What is a content plan?
What is an editorial schedule?
Editorial planning to organize your content
This planning tool is a must-have to set up for your blog content strategy and social media communication plan. This table allows you to have an overview of the content to be produced over a given period.
The editorial planning will allow you to manage, plan and even anticipate the content to be created, over a quarter or a year. You can easily dispatch the tasks to be accomplished on different platforms (which you will have selected upstream), and of course according to your editorial management.
Is it still a bit fuzzy for you? Let's say that a good editorial planning, to be set up, must answer several essential questions, centered around your content or blog post:
- Who: Who is your content for? Who are your personas?
- Why: What are your goals? What is your call-to-action?
- What: What are your topics? What do you want to talk about?
- When: When do you want to publish your content?
- How: What format are you using for your content (article, infographic, video, etc.)?
- And who will be in charge of creating this content?
And above all, do not forget that an editorial schedule is only effective if it meets the different problems, the different needs, of your personas, and this at each level of your marketing funnel.
This tool will then allow you to have an overview of the content creation to be made and therefore to anticipate the work to be provided for an effective strategy!
Editorial planning for your content strategy
More than just a table, an editorial calendar template is a working method in its own right. It will support the creation of your content and you will be able to manage your upcoming content and inbound marketing strategy. You will also have a general vision of your various publications over the long term.
But not only that! It is also a great collaboration tool, which will encourage exchanges between team members on the topics to be discussed, the formats to choose, etc ... And thus avoid the famous syndrome of the blank page.
Whether you are a copywriter, community manager, video editor, etc... You must have editorial calendars. Editorial planning is as essential for a newspaper as it is for a blog for example. Creating editorial calendars means ensuring logical and organized choice of topics, the pace of publication, formats etc ...
This content will of course have to be diversified and varied. Remember that a topic can come in many forms. You will then have more visibility with your targets and more opportunities to convert your prospects into customers.
On the other hand, if you are not particularly comfortable with content production, you can outsource this task. All you have to do is to create the briefs related to the content then communicate your desires to a freelancer who will take care of the creation part for you.
Otherwise, it will be necessary to give it time, and especially to train in the techniques specific to each content, such as the use of graphic tools, video editing, the different methods of writing, etc ...
What should an editorial calendar contain?
An editorial content calendar must contain a certain amount of essential information for you, your employees and freelancers, if you want to outsource the production of your content. Of course, you can complete it with other sections (example: mandatory links in your articles to promote internal linking).
But an editorial calendar template should always mention the type of content to be created, that is to say, the formats you want to use (blog articles, infographics, videos, guides, etc ...). As well as the destination of this content, either on the website? On LinkedIn? On Youtube? On Twitter? or in any social media posts...
But it is also important to designate the manager in charge of creating content (example: if you have hired a community manager, he will take care of the content related to your social networks). And the title associated with its contents, in order to see a little clearer on the theme addressed.
💡 Of course, these titles will have to be SEO-friendly.
Also, you will have to plan and indicate the date of publication in order to know which content to prioritize and to help your marketing team to better organize. Each publication must be accompanied by a status, such as: to be done / in progress / proofreading / completed.
Finally, the last section is just as important as the previous ones: SEO elements. By associating the main key elements in your editorial schedule for each content, you keep in mind the purpose of this publication, and the position you want to put yourself on.
The benefits of creating a content plan
Editorial Calendar: The Benefits of Planning
The editorial planning is ideal to keep a regular publication look, a significant point to be appreciated by search engines, and have an SEO that holds the road. Especially since with a constant pace, you will manage to retain your audience!
It is also the ultimate tool to avoid the anxiety of the blank page. No need to panic, with the editorial schedule your content is established in advance and even allows you to define other ideas! Plus, with this tool, we avoid procrastinating. We know what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.
Content plan advantages in terms of production monitoring
Editorial planning is an essential tool if you plan to effectively follow your content strategy. It offers you a general overview of your strategy, and allows you to know, for example: who to contact for this or that content, what themes are the most or least discussed, what are the contents to prioritize according to the imperatives, etc ... Not bad!
Thanks to the editorial planning, you have a 360° view of all your content already produced and those that will have to be produced. You are therefore better able to assess the consistency of your strategy with your content calendars. If you identify an inequality between the themes, for example, the editorial planning will allow you to detect the problem.
Editorial Calendar: The Benefits of SEO
Finally, editorial planning is not simply a visual representation of your content allowing you to organize your publications. It is also a very useful tool to set up an effective SEO strategy.
Assuming your editorial strategy is well built, you will be able to focus your content on target keywords searched by your personas. For example, you maintain a blog part on your website. To be effective, your articles should be categorized by themes and "ranks". It is schematized as follows:
- A "rank 0" article that addresses the theme in a global and comprehensive way.
- Articles of lower ranks that allow pushing the subject.
- All linked by an internal mesh associating the different articles.
The editorial calendar will allow you to better control the implementation of this strategy.
Create an editorial calendar in 8 steps
Step 1: Build your personas
One of the first things to do when implementing an editorial schedule is to study your targets, i.e. your buyer persona. Here, the objective is to:
- determine their socio-demographic aspects.
- know the issues/needs they face.
- find out what means they use to search for information.
By working carefully on your targets, you will be able to create content that is relevant to your audience and adapt it to the maturity of your personas. In your own editorial calendar, do not hesitate to indicate these elements if it can help your team to see more clearly and to mention which themes correspond to which targets.
Step 2: Determine your goals
Once your persona is defined, you must clarify your objectives! Everything that is published must serve your cause. Out of the question to post content to the little luck and observe what happens. No. You need goals that are consistent with your published content and in line with your audience.
During this step, remember that the goal of a good content strategy is to advance your prospect in your marketing funnel. Nevertheless, if you already have your goals clearly in mind (especially if you have established a well-constructed content strategy) and are simply looking for an effective way of working, skip the step!
Step 3: Find the topics in your content
You now know which path to take, it will now be necessary to find relevant and interesting topics for your audience! For that, you must meet their needs, their problems, which you identified during the first step.
You can also help yourself from the competition by zieutant the content they offer. List the topics covered, in which formats and for which platforms. Social networks in particular are a great source of ideas.
Finally, take an SEO approach. The goal is to study the queries of Internet users and search volumes. You will be able to find your topics according to the keywords searched on the search engines.
🗓️ Example: If you have an idea for an article, it is important to add the target keyword to your editorial schedule:
Step 4: Categorize the topics in your content
Once you have your ideas in mind, sorting is necessary! Indeed, not all topics are equal in terms of relevance, and on the other hand, not all can be used. It is therefore necessary to evaluate whether your ideas are worthy of interest, or not.
💡 Look at the search volume of your keywords, it will tell you if you need to put the package on a particular idea.
You can then classify your topics according to the theme addressed, the format adopted, your personas, etc ... And remember, every content must help advance your audience in your marketing funnel, whether it's attracting visitors to your website or a call to action, your content must have a specific purpose.
Step 5: Formalize your editorial planning
You now have enough to build a really concrete editorial schedule. You will now be able to integrate your different topics and formalize your tool by indicating the elements useful for the proper management of your editorial planning, such as:
- The title,
- The theme,
- The person in charge,
- The format,
- The date of publication,
- The status,
- The main keyword,
It should be easily accessible for your team and for people outside your company (if you plan to work with a freelancer for the realization of your content). The choice of an editorial planning tool will therefore have to be made according to its complexity.
Step 6: Add briefs to your editorial schedule
Integrating briefs into your editorial planning is advisable, especially if you want to outsource some or all of your content. The goal is to guide the person in charge of creating the content so that they go in the right direction and can have help to rely on.
So do not hesitate to create a document for each subject and integrate it into your editorial planning, in ...
- indicating the desired structure for the content in question,
- mentioning relevant sources to draw inspiration from them,
- taking important notes, such as visuals that you would have had the idea for.
Step 7: Create your content
Now it's time to create your content! With the implementation of an editorial schedule, it is an opportunity for you to get ahead of the production of your content. This is because you no longer need to come up with content ideas. Everything is already planned in advance, just take action!
Keep track of the time you spend on your content, as well as how much time you have to write and edit it, so that you are not taken by surprise when there is not enough time.
Step 8: Evaluation and readjustment of the schedule
Your editorial planning is done. But the work doesn't stop there! It is necessary to regularly monitor the progress of your content and its impact. This will allow you to identify the themes that work best or those that, on the contrary, generate little traffic.
It is thanks to your analyses that you will be able to make adjustments if necessary and optimize your editorial planning and your content. This will allow you to dismiss uninteresting topics and focus on those with potential.
And don't hesitate to test new ideas! The goal is to constantly perfect and adapt your editorial planning.
Some tools for your editorial planning
Excel spreadsheet software
If you want to make editorial planning at a lower cost, Excel is the tool for you! Very flexible, you can create your editorial schedule from A to Z by adding the columns that suit you.
On the other hand, and unlike other tools, you will not be able to add attachments to your editorial schedule. The interface is very limited, so you will have few options.
The Trello management tool
Trello is a software comparable to an online notebook. Very flexible, it will easily adapt to your needs. In particular, you will be able to:
- list your ideas and suggestions,
- integrate the status of the content to be produced (to be done, in progress or completed),
- manage ideas for illustrations and resources through attachments,
- and much more!
However, you may need some time to adapt before you have the tool fully in hand.
Online calendars such as outlook or google calendar, can easily serve as an editorial planning. Thanks to their calendars, you can easily get an overview of your content to be produced.
This type of tool is especially recommended for editorial schedules that are not very complex, and preferably with a single manager of the content to be produced.
Basecamp is a software used to plan and distribute tasks to team members. Rather easy to use, it offers many features to organize and prioritize your work.
You can then easily assign content to be made, plan it, and even create checklists!