I get it. Content marketing managers are busy. Finding the right content to get in front of the right audience and herding all of that content as quickly as possible through the review cycle can make you feel like you are on a hamster wheel that never stops.
An editorial calendar can help you create and promote content more mindfully – and more effectively. Here’s how.
- Visibility: Creating an editorial calendar makes your work more visible to everyone. Not only can your boss can see at a glance exactly how you are telling the company story, so can everyone who contributes and approves content. Everyone knows exactly what is coming up and when – there are no surprises.
- Coordinated Amplification: Which leads to the next bonus of an editorial calendar – coordinated amplification. At a large company, several different teams may be working on content for the same event, customer, or solution – without knowing what everyone else is doing. An editorial calendar shows all of the work that is in progress, so efforts are not duplicated and opportunities are not missed. When a social media manager can see exactly when that big story is coming out on the blog, she can plan accordingly to promote it.
- Ensuring You Hit All of Your Target Audiences: Coordinating messaging for different products or campaigns for different audiences in different channels can be stressful. An editorial calendar can help you make sure nothing is falling through the cracks, because you (and everybody else) can easily see what’s missing.
- Easy Tracking and Tweaking: An editorial calendar not only gives you a snapshot of what is happening right now, it also keeps a history of previous efforts. Have you been neglecting a particular vertical over the past few months? Put it on the calendar for next month. Including trade shows or other industry events on the calendar will help you plan.
- Repository for New Ideas: Planning an editorial calendar for the next 12 months is unrealistic. Good marketers know you have to stay agile. However, providing a framework to plug in new ideas keeps everything in one spot. Is there a potential customer success coming up in a few weeks? An event coming up in a few months? Get a placeholder on the calendar to remind you to check in or plan.
There are a million tools and ways to format an editorial calendar. That’s a whole different blog post. If you are stymied, start with a spreadsheet and let it evolve.
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