Why and How to Craft a Content Editorial Calendar
Among skilled marketers, it’s common knowledge that developing killer content can yield incredible results, which is why countless marketers take advantage of this cost-effective strategy every year. In fact, according to a study by the Content Marketing Institute, 91% of B2B marketers say their organizations are currently leveraging content marketing (1). Despite the widespread implementation of content marketing, the same study revealed that only 37% of organizations have a documented content strategy.
Businesses without a written content plan probably have some idea of what they want to achieve with the pieces they are creating. Failing to document their strategy, however, is keeping them from fully leveraging each piece, using their time efficiently, tracking their success, and optimizing their efforts.
A critical aspect of developing and implementing a successful content strategy that supports your business goals is creating a content editorial calendar. In addition to scheduling your efforts and building flexibility and structure in terms of content creation, this tool should be designed to help you identify gaps in your content library and act as a guide about how to approach any upcoming projects.
Whether you’re looking to get started creating a documented content strategy or for ways to enhance the plan you already have, we have a few tips to help you build a strong content editorial calendar. Including these fields and features in your editorial calendar will create a strong foundation for your content strategy, keep everybody at your organization in the know about upcoming projects, and empower you to achieve measurable results.
Fields and Features to Include in Your Editorial Calendar
The primary purpose of your content editorial calendar should be to give everybody on your team visibility about the status of your upcoming projects, when you expect each piece to go live, and where their content will live (your website, email campaigns, print, etc.). At minimum, your editorial calendar should contain the following:
- Draft, edit, and due date
- Medium (blog, landing page, eBook, etc.)
Keeping your team apprised of upcoming content creation will prepare them to support you as you work to push out new content so that it reaches your target audience and drives conversions. For example, your demand generation team will probably want to use this new piece to launch a paid campaign that will bring in new leads. Similarly, your event marketing manager might see value in emailing this piece as part of a nurture campaign for new leads produced from a recent tradeshow.
As is the case in any organization, changing priorities might make you push out or speed up certain projects. Update these fields accordingly to show your team what projects are currently in the works. This will let them know where you’ll need their help getting certain projects off the ground as well as how you’ll be supporting them in their own marketing efforts.
Include SEO Keywords in Your Content Editorial Calendar
We’ve all heard about the importance of SEO when it comes to driving website traffic, and your content is an essential piece of a successful keyword strategy. Ensuring that your blog posts, landing pages, and web pages all have keywords and phrases that your audience is searching for will help you appear higher in search results, guide your audience to what they’re looking for, and fuel your demand generation efforts.
While completely revamping your website might be impossible if you’re starting from scratch, simply adding a few optimized blogs and landing pages with well-placed CTAs can drastically up traffic on your website. These small improvements all start with your content editorial calendar. In addition to the basic information mentioned above, you should include a field for keywords appropriate to your audience’s pain points and industry language.
If you don’t know which keywords you should be incorporating into your content, start by looking at your Google Analytics to see which key terms and phrases your audience members have used to search your website. You can also use tools such as Google Ads’ Keyword Planner, Google Trends, SEMrush, and Moz to help you expand your list.
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Developing a Go-to-Market Strategy as Part of Your Content Editorial Calendar
Not having a distribution strategy can cause even the most useful, optimized and well-written pieces to yield lackluster results. A good piece of content should support and inform your overall marketing strategy — and vice versa.
In order to do that, you need a distribution strategy for each piece so your team is prepared to leverage and repurpose fresh content in as many ways as possible. Ensuring that you’ve covered all your bases in terms of distribution will help you get your content in front of the right audience so you can capture their attention, nurture them from one phase of the customer journey to the next, and motivate them to convert.
Don’t feel like you should include every aspect of your go-to-market strategy in your editorial calendar. Instead, include a field where you list where and how you plan to distribute your content. Better yet, if you have your go-to-market strategy built out in a project management tool, consider adding a link so that members of your team can easily access it.
Track Your Results and Identify Ways to Optimize Your Content Editorial Calendar
If you’re looking to improve your content strategy, tracking your success and revising your strategy accordingly is critical. To do this, you should include fields on your editorial calendar that allow you to track important metrics such as page views, unique visitors, and conversions over a certain period of time.
Using these results, determine which content pieces are resonating with your audience and which efforts are simply falling flat. These insights should serve to help you evolve your content strategy so you can continue to refine and improve your content and maximize results moving forward.
Your Content Editorial Calendar Should Be Unique to Your Organization
These fields and features will get you started on the path toward content marketing success, but what you include in your content calendar ultimately depends on the goals of your organization. When deciding what to include, keep in mind who will be using this editorial calendar and what information they will need to fully utilize this tool to their advantage.