Connect with us

MARKETING

How To Create An Editorial Calendar In 10 Minutes

Published

on

11 B2B Content Ideas to Fuel your Marketing (with Examples)

For time-starved marketers, sitting down to create an editorial calendar can feel like a monumental task. 

There’s always a deadline looming or a publishing date approaching that needs your attention ASAP.

So, it’s no wonder that 46% of marketers don’t have a documented content strategy. 

The irony is that creating an editorial calendar can actually save you time. So, we’re going to walk you through the process of quickly creating an editorial calendar. Here are the cliff notes: 

  1. Determine your overall content goals
  2. Decide which platform to use to build your calendar
  3. Determine your content workflow
  4. Determine your content distribution plan 
  5. Assign relevant tasks to relevant people

Before we dig into the details, though, let’s cover the basics: 

What’s an editorial calendar and why is it important?

An editorial calendar is a long-term timeline for planning and executing your content marketing strategy. Closely related to other planning tools like publishing schedules and content calendars, an editorial calendar often serves as the primary or master calendar from which more detailed plans are derived. 

As for why it’s important, Michele Linn, co-founder and chief strategy officer at Mantis Research, puts it this way: ”Regardless of where you are in your content marketing efforts, it’s important to have an editorial calendar to keep your content consistent and relevant. It also helps keep your marketing team on the same page and is a great reference for your management.”

Here are a few other perks of having a good editorial calendar: 

  • Reduces the amount of time spent writing and scheduling because your team isn’t constantly planning on the fly or re-inventing the wheel when creating content. 
  • Makes it easier to handle unexpected events because you can see the big picture and move things around accordingly. 
  • Improves collaboration within your marketing team, with management, with other departments in your company, and with outside stakeholders. 
  • Provides the vantage point needed to repurpose your existing or evergreen content and use your resources more efficiently. 
  • Allows you to measure results based on your marketing objectives and change course when needed instead of winging it. 

What does a good editorial calendar template look like?

As you can see in the editorial calendar example above, a good template details how various elements connect to your overall content strategy. It often takes major events or campaigns occurring over the next 12 months and breaks them down into the following categories: 

  • Goals
  • Tactics and frequency 
  • Person or department responsible
  • Important collaborators
  • Key distribution channels
  • Publishing deadlines

You can use a variety of tools to make your editorial calendar. Many large marketing teams use content calendar software, but you can also use spreadsheets (as shown above), traditional calendars, whiteboards with markers and sticky notes, Kanban boards, or other project management tools. 

Wondering why there are so many options? It’s because different tools allow you to visualize your editorial calendar in different ways. You should also consider things like ease of use, personal preferences, size of your team, integration with other tools, and scalability before deciding on which method to use. (We’ll go into more detail on how to choose the best one for your organization in a bit.) 

How to create an editorial calendar quickly 

Now that we’ve covered the basics, it’s time to get into some details. In this section, we’ll cover five steps to creating an editorial calendar as fast as possible. 

Step 1: Determine your overall content goals

Since your editorial calendar is a plan for executing your overall content goals, figuring out what those goals are is the best place to start. What are you trying to achieve? What outcome defines success? 

If you already know the answers to these questions, take a minute to jot them down. If not, you can use the following common content marketing goals as a starting point: 

  • Building brand awareness
  • Educating your audience
  • Building credibility and trust with customers and industry peers
  • Generating demand and leads
  • Nurturing subscribers and leads
  • Building loyalty with existing customers
  • Driving attendance to events
  • Generating sales and/or revenue
  • Building a subscriber list
  • Supporting the launch of a new product

You may have multiple goals, and that’s okay — in fact, it’s probably the most likely scenario. But it makes it even more important to clearly identify them now so you take them into account when planning out your calendar. 

After all, your goals are going to determine everything from the type of content you create to the distribution channel you choose to the language in your CTA. Sometimes different goals require a different approach; other times, there may be areas of overlap or opportunities for synergy. 

For example, let’s say you’re trying to build a subscriber list while simultaneously supporting a new product launch. You could approach them both separately, using different blog articles and social media ads for each goal. Or you could develop a webinar designed to both attract subscribers and promote the new product. 

Step 2: Decide which platform to use to build your own editorial calendar 

Once you’ve determined your goals, the next step is to choose a platform to build the actual calendar. So, let’s take a deeper look into the tools we mentioned earlier to figure out what’s best for your team. 

Spreadsheets 

Whether you build them through Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets, spreadsheets are a favorite tool for many content marketers. Besides being free, they have a relatively short learning curve and can be paired with calendar apps and other planning tools. 

However, spreadsheets can be a bear to maintain—especially if you have a large content marketing operation. They’re also not great for collaborating as comments can be hard to keep track of, often necessitating another form of communication that’s not tied to the calendar itself. 

Calendar apps

Digital calendar apps like Google Calendar or Apple Calendar are a straightforward way to keep tabs on content deadlines and publishing dates. They’re free, easy to use, and familiar to just about everyone. 

The main problem is that there’s a lot more to editorial calendars than just the key dates, and you’ll have to find a separate way to track that information. 

Whiteboards

Back in the day, editors would use whiteboards to keep track of everything. And this method does still have its uses, including brainstorming content ideas and providing a visual representation of the editorial calendar. However, whiteboards fall short when it comes to communicating the information on them to anyone else on your team. 

Project management tools

Visual Kanban boards, Gantt charts, and other project management tools are great for managing your editorial calendar once it’s created. There are a number of kanban software programs out there, like Jira and Trello, that provide templates to set up a board quickly. 

The main downside of going this route is that it’s often just another siloed solution — disconnected from your other marketing tools, calendars, and communication methods. 

Content calendar software

As you’re probably picking up by now, many tools tend to solve one problem while ignoring another, often leaving marketers to hobble together an inefficient solution. For this reason, many teams are switching to content calendar software to create and manage their editorial calendars. 

For example, Welcome’s content calendar software is custom-built for marketing teams, bringing together all the tools you need in one easy-to-use platform. If you’re thinking you probably can’t afford it, even the free version of Welcome’s software includes the following: 

  • Spreadsheet planning
  • Monthly editorial calendar
  • Timeline and Gantt views
  • Kanban boards
  • Collaborative messaging
  • Project management
  • Flexible workflows
  • Alerts and notifications

For a better idea of how content calendar software can improve your efficiency, take the case of Orolia. Like many others, Orolia’s marketing team was struggling with visibility and collaboration, mostly caused by a haphazard collection of point solutions and a mar-tech ecosystem that wasn’t strategically integrated.

As Patrick Bark, Senior Marketing Coordinator at Orolia, explains: “The team as a whole had hit a roadblock. We were using multiple tools; each solved a specific problem and had limited interaction with another. We resorted to an excel file to track campaigns in one place and soon enough, it had 8 tabs! It took us up to 4 hours of meetings every week to align everyone. We were at a critical point — but we needed a better way”

So at the end of 2020, Orolia decided to try out Welcome’s content calendar software. Here’s what happened: 

  • Shared calendars helped align stakeholders with campaign plans and important details. 
  • Customizable workflows allowed Orolia’s marketing team to define a repeatable content creation process. 
  • Content optimization tools enabled subject matter experts (SMEs) to collaborate in real-time and ensure compliance. 

To date, team productivity at Orolia is up thanks to centralized planning and streamlined collaboration. Plus, 87% of the time previously spent in weekly meetings is now used for productive work. 

Step 3: Determine your content workflow

Once you’ve chosen your platform, the next thing to think about is your workflow for content creation. Specifically, how does a piece of content move from the first to the last draft in your organization? What steps does it go through before it’s ready to publish?

Often, this depends on the size of your team and the amount of content you’re producing. For small teams with minimal output, your content may only go through one or two touchpoints before being published — from the writer to the content strategist, for example. 

For larger teams that generate loads of content, your pieces may pass through many more stages between the first and last draft. In this case, your workflows are going to have a lot of dependencies, meaning certain tasks can’t be started until another one is complete. 

Let’s say you’re creating a long-form blog post in conjunction with the product development team. Here’s an example of what a workflow may look like: 

  1. Research keywords
  2. Interview SME from the product development team 
  3. Develop title and outline
  4. Write article based on research and SME interview
  5. First round of edits
  6. First round of changes
  7. Final round of edits
  8. Final changes
  9. Final approval 
  10. Add visuals and graphics
  11. Publish article and/or send to client for review

Fortunately, you don’t have to begin assigning tasks for every single piece of content while creating your yearly editorial calendar. That can be saved for the monthly content or editorial calendar, which is more focused on day-to-day task management. 

However, you need to have a general idea of how long it takes a piece of content to move from start to finish. Otherwise, you’re likely to create a publishing schedule that’s either impossible to execute or way too lax. 

Step 4: Determine your content distribution plan

The next thing to wrap your head around is the distribution channels you plan to use to get your content in front of your audience. To do this, you’ll want to back up a bit and think about where your target audience usually hangs out online.

For example, if you’re targeting B2B buyers, LinkedIn is going to be one of your best options. If you’re targeting B2C Gen Z buyers, on the other hand, platforms like TikTok and YouTube are typically a better bet. 

Whichever channels or mix of channels you select, it’s important to identify them during the editorial planning process because they can dictate the type of content you produce. Using the example above, long-form blog articles, short-form thought leadership content, and white papers are better suited for LinkedIn while short, fast-paced videos are better for TikTok. 

Another consideration for content distribution is frequency or publishing cadence. Each channel has its own rhythm and expectations for how often you should be posting content. Even within social channels, each platform has its own ideal frequency

  • Instagram: 3-7 social media posts per week.
  • Facebook: 1-2 posts per day.
  • Twitter: 1-5 tweets per day.
  • LinkedIn: 1-5 posts per day.

It’s important to get this right — otherwise, your content may not have the impact you’d expect. In fact, 27% of consumers say low-quality or infrequently published content would lead them to believe that a brand is out of touch or not up to date with customer habits.

Step 5: Assign relevant tasks to relevant people

Now that you have a general idea of workflows and channels, you can begin to assign tasks to the appropriate people. Going back to the blog post workflow we outlined above, here’s an example of what this might look like: 

TASK

PERSON(S) RESPONSIBLE

Research keywords 

Content strategist or SEO expert 

Interview SME from the product development team

Content strategist or writer

Develop title and outline 

Content strategist or writer 

Write article based on research and SME interview

Writer

First round of edits

Editor

First round of approval

Strategist

Make changes

Writer

Final round of edits

Editor

Final changes

Writer

Final approval and/or changes

Content strategist

Add visuals and graphics

Graphic design team or creative director

Publish article or send to client

Producer or content strategist/manager

As we said before, you don’t need to assign each step in the workflow at this point. However, this is a good exercise to go through on a general level to make sure you have the staff necessary to execute your plan. 

For example, let’s say you have one writer on staff who has the capacity to handle two articles per week. If you’ve planned to publish five articles a week, you know right off the bat that you’re going to need to hire additional writers. 

Editorial calendar FAQs

What does an editorial calendar include?

A 12-month editorial calendar typically includes key elements that connect to your overall content marketing strategy, focusing on the who, what, when, and where of content production. Examples of such elements include tactics, content ideas, deadlines, posting frequency, publishing dates, collaborators, and distribution channels. 

What is editorial calendar management?

Editorial calendar management refers to executing the plan laid forth in the calendar itself. It’s like creating a schedule for the year and then making sure everyone is following it on a daily basis. 

What’s the difference between an editorial calendar and a content calendar?

In short? Scope. An editorial calendar focuses on the big picture whereas a content calendar gets into the finer details. Another way to think of it is that an editorial calendar is a zoomed out, long-term plan for executing your content strategy. In contrast, a content calendar zooms in, outlining a day-by-day plan for meeting the deadlines in the editorial calendar. 

That said, many content marketing professionals use the terms editorial calendar and content calendar interchangeably. Oftentimes, this is because the editorial and content calendars are combined into one tool or spreadsheet. 

In this case, the editorial calendar acts as the primary calendar, allowing marketers to see everything at a glance. Separate calendars or tabs are then integrated within the primary calendar to allow marketers to dig deeper into each task, seeing what needs to be done on a daily basis. 

Conclusion

There you have it! Now you know how to create editorial calendars in a snap. We know you’re busy, so we’ll let you get to it. Best of luck out there! 


Source link

MARKETING

Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

Published

on

Is Twitter Still a Thing for Content Marketers in 2023?

The world survived the first three months of Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover.

But what are marketers doing now? Did your brand follow the shift Dennis Shiao made for his personal brand? As he recently shared, he switched his primary platform from Twitter to LinkedIn after the 2022 ownership change. (He still uses Twitter but posts less frequently.)

Are those brands that altered their strategy after the new ownership maintaining that plan? What impact do Twitter’s service changes (think Twitter Blue subscriptions) have?

We took those questions to the marketing community. No big surprise? Most still use Twitter. But from there, their responses vary from doing nothing to moving away from the platform.

Lowest points

At the beginning of the Elon era, more than 500 big-name advertisers stopped buying from the platform. Some (like Amazon and Apple) resumed their buys before the end of 2022. Brand accounts’ organic activity seems similar.

In November, Emplifi research found a 26% dip in organic posting behavior by U.S. and Canadian brands the week following a significant spike in the negative sentiment of an Elon tweet. But that drop in posting wasn’t a one-time thing.

Kyle Wong, chief strategy officer at Emplifi, shares a longer analysis of well-known fast-food brands. When comparing December 2021 to December 2022 activity, the brands posted 74% less, and December was the least active month of 2022.

Fast-food brands posted 74% less on @Twitter in December 2022 than they did in December 2021, according to @emplifi_io analysis via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

When Emplifi analyzed brand accounts across industries (2,330 from U.S. and Canada and 6,991 elsewhere in the world), their weekly Twitter activity also fell to low points in November and December. But by the end of the year, their activity was inching up.

“While the percentage of brands posting weekly is on the rise once again, the number is still lower than the consistent posting seen in earlier months,” Kyle says.

Quiet-quitting Twitter

Lacey Reichwald, marketing manager at Aha Media Group, says the company has been quiet-quitting Twitter for two months, simply monitoring and posting the occasional link. “It seems like the turmoil has settled down, but the overall impact of Twitter for brands has not recovered,” she says.

@ahamediagroup quietly quit @Twitter for two months and saw their follower count go up, says Lacey Reichwald via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

She points to their firm’s experience as a potential explanation. Though they haven’t been posting, their follower count has gone up, and many of those new follower accounts don’t seem relevant to their topic or botty. At the same time, Aha Media saw engagement and follows from active accounts in the customer segment drop.

Blue bonus

One change at Twitter has piqued some brands’ interest in the platform, says Dan Gray, CEO of Vendry, a platform for helping companies find agency partners to help them scale.

“Now that getting a blue checkmark is as easy as paying a monthly fee, brands are seeing this as an opportunity to build thought leadership quickly,” he says.

Though it remains to be seen if that strategy is viable in the long term, some companies, particularly those in the SaaS and tech space, are reallocating resources to energize their previously dormant accounts.

Automatic verification for @TwitterBlue subscribers led some brands to renew their interest in the platform, says Dan Gray of Vendry via @AnnGynn @CMIContent. Click To Tweet

These reenergized accounts also are seeing an increase in followers, though Dan says it’s difficult to tell if it’s an effect of the blue checkmark or their renewed emphasis on content. “Engagement is definitely up, and clients and agencies have both noted the algorithm seems to be favoring their content more,” he says.

New horizon

Faizan Fahim, marketing manager at Breeze, is focused on the future. They’re producing videos for small screens as part of their Twitter strategy. “We are guessing soon Elon Musk is going to turn Twitter into TikTok/YouTube to create more buzz,” he says. “We would get the first moving advantage in our niche.”

He’s not the only one who thinks video is Twitter’s next bet. Bradley Thompson, director of marketing at DigiHype Media and marketing professor at Conestoga College, thinks video content will be the next big thing. Until then, text remains king.

“The approach is the same, which is a focus on creating and sharing high-quality content relevant to the industry,” Bradley says. “Until Twitter comes out with drastically new features, then marketing and managing brands on Twitter will remain the same.

James Coulter, digital marketing director at Sole Strategies, says, “Twitter definitely still has a space in the game. The question is can they keep it, or will they be phased out in favor of a more reliable platform.”

Interestingly given the thoughts of Faizan and Bradley, James sees businesses turning to video as they limit their reliance on Twitter and diversify their social media platforms. They are now willing to invest in the resource-intensive format given the exploding popularity of TikTok, Instagram Reels, and other short-form video content.

“We’ve seen a really big push on getting vendors to help curate video content with the help of staff. Requesting so much media requires building a new (social media) infrastructure, but once the expectations and deliverables are in place, it quickly becomes engrained in the weekly workflow,” James says.

What now

“We are waiting to see what happens before making any strong decisions,” says Baruch Labunski, CEO at Rank Secure. But they aren’t sitting idly by. “We’ve moved a lot of our social media efforts to other platforms while some of these things iron themselves out.”

What is your brand doing with Twitter? Are you stepping up, stepping out, or standing still? I’d love to know. Please share in the comments.

Want more content marketing tips, insights, and examples? Subscribe to workday or weekly emails from CMI.

HANDPICKED RELATED CONTENT:

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute



Source link

Continue Reading

MARKETING

45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Published

on

45 Free Content Writing Tools to Love [for Writing, Editing & Content Creation]

Creating content isn’t always a walk in the park. (In fact, it can sometimes feel more like trying to swim against the current.)

While other parts of business and marketing are becoming increasingly automated, content creation is still a very manual job. (more…)

Continue Reading

MARKETING

How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Published

on

How data clean rooms might help keep the internet open

Are data clean rooms the solution to what IAB CEO David Cohen has called the “slow-motion train wreck” of addressability? Voices at the IAB will tell you that they have a big role to play.

“The issue with addressability is that once cookies go away, and with the loss of identifiers, about 80% of the addressable market will become unknown audiences which is why there is a need for privacy-centric consent and a better consent-value exchange,” said Jeffrey Bustos, VP, measurement, addressability and data at the IAB.

“Everyone’s talking about first-party data, and it is very valuable,” he explained, “but most publishers who don’t have sign-on, they have about 3 to 10% of their readership’s first-party data.” First-party data, from the perspective of advertisers who want to reach relevant and audiences, and publishers who want to offer valuable inventory, just isn’t enough.

Why we care. Two years ago, who was talking about data clean rooms? The surge of interest is recent and significant, according to the IAB. DCRs have the potential, at least, to keep brands in touch with their audiences on the open internet; to maintain viability for publishers’ inventories; and to provide sophisticated measurement capabilities.

How data clean rooms can help. DCRs are a type of privacy-enhancing technology that allows data owners (including brands and publishers) to share customer first-party data in a privacy-compliant way. Clean rooms are secure spaces where first-party data from a number of sources can be resolved to the same customer’s profile while that profile remains anonymized.

In other words, a DCR is a kind of Switzerland — a space where a truce is called on competition while first-party data is enriched without compromising privacy.

“The value of a data clean room is that a publisher is able to collaborate with a brand across both their data sources and the brand is able to understand audience behavior,” said Bestos. For example, a brand selling eye-glasses might know nothing about their customers except basic transactional data — and that they wear glasses. Matching profiles with a publisher’s behavioral data provides enrichment.

“If you’re able to understand behavioral context, you’re able to understand what your customers are reading, what they’re interested in, what their hobbies are,” said Bustos. Armed with those insights, a brand has a better idea of what kind of content they want to advertise against.

The publisher does need to have a certain level of first-party data for the matching to take place, even if it doesn’t have a universal requirement for sign-ins like The New York Times. A publisher may be able to match only a small percentage of the eye-glass vendor’s customers, but if they like reading the sports and arts sections, at least that gives some directional guidance as to what audience the vendor should target.

Dig deeper: Why we care about data clean rooms

What counts as good matching? In its “State of Data 2023” report, which focuses almost exclusively on data clean rooms, concern is expressed that DCR efficacy might be threatened by poor match rates. Average match rates hover around 50% (less for some types of DCR).

Bustos is keen to put this into context. “When you are matching data from a cookie perspective, match rates are usually about 70-ish percent,” he said, so 50% isn’t terrible, although there’s room for improvement.

One obstacle is a persistent lack of interoperability between identity solutions — although it does exist; LiveRamp’s RampID is interoperable, for example, with The Trade Desk’s UID2.

Nevertheless, said Bustos, “it’s incredibly difficult for publishers. They have a bunch of identity pixels firing for all these different things. You don’t know which identity provider to use. Definitely a long road ahead to make sure there’s interoperability.”

Maintaining an open internet. If DCRs can contribute to solving the addressability problem they will also contribute to the challenge of keeping the internet open. Walled gardens like Facebook do have rich troves of first-party and behavioral data; brands can access those audiences, but with very limited visibility into them.

“The reason CTV is a really valuable proposition for advertisers is that you are able to identify the user 1:1 which is really powerful,” Bustos said. “Your standard news or editorial publisher doesn’t have that. I mean, the New York Times has moved to that and it’s been incredibly successful for them.” In order to compete with the walled gardens and streaming services, publishers need to offer some degree of addressability — and without relying on cookies.

But DCRs are a heavy lift. Data maturity is an important qualification for getting the most out of a DCR. The IAB report shows that, of the brands evaluating or using DCRs, over 70% have other data-related technologies like CDPs and DMPs.

“If you want a data clean room,” Bustos explained, “there are a lot of other technological solutions you have to have in place before. You need to make sure you have strong data assets.” He also recommends starting out by asking what you want to achieve, not what technology would be nice to have. “The first question is, what do you want to accomplish? You may not need a DCR. ‘I want to do this,’ then see what tools would get you to that.”

Understand also that implementation is going to require talent. “It is a demanding project in terms of the set-up,” said Bustos, “and there’s been significant growth in consulting companies and agencies helping set up these data clean rooms. You do need a lot of people, so it’s more efficient to hire outside help for the set up, and then just have a maintenance crew in-house.”

Underuse of measurement capabilities. One key finding in the IAB’s research is that DCR users are exploiting the audience matching capabilities much more than realizing the potential for measurement and attribution. “You need very strong data scientists and engineers to build advanced models,” Bustos said.

“A lot of brands that look into this say, ‘I want to be able to do a predictive analysis of my high lifetime value customers that are going to buy in the next 90 days.’ Or ‘I want to be able to measure which channels are driving the most incremental lift.’ It’s very complex analyses they want to do; but they don’t really have a reason as to why. What is the point? Understand your outcome and develop a sequential data strategy.”

Trying to understand incremental lift from your marketing can take a long time, he warned. “But you can easily do a reach and frequency and overlap analysis.” That will identify wasted investment in channels and as a by-product suggest where incremental lift is occurring. “There’s a need for companies to know what they want, identify what the outcome is, and then there are steps that are going to get you there. That’s also going to help to prove out ROI.”

Dig deeper: Failure to get the most out of data clean rooms is costing marketers money


Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.


Source link

Continue Reading

Trending

en_USEnglish