How to Build a Content Marketing Editorial Calendar

In order to fully comprehend the significance of a content marketing editorial calendar, it is crucial to understand the phenomenon of content marketing. Content marketing includes creating and sharing the content to engage the target audience.

Content marketing retains consumers and improves brand loyalty. In order to do so, you have to understand your target market and determine what motivates them. This is where a content marketing editorial calendar comes in. It is an excellent tool for keeping track of the content creation, publishing and distribution.

A content marketing editorial calendar is a document for planning and provides you and your team with a roadmap about what has been done and what has to be done. It is like a traditional planner calendar giving you an update about the work within a few minutes. It provides you and your team with a proper structure on how to reach and build trust amongst your target market. It is also an organizational tool to keep you on top of things.

Some significant uses of content marketing editorial calendars are as follows:
• A place for generating key topics and post ideas
• Assigning of writing tasks to the team members
• Creating a publishing schedule
• Allowing you to adjust and update easily
• Visualizing the entire plan for the day, week or month
• Allowing all team members to easily understand the schedule

Below are the four basic steps of building a content marketing editorial calendar:

1. Audience/Topics Identification
A brand will no doubt be publishing content for a mass audience. Some businesses have different types of target audiences and stakeholders who are interested in completely different types of content.

In order to define the type of your target audience, you must consult with different departments dealing with the customers like HR, customer services, marketing, sales etc. It is not possible for one person or even one department to figure out what different kinds of customers they have which is why it is important to consult with other departments.

Furthermore, it is also crucial to decide on the distribution of content between the target markets. For example; 70% of the content must target the product ‘A’ buyers, 15% of the content must target product ‘B’ buyers, 10% of the content must be created for the existing customers while 5% of the content must be created to target potential customers.

You must determine how much content can be created and published in a week/month/year. This must be then divided among the workforce responsible of creating the content. This will show you how much content will be created and published each month by how many content creators and for which target audience.

2. Content Assets Stock
Many businesses have a stock of content already produced for them. These contents are usually those that were written but were not published. Such content can come useful if it has been properly organized and have been mentioned in the calendar regularly.

This content can be used as:
• Slide decks that can be reused as blog posts, videos, tutorials etc.
• For surveys and as infographics for finance department, or even as news stories.
• Transcriptions of audio and video material.
• Whitepaper that can be reused as blog series.
• To update old blog posts with new information.

When reusing the content, you have to careful not to reuse the content already published. This can only happen if you fail to update you marketing editorial calendar. However, utilizing the unused content can take away some burden to come up with thousands of new content ideas. This can provide a break for copywriters to refresh themselves. They can utilize unused content and then use that time to re-energize and come back with better and innovative ideas for content creation.

3. Scheduling, Publishing and Promoting
This calendar can be best used for scheduling meetings and brainstorming sessions between the entire content creation team. It can be scheduled beforehand so that everyone knows when the meeting and brainstorming session is. This way, everyone can come prepared. It can also be used to schedule publishing and circulation of newsletters, pamphlets, social media activity, and other such activities. Moreover, you could even use it to review the revenues generated, other engagements, and visits with clients and stakeholders.

4. Tracking and Updating
Through this calendar, you can also keep track of all the content creation. You can even do an evaluation of the content that has been successful and the content that was less successful. This way you can make the necessary changes and modifications. You can also track content created vs. content curated.

A content marketing editorial calendar is not merely a chart with schedules of content to be published, but it includes proper roadmaps, essential parties, target and methods of delivery. Here are some basic things that can be included in the calendar:

• Content list to be published as per the designed strategy. It can include the topics to be developed, existing topics and topics to update and revise.
• The list of writers and team leaders who create and publish the content. This list may include agencies, graphic designers, writers and editors.
• The dates of creation and publishing of content. When it has to be created, when it is to be proofread and edited, and when it should be published.
• A list of engaging strategies for audience after the content has been published.
• List about the mediums through which the content will be published: blog post, eBooks, social networking sites etc.