I recently mentioned the importance of a content marketing strategy and a content editorial calendar on my Facebook Page. Due to the reaction there, I thought it would make for a great informational blog post.
Why is an editorial calendar important? In any business situation everything you do, you are doing for a purpose. The purpose or goal for a social media content calendar is to get more return on your time, money, and energy. Each piece of content you write and publish must have optimal results. That requires a content marketing strategy and a calendar.
I have learned that with every action you take online there are basically three questions to ask or rather there are 3 answers to this specific question.
What do you want to achieve with your social media marketing strategy?
Do you want more traffic, more exposure, or more money?
With the first observation, you will want to say but I want all three! The secret is to focus on one and the other two will eventually follows.
Each piece of content you create should have a purpose. It must achieve that specific goal otherwise; you have wasted your valuable resources. For demonstration purposes, I will choose the “I want more exposure to build my social media presence!”
Who is my target market?
Who is in need of my content?
What is their pain?
Where are they?
What are their demographics?
Creation and Distribution
During this phase, you’ll decide not only where you’re going to publish your content but also how much and when.
Things to consider here are e.g.
Are you going to launch an info product?
What type of content do you need to create?
How will you schedule the content creating process?
Do you need content to build your opt-in list?
On the other hand, if your goal is to boost credibility, client relationships, or traffic you may choose a different content marketing strategy.
What are the benefits your target market will get from this content?
Will it solve their problems?
Will it enhance their life in some way?
Tip: Pay attention to the questions people ask on your social networks and the comments they leave on your posts. It can lead to great future content. Listen to your followers and friends everywhere.
What keywords will describe the benefits the most effectively?
Keyword research (for me) is the most important part of every article. What keyword will your target market use when searching for an effective cure for their problem? Analyze the keyword you want to use. Is there a search volume? What is the competition for that keyword? Is it industry specific? Is it online of offline?
It makes great business sense to make the most of your content. Re-purposing it maximizes your time, energy, and money. As you sit down each month to plan your social media editorial calendar, also plan how you might re-purpose or maximize the content.
An editorial calendar is an overview for the whole year what topics to cover and when. I find it the easiest to choose one theme per month and write about it from different angles. For example, let us stay with the topic of a content calendar…. It can then look something like this:
Week 1: What is content calendar?
Monday: Write a blog post & share tidbits on your social networks
Tuesday: Write a similar article and submit to article directory
Wednesday: Compile a newsletter or short video
Thursday: Compile a short pdf report
Friday: Rewrite article of Monday in pdf form and submit to doc. sharing sites
Saturday: Write guest post and publish on guest blog
Download a very basic content calendar template here for your private use. To get the most out of all my planning and to stay focused I use a desktop application. I really love the Action Enforcer because it works so well. I guarantee you will see a big increase in productivity and staying focused.
After completion of my editorial calendar, I create action lists for each activity. Action Enforcer uses a concept known as time-boxing. Time-boxing is powerful because it not only organizes and manages the to-do lists but by employing a little psychology, you actually take action. There are only three easy steps:
Decide from your goal setting sheet what you want to do for the day e.g. compile a blog post, Facebook, Twitter, eBook, report, research, learning a new skill, autoresponder etc. Assign an exact time to each task. Select the task, start the timer, and focus on nothing but accomplishing that task.
For example, let us assume I want to do following four things today and allotted a certain amount of time to accomplish each one:
· Check and Answer Email – 30 minutes
· Read News – 15 minutes
· Work on Sales Project – 120 minutes
· Meet with Client – 45 minutes
Action Enforcer gives you the tools to force you to really focus on a single activity and the built-in timers help block out the external distractions that are always constant while trying to work on the internet.