You might have experienced days when you feel like you’ve run out of gas. In the early days of Cubicle Marketing, we’ve gone through that experience as well. We looked at our own editorial calendar for the month. It was blank.
Is there a correlation between the two?
There definitely is. Any organization using an editorial calendar can attest to that. An editorial calendar that will keep you on top of your content marketing efforts. It’s one thing to have a strategy, but a user-friendly editorial calendar will take you a long way.
Let’s talk about how you can start building an editorial calendar that your team will use.
Put it all in one place
The point of an editorial calendar is to keep you organized. It outlines your strategy, goals, objectives, ideas, and target personas. If you have more than one editorial calendar, it’s difficult to stay on top of everything.
To stay organized, you need to put everything in one place. Why?
It’ll help with communication across your departments. It helps with keeping everyone aware of what is going on. Having everything in one place ensures your team is on board. When your team is aware of what’s going on, you’re less likely to miss another deadline.
It can be chaos trying to manage editorial calendars for different channels. Merge everything into one place. That includes your social media, offline advertisements, blog, and YouTube account. Reduce the number of places your team needs to check to stay on track. Try your best to streamline everything and move all these calendars into one place.
Find a way to build the habit of putting everything into one calendar. You can try putting a giant calendar in a high-traffic hallway so that everyone will be able to see and make changes. Play around with the idea before deleting your old calendars.
Stay organized and your content strategy will be so much easier to execute.
Create all your ideas before making a calendar
Imagine this: you’ve just published and promoted everything this week. As you close all your tabs and programs to go and enjoy the weekend, you come to your editorial calendar. The last window open.
You don’t have ideas for next week’s content.
You’ve probably gone through this situation before. It sucks!
To combat this problem, you’re going to have to prepare far ahead of time. We’re talking about building a list of ideas. A good number would be at least 30. Why 30? It’s easy allocating 30 ideas over the next month or two.
You might be thinking that 30 ideas are way too many. Remember these ideas don’t have to be single blog posts. They definitely don’t have to be high-quality videos either. Your idea could be extremely simple. For example, posting a picture of your newest product on Instagram.
Organize your list of 30 ideas and assign each idea to each day. You’ll begin to see that you started organizing everything by theme.
Your new product post might be followed up by a tutorial video. That video might be followed up by a blog post about the story behind the product.
Once everything is organized into themes, you’ll realize how easy it is to tackle these ideas. content is digestible. It’ll be easy for both you and your audience to follow. Creating a list of 30 ideas ahead of time keeps you consistent. You’ll find that you’re spending less time scrambling around looking for a way to write the next idea.
Outline your goals, objectives, and target persona
Your editorial calendar is only completed halfway if all you have is your ideas outlined. Make your editorial calendar work for you by outlining your goals, objectives, and target persona for each idea. It sounds like a lot of work, but you may have already done it subconsciously.
Look at your ideas and ask yourself why you jotted it down. If you have a content strategy in place, then you can refer to that to help you out. If you want to increase e-commerce sales, then your objectives should reflect that goal.
Your content should have a purpose that takes you closer to achieving that goal. For example, the objective of an article can be to educate your audience. The purpose of your landing page content is to get your audience to convert. Each piece of content will have a different objective, which will help you achieve your main goal.
Once you have outlined your goals and objectives, you need to think about your audience. Each piece of content on your calendar should show which audience you’re speaking to. The audience of your Instagram page will differ from the audience of your blog.
You might be promoting a product on Instagram that has a huge fan base of teenagers. But who’s going onto your blog to learn about the credibility of your brand’s story? Possibly their parents who are unsure if they should hand over their credit card to buy your fancy socks.
You’ll have a better chance at engaging your audience if your content is aimed at them. This also helps determine the tone of voice you should be using to communicate with your audience.
Outlining these three things will give you and your team direction. Your editorial calendar should act as your North Star.
Use Google Calendar
If you’re a Gmail user, you’ve probably experienced how useful Google Calendar can be. Imagine how much easier it would be when you receive a reminder telling you that an article was posted. Those reminders will make your Monday morning meetings much easier. Google Calendar keeps your entire team on board with your editorial calendar.
You can add members of your team to specific events so that they receive notifications too. Imagine how useful these notifications can be for your social media team. Keep your content marketing team in the loop by using this feature regularly.
If your organization is already using Google’s GSuite Apps; adopting Google Calendar should be a breeze.
An editorial calendar keeps your content marketing from going up in flames. Keep everything organized by having it all in one place. It can be stored in a physical location, like a busy hallway in your office. You should also spill out all your ideas before you sit down to create a calendar. Outline your goals, objectives, and target personas to find your North Star.
Making these changes can be difficult, but don’t worry.
Here’s a template you can use to outline what we’ve discussed. All you have to do is tie everything together by putting it all onto your Google Calendar.
What will you do to optimize your editorial calendar?