Learn how to build your online presence with an editorial calendar.
3 steps to create an editorial calendar
We see many businesses put a lot of effort into their social media presence, but struggle to grow their presence in any meaningful way. Content takes many forms, there is short-form and long-form content as well as interactive content. It’s important to understand what content works for your audience and also to plan this in advance, to save time and effort.
One of the many techniques in the social media toolkit is to produce an editorial calendar – but what is it and how will it help?
#1 – What is an editorial calendar?
In its simplest form, an editorial calendar is a way of keeping your content organised and ensure that you are targeting the right messages to the right audience at the right time. It allows you to plan content in advance and ensure you have the right imagery (which you own or have paid for!) in place, that’s also relevant and suitable for your target audience. We’re written about content calendars in more detail here.
#2 – How do I create an editorial calendar?
It’s worth starting with a content audit to see the type of content you currently provide.
To build your editorial calendar, on a spreadsheet, in the first column, list all of your communications platforms. As well as all the social platforms, there are perhaps internal comms (intranets, newsletters etc.) and traditional PR outlets (local newspaper, trade magazines etc.). On the spreadsheet, in the row across the top, put the next 12 months (or 12 weeks, or 14 days depending on your level of activity). If you want to do this quickly, we have created a template that’s available via download here.
Next, you have to have an idea of the key messages you need to convey. This is different for every company but you should understand what you want each audience to know about your brand.
You’ll then need to think about which audience inhabits which platform. Again, this is different for every business. B2B businesses might find that the company Facebook page is mostly followed by employees, but retail businesses might be followed by customers and brand fans on their Facebook page. Analyse each platform and figure out which audience is where.
The final step is to plan your content on your spreadsheet so that each audience is regularly reminded of your presence and that the message is crafted and correct. The goal is not necessarily to fill in every box, but to ensure there is an appropriate amount of content reaching everyone.
#3 – What are the benefits of a content calendar?
Once you start thinking in this structured manner, you will inevitably start to think further ahead. You can generate better content because you are planning it in advance rather than reacting to whatever is happening that day.
You will also create a slow groundswell of awareness across all your audiences in different ways, but consistent with the aims of your brand.
You will achieve more with the same amount of effort as the advance planning allows you to use quiet times to create and develop future content, so that your messaging is consistent all year round. Plus there are a range of tools to help schedule content once it’s created!
If you want more, why not download our free ebook ‘How to maximise social media content’.