Do you sometimes feel like your work is a little bit unorganized and because of this, you lose focus easily? This is a very common situation in the professional environment, especially when you work with something as dynamic and fast-paced as the digital universe.
Productivity and discipline are fundamental focus points, since the very presence of these characteristics will be determinant for your business to achieve success.
With this in mind, today we will talk about a simple, yet very efficient strategy for your digital business, whether you are a digital producer or an affiliate: how to keep an editorial calendar.
What is an editorial calendar?
An editorial calendar is nothing more than a schedule for all the marketing strategies in your business. In it, you can include social media posts, blog posts, when the newsletters will be sent, and every kind of content that is essential to promote your product or service.
With a planned calendar, you will be able to have control over all the actions that are necessary for you to achieve your goals, you will be able to have a macro vision of your past strategies to define future efforts, you will be able to better organize your time according to the demand and measure results according to your planning.
How to create an editorial calendar
Now we understand the importance of an editorial calendar, let’s move on to the next step: how to create one? Let’s split this step into 4 important points, so that your calendar is well aligned with your strategies.
1. Set a goal
First of all, you need to set a goal that will be a guide to all your actions. Some interesting objectives for your business may be:
- Becoming an authority in your niche;
- Generating leads;
- Engaging an audience;
- Increasing the number of sales;
- Making an upsell.
It is essential that your goal be very specific and simple to understand. If you wish to increase the number of sales or even start from scratch, set a clear number that would be the ideal one to achieve. Your objective will then be, for instance, “make 800 sales in one year” and not simply “make sales”. Can you see the difference between the two? The more tangible your objective is, the easier it will be to identify the effort you need to make to achieve it. Keep to one or two major objectives so you don’t lose the focus of your business.
The more tangible your goal is, the easier it will be to identify the effort you need to make to achieve it. Keep to one or two major objectives so you don’t lose the focus of your business.
2. Determine the actions that lead to your objective
What do you need to do in order to achieve your objective? Blog posts, paid ads, rich materials to capture leads, YouTube videos, email marketing… you are the best person to define which actions you should take to achieve your objective. Therefore, make a list of all of them.
3. Define the ideal tool
You should define the best tool to have an easy access and control over all your content.
Here at Hotmart, we have been using Asana, and it’s been working really well. It’s a very intuitive tool and everything is very well organized, since it’s possible to create projects and use different colors, which makes your calendar visually intelligible.
But there are other similar resources, which are free and extremely popular, such as Google Calendar and Trello.
The important thing is that you group all the calendars in one single channel: blog, social media, ads, promotions, email marketing and other tasks. All this must be closely controlled, and if they are spread out, your productivity will certainly be far from ideal.
4. Determine the frequency
The next step is to determine the ideal frequency to post each strategy. This calculation must be done with accuracy, since once you have determined it, you should have the discipline to stick to it to the letter. Estimate the number of tasks you and your team can perform, otherwise there will be too many delays and what is delivered may not have the quality you expect. Let’s take a look at an example:
- Facebook posts: 7/week
- Instagram posts: 14/week
- Blog posts: 3/week
- YouTube videos: 1/week
- Free ebooks: 1/month
Based on what has been estimated, complete the calendar with the necessary specifications. Again, here at Hotmart we include in this process:
- Name of project
- Description of the task
- Person responsible for the content
- Person responsible for image creation
- Delivery date
- Publication date
- Possible references
Identify all the necessary flow for the performance of your strategies and replicate it when needed.
5. Share with the team
If you work with other people, involve all the people responsible for the strategies in the calendar, and therefore each one can validate the viability of accomplishing the tasks in the schedule.
Using the tool that you have chosen, you can also monitor if all the actions are being taken according to delivery dates, and talk to the person responsible for each task, when needed.
6. Create a routine
After the calendar has been organized, you need to create a routine to be able to keep to the tasks. On Monday morning, review what was accomplished the week before and analyze the planning for the current week. Every month, analyze the flaws, possibilities of improvement for the next month, and measure the results according to the strategies set.
Little by little, you will identify how much you and your team are able to accomplish and will be able to plan for the following months.
7. Start creating
The time period between creating and publishing or launching a campaign is very relative and you will have to develop the necessary perception to be able to estimate how much time is spent. This depends a lot on the action that will be taken. If it’s a blog post, the time period can be relatively short, since it’s a simpler action which does not require a lot of effort.
It is advisable to have all the content one month in advance, in case there are unforeseen problems or even planned vacations. If the action is more complex, such as a video that requires more intricate production and editing, do it in advance.
8. Don’t stick to only what’s been planned
The calendar should be your guide, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything beyond what’s been planned. Review the calendar frequently, to check for the next activities. Pay close attention to what happens around you, to jump on the bandwagon when there are subjects that generate positive hype, and also to avoid taking action when it is not appropriate.
Google, for instance, took advantage of the success from the series Stranger Things to promote their new messenger, Google Allo.
On the other hand, Warner delayed the release of the movie “Sully” in Brazil, which would happen on December 1st, to the 15th of the same month, due to the accident with the Chapecoense soccer team.
You need to have enough sensitivity to adapt your content and campaigns according to what happens in the media and the world.
Measure, measure, measure. This is one of our main concerns here at Hotmart, and it should also be one of yours. The metrics and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) should be determined by you and your team – when there is one, according to your strategies and objectives. Whenever an actions is launched, analyze what went right and wrong during the planning, execution, and, most importantly, the results achieved after the publication.
How many accesses did you get? How many leads were generated? How many sales were made? Use the reports from Google Analytics, Google AdwordsAdwords and social networking sites to understand your numbers and use them in your favor.
Always plan your future actions for your brand, and always leave them in an editorial calendar. You will notice your business will reach an excellent production flow and you will become even more productive.
As you can see, the calendar is a tool that must be present in your daily work routine. If our tips made sense to you, start applying them as soon as possible and please leave your opinion in the comment section below!