If you are looking for ways to get your target audience onto your website, content is king. By blogging and sharing engaging content on your social media platforms, you can completely revolutionize your business. High quality, relevant content will engage with your potential customers and get your ideal customers onto your website. As content plays a crucial role in your marketing, you need to research and strategize your content to make sure you reach as much of your target audience as possible – and, that’s where an editorial calendar comes into play. For detailed advice on how to increase traffic to your website, you can read our Beginner’s Guide to SEO.
So, What Is An Editorial Calendar?
An editorial calendar is a calendar you use solely to plan your publishing schedule for the weeks and months ahead. Whether you use it for scheduling your blog posts, podcasts, publishing infographics or social media content, your editorial calendar helps you strategize your content marketing to make sure you increase your traffic and brand awareness. See our content calendar series for more details on the step by step process.
The Benefits of Using an Editorial Calendar for Your Blog & Social Media Platforms
Although a lot of us know how important blogging and social media is for growing your business, it can often be something we rush or leave as an after-thought. Using an editorial calendar to plan your publishing schedule will improve the quality, frequency and relevance of your content. Here are a few of the benefits:
Plan Your Content Marketing Strategy
Once you’ve researched the most searched keywords for your business, you can plan content around them. This way, you know that you’re publishing high quality content that is relevant to your audience.
Ensure You are Publishing High Quality Content
We have already touched on how easy it is to rush a tweet or blog post without planning it strategically. By having and creating a publishing schedule, it allows you to write informative, well-researched content that your readers will love.
You will have more time to brainstorm ideas for your posts. And – you may also find that one of your content ideas can be split into a series of posts which will create more content that’ll attract your target audience.
You Will Post More
If content is king then consistency is queen. Not only does publishing 1-2 blog posts every month generate
70% more online enquiries than businesses who don’t blog, studies have also found that consistently publishing quality blog posts makes your brand more trustworthy and enforces loyalty from your readers.
It Will Help Stop Writers Block
Ever open up a blank word document and stared at it in hope of finding inspiration? You’re not the only one. Planning ahead will give you a head start on knowing what to write – which’ll cut down the time you’re wasting on procrastinating.
How To Create An Editorial Calendar For Your Blog
1. Use Google Analytics to Strategize Your Content
Google Analytics gives you an amazing insight into what content works well on your website. Take a look at what blog posts bring in the most traffic to your blog and use the most popular subjects to plan your future content. For example, if you’re a healthy lifestyle brand and your blog posts about fitness get the most attention – you can use this data to plan posts that will generate more traffic. When planning your content, you can also see what page titles and post structure worked the best.
2. Brainstorm Content Ideas
Plan some time to brainstorm ideas for your blog posts to go in your editorial calendar. If you’re running short on time, carry around a notebook to write down any idea that comes to mind.
3. Evenly Distribute Your Blog Posts across the Month
When it comes to planning what days your content will go live, make sure you distribute your blog posts evenly across the month. That way you won’t publish loads in one week and neglect your blog for 2 weeks thereafter. Being consistent with your content will make your reader more aware of when you are posting so that they know when to check out your posts.
How to Create your Editorial Calendar for Social Media
1. Share a Variety of Content
When you don’t schedule posts in advance, you may publish more of one type of content than another – or you may even post a lot on one day and not a lot on another. On your editorial schedule you can plan when to post a video, infographic or a link to a blog post to maintain an interesting social media presence.
2. Ensure You are Posting Visual Content
When it comes to social media, when you combine visual content with text & links it works better than written content alone. For instance, infographics are liked and shared on social media 3x more than any other type of content.
3. Organize Social Contests
One of the best ways to reach more people and increase likes, shares and follows is by hosting free giveaways on your social media platforms. For example, Qwetee reached 100,000 fans by giving away t-shirts every week. On your editorial calendar you can plan when a competition is going to be launched, ended and when the winner is going to be announced. On this plan, you can also write blog posts and tweets to get more people engaging with your competition.
4. Schedule in Twitter Chats
An easy way to interact with your audience is by participating in Twitter Chats that are relevant to your business. For example, #CreativeHour is held every Monday at 9pm EST. Using your editorial calendar to remind you when Twitter Chats are taking place is a surefire way to make sure you’re not missing out on potential networking opportunities.
5. Plan Your Ad Spend
As Facebook has made it difficult to reach your audience organically, by planning which posts you’ll boost or when your like campaign is going to take place, you can set your budget for the month and feel reassured that you’re reaching as many people as possible.
6. Write + Schedule
Plugins and Platforms to Help You Stay Up to Date with Your Editorial Calendar
While some of us may prefer to create our editorial calendar on paper, a few of us may like to manage our publishing schedule digitally. Here are a few plugins and platforms we recommend:
CoSchedule – A WordPress plugin that allows you to plan your posts on a calendar as well as write and schedule social media posts from the post editor. It starts at $15 per month for 1 user with 5 social media profiles.
WordPress Editorial Calendar – Another WordPress plugin that allows you to see all of your posts, drag and drop posts to the desired dates and times and edit titles and content. And – it’s free!
Google Calendar – You automatically gain access to a calendar when you sign up for a Google account. You can easily schedule in posts and set reminders. Unfortunately – this isn’t synced up with WordPress but you can have the calendar synchronized with your phone.
Hootsuite – Hootsuite allows you to schedule Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn posts in advance from your PC and through a mobile app. You can also see how well posts performed. It’s free for one user with 3 social media platforms.
Buffer – Similar to Hootsuite, Buffer makes it incredibly easy to schedule your social media posts. You can use Buffer to schedule Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest from your PC and mobile app. What’s more – you can set up an individual plan for free!
We sure hope you found this blog helpful! If you have any questions, tips, comments, feel free to reach out to us on twitter, email, or in the comments below! We look forward to hearing your take.