The editorial calendar is a very useful tool for managing the regular publication of your blog posts and social media messages. It allows you to take a look at all the posts that are published or scheduled (even if they are drafts), along with the social messages that you have defined to promote them and the tasks that are associated with them.
It is a perfect mechanism to determine the deadlines for content that has to be ready. Also, it helps you to plan and schedule your work and that of your authors.
However, the editorial calendar is not only the schedule of the content to be published, but the key in your content marketing strategy. In this, basically, you must have defined your business and marketing goals, who your audience is and their needs, and how you want to reach your audience.
Let’s see how the editorial calendar can help you with your content marketing strategy. For this, we will use the Nelio Content editorial calendar.
Step 1: Determine Your Content Creation Capacity
The first step in any editorial calendar is to determine your content creation capacity. To do this, first establish who will be involved in the content creation and their availability.
As a rule, it is not a good idea to have a single person in charge of generating all your blog content. Why? Because taking into account that each person is an expert in their field, you will limit the content to a single point of view and will provide only one experience. By adding more people, you will be able to generate content on much more diverse topics related to your business.
Even if you are the only person in charge of everything, you can also invite others to participate in the creation of new content, either as guest bloggers, or by interviewing them, etc. Involving more people in content generation is a good strategy to get more visibility.
Once you have identified who you want to involve in the content generation, define the dedication they can spend on it. This dedication is key to plan the amount of content you can generate.
Only when you are sure about the amount of writers you have and the amount of time they can dedicate to content writing for you, you can set the pace of blog posts to be published. Make sure that the publication pace you have set is realistic and consistent with the availability of your editorial team.
Step 2: Set Quarterly Goals on Your Blog
Once you have determined your work capacity, it’s time to define the purpose of your blog posts. Don’t get the wrong idea that you should only write content to show that your website is active. The usual goals for a blog are:
- Improve SEO
- Increase subscriptions to a newsletter
- Increase the number of leads
- Increase the visibility of a brand or products
- Become a reference in a specific area
Choose the objective that is a priority for you and you will have a much clearer vision of the type of content you should create. For example, if your goal is to improve SEO, you will need to identify the keywords to focus on and what topics to write content about. If your goal is to increase the visibility of your products, then focus on generating content that shows their benefits, and so on.
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Step 3: Determine What Types of Content to Create in a Quarter
After identifying your content creation capacity and what objectives you want to achieve in your blog, make your initial proposal for the content to be created directly in your editorial calendar.
The great advantage of making a quarterly planning is that you will make sure that it is a balanced proposal and aligned with your goals. For example, if your main goal is to increase the visibility of your products and your writing capacity is 8 posts per month, a proposal for the next 24 posts to write could be as follows:
- 4 complete guides on how to use your products,
- 4 posts comparing the benefits of your products with your competition,
- 4 posts of case studies of your customers using your products,
- 8 posts related to the problems and needs that your products solve,
- 4 full third-party reviews of your products
Add the content to be created in your editorial calendar as a set of unscheduled posts. To do this, if you use the Nelio Content editorial calendar, it is as easy as creating a new post as an unscheduled draft directly in the editorial calendar.
Specifying the topics to write about in the editorial calendar considerably facilitates the next point which is critical in content marketing: defining what content will be generated.
Step 4: Define Content in Your Editorial Calendar
Now is when you can start filling in your editorial calendar specifying the contents to be published in the next quarter. Edit each of the ideas specified above, define the title of the post, and assign an author. If you want, you can also add the category and tags to the post.
By doing this, you will complete the set of posts of the previous step with an author, category and tags.
Then, drag them into the editorial calendar so that you have a balanced schedule of your posts that is consistent with your marketing goals.
Authors of each post will receive an email informing them that they have an assigned post to write.
Step 5: Specify the Tasks Required to Complete the Posts
The next step is for each author (or the editorial team) to define the necessary tasks to be performed to ensure that the assigned posts will be ready for publication on the scheduled date. For it, Nelio Content allows you to add the tasks to be performed for each post, including who is responsible and when the task should be done. In the right sidebar of a post you can see the list of editorial tasks to be performed.
But not only that, in the editorial calendar you can also see, for each post, the list of scheduled tasks.
When editing any post in the calendar, you can also easily see in the Tasks tab of the details of that post, the list of tasks to be performed.
As you can see, the editorial calendar not only helps you to see your scheduled posts but also to set the pace of work and achieve your content goals.
Step 5: Get Ready to Write the Posts
My recommendation is that, if you have not yet added the categories and keywords on your posts, take the opportunity to do so now. Also add the featured image of each post so that when you start writing it, you already have this work done.
Also, look for sources of information that help you write the content of that post and its subsequent promotion. With Nelio Content you have the option to add references to any post so that you have them at hand when you are going to write the post.
In addition, Nelio Content tries to automatically retrieve additional information about the links used in your content, such as the title or author data, to facilitate further reference within social promotion
In the editorial calendar, you will also find these references in the References tab of a post detail.
Step 6: Perform the Tasks to Complete the Writing of the Posts
Now it’s time to get down to work to complete the posts. Each of the people involved already knows the tasks and posts assigned to them and the date in which they must be completed. In each post or in the calendar itself, you can mark the completed tasks and thus keep track of the entire editorial process.
Step 7: Promote your Posts
With Nelio Content, at the end of writing any post, you can manually or automatically create all those messages that promote your posts on social media and view them on the Post Promotion Timeline.
But you can also view them in the editorial calendar. By hovering the mouse over a post, you will see its related tasks and social messages highlighted in the calendar.
One of the great advantages of using an editorial calendar like Nelio Content is that it allows you to have flexibility in your content marketing plan. You can move any post in the calendar so that all upfront task planning and subsequent social media promotion is consistently accommodated with a new date.
The editorial calendar is a very useful tool to have a more strategic vision of your content marketing by visualizing posts, tasks and social messages. Get the most out of it by following the steps that we propose in this post and you will see how easily you improve efficiency and quality in the creation and promotion of your blog content.