The editorial calendar is an indispensable tool for planning the contents of our blog. Do you know how to create an effective calendar?
The editorial calendar will help us select the best content for our audience and mark the deadlines of its publication. This will improve our workflow and, more importantly, give us a visual reference of our planning.
Once understood that this is an INDISPENSABLE tool, let’s see what steps you must take to create an editorial calendar:
1. Fix the objectives of the campaign
It is impossible to create any plan of action 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 object of the campaign (why are users going to give us their information?)
- Who is it addressed to (ie, your Buyer Person)
- 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 an approximate idea of what are, a priori, the themes that best fit the approach.
Keep this in mind:
Since our goal is to drive 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 in a simpler way.
2. Search the themes of your content
Once we have the idea of the type of content that can fit into our plan, it’s time to look for them. Taking into account the previously defined guiding keywords, you can draw a series of topics around them that will serve as your starting point.
The use of tools such as Feedly will be of great help to find quality references. Search your source collection (you should have a powerful reference base already made) and select those topics that fit your plan.
Another effective exercise is to search in platforms such as BuzzSumo those references that generate more interest in social networks. Search for the most shared content 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.
With all this, create an excel sheet with provisional titles of your future posts and sources that will serve as inspiration.
- Make a preselection of twice the content you really need.
- Keep in mind the future CTAs of the campaign, because this will be the link between your content and the offer. There must be coherence between all those pieces of content.
3. Select the posts you will include in the calendar
At this point, (1) you know your goal and a series of guiding keywords that have helped you (2) preselect, with the help of quality sources, a series of possible topics (3) which you have left noted in a separate sheet.
Refine even more the keywords of the posts that you are going to publish. This will help you to choose, among those of your first selection, those topics that may have more interest and are more likely to position. Capturing the highest traffic (of quality, of course) that we can must 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. Sort the posts in the calendar
Once the themes have been selected, it is time to distribute them in the calendar. I personally use the Google Drive spreadsheet, which allows me to share and modify with the rest of the team without problems.
In the calendar, you must introduce the following data:
- Author: Who writes the post? Maybe there is only one author and you can save this field.
- Title of the post: Be as specific as possible even if the definitive title is given once it is published.
- Buyer Person: 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 you to 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 what are the days with the most traffic on your blog. Maybe you want to take advantage of it or, on the contrary, try to level the traffic in the remaining days. It’s up to you.
Use colors to make it even more visual. For example, mark in a color the posts already published, designate with another color the posts of each author or each buyer person.
Surprise! You already have a graphic and detailed editorial calendar for your blog.
As you can see, everything revolves around the buyer to whom we are going, as well as the related offer of the campaign. From here, we should not only make sure that the content adds value to our audience. We must also give them an adequate dissemination to 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 working out as you expected, do not be afraid to modify it. The adaptability is essential to achieve the objectives.
- Optimize the creation of content and, above all, experiment. Try one of these 4 rules to make more content, better and in less time.