Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, understand that there is a disparity between an editorial calendar and a content marketing strategy, although one cannot function effectively without the other. For instance, when you decide to build a new house, do you neglect other steps and start construction right away? No, you can’t. You have to consult an architect to design a plan before a civil engineer can begin the construction process.
The architect phase implies your content marketing strategy, and the editorial calendar where the implementation starts is the civil engineering phase where the construction work takes place. And just as students sometimes need thesis helpers for their projects, you also require the help of your team members in both the editorial plan and content marketing strategy. Here are a few tips to help you get your editorial plan started.
Creating the Strategy
Your editorial strategy should look promising. If the reverse is the case, then it is obvious there are loopholes you have not addressed. The chances are high that your team members have not fully keyed into your plan, or that your strategy lacks depth as a result of poor research.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, a concrete marketing strategy can have a massive impact on your marketing campaign. But have in mind that there is nothing like a full-proof or winning plan. The best you can do is to develop a strategy based on the research conducted and information gathered. You can also edit your documented strategy as time progresses.
Unfortunately, a good percentage of marketers do not have such a documented plan. Most of them have the mindset that leaving their approach undocumented will help them to reinvent a new program that suits the dynamics of the market. In order not to overstretch this issue, understand that it is ideal to create and document every aspect of your strategy, before and after execution.
Your editorial plan should answer the following questions. That is one of the ways you can determine if the strategy is something you should give your time, energy and resources.
Here are the questions:
- Who do you plan to educate or help?
It is easy to use the word “targeting” in things that have to do with marketing. How about concentrating on providing help or educating your audience first? Your strategy should be all about solving problems. It is the easiest way to build your reputation and turn potential buyers into loyal customers or regular visitors to your blog. Also, one of the steps you can take to get this sorted out is by creating a persona.
- Can you uniquely help your audience?
You are probably not the only one running that particular business or blog. You have competitors who are also highly creative. Creativity counts when it comes to making a company stand out from the crowd. For instance, if you are offering help to your target audience, think of ways you can make it different from how others do it.
- How do you intend to measure success in your strategy?
You might have concluded that your editorial plan is full-proof. You are already confident that your marketing campaign for the year will be the best. The question is, how do you plan to measure success? Being able to will help you determine the areas of your plan that needs fixing.
- Do your team members understand your editorial strategy?
For your plan to be successful, your team members must be fully involved. They must understand the concept and the forecasted impact the strategy will make. You can use the above questions to test their knowledge. According to an expert college homework helper, there is nothing wrong with getting the team involved in the planning process. Your editorial calendar is not a classified document. Your team members are still the ones that will execute whatever idea you have in it. Also, you need to do all you can to ensure your team members internalize your editorial plan.
The Planning Phase
Your editorial plan is not just detailed but tactical one. And everything you plan to publish and communicate to your audience should be according to your strategy. The editorial calendar highlights everything about your plan, from preparation to execution. It contains details of the steps you are going to take and the person or team member that will be in charge at different stages.
Examples of details to highlight in your editorial plan
- Areas you plan to cover and topics in those areas
- Responsibilities of each team member
- Content available for update and republishing
- Social media marketing plan
- How you intend to measure success. You can even perform this task on a monthly basis. Try to evaluate the results or impact of your program on the team.
Ways to build up your editorial calendar
Every marketer knows that content creation is a daunting task. And the more challenging aspect of the entire process is being able to determine where to start. Your content marketing strategy is not complete without a well-documented editorial calendar. You and perhaps, your team members need it to map out plans for content creation for the whole year.
Having an editorial calendar will help to make your content marketing strategy to have focus. It will ensure that you have the perfect blend of content for an effective marketing campaign, and also cover topics that will engage your targeted audience. There is nothing more impressive than for a marketer to offer the right content in every stage of the buyer’s journey. Here are simple steps to help you develop an editorial calendar that will give your content marketing strategy a face.
- Know the perfect topics
Topic selection is critical. You need the right topics to engage your audience and cause them to develop more interest in your product, service or blog. But first, you need to find out what fascinates your audiences, topics they will have the interest to read, and more. Act like an investigator. That is, investigate your targeted audience by conducting thorough research online.
- Social Media
You can generate tons of topic ideas from social media through social listening. Find out what thought leaders and influencers your targeted audiences are following. Look for questions from your targeted audiences and provide answers if you can. You can also find topic ideas from sites like Quora.
- Keyword research
Let’s start with keyword research. Even though the era of SEO strategies like keyword stuffing is no more supported, it doesn’t make the use of keywords irrelevant. Visitors don’t land on your webpage by magic. They use search phrases, which brings out search results of sites that contain the information they seek.
Your content and others that appeared on the search result are related to the phrase used by the visitor. So take advantage of keyword research to choose relevant topics, and sprinkle them on your post strategically. You can use tools like Google Adwords, SemRush, Longtail Pro and a host of others to conduct your research. Learn about the search volume, keyword difficult and every other detail about your chosen keywords. You need such ideas to make your marketing plans successful.
- Consider your previous content
Many marketers complain about not having enough content that can fit into their content marketing strategy for an entire year. They believe they need more time to create fresh articles from scratch. In most cases, your content marketing team is made up of people who have been publishing various blog posts, writing books and different kinds of contents. So, you can spend more time to audit your previous posts, before creating new ones. Even if what you have is a 30-page book, you can squeeze out useful content from it.
There is a possibility that most of your previous posts didn’t reach your entire audience too. So don’t be ashamed to audit and repost them. You can add more useful information or tips to make the content richer. You can make each paragraph smaller and more captivating. If the content is not unique, which might be the case, rewrite each section of the article to make it unique.
- Make your editorial calendar adjustable
A complete editorial calendar can guide you and your team for a whole year. But you may have to make series of adjustments once you start implementing it. Your editorial calendar is a comprehensive plan put together from ideas you gathered through research and information. So, there is a high possibility that you might need to make a few changes along the line
Your editorial calendar shouldn’t be carved in stone. Make it a living document that you can tweak or edit at any time without altering your original plan. Consider things that are resonating with people you are targeting to help make your program useful.
As you can see from this post, there is a clear-cut difference between an editorial calendar and a content marketing strategy, although both go hand-in-hand. You can create a high-level content marketing strategy, but without a well documented editorial plan, it might not produce the kind of result you expect. The editorial calendar contains several details, for instance, how and when you plan to execute your marketing strategy for the entire year. And it is an important document you need to prepare to give your marketing campaign a direction.
This post highlights the disparity between the editorial calendar and content marketing strategy. It also contains tips on how you can develop an editorial plan for your marketing campaign.