, we looked at creating a social media schedule to remind us to post, tweet, and blog on a regular basis.
An editorial calendar serves a similar purpose – whether you're planning out email marketing content, new site pages, or Facebook posts – but is more detailed and will help you organize and streamline your content.
Used for eons by publishers (like magazines), an editorial calendar is simply a plan of the topics you'll be covering over the next quarter, six months, or year, to promote your business. The time period is up to you: plan far enough in advance that you’re organized and deliberate, but not too far that you can’t take advantage of changes or opportunities.
Your calendar should take all marketing channels into account: web site content, press releases, blogs, social networking, video, email marketing, contests, promotions, even advertising (PPC, and print).
There are many benefits to mapping out your topics over a period or time. Having a direction for content in advance allows your team to focus on writing or shooting or interviewing or posting – rather than worrying about what to write about. Plus, you can spend unhurried time prepping and researching for later content.
Laying out the topics you’ll cover allows you to see gaps, and be more open to creative opportunities, and will ensure that you’re not covering the same thing in a short period. Not to mention, when something is in writing, you and your team are more likely to feel accountable, and commit to doing it!
Finally, the editorial calendar allows you to clearly see how the content flows across channels, so you are telling a universal story across your web site, blog, social networks and emails. Not to mention, it lays the framework for advertisers – and really takes your web analytics to new heights.
Check back next week for tips to help you get that gorgeous calendar on paper!