Four tips for brand publishers on managing an editorial calendar
A view from Shafqat Islam, chief executive, NewsCred

Four tips for brand publishers on managing an editorial calendar

Captivating today's media-savvy, ad-avoiding audiences requires far more than clever copy and bold creative. Content marketing is a top priority for marketers who are looking to grow and engage their audiences. But to do this, brands need to learn how to run a newsroom.

Here are four tips for marketers on establishing and maintaining an editorial calendar:

1. State your intentions

From the get-go, marketers should be very clear about why they are creating an editorial calendar. Think about the business outcome you want from the very beginning – whether it’s increasing brand awareness or driving sales – stating it from the start will mean that it can be the foundation of the editorial calendar and influence the future content that will be produced. Creating a clear driving force will ensure a brand has an authentic voice throughout any content they produce.

2. Embrace it

An editorial calendar should be embraced rather than feared – however, it’s not a one-size-fits all and will take some tweaking and adjusting to. Once marketers learn to embrace the editorial calendar, they will find that it completely streamlines workflow; being able to manage production, publication and distribution of content across multiple mediums makes life a whole lot easier.

3. Break it up

Different brands will have differing editorial needs. There are three popular content calendar types that we tend to suggest brands work with:

-          Blog editorial calendar

If a brand is looking to drive traffic to a blog, they will need to publish frequently. The focus for posts should be around bestselling products, relevant areas for thought leadership, brand culture and key customer concerns. The best blogs often involve multiple contributors to provide audiences with a variety of opinions and insights. Marketers should look for a calendar option that multiple users can access and edit.

-          Premium content editorial calendar

Using ‘premium’ content, which requires consumers to fill out a contact information form, requires thorough planning. There’ll be multiple contributors creating a final product, whether that’s an eBook, whitepaper or webinar. Marketers should consider assigning specific tasks to contributors, and ensure there’s a way to track deliverables, status, budget and KPIs.

-          Social editorial calendar

The best social calendars don’t just cover what a brand will post on any given day of the week – brands will also want to track publishing schedules for multiple channels as well as social advertising spends and KPIs. Consider the extra collateral needed for each post – does it need to be visually stimulating for Facebook? Is the copy clever enough for Twitter? Does it have a theme?

4. Keep it up

If you’ve put in the groundwork by creating the structure and initial content for the calendar – don’t let it go to waste. Keeping on top of calendar management will make the process easier for everyone involved – including the consumer.

Think about performing a content audit after a few weeks to determine if you’re producing too much or too little content for your audience. Plan ahead, but always prepare to be reactive, and finally, make room for SEO – tracking keywords and phrases that are linked to a brand can help a team to brainstorm content, populate a calendar and create a sustainable content strategy.