content calendar tipsIt’s a New Year! This means that many of us are rethinking our digital marketing strategies, setting goals for 2013 and constructing an editorial calendar. Here at Core3, we’ve taken some time to review our highlights of 2012 and used the knowledge that we learned last year to create an outline for our hopes for 2013. While doing this, we took a look at our editorial calendar – cleared out some of the irrelevant blog topics we previously planned to cover, brainstormed a few new blog ideas and ironed out the details of our 2013 blogging strategy. This got us thinking — how many people use an editorial calendar and are they doing it properly?

While you’re examining your blogging plans for 2013, consider using a content calendar to keep you organized, save time and properly lay out your blogging plans.

Here are five tips for creating and using an editorial calendar:

Understand the purpose of an editorial calendar

Before you even start a blogging campaign, it’s important to determine what the purpose of it is. Are you trying to engage customers in a new way? Are you looking to draw in more web traffic? Do you ultimately want to increase your web conversions? Whatever you determine, your blog campaign should align with the goals in some way.

Then, it’s important to understand why you’re taking the time to create a content calendar. Not only will it keep you organized, but it will also keep everyone in your company on the same page. Additionally, a content calendar can ensure that you’re staying on task. Depending on what industry you work in, you may only want to map out a couple of months as opposed to an entire year of blogging content. For example, Core3 operates in the technology industry. Things are constantly changing, new trends emerge all the time and it’s important for our blog topics to adapt to that. However, if you work in an industry that doesn’t move quite so quickly, outlining an editorial calendar can save you the hassle of brainstorming new topics each time you go to write a blog. Also, you can store any helpful information, such as statistics or links, right in your content calendar.

Be realistic

A content calendar is a good way to ensure that your goals are not unreachable. By planning ahead and having everything ready for when you have time to blog, there is a better chance that you’ll actually blog regularly.  Your content calendar should be a realistic reflection of how much time you will actually have to spend on blogging. If you can’t devote time to write two blogs a week, don’t include two blog topics a week within your editorial calendar. Additionally, it’s important to understand that you aren’t going to reach your blogging goals within a day, a week or even a month. Digital marketing takes time.

Define target audience

When brainstorming topics for your content calendar, make sure they are aligned with who your readers will be or who you are attempting to attract with your blog posts. Defining your target audience will help in determining what you will discuss in your blog and can help you use the appropriate language in your content. The language used within your blogs can have a big influence on bringing back readers and attracting new ones.

Determine information to include in content calendar

As we stated before, your calendar can be a helpful place to store important information related to the blog topics you will be writing. One of the points of a content calendar is to remain organized, thus you should make an effort to store as much information pertaining to your blogs within your editorial calendar as possible. Things to definitely include in your calendar would be the hoped date of publication and topic to be discussed in the blog. Other inclusions can be blogging authors, social networks to blast blog posts to, and pictures or infographics to include in blogs. editorial calendar

Set goals and track success

Think back to the purpose of your blogging and determine specific goals that can help you get the ultimate purpose of your blog. If you’re looking to increase the traffic to your website through blogs, decide how many views you would like to see each week or month. If you’re hoping to increase conversions on your website, how many would you ideally get from blog traffic? Then, track these metrics on a regular basis. Tracking your content marketing efforts can show you trends in what’s working and what’s not. If you notice that your blogs aren’t getting a lot of traffic, you may want to reevaluate the things you talk about.

Content marketing can be a great way to engage potential customers in a new way. It’s a fun way to show the personality of your company and keep your website fresh.  If you’d like to start a blogging campaign for your business, including an editorial calendar, we can help. Let’s chat!

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Jennifer Cline

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