Building brand loyalty and awareness starts with consistently creating, posting, and sharing fresh content. Find out how to create an editorial calendar that keeps your digital marketing strategy on track.
You may believe editorial calendars are nothing more than time-management tools, but the benefits of content marketing editorial calendars extend beyond scheduling. In an article on editorial calendar essentials, the Content Marketing Institute describes the evolution of the modern content marketing editorial calendar calling it, “…an essential component for managing the entire lifecycle of our organization’s content marketing program.”
The Components of a Successful Editorial Calendar
Unlike short-term ad campaigns, content marketing strategies outline long-term goals and objectives and employ multiple types of media to raise brand awareness and guide consumers through the three-stage buying process of engagement, interaction, and conversion.
Well-designed editorial calendars encompass all publishing strategies and social media activity in one, easy-to-use document. They allow marketers to see how a quarterly or yearly strategy will look upon execution and provide a forum in which you can seamlessly brainstorm topics, delegate tasks, and communicate goals with other team members. Even more importantly, they promote consistent posting and ensure marketers make space for time-sensitive posts that coincide with special events, such as free blood pressure screenings in honor of American Heart Month or a health fair at the hospital.
Depending on the needs of your organization, you can compile your editorial calendar in a spreadsheet or use a free online template. Whatever tool you use to arrange the document, experts recommend including publishing dates, topics, headlines, the writer for each piece, and any applicable deadlines. Take your calendar one step further by also pairing each post with a description of the audience you are hoping to reach and a relevant call to action. Finally, devote a tab or section to brainstorming future posts. This tab can include new ideas, as well as ideas to quickly refresh popular evergreen pieces, which ensures you can maintain your consistent publishing schedule even during crunch periods.
Your Social Media Strategy
Just like you need a rough outline of what you will publish and when, your organization needs a social media strategy. Sporadically posting once or twice a week on multiple platforms does little to reach and build your audience—and as Hootsuite notes, Google is increasingly considering organizations’ social media presences when compiling search rankings. Not leveraging the power of social media can hinder your ability to draw an audience and impact SEO.
So how often should you post? Buffer recommends marketers post content on Facebook up to twice a day and on Twitter at least three times per day. This is a far cry from what healthcare marketers are currently posting. Industry benchmarks from HubSpot reveal that the majority of healthcare marketers use social media infrequently—65 percent post to Facebook and 53 percent post to Twitter less than once a week.
Take some time to determine what social network your target audiences frequent the most and familiarize yourself with the types of content they are reading and sharing to identify a feasible social media strategy. And don’t discount Google+—taking 10 minutes each day to post a piece of content or update your business profile can get Google’s attention, according to Hootsuite.
Find out how you can make editorial calendars and social media work for your organization.