Done right, content marketing can maximize the potential reach of businesses and increase customer base from the ground up. The best way to plan, strategize, and keep track of content marketing efforts is by creating an editorial calendar.
An editorial calendar is a basic yet crucial tool that helps make sure that every content that you publish is valuable, timely, and consistent for your audience. In just one spreadsheet, you can plot out every content you have per day, cross-referenced with every platform you’re using and the goals you aim to achieve.
From a bird’s eye view, you can see the progress of your content marketing campaigns, how you’re delivering it, and the time of each content’s publication. Whatever goal you set, you can tweak your calendar to achieve desired results.
Now, before you open Excel, start making tables and filling out cells, there are important things you have to consider before making your content calendar. Below are three of the most important questions you need to answer before creating an editorial calendar:
1. Who’s Your Audience?
At the end of the day, content marketing is communicating. If you have no idea who you’re talking to, you’re likely to lose their attention and you’ll end up delivering your message to the wrong people.
By knowing your audiences, you’ll be able to craft content that suits their liking, piquing their interest from their level of understanding. By creating content that matters, you can encourage engagements and spread your message organically.
For example, you have a company that sells organic food and products derived from organic sources. In this case, you may want an audience who is generally interested in healthy living, who can be segmented based on their interest in diets, fitness, cooking, and sustainable living.
By doing so, you can deliver relevant content to your audience in a deeper manner. You can create content that matches the interest of either your general or segmented audiences and along the way encourage them to come to you for more.
2. What is Your Goal?
Every content placed in your calendar must be published in lieu of a predetermined goal. Determining your objectives ahead can help you produce more relevant content and ensure the continuous flow of publishing materials.
By setting a goal, you can draw a map that leads to your objectives, allowing you to plan, strategize, and execute your campaigns smoothly.
Let’s say you have a company that offers a wide variety of shoes. Your goal for the month is to boost sales for basketball shoes. From that alone, you already know that your content should pique the interest of basketball players and that you must make a continuous flow of related blogs, photos, videos, etc for a month.
With a goal in mind, you can determine the right content you’ll release through a preset span of time. You can shape the flow and timing of publication, and generate a continuous stream of content appropriate for the campaign period.
3. When Is the Right Time?
Timeliness begets relevance. Publishing your content in a timely manner is essential in making sure that it still matters to your target audience at a given period. Through editorial calendars, you can strategize when to publish content and readily adjust your plans as the times dictate.
The question is, how do you know when’s the right time? One of the easiest ways to do this is looking at the dates.
For instance, you run a company that sells fireworks. You know that peak season is from December to January because of the New Year celebrations. In this case, you can run a content marketing campaign ahead of time, starting November. Pique the interest of your audience ahead of time, so they’ll be ripe to act positively on what you have to offer when peak season comes.
Of course, a lot of things happen over time that can affect your plans. The good thing with content calendars is that it’s flexible. When the situation calls it, you can quickly adjust strategies to make it timely and relevant to your target audience.
Editorial calendars are useful tools in meeting your marketing objectives through content. By answering these questions, you can craft your editorial calendar with a better view of how content marketing happens and maximize the potential of each editorial asset you have.
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