There’s one common challenge every business faces:
Creating consistent content.
From the demands of writing blog posts, updating social media, exploring new opportunities, and more, every content team will face the challenge of consistently creating content.
This is especially true with marketing media companies.
There may be those moments of inspiration—where you or your team conjure up a flurry of ideas. Knock out a few quick ideas. And then … nothing.
Your well runs dry.
The ideas begin to cease.
And the demands of your day- to-day business provide you with little to no time to do anything about it.
It doesn’t matter if you’re creating one piece of content per day, week, or month. Every content creator at some point in time will wrestle through difficult seasons of creating content.
As a marketing director for a B2B SaaS company, I know this feeling all too well.
But there’s one thing that can help you, me, and our teams sustain the work we are inspired to create. And that’s creating an editorial calendar.
I know this doesn’t sound inspiring and even lacks glamour, but believe me; there are multiple benefits. Here are nine reasons why all businesses must create an editorial calendar.
1. Increased creativity
Creating an editorial calendar will help turn your life and business into a source of content inspiration.
Being aware of what you’re going to create will encourage you to view your life and business as a source of ideas, illustrations, and clarity. I personally noticed this change when I first served professionally as a copywriter and content manager. For months I struggled with developing compelling headlines, attention grabbing first sentences, and well-structured material. When I began to schedule my work further in advance, I noticed that this provided me with ample opportunity to research, think about what to say, and allow my ideas to incubate. It’s amazing the level of creativity you can encourage within yourself by simply allowing yourself some time to think.
2. Increased quality
There’s no shortcut to creating killer content.
It takes time.
And in some cases a lot of it.
An editorial calendar will provide you or your team with the additional time needed to research, write, edit your content, and design whatever you need, which will ultimately increase its quality.
Also, creating an editorial calendar will foster a production state of mind. In the words of Jonathan Thomas:
“You’ll create a production state of mind, meaning that you’ll get in the habit of writing a post a day, or even writing them all in one day and scheduling them to post. This will make the creation process much easier to begin and end.”
The act of creating content on a regular basis will help you and/or your team become better writers, video producers, speakers, and so on overtime.
3. Increased consistency
Many blogs and websites project the sound of crickets because their content is not up-to-date. An editorial calendar will help you fight away these dreaded crickets by positioning you to create regular content for your business.
The thing to remember about having up-to-date content is not up-to-date content. It’s about providing a consistent stream of helpful content for your audience they can drink from. This doesn’t mean you have to publish something daily. All I’m saying is that providing consistent content, whether it is once per week, twice per week, or once per month, will train your readers, viewers, or listeners on when to expect to hear something from your business.
Increased consistency will also trigger anticipation within your readers. They will make more of an effort to connect with you and your content when they know what to expect. This leads to the next benefit.
4. Increased engagement
Creating consistent content will not only let your readers know what to expect, it will encourage your readers to engage with your content.
This is similar to having a party. You’re inviting guests to your house and depending on the event, they expect to be engaged by you to some degree. Their anticipation of your content will lead your audience to return to consume, share, and engage with your content. And their engagement is a key factor in building and maintaining an engaged audience.
I know I’m stating the obvious, but it must be said: Respond to your audience.
Whether people are engaging on your blog, social media accounts, or business website, it’s important for you to interact with them. If you don’t, then it’s like not responding to someone when they say, “Hello.”
So don’t be rude. No one likes that.
5. Increased effectiveness
One of the great benefits of an editorial calendar is ensuring that you’re meeting your objectives while helping your audience.
Maybe I’m just speaking for myself, but it’s easy to get off track and share whatever your heart fancies. This is good for your personal journal. But sharing a smattering of random thoughts online is like throwing mud on the wall with the hope that something will stick.
An editorial calendar will help you plan, create, and deliver content to your audience.
6. Increased perseverance
Creating content is difficult business.
An editorial calendar will help you keep your eye on the big picture. When updating your content becomes challenging—and it will—an editorial calendar will encourage you to focus on what’s in front of you. It will shine a light on the next step you need to take in your online journey. Sometimes seeing the baby step in front of you is all you need to continue moving forward.
And this level of perseverance is what will separate you from the rest of the crowd.
7. Increased reach
Fishing teaches us a lot about creating content.
Before going fishing, it’s important to know what you’re fishing for. That way you can choose the best time of day, location, and bait to reach the fish you’re trying to catch.
An editorial calendar will serve you in a similar way. It will place you in a position to create content that will best reach your target audience.
Spend time identifying your target audience. Understand who they are, their needs, and wants. Then prepare to create content that will connect with them where they are—not where you want to be. This would be like fishing for a freshwater fish in a saltwater ocean. They’re not there.
8. Increased relevancy
Your content needs to be either timely or timeless.
Timeless content is also what people call evergreen or cornerstone content. It is content that has no shelf life. It will not expire. It is relevant today and tomorrow.
Now, there are two different types of timely content.
First, timely content is content that can have an expiration date. It is content that is connected to a specific event, such as promotional material for a new product, event, and more. Its relevance and usefulness will expire as soon as what it was connected to ends.
Second, timely content is content that is written in light of current events. It doesn’t necessarily have an expiration date. But it does have a specific time of helpfulness. For example, there are issues today that were not around one year ago and will not be relevant in another year. Writing content that is based upon your topic, connects with your audience, and intersects a contemporary event will help you better connect with your audience and increase engagement.
9. Increased focus
I currently have over 300 content ideas. Some of these are just headlines, others have notes, while others are a crappy first draft. But all of these half-completed ideas tempt me to complete them. Mapping out what I want to write in a calendar has helped me to refocus my efforts rather than chase the various ideas that come to mind.
An editorial calendar will help you focus your research, writing, editing, and rewriting. This will be beneficial when you feel like you’re facing some roadblocks. You will be encouraged to press through and finish the job.
Over to you
As you can see, if you take the time to create an editorial calendar for your business, you’ll reap the rewards, and any time spent making a plan will be well worth it.