Research, strategy, writing, monitoring, measurement, more writing...the content marketing to-do list never ends!
With the amount of published content expanding daily, how is one to keep up with the demand?
Unfortunately, it can become easy to lose your content focus if you lack a schedule and editorial calendar to enforce it.
Simply put: Consistent production = Higher productivity.
The purpose of an editorial calendar is to build a publishing schedule over the upcoming week or month that strictly focuses on the information you need for content production, ranging from content topic themes to publish dates.
No matter how often you post and however many contributors are involved, there are a number of benefits to an establishing a monthly editorial calendar:
With an editorial calendar, you know exactly what you will be including in your blog far in advance; there is no need to think up topics, decide on authors, and plan publish dates as you create content. This means everyone on your team remains organized and keeps working toward your strategic goal. Without an editorial calendar, in contrast, your content strategy is in risk of collapse.
Structed productions leads seamlessly into consistency. As soon as you write down your plan for your blog for business, it becomes definite and provides your team with accountability.
By planning ahead, you can include featured guest posts that vary by subject matter and industry leader. Your calendar will ensure that you organize everything in time so that posts from guest writers appear at a similar time every month (or week) if intended as part of a series, and all their content will be relevant and of quality.
In many cases, a calendar will benefit your entire staff due to improved communication; for instance, allowing team members to be able to visualize and meet shared goals. An editorial calendar also allows everyone to see what you have planned over the next few months in order to better participate in ideas and content creation, plan their time, and know what to expect.
Editorial calendars are particularly useful for large teams where multiple people are contributing to a blog. The calendar helps with delegation and allows the team to assign content topics to the most appropriate writers far in advance.
You can also use your calendar to divide content into different categories, templates, and types. In this you are able to decide how much content you want to create for each topic and ensure you are achieving a consistent balance.
Maintaining a focus to publish quality content on a regular basis will make it easier to produce the content your audience enjoys, which naturally will aid in increasing blog visits. In turn, this leads to more traffic for your site and a greater opportunity to convert those visitors into leads.
Although it may seem overwhelming, it's important to find the right calendar format that works for your brand, and stick to it! But don't forget: having a strategic publishing plan doesn't exclude the need to be publishing content that is original, timely, and engaging.
Have your own strategy for effective content planning? Share your suggestions in the comments below!