A newsroom is a bustling place with phones ringing, scanners relaying the latest emergency traffic and people scrambling to meet their deadlines. Change the scanner noise to a live webinar on your computer and this could be your marketing manager’s office. In the growing business of content creation, companies are becoming publishers and marketing managers are acting as news directors. They are tasked with putting out fresh, informative yet interesting content for their business on a regular basis. So, how do you keep up with it all? Whether you are managing a large marketing team or you are a one-person show, the Editorial Calendar is your best friend.
What is an Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is used to keep your content marketing organized and on schedule. Think of it as a way to manage your daily to-do list for creating content for blogs, newsletters, websites and social media channels.
Just like a journalist, an editorial calendar answers the five Ws and one H for your content.
- WHO are you creating content for?
- WHAT are we publishing?
- WHEN will we publish it?
- WHERE will we publish it?
- WHY are we publishing it?
- HOW will we promote it once it’s published?
As you can see, an editorial calendar is much more than just a list of dates and topics. It keeps your marketing team on the same page and works as a blueprint to reach the goals you’ve set for your content marketing strategy. It’s a valuable tool to hold you and your staff accountable, but it can also help you get creative.
An editorial calendar is a place to save and schedule ideas that can be used for content. If you’ve scoured the latest industry news and something sparked an idea for a blog post, add it to your calendar. Are you a retailer that does a special promotion for the Fourth of July? Track key dates such as holidays so you know exactly what is coming up to plan your content around it. If there is a major news or pop culture event happening such as the Superbowl, capitalize on its popularity and get creative in tying it to your brand. This is affectionately known as “newsjacking” in the marketing world today. You know when these events that could be relevant to your industry are happening, so add them to your calendar now.
Reuse and Recycle
It’s not just meant for newspapers, every marketing manager needs to recycle. Once you have key dates and topics laid out in your editorial calendar, you’ll likely be able to generate additional topics and find ways to repurpose content in multiple sources. If you have an event coming up, you’ll want to schedule multiple social media mentions, e-mails and blog posts. That same event can inspire an e-book on takeaways and possibly a video with highlights of the event. Looking at your calendar as a whole can help you visualize the connections between your content more easily.
Want more help making your company’s content front-page news for your customers? Download our new e-book Content Continuity: An Interactive Guide to Editorial Calendars now available in the iTunes store.