There are numerous reasons why you need an editorial calendar . If you don’t know them, you’re already taking a while to click on the link to understand why you can’t live without it (just kidding… you will live, but your content strategy probably won’t).
Now you know? Perfect. As you can see, the editorial calendar will help us select the best content for our audience and mark the deadlines of their publication. This will improve our workflow and, more importantly, give us a visual reference to our planning.
Once we understand that this is an INDISPENSABLE tool, let’s see what are the steps you must follow to create an editorial calendar:
1. Set the objectives of the campaign
It is impossible to create any action plan if you do not have objectives. In the case of an Inbound campaign, our plan will be based on attracting new leads to a specific product or offer . Therefore, the first step will be to define:
- What is the offer that is the object of the campaign (why are the users giving us their information?)
- Who is it aimed at (i.e. your Buyer Persona )
- Keywords that define the campaign (for now they will be indicative)
- Purchase cycle (how we intend to guide the user through each of the phases)
These points will give us a rough idea of which are, a priori, the themes that will best fit the approach.
Keep this in mind:Since our goal is to guide users through the purchase cycle , you need to know what content will serve for each conversion phase. Defining the process in the reverse order (decision -> consideration -> discovery) will help you to make it easier.
2. Find the themes of your content
Once we have the idea of the type of content that can fit into our plan, it is time to look for them. Taking into account the previously defined indicative keywords, you can trace a series of topics around them that will serve as your starting point.
Using tools like Feedly will be of great help in finding quality references. Search through your collection of sources (you should have a powerful reference base already made) and select those topics that fit your plan.
Another effective exercise is to search platforms like BuzzSumo for those references that generate the most interest on social networks. Search for the contents that are most shared in those reference blogs or the most shared posts with the keywords defined above.
eye! It is not about copying posts, but about capturing ideas from quality sources that will serve to inspire you and offer your own vision of the subject.
“Great artists copy, geniuses steal.”
With all this, create an excel sheet (or any other system, you choose) with provisional titles of your future posts and the sources that will serve as inspiration.
- Look for references in English. You will have many more and (probably) of better quality.
- Pre-select twice as much content as you really need. It will do you good to have “reserves” on the bench.
- Keep in mind the future CTAs of the campaign, as this will be the link between your content and the offer. There must be consistency between all those pieces of content.
3. Select the posts that you will include in the calendar
Let’s recap: at this point, (1) you know your objective and a series of guiding keywords that have helped you (2) to preselect, with the help of quality sources, a series of possible topics (3) which you have left listed in a separate sheet.
Now is the time to choose the “headline” posts, to continue with the metaphor from before. To do this, refines further keywords of posts that you publish. This will help you to choose, among those of your first selection, those topics that may be of more interest and have more possibilities of positioning. Capturing the most traffic (quality, of course) that we can should always be among our priorities.
As you can see, we are working on SEO before writing a word. You must know how to position a content in search engines , but do not get obsessed with it …
4. Order the posts in the calendar
Once the topics are selected, it is time to distribute them on the calendar. In my case, I use a Google Drive spreadsheet, which allows me to share and modify with the rest of the team without problems. You can use another system if it is more comfortable for you: a classic Excel sheet, a Word, a calendar of the Madrid firefighters … you choose.
In the calendar, you must put the following data:
- Author : Who writes the post? Maybe there is only one author and you can save yourself this field.
- Post title : Be as specific as possible even if you give it the final title once it is published.
- Buyer Persona: Who is it for? It is very useful to determine the tone of the text.
- Buyer’s Journey: What is the purpose of the post? Keep this in mind, it will help guide the reader through the different phases of the purchase cycle.
- CTA to be included in the post.
- Keyword that will help the positioning of the content.
- Keep in mind which are the busiest days of your blog. Maybe you are interested in taking advantage of it or, on the contrary, trying to level the traffic in the remaining days. It’s up to you.
- Use colors to make it even more visual . For example, mark the posts already published in one color, designate the posts of each author or each buyer person with another color.
Surprise! You already have a graphic and detailed editorial calendar for your blog. As you can see, everything revolves around the buyer persona we are targeting, as well as the related offer of the campaign. From here, we must not only make sure that the content adds value to our audience . We must also give them adequate dissemination so that they reach their target audience .
Finally, I would like to give you 2 last tips:
- Be flexible in your planning : The editorial calendar is essential to order the content plan, mark publication dates and, above all, have a visual guide to it. But if you see that it is not turning out as you expected, do not be afraid to modify it. Adaptability is essential to achieve the objectives.
- Optimize content creation and, above all, experiment. Try any of these 4 rules to make more content, better and in less time .