Updated: Jan 31, 2021
As a content producer, your main aim is to engage your audience by pushing out high-quality content that is relevant to them. It is good to engage your audience. Communication creates a connection with your audience. This connection mostly leads to action – purchase of your goods or services. I mean, isn’t that the reason why we are here? To take your brand and sales to the next level by engaging your audience.
Engaging your audience is necessary, but in order to gain credibility, you need to release content consistently. Producing engaging and consistent content establishes credibility and increases brand awareness. That way, customers can trust your brand. Content marketing is just like any other relationship. If there is no interaction for a day, maybe a week, the relationship starts to die. In this day and age, content marketing is king but note that creating content is nothing without consistency. One of the biggest challenges most businesses experience is knowing when to produce content. Producing high-quality content keeps both old and new customers coming back for more. So what happens when they come back and then find nothing? They go to your competitor, who always has something new for them. It’s the law of the jungle.
Much attention should be given to the frequency of your content. Creating a timetable as to when content should be released is a great way to distinguish yourself from your competitors. The consistency of your content establishes you as a leader in your industry. When you are a leader, the customers seek you out.
This blog will show you how to remain consistent. One way you can do that is via the newsroom concept.
The Newsroom Concept
The longevity of your brand’s online presence is dependent on how often you produce content. It is best to create and publish content as often as possible. So then, how do you provide the answer as to when to produce content?
The best approach to answer the question is to make use of the newsroom concept – creating a lot of quality content. The more content you have at hand, the better your chances are of releasing content frequently.
Ever been to a newspaper’s editorial room? They don’t stop working. Even after releasing the day’s paper, they are back at work, working on the content for the next day. This is how you should approach your content output.
Now that you know about the newsroom concept. How do you incorporate it – with an editorial calendar.
What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is a marketing strategy tool that helps you keep track of your content production process. It is a visual representation of your content on a calendar-like interface. It is a planning document that helps you organize and coordinate the frequency of your contents. It may be a spreadsheet or a whiteboard. The important thing is that all members of your content team have access to it.
Incorporating the use of an editorial calendar gives your team an insight into when to produce content. Your whole team is aligned towards the release date of each content, making sure content is churned out at the exact date and time. This way, all branches of your creative team, from the writers to the designers to the video editors and down to the publishers work together in tandem.
To maintain consistency, it is best to coordinate your content release monthly, if possible, you can plan for a year, leaving adequate time out for impromptu content needs. To give you a better understanding of what an editorial calendar really is, here are some things it should accomplish:
An editorial calendar should provide a place to generate ideas and topics.
Assign writing and editing to team members
Create a publishing timeline
Help with the visualization of your marketing strategy in a comprehensible manner.
Act as a communication channel for your team members.
Principal Benefits of an Editorial Calendar
An editorial calendar helps to determine when to produce content. It is an essential tool for planning and meeting release date deadlines. Knowing exactly when to release content simplifies releasing content around a centralized theme (like how magazines can release different issues for each month). Let’s review three major benefits:
Using an editorial calendar enables your publicity to achieve synergy with your content across multiple channels. As a content marketer, your content needs to be uniform. An editorial calendar encourages uniform collaboration among your team, making use of a structured schedule. Say you have a theme for the month, your team members will be able to work together, creating content that represents the theme of the month. Better still, if you are outsourcing your content and you have multiple contributors, it gives them specific lead dates. Each creative outlet will be able to turn in content before release dates and avoid the duplication of content. Below are questions you should ask in order to get your team aligned:
Which content generates more leads?
Which content gets highest engagement ratings?
What content do we create to rank highly in SEO?
Which content does best in PPC ads?
Is there content to support each product?
Are your contents mapped to press releases?
As a brand seeking to actively engage your current audience and also get the attention of potential customers, it is vital that you publish your content regularly. Using an editorial calendar makes you plan your content. More importantly, it gives you a certain accountability.
You can pencil your ideas on the calendar and attach a completion date to it. This keeps you and your team on your toes to make the deadline. All hands will be on deck to meet the release dates. Wondering when to produce content becomes less problematic for your team. Parkinson’s Law says, “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Without a deadline, people take as much time as they have to complete their work. This isn’t because they are lazy; it’s just the way we operate.
That’s why, often times, it looks like we function better and faster under pressure. With deadlines on your content calendar, more content is created. It will become crucial that you meet your content deadline. In summary, an editorial calendar makes you and your team accountable.
It is easier to forget a content idea when it is not written down somewhere. Having a good idea and forgetting it or simply not executing it can be very frustrating. With an editorial calendar, once you or any of your content creators come up with an idea, it goes straight on the calendar. That way, nothing is forgotten or omitted.
You will also be able to keep track of your past content as well as future releases. It’s more like a log recording of all content produced and published. An editorial calendar will also give you control over your brainstorming process. It is recommended that you include the following information in your calendar:
Product launch dates
National events, e.g., the Super Bowl, Academy awards, etc.
That way, you can plan ahead for all special events.
How to Plan an Editorial Calendar
The key to successful marketing is having a plan. In the world of content marketing the more planning you do, the more you’ll stand out. Keep track of all your content outlets (videos, ebooks, blogs, socials, etc.) using an editorial calendar.
So what are the keys to planning an effective editorial calendar?
Have regularly scheduled meetings to brainstorm topics and ideas.
Map content to each marketing funnel stage. There are three primary stages, and you’ll need content for each of the stages
Top of the funnel: Content that catches the attention of your audience
Middle of the tunnel: This stage encompasses content that speaks to potential customers.
Bottom of the funnel: This is content that converts potential customers to loyal customers.
Establish a clear workflow: Write out the steps required to create a single content piece and how long it takes to do so.
Add content to your calendar
Communicate and collaborate on content
When to publish content has always been a pending question in the content marketing industry. An editorial calendar is not necessarily a new idea. However, some brands choose to ignore it. Don’t be that brand. Take your content marketing up a notch by incorporating the editorial calendar. Take a step toward great planning and consistent content!