Editorial Calendars Keep Content On Track

Creating content that is consistent, relevant and useful to your target audience doesn’t just happen magically. Successful content marketing starts with thoughtful planning.

Developing a comprehensive editorial calendar is key to outlining your organization’s content marketing strategy. So before you start creating that comprehensive content spreadsheet, here are 5 things to remember:

Know your target audience: Do you truly know who you are marketing to? According to the Content Marketing Institute, if your audience doesn’t think your content is geared specifically towards them, they won’t be interested in it. Talk to your audience, survey them, understand their needs and then address these issues and/or concerns in future content.

Develop content themes: Identify various themes you would like to address with the content you create throughout the year. For example, if you are a cancer research organization, you may want to gear a portion of your content to patient success stories while in certain months your content may be focused on fundraising or philanthropic efforts. In other words, use your content strategically to reach specific business goals.

Identify the content vehicles you will use: Content can be created and distributed in a variety of ways and can be used in combination with one another. E-newsletters can incorporate text and short video clips, blog posts can be repurposed into live Twitter chats. Check out Fast Company’s 30-second MBA http://www.30secondmba.com/ to see just how powerful email marketing combined with video can be.

Understand the medium and then write accordingly: Writing for a blog is far different than writing for a magazine or e-newsletter. Make sure you know when to use shorter text (bullet points) and when to go into more detail. Again, knowing your end user and the medium you are working will ensure your reader stays engaged.

Create a publishing schedule: Listing your deliverables and publishing timelines are important parts of the editorial calendar. Remember to state what you will be publishing, what medium you will be using, and its frequency. For example, e-newsletters may be distributed monthly, tweets 2-3 times a day while web content may change daily. Designate who will be responsible for researching, writing, designing, approving, publishing, and sharing the content that is developed. Will this person be on your internal team or will some functions be outsourced to an outside company?

Once your editorial calendar is complete, all of the pieces of your content marketing strategy will fall into place. The end result will be clear, consistent communication with your target audience who, over time, will reward you with their loyalty.