Editorial calendar: understand what it is, the advantages of using it and how to do it in practice

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The editorial calendar is a document that includes the entire schedule of your content strategy. Find out how to develop one for your company.

Editorial calendar is a planning framework, based on a real calendar, to list your entire content publishing strategy, making it clear when and what will be published. It’s a way to create a schedule to keep track of what you need to write and what the release forecast is.

Working with Digital Marketing, especially with Content Marketing actions, is an excellent way to increase your company’s online visibility. And within this strategy, the publication of content based on an editorial calendar is directly related to the increase of several important metrics , such as:

  • Website traffic;
  • Number of sessions;
  • Lead volume;
  • Conversion Rates.

However, it is not enough to publish unpublished content. To achieve success in strategy, you need to have good planning, and that includes setting goals, personas  and metrics. And all this information is valuable input for building your editorial calendar.

But do you know why making an editorial calendar influences the results obtained with Content Marketing? And how to develop one in practice?

What is the editorial calendar?

The editorial calendar is a document that includes the entire schedule of your content strategy . In it, information such as:

  • Blog posting dates;
  • Promotion dates on social networks;
  • The themes and formats of each content;
  • The keywords  used in the content; 
  • The personas and stage of the customer journey for which the post was made.

It is essentially a form of planning that gives you and your team an action plan for your Content Marketing strategy .

From it, it is possible to have a panoramic view of everything that is happening in terms of material production, blog posting and promotion on social networks .

What are the advantages of using an editorial calendar?

The editorial calendar is one of the main components of a documented Content Marketing strategy and, therefore, it is essential to the success of a blog.

Thus, the use of this tool represents numerous advantages, such as:

1. Better organization and planning

The editorial calendar allows content themes, as well as production and publication dates, to be planned much further in advance.

Thus, from it it is much easier to follow the status of each material and check if the processes are up to date.

This improves compliance with deadlines and the occurrence of delays becomes much smaller at all stages of the strategy.

Consequently, the editorial calendar also helps in maintaining a good frequency of publication . It avoids last-minute surprises, such as the lack of content ready for dissemination. With it, the task of posting on your company’s blog  becomes a habit. 

Another positive point of this tool is the organization of the tasks of each member of the Marketing team, which are clearer and better divided among the team.

2. Greater control over content strategy

In addition to being a tool for scheduling future materials, the editorial calendar also works as a document of all content already published by your company.

By analyzing the previous contents, you will be able to follow the amount of materials produced for each persona, step of the funnel and verify the need to balance the proportion.

With this, you will increase the chances of reaching more people, especially when you use the main SEO actions together .

Another piece of information that an editorial calendar can give you is about the themes and keywords already used in your blog. Before thinking about new agendas, check if any material has already been done on the subject to avoid repetition .

For those who are just starting out or still produce little content per month, this tip may not make much sense. But rest assured: with the growth of your blog and the volume of publications, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of all the topics covered.

And this is also true for the content formats . Always review the editorial calendar to assess which are the most used by your company and try to diversify as much as possible.

3. The possibility of evaluating past results

As with any marketing strategy, it is essential to measure results obtained and understand what worked and what did not to promote improvements in the future.

From the information present in an editorial calendar, you can evaluate, for example:

  • Days and times do best for your blog post ;
  • Days and times have better results on social networks;
  • The most sought after and accessed topics by the target audience;
  • Best post sizes based on results;
  • Which CTAs have the best performance;
  • What is the ideal frequency of posting.

All this data can help you develop an even better Content Marketing strategy based on what your audience really likes and looks for.

4. The role of idea generator

Have you already produced a lot of content and don’t have more options for topics to cover? A good way to solve this is by using the editorial calendar.

Pre-planning your content, contrary to what it seems, can help you to be even more creative and even work as an idea generator for your strategy , providing insights into:

  • Content that can be reused in other formats: this is a great way to diversify your materials. You can either transform a more complete content into several smaller ones (top-down strategy) or do the opposite (bottom-up strategy).
  • Content already produced that can become calls-to-action  on your blog; 
  • Older content that can be updated and improved.

5. The easy understanding of marketing strategy

The editorial calendar provides an easy-to-understand overview of your Content Marketing strategy.

By centralizing various information, it plays an important role in improving communication and knowledge of the team about dates and deadlines , in addition to enabling everyone to follow the progress of the processes.

What is the best frequency to post to a blog?

One of the biggest questions for every company that invests in Content Marketing is to understand the ideal frequency of posts that should be made on the blog.

Quality is often confused with quantity. And what we see when this happens are companies producing a high volume of content , but with little filter and little quality.

That’s why we need to pay attention to the fundamental aspects of Content Marketing like the marketing team of Blue World City:

  • 1) The frequency varies from blog to blog , that is, what may work for one company does not necessarily work for another;
  • 2) Quantity is not the secret to a successful blog . The word that comes closest to this goal is regularity;
  • 3) There is a saturation point , that moment when you reach the maximum number of posts during a certain amount of time.

We need to remember that the blog works as a media vehicle. Just like a television channel, a radio station or a daily newspaper, blogs are communication channels that are intended to reach a certain audience.

That’s why, like these other types of media, a blog necessarily needs to have an editorial focus, target audience and frequency defined.

If there is no editorial focus, the reader never knows what he will find. If there is no target audience, the blog never knows which type of reader will be visiting. And if there is no periodicity, defined on the basis of the editorial calendar, the reader never knows when to return for new information – nor should he return.

Therefore, two attitudes are fundamental to be adopted in your blog. You need to know the limits and be regular.

Know your limits

How big is your company and who are you competing with? Do you have staff available to publish the desired amount of posts?

When thinking about your Content Marketing strategy, you need to take into account the limitations of your business. There are two types of limitations: structural and editorial.

  • Structural limitation:  How many people in the company write to the blog? A hack that we use here at Resultados Digitais, and that helps in our daily goals, is to publish posts written by professionals from different areas. It’s a way to scale up content production. Know how many people in your company can post and how often to find out how many posts per week (or month) can be produced;
  • Editorial limitation:  One of the secrets to having a successful blog is not to stray from the central theme. As stated before, editorial focus is of paramount importance. So predict how many posts per month or week you can produce for your blog without making it repetitive. If your blog is in an extremely specific niche, it may be harder to find daily topics.

be regular

Another important factor is maintaining an editorial standard and calendar. Being regular helps to have visitors returning to your site . If you add these returns to new daily visits, you’ll find that it pays to maintain this regularity.

Your visitors will certainly be surprised if you post twice this week, ten times the following week, once the third week, and again ten times the next week. One of the ways to keep a loyal audience is precisely to make them understand the frequency of blog posts.

Only with this regularity can your visitors know how often they should visit the site. This eliminates the risk that someone will visit your blog and become frustrated at not finding anything new when that’s what they expected. Or finding 15 new posts when he expected to find only 1.

To find out how often your company’s blog should be updated, let’s explore 4 different scenarios:

More than once a day

Recommended, especially for two occasions: when your blog is focused on quick, factual information, such as daily news; or when it is from a very comprehensive segment, in which themes intersect but are not repeated.

Tips:

  • Specify as much as possible the topic of the post;
  • Plan ahead so you don’t end up publishing as an emergency just to meet the deadline. What’s more, in case “nothing happens again”, you have an agenda to keep the blog flowing;
  • Likewise, be on the lookout for emergency events like releases, updates and breaking news important to your niche;
  • Explore different formats: articles, tips, infographics , videos, podcasts. Give it a dynamic not to make it repetitive.

once a day

This is the current frequency of the Results Digitais blog. Blogs that do not have the premise of creating “breaking news” or that are not dependent on factual factors can already start working on this periodicity.

Tips:

  • Have an editorial calendar and organize your topics so you don’t start the day “not knowing what to do”;
  • If a topic is too broad, break it into several smaller parts and make several related posts.

1 or more times a week

If you can’t post every day, you can work on weekly schedules. Many blogs that are only updated weekly also manage to generate good traffic.

This is because with more time to devote to a specific topic, posts can be written with greater research and depth.

Tips:

  • Focus on quality. You need a differential and posts that are really worth it to compete with blogs that have a greater volume of publications;
  • Talk about current issues without being factual, that is, keeping your own language.

1 to 2 times a month

Keeping a frequency smaller than once a week is not enough. But it can serve as a start. If your business is very small, you might consider starting this often, but keeping in mind that it can be scaled up.

Tips:

  • Create Topic Clusters  (over 5,000 words). After all, you don’t want to leave your reader waiting an entire month for them to join your blog and leave in 2 minutes;
  • Get very deep into the theme. As you are not committed to daily updates, create a complete content, with examples, images, instructions, etc;
  • Be timeless, because without the obligation to deliver factual information it doesn’t make sense for you to post about a topic that could die quickly. Make content that lasts as long as possible.

the saturation point

When we talk about periodicity on a blog, one point is always evident: when will the blog increase production? This is the intention of many editors and entrepreneurs: to start little by little and gradually increase the flow of posts in order to reach more and more people.

Really, a larger number of posts can increase traffic. However, there is a concept we call “saturation point”, which is nothing more than the maximum number of publications that are worth publishing in a given period of time.

In other words, that’s when you get maximum performance from your audience, and posting too much isn’t going to increase your results. It is at this time that the importance of a constant analysis of your website appears once again. Whenever you increase post frequency, start analyzing new stats.

Let’s make a guess : did you get more hits when going from 1 post per week to 1 post per day? If so, try to increase production, and do further analysis in the future. Then rephrase the question: Did you get more hits when going from 1 to 2 daily posts? If the hits didn’t increase your traffic it’s because the saturation point was reached!

But remember that quality is everything! It will dictate the level of your results.

 

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