Being a writer, I feel as though various ideas speak to me all the time. Whether it’s an idea for a new story, ideas for a social post, or just a random idea thanks to something I saw on social media or the news. I always write them down, but then I get stuck because — I have no clue where to start.
The same could be said when working on new content for your company. You have all these ideas, but how do you organize them? Simple answer: create an editorial calendar!
Take a look at the five components that help make up the perfect editorial calendar.
Know Your Content Marketing Objectives
Before starting any marketing efforts, you have to ask yourself, “what are the goals that we are trying to accomplish to help drive success to the company?” As content marketers, we need to see the overall objectives to understand what will help us reach them.
Do you want to be seen as thought leaders? A group of experts? Are you trying to increase your brand awareness or obtain prospective clients? These questions are essential to identifying your marketing objectives and creating an editorial calendar that will align with your goals.
Establishing these objectives also allows your team’s creativity to broaden, leading to innovative content to help level up your company.
Themes & Topics You Want To Cover
You have your objectives, and now it’s time for the fun part—brainstorming content for the calendar. I don’t know about you, but one of my favorite things to do is come up and listen to ideas from our team.
This is the stage where the team can do a brain dump of all the ideas that align with the company’s overall goals and objectives and is also on-brand with the values and your positioning. Topics will depend on your industry, but the formats can range from challenges to boost engagement, guest blog posts, interviews with experts, guides, announcements, holidays, and more.
Here is where you and your team can let your creativity soar with different content ideas and the formats you would like the content to be executed. Run a content gap analysis of your existing media landscape. This can help you find keywords for which your company wants to rank but currently don’t. Tools such as Ahrefs can help you bring the gap and develop topics using your target keywords.
Finding those high-level keywords can help create topics and your ranks and look towards your company’s analytical data. What isn’t performing? What isn’t ranking? You can add those posts to your calendar to revise them (or completely rewrite them) into high-quality posts that include high-level keywords and updated information.
Who? What? When? How?
You have your topics planned out; you’ve accounted for holidays that your company celebrates, announcements of new initiatives, products, upcoming events, and more. Now it’s time to figure out who is writing what topic, the strategy, the content format, and when this topic will go live.
Figure out who is responsible for writing/creating the content for the topics that you have on your calendar. Play into your team member’s strengths. If someone is a great reporter, they can handle the content that requires interviews; if someone can write a great case study, then that assignment goes to them. Also, if you need a video or short videos (TikToks, Reels, etc.), that goes to the team member with a strong background in multimedia. Assigning the topics to your team members helps keep everything organized and allows your team to create optimal content that your audience is looking for.
When you know who is writing/creating what topic and the format they are made in, it’s time to ask yourself, “when will the content go live?” Having a clear timeline for each project will let the team know the status of the content. Having a target date and status updates for the content on your calendar can help avoid any possible delays or alert the team of any obstacles they may encounter during their assignments.
Identify Your Main Channels
Posting anywhere without considering where your audience can affect your content’s engagement and performance. It’s essential in content marketing to understand where to post your content and the best way—to know your audience and where they are.
You have the data to identify your target audience, so use that data to determine your best channels to share your team’s work and post there.
Consistency: that’s the word to keep in mind when determining your posting cadence for your editorial calendar. You want to keep your audience engaged with your team’s work, but you don’t want to bombard them with a flood of content.
For publishing and posting your blog posts, there is not a “one-size” fits all method that works for everybody. However, according to a study done by social media scientist Dan Zarrella, posting your blog in the morning is preferred as 70% of the participants said that they read blogs in the mornings.
When it comes to sharing your blog on social media, the same study found that the best days to share your content would be on Mondays and Tuesdays. While various sites have outlined different posting cadences for social media platforms Hootsuite, has complied what can be an ideal number of times you should share your content on each social platform:
- Instagram: 3-7 times per week
- Facebook: 1 and 2 times a day
- Twitter: 1 and 5 Tweets a day
- LinkedIn: 1 and 5 times a day
While different companies have researched these numbers, it’s essential to adapt that to your own business. Experiment with different cadences to establish what will work best and help you get the most out of the content you created.