Bop Design Explains How To Create An Editorial Calendar

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B2B marketing firm addresses key features to a successful content marketing plan.

Bop Design Content Marketing

Bop Design Content Marketing

The most important part of an editorial calendar is that it should fit the planning needs of your business. Forcing yourself into an uncomfortable process just results in tools that end up abandoned.

Last year, the Content Marketing Institute released its fourth annual “B2B Content Marketing: 2014 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America” research and found that only 44 percent of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy. “Tackling the content marketing beast means a lot of writing, but it also means a lot of planning. Editorial calendars are no longer just for journalists and publishers—it’s a content marketers best tool to ensure high quality writing,” says Jeremy Durant, business principal of Bop Design.

When building an editorial calendar, Durant suggested including the following:

Dates

Typically, content will align with a day of the month, an easy way to list each post and track its stage in the process. Determine what’s most important to display in the calendar—draft date, revision dates, publish date, etc.—so steps in the editorial process aren’t skipped.

Variety of content

Whether it’s a blog, eBook, podcast or a mixture of many, include a column for each piece of content so nothing gets left off or forgotten. “You may not have each column addressed everyday—or even every month—but it’s a good idea to visually display all so you can effectively plan and space out your content mix,” says Durant.

Authors

Savvy content marketers employ a network of copywriters to help lighten the load of regular writing. Include them in on the calendar via Google Docs or another cloud service so everyone is aware of publishing expectations and deadlines. It’s also nice for copywriters to see when their work will publish if they’re interested in sharing with their social networks. Finally, add a column or note to keep track of payments to copywriters and the editorial budget.

Social media

The second step to every piece of content is how to distribute it via social media channels. Depending on the topic, it may not be appropriate for every social media platform. Or perhaps it works for all, but needs different messaging. Including social media “checkboxes” ensures a channel isn’t left off.

Assignments

Similar to the Author section, outlining who is responsible for certain stages is important to an editorial calendar. This could include who still needs to provide edits, who needs to start writing new content and who is responsible for publishing the final content.

Audiences/Themes

Content should be addressing a company’s target markets through thematic copy and specific calls to action. Outline those expectations within the editorial calendar so staff can easily track if a topic or audience is not addressed as frequently as others.

General comments

Even with all of the above sections laid out, having a general feedback and comments section helps record specifics about a certain piece of content. Maybe one blog post spurs another, but there isn’t enough time in the current schedule to account for it. Or maybe an employee critical to the editing process is going on vacation. A general comments section helps keep the nuances in line.

Performance metrics

“To take your editorial calendar to the next level, add in some columns to track each blog posts’ performance,” says Durant. “This also streamlines the regular reporting process, allowing you to simply tally up results instead of retroactively collecting them when you need to,” he continues. Analytics include social shares, number of pageviews and/or number of comments.

“The most important part of an editorial calendar is that it should fit the planning needs of your business. Forcing yourself into an uncomfortable process just results in tools that end up abandoned. Be flexible with your editorial calendar and adjust as necessary to refine your process.,” concludes Durant.

Bop Design is a San Diego web design and development agency with offices also in Orange County, CA and the New York metro area. Specializing in B2B marketing, Bop Design creates holistic marketing plans geared toward lead generation and business development. Bop Design offers services in branding, logo design, website design and development, responsive web design, SEO, PPC, social media, and content marketing. http://www.bopdesign.com

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Jeremy Durant
Bop Design
+1 (619) 330-0730 Ext: 801
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@BopDesignSD
since: 12/2010
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