While there are many pieces that go into a complete marketing strategy, one piece that is central to many other parts is the Editorial Calendar. The complexity of the calendar you use can vary. However, not having one at all means you are working blindly.
If you spend time creating your business’s marketing strategy, you need to make sure you follow through with it. Your Editorial Calendar helps you follow through with your strategy by giving you guidelines and a planned strategic schedule to follow. Your editorial calendar will keep you on track.
Many people feel like staying on top of their social media accounts is overwhelming and time consuming; but the reality is, if you take the time to plan ahead, then the actual posting will seem quite effortless. Also, if you have a central Editorial Calendar for your business, you can have it open to your team so everyone knows what each other is doing.
It’s a Breathing Animal
You want to think of your Editorial Calendar as a living, breathing tool. You can do all the planning in the world for your entire year, only to have something pop up unexpectedly later in the year. Therefore, you want to make sure your Editorial Calendar can evolve with your business as time passes. At a minimum, make sure you review your Editorial Calendar once a month. This way you can add or modify any social media/print messages when new opportunities arise.
Remember to also reference the calendar to keep you on track with the type of content you should be sharing during that week or month. For example, if you know you are going to talk about “Image Editing Tools” in a February article, then you would also want to have your social posts for that month talk about Images.
Know Your Timelines
Be sure to have a good understanding of the life cycle of your sales process. Know the timeline you follow when starting a promotion to the closing of a sale. This will dictate how far out in advance you need to start promoting your business before a launch, during a launch, and after a launch. TIP: This information can be quite valuable with your CRM, as well.
What Should You Plan For?
Large corporations start their planning well in advance of the following year. Think April-May planning for next year (sometimes they may even start two years out). However, many “solopreneurs” and small businesses find themselves in a reactionary position scrambling the week of a launch to get their ducks in a row. Ideally, small businesses should start planning the following year by the 4th quarter of the current year… that time is now! Think of things like:
- Season changes
- Slow times of the year
- Busy times of the year
- Holidays (locally/nationally/internationally)
- Product launches
- Specials on pricing
- National events
- Local events
- Speaking engagements
- Trade Shows
- Really anything you want to make sure you share with your audience
By creating the content for your Editorial Calendar well in advance, you will hopefully notice all the “seasons” and layers of your business. During the planning, you may find that you are missing out on important events in your industry; or it may show you that you are putting too much focus on items that do not bring you leads. The calendar planning gets your gears grinding and creative juices flowing so that you are able to stay on top of your business and the industry in which it competes.
Let Us Help You with an Editorial Calendar!
We understand that it may seem quite overwhelming to think about everything you need to include in your Editorial Calendar. That is why we have created a Calendar template that you can start using today. We created it in Excel, so that you can easily modify it to your specific needs. This provides you with a starting point to alleviate some of the stress. Get your free 2017 Editorial Calendar today! Start piecing it together now so you are not scrambling after the new year to get it filled in 😉