I’ve put together countless editorial calendars over my career. Couldn’t live without them.
You may be putting yours together for 2014. Think of it as a flexible plan: Stick to it when possible, be ready to add or change content as needed, and definitely do not abandon it 3 weeks in.
As you and your colleagues map out great stories to share next year, consider these questions to make your editorial calendar as successful as possible.
What are your goals related to content?
Examples: brand awareness, lead generation, better SEO, thought leadership.
Who will herd the cats?
Tasks without delegation are never completed.
What kind of art direction is needed?
Consider hiring a photographer, a graphic designer and other pros to make your work stand out.
What will you use when posts fall through or deadlines are missed?
Examples: backup posts, answering customer questions, polls.
How will it look in each channel?
Consider your different audiences and goals for your blog, Facebook page, email list and other outlets.
Where can you save time and effort?
Examples: batching posts, hiring freelancers, using blog post summaries in emails.
How will you measure engagement and sales?
Examples: Likes, comments, email subs, downloads, queries.
Which posts are tied to seasonality and dates? Which ones can run at any time?
Knowing your customers and your audience pays off here.
Who writes, shoots, edits, gets approval? Who posts, schedules social media and designs emails?
Especially important with occasional contributors in your company.
Who moderates the comments and answers the social media responses? Who watches and analyzes the metrics?
Crucial to your 2015 editorial calendar.
What are your calls to action?
Content marketing doesn’t require a call to action, but it helps with building your audience and testing.
Which special content pieces should be publicized in media releases?
Don’t forget to alert the media when appropriate.
Never be stuck for content ideas again.
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