It’s important to have an editorial calendar to keep your content consistent and relevant to your business goals. Most businesses put at least some time into planning other areas of their business, like an annual budget. However, most don’t plan their content, which should be the cornerstone of your online, on-site marketing. In fact, great content is at the core of all organic search engine optimization (SEO). Without it, your SEO guru may be able to get your pages listed high in search results, but without great content that won’t keep them coming back.
Proper Planning Creates Efficiency
Without a well thought out content calendar, your content may or may not support your business goals and you could potentially waste resources, creating content that lacks value. Conversely, when you plan your content in advance, it creates tremendous efficiencies and ensures your content stays on target and gets results.
One of the ways planning creates efficiency is by facilitating content repurposing. Many businesses only think about creating content for their blog. This is a great starting point, but when you plan properly, you can use the research and outline from a blog article to create many other content pieces with very little additional work. Here are just a few ways you can repurpose a single blog article’s content:
- Youtube video
- Slideshare presentation
- Facebook post
- Linkedin group post
- White paper
The possibilities are limited only by your imagination.
Identify Areas That Need More Attention
Planning your content will help you identify areas you want to address by seeing it all in one place. For example, you may want to have different content pieces aimed at your prospective clients during various stages in the sales funnel/buying process. The tone and calls to action will be different for each stage and by seeing this in a big picture summary, such as your content calendar, you will be able to identify where you need to focus additional content.
Spot Opportunities for Larger, Higher Value Content
If you have concepts or processes that you want to explain to your audience, which cannot be handled in a single article, your planning calendar will help keep you focused and on track. It will also help you structure your articles to craft a story rather than having articles around the same subject that don’t flow together. This will make it easier to turn an article series into a white paper, eBook or PowerPoint slide presentation with minimal additional resources.
Keep it Simple
When people hear “planning” they sometimes tune out because they envision a time consuming process that adds little value. In many businesses, planning is something that is forced upon you from people higher up in the organization. A content calendar can be as simple as a calendar with content topics dropped into the week you want to publish the content. It’s useful to track a few other things to increase the value and efficiency of your content marketing, like calls to action, keywords, etc.
Just Do It
The most important thing is to get started. You can always add to, or modify, your plans. On the other hand, if you have no plan, you are shooting from the hip. In an increasingly competitive world, more and more businesses are looking for every possible edge to help them stand out from the competition. Planning could be an edge that helps set you apart and moves your business to the next level.