23
Mar

5 Easy Steps to Creating a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar

As unexciting as the task may seem, creating a content marketing editorial calendar is one of the best things you can do for your marketing because it gives you assurance, clarity, and organization. You will no longer face the problem of staring at a blank screen wondering what to write about. Your website content will also seem more interconnected and seamless, rather than being on random topics, when you take the time to plan it out. Creating an editorial calendar for your content marketing isn’t as difficult as it seems. Just follow these five easy steps, and you’ll have a content marketing editorial calendar:

Know Your Target Audience

Many things in business start with knowing your target audience, and content marketing is no exception. You should already know who your target audience is, so this step is just a matter of reminding yourself who you’re writing content for. If you haven’t defined a target audience for your business yet, then you must do so before moving on to the next step in creating a content marketing editorial calendar. Having a target audience is important for remaining consistent in your message and attracting the right people.

Set Content Marketing Goals

Before you can brainstorm content ideas to schedule in your calendar, you need to set content marketing goals. What will you accomplish when you don’t know exactly what heights you want to reach? You’ll be like a hamster running on a wheel – putting forth a lot of effort while not getting very far. Determine what you’d like to accomplish with your content marketing. For instance, you may want 5,000 Twitter followers, 6,000 email subscribers, 1,000 conversions, and authority in your industry. Once you clarify exactly what you want to achieve with content marketing, you will know how often to post and whether or not you’re on track.

Think About How Much Work You Can Handle

While it’s good to aim high, you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin either. Be honest with yourself about how much content your business can afford to pump out. If you’re neglecting other areas of your life to write content, then you need to start outsourcing, accepting guest blog posts, or writing less. Therefore, you must determine how many articles and how many social media posts of each network you can publish per week.

For example, you may find it within your means to post 2 articles, 25 tweets, 5 Facebook posts, and 10 Instagram uploads per week. Don’t worry too much about setting your limits. You can always increase or decrease your output as necessary once your plan is in motion by simply editing your plan and calendar.

Brainstorm Content Topics

Many people think brainstorming content topics comes first in creating a content marketing editorial calendar, but it’s actually the fourth step. It must come after knowing who your target audience is, setting goals, and knowing your limits. Brainstorming content ideas is the fun part. Think about what sort of content your target audience would love reading and write down all of your topic ideas without judgment. Even if something seems outlandish or boring, write it down. After giving your brain a rest, you may find that an idea you didn’t like initially is actually a great idea that benefits your target audience.

Schedule Your Topic Ideas

Finally, look over your list of content ideas and schedule them into a calendar for at least one month in advance. You may have to do some rearranging until you find the best order, but don’t spend too much time on the process either. Some tools you can use to create a content marketing editorial calendar include Excel, Google Sheets, and CoSchedule. A good way of organizing the spreadsheet is listing the publication dates on the first column and then other important info in subsequent columns, such as, title, description, place of publication (blog, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), and time of posting.

Conclusion

A content marketing editorial calendar is needed to reduce stress and eliminate the problem of not knowing what to write about next. Although it sounds like something complicated to create, it’s actually not that hard. In just these five simple steps, you can create your first content marketing editorial calendar. As time goes on, you are free to refine your calendar and plan as you see fit and based on how past content performed.

Karen Selby
About Karen Selby
Karen is Senior Copywriter at Sandstorm Digital FZE. Prior to this she worked for 10 years in Sydney and London for agencies including DDB, TBWA and DMB&B. Some of the amazing accounts Karen worked on included Northern Territory Travel, Sydney Morning Herald, Westpac Bank, Macdonalds, Thomas Cook (travel) Playstation, Bonds clothing, The Labour party, O2 (communications) Absolut Vodka – and countless others.
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