Creating a content strategy for various channels can be extremely complicated, with dozens of moving pieces. From finding content to curate on social media, to managing guest bloggers, to coordinating freelance or in-house writers to working with designers and video editors to create visual assets – it’s a lot to coordinate and manage!
Creating cohesive strategies that allow you to maximize your content creation efforts is essential. And of course, your editorial calendar is the cornerstone of these efforts. It serves as the centerpiece for content ideas, theme explorations, buyer personas, buyer funnels, and a way to keep writers and editors on the same page.
Your editorial calendar will sync your PR, social media campaigns, blogs, and paid outreach, among many other aspects of your weekly, monthly, and yearly content schedule.
“One of the best tools that traditional journalism lends content marketing and brand journalism is the editorial calendar,” says Jayson DeMers, Founder and CEO of AudienceBloom and Forbes contributor.
Syncing your editorial calendar for multiple marketing initiatives is essential. Here are five stellar strategies to sync your editorial calendar for the upcoming year.
- STREAMLINE YOUR MARKETING AND DEVELOP A YEARLY EDITORIAL CALENDAR
Exploring themes for the upcoming year will streamline your marketing efforts. And developing a yearly editorial calendar will put these efforts into motion.
The idea of a yearly editorial calendar may seem daunting, but approaching it from a yearly, monthly, and even weekly perspective has value for you and your team. The idea of a yearly editorial calendar is like climbing a mountain, since the way down is much easier.
“Reporting on the spot news via social media is one way to get the word out,” suggests Search Engine Watch. “But having an organized 12-month editorial calendar that slices up the year into monthly, weekly, and daily snapshots can take your content to new levels of success.”
National and domestic holidays, important industry events, advertising campaigns, product launches, blogs, email campaigns, videos, offers, promotions, and months dedicated to entire themes can all quickly fill up your yearly editorial calendar.
In fact, yearly editorial calendars are so important to organization and productivity, Forbes posts theirs online for all to see.
Look at overreaching content when developing your yearly editorial calendar, and themes that will serve as pieces to the puzzle at specific times.
- EDITORIAL CALENDARS WITH BUYER PERSONAS INCREASE YOUR MARKETING EFFORTS.
Once you begin developing your editorial calendar, considering buyer personas is an excellent next step. Because buyer personas simply result in strong, cost effective marketing.
A Forbes post by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) compares the power of developing buyer personas with fishing. This may seem odd, but it truly emphasizes the need for buyer personas in your editorial calendar.
YEC points out that if you want to catch a fish, you wouldn’t just throw your line into any random waterhole and hope for the best.
You want to keep luck out of the equation. You want to determine what type of fish you want to catch and match that with a strategy that maximizes results. The same goes for buyer personas when it comes to your marketing strategy.
Buyer personas in your editorial calendar will allow you to know exactly who your target customer is. This keeps wasteful marketing efforts to a minimum, and also brings about helpful objections.
Gathering demographic details such as interests, gender, education, location, income, occupation, buying concerns, and buying motivation is a perfect place to start, according to Shopify. Finding out what your client wants and what they want to avoid is also buyer persona best practice.
- MATCH BUYER PERSONAS TO BUYING FUNNELS
After you have developed buyer personas for your editorial calendar, you can utilize buying funnels to mold potential customers into customers. You will map your content to each buyer persona, and at each stage of the buying cycle.
Matching buyer personas to buying funnels is one of the most compelling reasons to develop an editorial calendar.
Diversifying your marketing efforts to fit each client’s buyer persona is indeed important. However, the order in which you deliver your content is a key aspect, according to web design platform Lean Labs.
Buying funnels normally have at least three stages with a top to bottom approach. Awareness is at the top. Evaluation is your middle of the funnel (MOFU). And conversion is at the bottom, where you want to get potential customers to convert.
“The trick to designing a site that’s built to capture and convert visitors at all stages is a strategy that combines keyword-driven content with a technically-sound website,” according to Kissmetrics.
Match your buyer personas with premium content at the top of your buying funnel. This will peak interest at the awareness stage, thus leading them to evaluation, and then conversion.
A great example of this is Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime customers convert at 74 percent, compared to a 13 percent conversion rate for non-prime members, according to Internet Retailer, an e-commerce intelligence platform.
- EXPLORE THEMES AND ASSIGN CONTENT TYPES
Exploring themes and assigning content types within your editorial calendar will get you closer to specifics. Develop in-depth content that will serve as your content strategy foundation.
This allows you to begin assigning content types, building supporting data for the future content in your marketing strategy.
These foundational pieces will be used for email campaigns, ebooks, blog posts, infographics, videos, and spread throughout all social media channels, according to Social Media Examiner.
Building these in-depth pieces involves a bit of research. However, you already have your buyer personas developed, and these will be invaluable for this stage in your editorial calendar.
Use your target audience information and begin keyword searches that would reflect your buyer personas. These will begin to add up fast, so have keyword buckets in place for your buyer personas and buying funnel stages.
Exploring themes and mapping them out in your editorial calendar will keep everything organized for maximum marketing efficiency. It will also serve as a source for your foundational content, a place to develop sub-themes and assigning content types, among other benefits.
- UTILIZE YOUR EDITORIAL CALENDAR TO REPURPOSE CONTENT ASSETS
Your editorial calendar will come in handy when it comes time to repurpose your content assets. Since a single piece can blanket multiple initiatives, you want to have an effective way of keeping your marketing vision on track.
Those foundational pieces you developed and targeted to buyer personas can be expanded to a variety of content assets.
An ebook is a prime example. An ebook is a theme, and each chapter is simply a sub-theme. These subt-hemes can be repurposed content assets like blogs, videos, and social media campaigns.
John Rampton, online marketing guru and Forbes contributor suggests that, “Content can play a major role here, as publishers have amassed significant amounts of data to help understand what is more effective in terms of driving engagement, what is less successful in terms of messaging and ads.”
An infographic is another stellar example. Infographics contain a lot of data and information from several supporting sources. You can repurpose infographics into a breadth of content assets across multiple client campaigns in the same industry.
Once you have repurposed content assets effectively in your editorial calendar, you can then switch gears to an amplification strategy. The goal is to simply get potential customers to visit and engage in your buying funnel.
An amplification strategy can help you achieve this. Influencer outreach, email marketing, retargeting, and using partner channels are all essential to your amplification efforts.
- SYNCING YOUR EFFORTS
Once you’ve gotten to this stage, now you are ready to put it all together. Use your research into themes, seasonal events, newsjacking, etc to match your content and amplification initiatives. For example, can your Public Relations team pitch an infographic created for a specific campaign? Can you use an article targeted at solving a pain point as a landing page for a Facebook ads sales funnel? What social media posts can be created to amplify a theme that you are exploring in your blog?
By adding all of these elements into your editorial calendar, you can guarantee that all of the different initiatives are best served from your content creation strategy. Accountability, commitment, accomplishment, planning, creativity, trends, and measurement, are all editorial calendar benefits. Once you adapt the content to each channel, you’ll have a wealth of content that can be used to guide visitors into every stage of your buying funnel
Buyer personas, buying funnels, and repurposing content assets are only a few ways to sync your PR, social media campaigns, blogs, and paid outreach. To increase your marketing efforts and ROI, employ an editorial calendar for powerful results in this upcoming year.
This article was originally written by Nick Rojas for the Heyo Blog.