Updated: Nov 12, 2022
You are the ultimate expert of your business and who knows better than you the value your services or product will bring? Translating that knowledge into helpful information for your target audience and then publishing that content online WILL help you grow your business. Unfortunately, managing content (let alone writing it!) can get pretty stressful when there are other business needs demanding your attention. Read on to see how employing what is known as an Editorial Calendar will align your content to your business goals and take away some of the stress of managing a content posting schedule.
It is Purposeful
No matter if your content pool is small and can easily be tracked on paper, or whether you have multiple content types and distribution channels that require a tool like Google Calendar, the purpose of an editorial calendar is the same. It is the high-level plan for the What, Where and When of publishing your business’ content.
It's a Calendar
A typical editorial calendar organizes content in a 12-month period. By intentionally planning out your year, you can align your content strategy with your business objectives. Many small business owners find that an editorial calendar also minimizes the stress of deciding each week what is needed for online content. Does a year feel too intimidating to plan out all at once? Then try planning out just your next two business quarters.
Topics are the cornerstone
Start the process with a list of topics. The most effective content will attract your target audience, get them aware of your brand and engaged with what you have to say. Do not “just” describe your products or services. Instead, you will need to dig in and talk about the things your target audience cares about…and then tie that to you, your business and what you sell.
What's your Format going to be?
After you have honed in on the topics, next up is deciding the format – or content type. A blog, a how to guide, an infographic, a case study and a sales offer are examples of different types of social media content. Yes - I did say sales offer. Publishing helpful information is great, but at least 10% of the time you will want to publish an offer for your prospects to take action on. You will find that if you start tracking basic metrics – likes, shares, comments – you will see patterns for content types that resonate best with your target audience.
Social Media Channels
You now have created a framework of content topics and types aligned to your business goals. It is time to decide what channels, i.e. where you will publish (post) your content. You want to be where your customers are, but you also want to expand into as many social media channels as you can to amplify the reach of your content and its return on your time investment. Popular platforms to post content – other than your own website - include YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and online publications such as a trade association or membership group.
Frequency + Consistency
Most B2B marketers agree that businesses need to employ frequency and consistency when publishing content. A simple best practice is the more you publish, the more likely your content will attract and engage your target audience. But an equally important best practice is to create a reliable cadence to your posts, so don’t bite off more than you can chew! Put in the calendar what can reasonably be accomplished. Why do I stress this point? As your prospect and customers come across your next post of useful content, your consistency sends a message about commitment. Yes! Adhering to a schedule on a given channel, whether it is to post content daily, or twice a week, or once a month, etc. telegraphs to prospective customers the type of organized and reliable business you run. Consistency is extremely important, and the editorial calendar will give you the structure to manage this throughout the year.
Collect the above elements: the What (topics & types), the Where (distribution channels), and the When (when and how often) and look at your year as a whole. Overlay in holidays or seasonality alerts and start assigning a Topic-Type-Channel to a specific day. Build in variety and repeatability in your editorial calendar. Now on to the fun part! Start creating that content!
Are Editorial calendars not your thing, or you think content management is a nightmare? I'm available! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a complimentary content review of your next post, or to get a quote for your own Editorial Calendar so YOU can start leveraging content this year to grow your business.