Well that’s a question. Do I need an editorial content marketing calendar?

All going well you’ll find the answer to that question by the bottom of this page. For those of you still staring blankly at the screen pretending to know what’s going on, let’s get some basics out of the way first.

What in blue blazes is an editorial content marketing calendar?

For those of you unaware of the existence of content marketing, educate yourself for goodness sake. For those of you already aware of the basic premise, a calendar is just a utility to help plan and execute the distribution of your crisply produced gear.

Using a standard calendar interface, it will help visualise how you are organising and delivering your content marketing, as well as hopefully giving you a bit more direction and impetus going forward.

The production and release of content marketing can be a highly complex dance. You really need to know your audience – their likes, dislikes, hopes and fears – in order to create content that makes a connection with them that they see as valuable, and to give them this content when and how they want it.

A calendar can help you hugely when you’re juggling all the complexities of a content marketing campaign. A great editorial content calendar should do the following:

  •         Give you an overall “birds-eye” view of your content strategy
  •         Provide a creative space to float new content ideas
  •         Create and organise a schedule of publishing posts to maintain an online presence
  •         Assign tasks relating to creation and publishing to team members
  •         Act as a “community noticeboard” for communication within the team
  •         Allow you to make adjustments easily (drag and drop style)

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A good editorial content calendar will give you and your organisation a framework to be clear and deliberate with how you are going about reaching your audience. It’s one part organisational tool, one part strategic marketing tool.

So why do I need one?

There are a few firm reasons that a calendar is a good idea for anyone who is dipping their toe in the lake of content marketing.

Content marketing is not a game of instant gratification. Quite the opposite. To have a campaign that succeeds and excels, you need to produce quality content, and do so with consistency and regularity. Your audience will reward this consistent quality, so using a tool that streamlines both the creation and distribution processes is a no-brainer.

Having a tool that condenses both the goals and the processes into an easily digested nugget will also be a blessing for the team working on the campaign. Calendars promote accountability, discipline and communication. Ensuring that everyone involved is working from the same page will save you a lot of inter-team headaches.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has always been a tricky beast, and to be honest, it’s not getting any easier. Google and others are onto the classic SEO tricks that push your site to the top of the search results. They’re getting smarter, and are leaning more and more towards high-quality, consistently produced and unique content. A calendar will help you get more clicks than ever before.

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Let’s face it, if you’re attempting to run a content marketing campaign without a calendar, you are most likely struggling. Sure, you’re chucking up a freshly pressed post every now and again, but there is probably a whole lot of room for improvement.

Content calendars aren’t a particularly new thing. They aren’t a particularly groundbreaking thing. But it is surprising how many content marketers go without them. A campaign built around great content and great planning will always come out on top. Their loss, your gain.

So, back to the original question – do you need an editorial content marketing calendar?

In short, yes.

I could’ve saved you a bit of time there by telling you that at the start, but would you have really believed me?