Advanced guide to creating an editorial calendar that boosts conversions

30-second summary:

  • Content creation can be an overwhelming task for websites/blogs that need to push out content on a daily basis, to a consistent audience.
  • ‘Quality’ exceeds ‘Quantity’ and webmasters and content creators should absolutely follow that to make sure they’re not churning low-quality content pieces for their audience. This is where the requirement of an ‘Editorial Calendar’ comes in.
  • With the careful implementation of the right Editorial Calendar, content teams can stay prepared and streamline their efforts towards the common goal.
  • There are various formats that one can work with. However, as they progress with the events of their calendar, they will need to keep updating their Editorial Calendar for relevance, based on feedback.
  • The benefits are myriad. The team is clearly able to see the number of published content for a given period and make modifications accordingly.

Did you know that 86% of B2C companies use content marketing as a part of their marketing strategy? The significance lies in two facts: the right mix of content marketing strategies can reach out to a wider audience. And the successful ones can provide the audience more than what they come to expect. High-quality content that comes from the right content marketing mix is not only useful for the audience but also helps brands establish a reputed impression for the target demographic. And it is highly agreed that an ‘Editorial Calendar’ is the stepping stone to creating a great content mix that is going to work wonders for the efforts put in by marketers.

With a schedule in place, marketers are able to use the editorial calendar to control their content type for media platforms during a given period. They are able to coordinate content for publishing blog posts, ebooks, White papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, newsletters, or social media.

Editorial calendar - Template

By better organizing and scheduling the brand’s content packets,  an editorial calendar can help everyone on the team streamline their efforts.

An editorial calendar’s contribution to your business and brand

There’s so much to accomplish when an appropriate and strategically crafted editorial calendar is in place for the marketing team to work with. It becomes fairly easy to keep track and be prepared for upcoming content. The team is clearly able to see the number of published content for a given period. And any lack of strategy or effort gets reflected instantly and this is when it can be addressed right in time, without missing any deadlines.

While all of that is a collective team effort, a calendar also helps keep every team member accountable for the tasks they are designated with. Based on what others are doing to keep the content and marketing vehicle moving, everyone can prioritize tasks and manage their time more effectively, without having to hastily create content that might not be high in quality.

Moving on, content marketers cannot deny the fact that content redundancy is a thing. While an editorial calendar cannot completely eliminate this, it can help your team make adjustments ahead of time.

So, what does it take to create that perfect editorial calendar that works wonders and boosts conversions? Let’s find out in this guide below.

Contents of a successful Editorial Calendar

Your marketing calendar can be in any of these three formats: a spreadsheet, an application, or a printed calendar.

While freedom of choice can be well exercised in assessing the format of your editorial calendar, it is what’s inside that really matters. Keeping it elaborate is highly recommended so that any other team member is always able to comprehend it.

Advanced guide to creating an editorial calendar: Categorizing an editorial calendar

The designs and contents of the calendar should sit well and align with all the roles associated with the responsibilities of creating content. We are talking – Content Writers, Bloggers, Content Managers, Social Media Content Manager, Editor, Assistant Editor, and the likes. While they have individual roles to serve, a well-crafted editorial calendar will act as a common reference for them to plan and merge their tasks, track deadlines, and churn high-quality content. Based on your strategy, the editorial calendar can carry a variety of details. Here’s an ideal listicle:

  • Type of Content
  • The title
  • Date of publication
  • Time of publication
  • Title, headline, or content topic
  • Author of content
  • Status of content completion
  • Content completion deadline
  • Feedback/Revision
  • Publish URL/Platform
  • Audience engagement metrics

The listicle is not hard-bound. Based on the needs of your content mix and what your brand is wanting to achieve with the calendar, the major fields can keep changing. And as and when the brand grows, the calendar can either get more complex or even simpler.

How to create a super-effective Editorial Calendar

Step 1: Jot down your priorities

You can start jotting down all the topics that you would want to cover in a listicle format. If you have already written a lot of content, then make sure to check out the subjects that you are yet to cover.

If you used to write generalized content previously, then try to write something that can address the specific concern of your audience. For example, if you own a website of mobile phones, then you can attempt to compose a buying guide on them. Remember, your goal is to help those people who are struggling to find a perfect device that suits their budget.

In addition to it, you would also need to determine your specific blog goals. Once you have found it, then you can put together different marketing targets, such as –

  • Getting more web traffic to your blog site
  • Enhancing the infrastructure of your blog’s on-site and off-site SEO
  • Boosting the reach and awareness of your blog
  • Generating more conversations and leads for improving your clientele list
  • Building a base of loyalty among your target customer and audience

Step 2: Decide upon your publication channels

Your editorial calendar is a reflection of planning. There are several channels available out there for publishing your work and each of them suits different types of writing. Make sure you assess them appropriately for publishing your posts, ebooks, White papers, infographics, videos, podcasts, newsletters, or social media

Step 3: Determine the frequency of your posts

Now, you will need to determine the number of posts that you are willing to upload at a regular interval. Just make sure to keep your momentum intact. A streamlined publishing schedule can help boost conversion because while the audience gets high-quality content to engage with, they can also rely on the brand to keep coming up with similar content to keep things moving. When they know when to expect your posts, they keep checking your space at regular intervals, helping strengthen their trust in your brand.

Step 4: Create a proper spreadsheet

Whether you are planning for business or trying to market your content, a spreadsheet can help you in several ways. With it, you can keep track of a lot of crucial things. For an editorial calendar, here’s what you can put down on the spreadsheet:

  • Date of publication
  • Choice of SEO optimized keywords
  • The name of the author
  • Description of the content
  • Title of the write-up
  • Status (complete, draft, hold, or published)
  • A proper list of CTAs
  • Your marketing goals
  • Channels of publication

Make sure to create the spreadsheet on your Google Drive to collaborate with your team members. Also, if you are thinking about creating something a bit sophisticated, then you can try out WordPress’ Editorial Calendar plugin for your WordPress blog as well. You can drag and drop to move posts, edit posts right in the calendar, and manage your entire blog. Here’s what else you can do:

  1. See all of your posts and when they’ll be posted.
  2. Drag and drop to change your post dates.
  3. Manage your drafts with the new drafts drawer.
  4. Quickly edit post titles, contents, and times.
  5. Publish posts or manage drafts.
  6. Easily see the status of your posts.
  7. Manage posts from multiple authors.

Step 5: Fill It up

As of now, you have only created the editorial calendar. So, to make it fully functional, you will need to fill it up. While writing for different spaces, try to come up with as many ideas as possible. But, make sure to be a little bit realistic as well. Moreover, if you are trying to help out people through your content, then make sure to focus more on the takeaway proposition of your blogs. In a guide-stylized write-up, you will need to add as many tips as possible.

Step 6: Strategize your workflow

The last step in this aspect for you would be strategizing your workflow. Collaborate and discuss with your team members to achieve all the following aspects:

  • Your marketing goals
  • A proper editorial guide (for helping the team produce niche content)
  • A thorough suggestion-based list on how to operate through the editorial calendar
  • The name of your team members and their responsibilities
  • Feedback, if any

The right content mix to successfully engage your audience

Yet another reason to implement the usage of editorial calendars across your content and marketing team is that they help you achieve a balance of the right mix; a mix that is going to successfully engage your audience and serve them everything but in the right ratios.

Let us put this in simpler words.

For example, your brand is publishing either a lot of blog posts or a lot of video content, without balancing the mix. Too much of any content type and under-utilization of other types can seriously harm your content strategy and you might miss out on an entire segment of your audience. This is where the visual nature of an editorial calendar can help your brand strike the right balance of published content formats.

Advanced Editorial Calendar tips for marketers

While editorial calendars are not entirely new to the marketing space, many experienced marketers still miss out on fronts that can help them ace their marketing mix for absolute success. Here are the most common ones:

  • Reviewing the editorial calendar and making changes to it at regular intervals is highly recommended. This is important because the marketing strategy can keep evolving and that needs to be reflected in the planning calendar as well. This can lead to changes in your publishing schedule and also the topics you choose to explore.
  • It is absolutely necessary to determine if your current publishing schedule is increasing your reader engagement. Any drop in the number of visitors needs to be looked into and fixed with additional efforts and changes in the publishing schedule.
  • Do not shy away from investing in project management tools like Trello to help you create your calendar. The tool offers ready-made templates that can fit your strategy like a glove. It lets you move tiles on a board to mark the start-to-finish for each project. However, if you are using Trello, make sure you are making the most out of them.

We absolutely love how editorial calendars are such a loop activity to work with. The trajectory of published pieces does not only easily help the team determine if the content was done properly but also lets them know if follow-up content would be required. This is where new content ideas can also shape up. Hence, the workflow and thought of the organizational chain can be easily established with the right editorial calendar in place. Remember, it is always about publishing the next best piece of content for your audience to engage with. So, keep working with your editorial calendar to make the most out of it.

Good luck with your editorial planning!

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