Number 7 of the 13 steps to content creation, according to content marketer Heidi Cohen, is to build an editorial calendar.
It’s fitting that this comes smack in the middle of the steps, because it really the turning point of every content marketing strategy. That is, you can’t make it until you’ve done your homework, like knowing your goals, understanding your target audience and figuring out your brand story.
It comes at the very point that you start thinking about execution: “HOW are we doing to do this?” Editorial calendars truly are the foundation of your plan.
Here’s what she notes as the components of this essential step (paraphrased):
- Themes: Decide on your big content offerings and plan for integration.
- Columns: Establish recurring content features.
- Repurpose: Create multiple pieces of content from each big effort.
- Curate: Incorporate your insights on select content from other sources.
- Co-create: Get your employees and customers involved.
These are all great, no doubt. But before you do all of this, there is one missing piece that you cannot forget.
The pie chart.
Yes, that’s right, a pie chart. A way to visualize the different TYPES of content that you are going to create. The base ratios should come mainly from your media study; what are your target customer’s media touchpoints and how much of each type of content are they accustomed to? Are they infatuated with slideshows from Business Insider? Listicles from Buzzfeed? Curated videos and infographics from Buzzfeed? Let that guide the way you break down (or rather, build up) your own content types.
Here is a highly simplified version, as an example.
Of course, this is just for a blog, and your content strategy may include other publication and distribution platforms. But the point here is that simple or complex, you have to be conscious of these ratios, and strategic in your approach to your editorial calendar.