By Windy Lim, The Digital-Co.
Planning an editorial calendar is as important as defining and crafting your business strategy for the coming year.
A good business strategy has a vision to deliver competitive advantage and unique value from the product and service solution offering to defined target market. Structuring a strong editorial calendar in aligning the business goal identified is not just a mere content creation and management function by deadline.
Laying the groundwork to create an effective editorial calendar is vital to a company’s online presence for growth, reach the right target audience and develop a content strategy for customer engagement in a consistent fashion.
So, what are the things to consider, to plan and Build an Effective Editorial Calendar for your Business?
Know your competitor online strategy and presence
Engage tool to analyze competitor activity.
Once the benchmark exercise for your business competitor is conducted, you will want to know your competitor content performance and online tactics employed. Engage tools, for example BuzzSumo, to analyze and track competitor content activity.
What works for your competitor and not.
An understanding of what content, channels and network works for your direct competitor and how your past content works in comparison, will allow you to clearer define your goal and strategize to plan your editorial calendar in order to achieve desired results. This learning can also steer your planning to build on wins and at the same time, do away with past works that do not perform to optimize the editorial calendar content. Look also into the frequency and variation in content type in publications and postings, to serve as a reference point in your resource planning.
Competitor’s content engagement audience.
Who is sharing the social media post? Who is commenting on a blog article? Which content type has the most engagement? When you analyze competitor’s content engagement, look at the audience type and make a list of the content topics that make them tick. Review the content writing if it is on a trending topic or addressing a particular problem.
A gauge of direct competitor’s online presence and activity will be a good reference and benchmark point in your planning of editorial calendar and resource allocation in execution.
Set your content marketing strategy objective to build an effective editorial calendar
The business strategy written comes with set business, sales and marketing goals. The content marketing strategy objective is to help achieve these goals.
Should your blog posts be more frequent and better each time to grow your blog traffic? Should you repurpose your content to more videos as 54% of people online prefer videos as the content type they want to see from a brand or business they support, to build loyalty amongst your target customers? Do you want to increase your authority online for a niche product series you intend to launch in the coming year?
Aligning your content marketing strategy objective with the business goal, will enable you to set relevant key performance indicators for the digital marketing team to manage and track the progress of your plan.
You can also define the content type weightage to be written and produced based on objective, right from the start. For example, 30% of social media posts for the year should be social images with short text keyword description and link to your website blog post as this manner stirs more online engagement with your written blogs.
Continuous improvement in visibility via keyword research, better SEO performance and engagement
Research keywords and use them to build high-quality and informative content.
Use keyword research tools, for example Moz, to find the list of keywords that your target audience is actually searching on Google. In researching keywords that are getting a high volume of searches each month, you can identify and organise your content into topics that your team can write. Review these topics for content creation to bring value to your target audience and also use the target keywords in all the right places for keyword optimization.
Better SEO performance for organic search.
To be placed on the first page of a Google search does not happen overnight.
On-Page SEO mentioned above is important, no doubt. You also need to consider other aspects of SEO for a well-rounded organic search strategy. The site speed, ease of navigation, mobile friendliness improvements need be look into, to provide an overall good user experience. This can affect traffic and engagement aspects, and helps search engines to see that the site is of good quality. Also, the content that has high-quality backlinks builds a site’s reputation, trustworthiness and authority.
Extend reach of social media postings.
Keep the social media postings alive with different content type, repurpose content and steer engagement with smart use of hashtags, encourage sharings and be prompt with replies to comments.
The devote to a content calendar is to organically improve your SEO positioning overtime. This is imperative for every content piece to get the deserving exposure and reach to map its way to target audience when they search for you. Continuous improvement in this arena will help build a more powerful editorial calendar year-on-year.
Editorial Calendar Architecture: Content-based and Event-based content creation
Resource for Content-based (planned) calendar.
Product roadmap: Identify all product launches in the year and build online-campaign strategy for each product launch.
Build a library of content resource, for both traditional and online marketing perusal. For example, every product launch will have a checklist – A brochure, a summary write-up (concise product introduction for exhibition/event publication, partners’ website and also web banners), a planned press release schedule of written articles for different target audience, blog, video and supplementary videos, newsletter, good-quality images and photos of product and application and on. You can select which content resource as gated content too.
Regular repurpose content of a company’s brand positioning, launched products brief introduction, successes and overseas footprint, for education and to build trust and authority online.
Market trends sharing, in the form of prepared curated content or management sharing in the form of video interviews or quoted statements.
Festive greeting messages postings scheduled in advance, with local personal touch and design.
Resource for Event-based (planned) calendar.
Prepare your calendar year participating exhibition / show / speaking forums roadmap. For example, you can plan 3 posts of every major event:
- Inform your participation in an upcoming event 2 weeks in advance, as a speaker or exhibitor. Invite target audience to join the event.
- Inform that you are prepared for the event 2 days in advance, to show your commitment and looking forward to target audience participation.
- Share your event experience and received response 2 days post event. You can provide insights, share photographs and videos as well in your postings.
Self-organised forums in joined Groups to build a target audience community.
Resource for Event-based (Ad-hoc) calendar.
Content creation on Success stories, Customers’ interviews, product reviews, testimonials, earned credentials and awards, invitations to speak, take priority column postings and on. Sharing of successes and progress builds credibility.
Trending topic just happens and affect your industry. Be vigilant of market happenings and if it is a topic of great interest to your target audience, be the first to create content and drives your audience interest and engagement.
Have an editorial calendar framework with planned headers and content topics for the year, and be flexible at the same time to allow for impromptu changes and additions. The bottom line is to have ample worthwhile content topics in plan to deliver rather than to create content for the sake of meeting deadline.
Track your content and campaign performance to make progress
Monitor your results consistently. Analyse every delivered content performance and ROI. Gather the learnings from the analytics and continuously strive to make improvements for better progress.
This will be the effort to optimize your strategy.
Content marketing if done right is highly effective and rewarding. Building an effective editorial content for your business with a well-planned robust content strategy will empower you to manage your campaigns and projects with good resource allocation and time management.
Contact The Digital-Co. for a free consultation today, for your editorial calendar, content creation and management.