Maximize opportunities efficiently
Why you need an editorial calendar
Better planning, across the scope of your organization’s plans over the next 12-18 months, ensures adequate preparation to 1) effectively organize authors, and 2) meet deadlines for important marketing opportunities. Blocking out critical dates helps stakeholders visualize commitments and establish a sequence of activities to successfully support and promote thought leadership, products and services, while making the most of resources and time.
What to consider
Next, consider the goals of those events as you think of the various channels available to promote those activities.
For example, new employees, products and services might all require press releases. Separately, your marketing plan for a new product release may include a white paper as well as prominence in your newsletter and emailing, along with creation of sales sheets, brochures and other collateral, presentations, videos and webinars.
Collectively, an initial planning session should cover marketing goals, events, initiatives related to products and services, then proceed to how to market these initiatives. The Editorial Calendar template (download below) illustrates how it might support goals. Sample data illustrates two trade shows and shows how one might be promoted with an emailing the month prior to the show, days before the show and post-show to follow up with potential leads. The newsletter carries stories and announcements prior to and/or after the shows.
While planning, your company may commit to the production of white papers and/or articles once a quarter. Article development may involve persuading trade publication editors and reaching agreement on appropriate topics and perspective, particularly during a trade show. White paper production will affect other deadlines for promotional efforts to support those publications.
You can begin to see how scheduling becomes important to nail deadlines for participating authors to meet publication time tables. The same would hold true for videos and DVD products.
Other considerations include seasonal and clearance sales, product updates, industry legislation, personnel change and partner announcements, a holiday message to thank your customers and partners and New Year’s resolutions related to the solutions your business offers.
As your team finishes the initial commitments and schedule the materials to be created, develop a spreadsheet, or use project management software, to assign projects and authors by publication with deadlines, description of each item, the goals it must meet, the tone, such as objective vs. subjective, the target group(s), offers and calls-to-action, keywords and hashtags, such as one assigned to a given trade show.
Laying out an entire editorial calendar for all stakeholders lets management and marketing understand assignments in plenty of time to create and deliver great assets. New initiatives will always come up during the year, but will be easier to manage and take advantage of new opportunities with a system in place.
Click the button below to download the Editorial Calendar template.