The Efficient Way of Using a Inbound Marketing Calendar
As the year starts a new inbound marketing strategy needs to be dusted off and renewed. A new set of resolution will be put in place and worked toward achieving. Creating a editorial calendar for achieving your new content marketing goals should be the first acquisition of the year. In today’s article we will discuss:
- The Importance of an Editorial Calendar
- How to Create a Virtual and Physical One
- Including It in Your Day to Day Work
The Importance of an Editorial Calendar
It is absolutely vital to manage and organize the content from your blog. The same applies for site even if the system might be more complex. Planning before hand the content you are going to present to your audience will help you achieve your inbound marketing goals.
First of all it creates a coherence in the overall message you want to send.When you decide that for a couple of article you want to get into further details with the opportunities a pack of product have, by being used together, you can plan that and organise your content creation process accordingly. For your audience it will create a habit of checking for the content you promised in your inbound marketing strategy. It also makes you stick to your plan so you can achieve all those New Year resolutions.
After you create the overall plan, realising how to cut it down into weekly bites will be quite easy. For the overall inbound marketing strategy being able to make things clear for the whole team is also important. With an editorial calendar put in place is much more easier to divide work and also evaluate how the team has accomplished the goals. A very thought out calendar makes people more accountable as well. After you have decided who has to do what and when, it’s easy to understand who needs more help or time with their task.
It is also a good starting point of keeping track how articles are promoted. Depending on your inbound marketing strategy you can add other fields with information for each post. For example if you promote your articles a lot on Twitter you can create some tweets ideas in the editorial calendar as well. In case you mention other bloggers in your post you can also add a contact information so it is easier for the overall process.
How to Create a Editorial Calendar
Now that you have been convinced by all the great arguments in favour of an editorial calendar, let’s see how you can create one. First I will explain how to create a physical one. It might not seem practical in today’s life when you have lots of programs and devices but for people that organize themselves better with a notebook it’s the most practical idea. In the end I recommend this only if you are the solo creator of content on your site.
The Physical Calendar
To organize your inbound marketing work what you first have to do is acquire a planner. I actually like the ones with big squares for each day that you can add to your wall. They offer you the possibility to write more ideas and get into details with each article or campaign. It also makes be concise, as you can not write pages and pages. You will also need a few coloured markers or highlighters.
The important aspect from an inbound marketing point is to decide what types of content you want to create. What are going to write about in your blog in 2014? Are you going to create videos and infographic on a regular basis? Are you going to create tutorials each week? Depending on what types of content you decide to have, give each type a colour. Then decide how often you are going to create each type of article. These decision should be based on how appreciated they have been by your public in the past.
Taking how you are creating a guideline for your inbound marketing plan, don’t forget to remind yourself to concentrate on your core keywords for time to time. It is important to understand that you don’t have to make each type of article with the same frequency. There’s no need to create a schedule like back in high-school. You can create a tutorial each week, but alternate the infographic with the video and maybe have a guest post twice a month.It’s up to you.
Now that you decided how often you create each type, develop a regular program for the first month. Write down titles of articles or ideas. Write with the colours you attributed to each type. If you decided to create tutorials each week make sure you do it in the same day of the week. After you finished the first month, go to the dates of the main holidays and think how you can adapt your content to that particular period.
Create the schedule for as long as you can and then come back at least once a month and see if any changes are needed. The last suggestion is to put in the place that you will see each day when you are searching for inspiration.
The Digital Calendar
In many ways the digital calendar has the same organization principle in your inbound marketing as the physical one. The great advantage is that by being digital a group of people can work easier with it. There are numerous application and programs you can use, many of them are free. Sharon Hurley Hall offers you a list of 14 such programs.
The simplest way from my experience is to use a Spreadsheet. Pam Dyer offers Excel templates. It is quite a complex one but it is very efficient for the inbound marketing of a whole site. You can upload it on your Google drive account and share it with your whole team or create a personal one.
The colour coding system and keeping the same day for certain blog post can be seen in Pam’s blog publication calendar as well. I do suggest you personalise that page and add whatever information you feel relevant. On one of my Editorials I had a column with Question on Quora I thought could be answered with the article. I search for similar answers and replied shorty and directed them to the article. These aspects are time saving.
Including The Calendar into The Inbound Marketing Work
Now you have the calendar ready to go. The titles and ideas are put down and you know what you want to write about in the first weeks of 2014. First of all you have to create a habit of checking it each morning when you start to work. I actually recommend you do that before anything else like checking your email. And get yourself in the mood of the topic. Today you are interested in X.
What you have to do now is write. But don’t do it chaotic. One day at a time gets a new meaning here. In might seem hard at times to write about a certain topic that you need for tomorrow or next week. But remember that in your inbound marketing strategy you made a commitment to your site and audience. That you will create content that will make sense, coherent and in the right order for them.
If the words really don’t come out, try to do some research on the topic. Search for the material you need. Images, quotes, tweet they might help you find the angle on the article you needed.
If you are part of a team, make sure that in your meetings everybody knows what they have to do this week and what is their deadline. Check the calendar each time you decide on group or individual tasks. This is a sure method to keep on track with your strategy. If events come up make sure to reorganise the calendar so that content you have created in advice is no lost or can be reused.
At least once every three months sit down and talk about what the next weeks and months will bring in your editorial calendar. Analyse how the audience reacted to your plan. Did some article bring less traffic ? If they aren’t useful to your audience, give them up. Also check to see if the audience is accessing a certain type of content in the days you publish them.
Let’s say for example that you decide to make Friday your video day. But you get spikes on you videos on Tuesday. Find out why. It might be because that’s the day you focus on promoting it on a certain social media or the audience just created this habit. Make the changes accordingly. Either change your social media seeding program or the day you post videos.
Editorial calendar is a must. It helps you organise your overall content creation process and make you stick to your strategy. There are numerous online and offline application that help you do this. But even a simple planner on the wall can be efficient. If you plan on achieving certain goals with your site or blog you should create one.
What about you? Do you have an editorial calendar? Is it easy to keep your work as you first planned in your inbound marketing strategy ? Can’t wait to hear your answer, questions and tips in the comment section.