Wednesday May 1, 2019
Ever wonder why so many small business owners fail at their content marketing plans? It’s because they don’t actually HAVE a plan.
They just come up with some vague goal like, “I’m going to blog once a week,” or “I’m going to post to Facebook twice a day,” and that’s it.
When they do manage to put something out there, it’s typically not researched or thought out in advance. It’s just some spur-of-the-moment words, tossed together on a whim. More ‘noise’ on the radar that their target audience is just going to ignore.
I’m here to tell you that is not the way to go.
If you want your content marketing efforts to be successful, you need an editorial calendar. Keep reading to find out how to create your own content roadmap.
What is an editorial calendar?
Unlike some world leaders (ahem . . . I’m looking at you, Mr. President), most of us want to put some thought into what we’re going to say before we say it.
And just for the record, “Oh, shit. I shouldn’t have tweeted that!” is not a plan.
An editorial calendar is used to control the process of creating content, all the way from thought to publication. The type of content, topics, target audience and more are all laid out, sometimes months in advance. When there is no guesswork involved, it's much harder to mess up!
An editorial calendar can save you time AND money.
When you own a business, it’s all about the bottom line, right? Well, an editorial calendar isn’t just a productivity tool or a cover-your-own-ass tool. An editorial calendar is also a money making tool. How?
If you’re spending time figuring out what you’re going to talk about in your newsletter or social media or blog every week, you’re wasting time–and time wasted is money lost.
By creating an editorial calendar at the beginning of the year, you get the brunt of the work out of the way all at once. Sure, you might need to tweak it a little based on changes to your products or audience, but it should largely remain the same. And your future self will thank you for the favor.
An editorial calendar ensures you send a consistent message.
Let’s face it: at times our moods are all over the place. You don’t want to wake up one morning and post a totally whack Facebook message because you’re angry about the way GOT ended the night before.
Creating an editorial calendar ensures that your message stays consistent and on brand, no matter what you’re going through. And a consistent message helps to build audience loyalty and keeps them engaged all year long–because they always know what to expect.
The same editorial calendar can be used for ALL of your content.
Juggling social media, newsletters, and blog posts sucks. But guess what? Having an editorial calendar can take 90% of the effort off your plate.
Why? Because Past You already planned out what Present You has to say! All you have to do is sit back, spread your wings, and shout from the rooftops that you know stuff!
How can you create a content calendar?
Creating a content calendar couldn’t be easier. Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose the scheduling format that best works for you (old school calendar, spreadsheet, app, etc.)
- Plug in the content you want to share on the appropriate days (blog posts, social media, newsletters, etc.)
- Keep it as simple or as detailed as you want–for instance, you could write in just a topic for a blog or add in some key points and sources.
From there, you can customize however you want by adding in notes, color-coding, attachments, and so on. Voila! You have a content calendar.
Have you tried to use an editorial calendar in the past? Did you find that it improved your marketing efforts? Let me know!