It’s December; do you know where your content marketing is going in 2015? If you’re using an editorial calendar, the answer is, “Of course, you do!” If you’ve never used one, perhaps you have the notion that it’s too restricting and doesn’t allow for creativity. A year ago, I might have said the same thing. Today, however, I’m here to tell you it’s not like that at all. There are lots of benefits to working from an editorial calendar (ED) instead of winging it.
- Strategic planning – An editorial calendar allows you, in fact, encourages you to plan your content strategically. You can tie content offerings to such date sensitive events as holidays, the current season, product launches, company milestones, and trends in your industry. Your content will no longer be based on your feelings of the moment, but rather on your marketing campaigns, buyer personas, and keywords.
- Eliminating writer’s block – With your content planned out one to three months in advance, there’s no excuse called “I couldn’t think of anything to write.” Not only is the prompt in place on your calendar, you can often research the topic and find images, quotes and suppporting information in advance. (see #6 below).
- Fostering creativity – If you’re concerned that planned content will suppress your creative spark, leave open dates in your plan for spur-of-the-moment inspiration. Your plan isn’t chiseled in stone. If you get an inspired idea, switch the planned content to another day, or better yet, add a post for that week.
- Organizing creative assets – Marketers have content all over the place – on your website, your blog, guest blogging posts on other sites, long-form content, premium content – it never ends, does it? Using an EC allows you to organize what you’ve got, find the gaps, and fill them.
- Consistent blogging – How many of us say we’re going to blog at a certain frequency or on certain days, and then find that life intervenes? See my hand raised? It happens to EVERY ONE of us, no exceptions. EC won’t stop life from happening (thank goodness), but it will make it easier to push through the crazy times with your blogging commitment intact.
- Freeing up time – “Huh? I thought you just said I’d be blogging more consistently, which means more frequently. How does that free up time?” Easy – your topic is planned, you came across a couple of articles about it last week that you can pull info from, and you found the image you wanted to use when you were looking for yesterday’s blog image. Now all you gotta do is write it. No more energy expended worrying in the back of your mind about what you’re going to write about and taking your attention away from the important stuff. No more frantic searches for something, anything to write about. Half the work is done already.
- Reducing stress – See #s 1 – 6.
You’re not limited to using your calendar for blogging, of course. Use it to plan website content updates, long-form and premium content offers, as well. In the world of content creation, the more planning you can do, the better off you’ll be.
2017 Marketing and Editorial Calendar
Successful marketing begins with a plan. Keep track of all your marketing efforts in one customizable marketing & editorial calendar.